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lundi, 05 octobre 2009

Homo Economicus

Homo Economicus

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“The nearest buildings were almost two miles away, and formed a low belt completely surrounding the Park. Beyond them, rank after rank in ascending height, were the towers and terraces that made up the main bulk of the city. They stretched for mile upon mile, slowly climbing up the sky, becoming ever more complex and monumentally impressive. Diaspar had been planned as an entity; it was a single mighty machine. Yet though its outward appearance was almost overwhelming in its complexity, it merely hinted at the hidden marvels of technology without which all these great buildings would be lifeless sepulchres.” - THE CITY AND THE STARS. Arthur C. Clarke (1956)

Wealth has concentrated in the hands of the very few, but I reckon that Marx's explanation is only a part of the story, and I don't believe in the inevitability of class war; there are other forces at work in addition:

Wealth trajectory westward

“Brooks Adams also noted that centralized capital (the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few inter-related families) seems to have been moving steadily West throughout recorded history. The first major accumulations are to be found in Sumer; the center of money-power then shifted to Egypt, to Greece, to the Italian peninsula, to various parts of Germany, and then to London. At the time Brooks Adams was writing (c.1900) he saw the balance teetering between London and New York, and he predicted that the decline of the English Empire would shift the balance to New York within the first half of the 20th Century. Brooks Adams had no theory as to why this Westward movement of wealth had been going on for 6000 years. He merely observed the pattern.
“The shift is still continuing, in the opinion of many. For instance, Carl Oglesby in The Cowboy vs. Yankee War, sees American politics since 1950 dominated by a struggle between 'old Yankee wealth' (the New York-Boston axis, which replaced London after 1900) and 'new cowboy wealth' (Texas-California oil-and-aerospace billionaires).” - PROMETHEUS RISING. Robert Anton Wilson (1983).

Since the 80s, Wilson and others have argued that the concentration of wealth has continued it's westward journey, crossing the Pacific to Japan and China but at the same time apparently vanishing into cyberspace.

Corporatism and Distributism

Both these theories emerged in the late Nineteenth Century as the Catholic Church's response to socialism, and I agree that both are superior (fairer and more efficient) than liberal capitalism.

Corporatism can vary from the very mild, e.g. Britain's Labour government in the late 1970s, to the idealistic full-blooded variety espoused by Alexander Raven Thomson.

“No greater mistake can be made than to regard the Corporate State as a mere mechanism of administration.
“On the contrary, it is the organic form through which the nation can find expression. Fascism is no material creed like Communism, which sets up, as its only purpose, the material benefit of the masses. Fascism is essentially idealistic, and refuses any such limitation. Fascism recognises the nation as an organism with a purpose, a life and means of action transcending those of the individuals of which it is composed.
“...it is only through co-operation with others in the organic purpose of the State that the individual can attain his highest potentiality. There is no need for any conflict between the individual and the State as neither can exist without the other. An individual exiled from the civilised communion must inevitably relapse into savagery: a State deprived of loyal co-operation with its citizens must inevitably collapse into barbarism.” - THE COMING CORPORATE STATE. Alexander Raven Thomson (1936)

Raven Thomson is describing a State with a Will. I believe that Will must be directed toward the conquest of space. All other considerations are secondary.


Growing up as a small boy in the Sixties, I vividly remember the excitement of the space race. I also remember the promise of greater automation, which would free our people from a life of drudgery and instead allow us to pursue our dreams. Like many other ideas from that scintillating decade the vision faded. It's true that less people now are involved in manufacturing – actually producing things – and the greater part of the workforce are employed in “services”, overwhelmingly financial services. We have swapped the workbench for the hot desk and office cubicle.

To my mind this is not an improvement, and I wondered who was to blame. I came to the conclusion that capitalism is essentially a control mechanism of the crudest kind; it pits each of us against all others (“the war of all against all”) in an apparent battle for survival that guarantees the preservation of an unchanging parasitical elite.

I am not an economist, which I reckon is a positive advantage because I don't accept the rules (e.g. supply and demand) upon which modern economics is based. Human behaviour is in the final analysis beyond reason and trying to make a science out of it is futile.

Also, the New Right encompasses a wide variety of economic models, from Norman Lowell's Might is Right Social Darwinism to Troy Southgate's devolved National Anarchism, so my views are not representative although they are close to Mosley's BUF policies in the 1930s. The reason why the New Right is able to hold such contradictory economic policies is because ideologically economics occupies a rather lowly rung. In Georges Dumezil's tri-partite theory of Aryan civilization, economics is “third function” (almost a natural process); whereas real politics is confined to first and second functions only.

My own economic ideas are driven by three major concerns: the necessity to maintain a technological civilization and expand into space, environmental pollution, and the general welfare of all our people in order that they can contribute fully to the Imperium. In all this it differs drastically with Marxism.

In regard to pollution/ climate change etc. I believe the best solution is along the lines of Paolo Soleri's Arcologies, where our industrial/ technological activity is effectively sealed off from the rest of the planet. These Arcologies would be very high density and imply the possibility of communal living; barracks, canteens – a bit like WW2 underground military bases – but not so gloomy. We would make huge economies of scale, and at the same time cut transport costs to virtually nil. For the few that want to try communal, organic communities, there's the land around the Arcologies to use, otherwise it will be allowed to revert to wilderness. All food for the Arcology would be produced in factories in the Arcology, and as a technological civilization (in contrast to that envisaged by Blood & Soil/ back-to-the-land enthusiasts) we would be able to defend ourselves against invasion.

It's bonkers to assume that all this can come about through the free market, let alone space exploration which has always demanded massive state funding, so I concluded that a self-sufficient planned economy is best. This command economy would have to embrace to whole of Europe, Russia and Siberia (at least) above all for racial/cultural reasons, but also because it is of sufficient extent, and with sufficient resources, to guarantee autarky.

“Men had built cities before, but never a city such as this. Some had lasted for centuries, some for millennia, before Time had swept away even their names. Diaspar alone had challenged Eternity, defending itself and all it sheltered against the slow attrition of the ages, the ravages of decay, and the corruption of rust.”

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