Robert Lucas on Sun, 25 Aug 2002 22:24:41 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Stiglitz & IMF revolutionary economic incompetence

Mr. Stiglitz's "Globalization & Its Discontents",  though perhaps not 
particularly hip amongst these circles because of the, no matter how well 
supported, slight element of faith in "capitalism" (whatever that is) is, I 
have to say, pretty spot-on in terms of economic analysis of the general 
situation at the moment, and I'd recommend it to anyone... But the general 
sense that I get out of it, the more I read, if this is relevant to that old 
activism debate, is that no one, absolutely no one, has done as much to 
undermine the hegemony of "free" market ideology or trickle-down economics 
(or "trickle-down plus" as Stiglitz might call the current Blair or 
whateverism in Britain and beyond) as the IMF and the currency speculators. 
With people like this making such idiotic large-scale economic blunders, it 
is hard to see where the cultural-political space for any sort of activism 
lies. Perhaps it is the brutal old dialectical materialist in me, but it 
might be more of a radical gesture if anyone with any sense of 
responsibility for the future put their efforts into destroying a small 
economy that had been opened to competition prematurely from the IMF (a 
little like the "I can fuck it up so it's clearly not very good" approach to 
hacking). We might avoid the ideological tagging that always comes along 
with protest, by merely suggesting that the current global approach to 
economics simply doesn't work...

Fuck activism, let's speculate.

But seriously (ha ha ha...) Let them get on with it: just make sure people 
know about it. There's no chance of stopping it. How about it? Whatever 
happens, looks like we're in for a bumpy ride for the moment, and it'd be 
better to be able to take the intellectual high-ground: before any sort of 
moral or ideological critique, we have to tackle the economics...

...more soon, when I've chewed this little ramble over a little...

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