It has fallen to the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in coalition to attempt some, if not all, of the necessary initiatives that might change British capitalism – notably banking and political reform – but it is an open question how determined it will be before well-organised defence of entrenched and privileged positions by the financial, media and bureaucratic elites. Worse, its repudiation of Keynesian economic policies in circumstances that demand more Keynesianism than at any time since the 1930s threatens to overwhelm its best intentions. The consequences are a potential national calamity.From this point onward, Hutton spirals downward in a description of our dysfunctional society, coming over like a good Fabian from the late 19th Century, which would be all very laudatory if he hadn't just (above) made clear his recommended course of treatment is the very same stuff that got us to this place. Keynes said famously; 'in the long run, we're all dead', and he is indeed dead. We, however, are living in Keynes' long run, and the ruins Hutton sees and sighs over are the consequences of the very policies that Keynes championed - government intervention, unsound, inflationary monetary policy and central planning. And yet, for Will (chi et arrivato a la frutta), all the blames lies on capitalism, free markets and individualism - in other words liberalism - in other words all the ideas that have been trashed over the last one hundred years by the growing power of the central state, aided by the pseudo-economic snake oil of John Maynard Keynes.
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Will Hutton's still cranking it out, but he's obviously getting on in years. As I peruse this extract from his latest book, Dr Will seems at first to make a reasonable diagnosis of the illness, but then comes the following and I realise he's still wedded to the economic equivalents of leeches, tobacco enemas and trepanation with a rusty screwdriver: