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October 25, 2019




Can I just say your recent posts - like this one - are really, really good. Great work!

I think the idea that we are first and foremost storytelling creatures is extremely plausible. Maybe we should think of the flaws in our theories as if they were plot holes.

Frank Wilhoit

What would be the Latin for humans with an emotional age of five seconds, trapped forever in the birth trauma and consumed, to the exclusion of any other thought, in the emotional compulsion to exact revenge for it?


Historical parallels with Brexit are tricky. I wonder if Joseph Chamberlain’s campaign for Imperial Preference (and, ultimately, for Imperial Federation) may be useful.

It’s amazing to realise that splits over an issue we’ve largely forgotten doomed Arthur Balfour’s government to defeat in 1906, and were a major factor in the political dance between Baldwin and MacDonald in the inter-war years. Chamberlain conjured up the same demons back in 1906 as Guy Verhofstadt just did in his recent pro-imperialism speech to the LibDem conference: that if we don’t federalise into a larger political unit, foreign powers will overwhelm us. For Chamberlain it was Germany and the USA; for Verhofstadt it’s Russia and China. There are, of course, striking similarities between Chamberlain’s federal ideas and Jean Monnet’s. I suspect Arthur Salter was the transmission vector.


I found this via the FT’s Alphaville where they have a daily must read column. Today they linked to the following article in americanaffairsjournal.org "The Financialization of the American Elite”:

"Legal scholar Lynn Stout has argued that shareholder primacy’s rapid advance towards general acceptance is the result of a convenient alignment of interests between disparate interest groups during the 1980s and early 1990s.12 The first group to latch onto the idea was academics—business and law professors as well as economists like Jensen—who saw that “shareholder primacy offered a simple story about corporate structure and purpose that could be easily taught to students who innocently asked the complex question, ‘what are corporations for?’”13 The idea also gained steam among researchers, for it offered a seemingly elegant way to measure the results of business strategies or initiatives: a corporation’s share price either went up or down.”

Some stories have lasting effects that we can’t even fathom.


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