Countdown

On reading a throwaway segment of the LA times I found that many people have been overtaken by a form of psychic paralysis in anticipation of the Trump inauguration.I was not alone.The advice given was to realize the transience of the process and to concentrate on accomplishing things bit by bit, planning ahead for a diffferent day but resuming the necessary functioning 0f a day to day existence.The percussive aspect of the piano was available to me but the fiddle demanded  inner peace.This blog required something to respond to.I found it in my resumption of my retirement review of material from The Great Courses.The technology has altered but my old equipment groans and shudders but works.A review of economics produced the familiar lack of economic motivation beyond survival until the 13th-16th centuries.With this time period and the permissibility of the accumulation of wealth came mercantilism and the importance of gold currency to the nation state.The decline of the importance of a universal church with its stranglehold on wealth and military power was the result of the great trading companies and the production of wealth from trading(mostly export} but necessarily the development of trading blocs backed by military power.A surprising warning from the past came too by courtesy of John Maynard Keynes.To paraphrase’ Do not trust the businessman who claims to be a politician.He cannot see beyond the trade and his true concern is for personal or group profit.He may pretend to support the nation state but in reality he does not.’

On to the next economic period in my reading for survival!

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6 Comments

  1. As usual, there is a lot to consider. I am pleased that Daedal2207 has selected an economic slant to further the process. Why and how we allocate resources tells us much (everything?) about ourselves. Daedal2207 paraphrases the economist John Maynard Keynes, “Do not trust the businessman who claims to be a politician. He cannot see beyond the trade and his true concern is for personal or group profit. He may pretend to support the nation state but in reality he does not.”
    Interestingly, every generalization when applied to an individual is a form of profiling. The important thing is to understand when such judgment is appropriate to the contexts – in this case, I believe that Daedal2207 is applying Keynes’s businessman generalization to the Presidency of Donald Trump.
    I don’t know how Keynes could have known that Donald J. Trump’s “true concern” would be for “personal or group profit”. Sometimes, no matter your profession, it is necessary to “profile”. That is when forced by circumstances to make quick judgments based on little evidence. But on the issue of judging the Presidency and Trump’s motivations we have time to consider possibilities other than personal or group profit. Perhaps this businessman/politician’s idea of “group profit” refers to enhancing the country’s GDP? If his management skills can provide for us this form of “profit” we will all be gainers in numerous ways. More GDP means more resources available to be allocated in such a manner that more of our citizens can survive and thrive.
    Could Daedal provide the exact quote on this subject by Keynes? A claim to know the “true concerns” of anyone of any profession seems to be out of character.

    1. Good catch Don.Prof.Timothy Taylor then of Macalester college makes clear that this was a rare but authenticated private communication from Keynes to a friend and colleague in England.I recommend “Legacies of Great Economists” if it is still available from the Great Courses after thirty years.

  2. daedal2207: “… I found that many people have been overtaken by a form of psychic paralysis in anticipation of the Trump inauguration. I was not alone.”

    The honesty … and transparency … of this opening statement unleashed a flood of visual emotion. This is being shared … I am not alone. There’s an introspection to this blog that deserves cognitive appreciation. I am not speaking of “cut-and-paste” repetitive Ayn Rand-style rants that leave us yawning with aloof terminology (talk about faux elitism!) pretending no cult-like thought, but mere superiority (this being done in diversionary stealth by reverse accusation to “worshippers” … how obvious!), where empathy is mocked as a sign of weakness. Rather, it’s the honest soul-searching, unpretentious style in an attempt to understand and lift … to different levels … without merely and callously discarding … that gets the broader recognition/participation. Though not specific enough in detail, how to ENCOURAGE “jump in, the water is fine?” Is it fear of being ostracized or language barrier? Perhaps, intimidation?

    daedal2207: “The technology has altered but my old equipment groans and shudders but works.”

    Good. Still can’t change the spots on the leopard! Survival … at the very least, the mind. When we retreat, we atrophy. In addition, the more limited the participation, the greater the risk of becoming circuitous … a bubble resident.

    Countdown. In these times which call on us to exercise some circumspection, do we revisit the post of September 2015 “Analogically Thinking & National Character?” Tapping into national character is more challenging than ever. How do we define ourselves in view of what we’re being thrust against? What is character? Is it a subjective or an objective concept? What are the rules that make definitions of character acceptable … worthy of trust and, thus, recognition? My question is not directed at policies … those are debatable. But, rather at the standard of human behavior. We do not accept the defense from a common (as opposed to institutionalized … Wells Fargo) bank robber: “I needed the money” (though he/she might have actually needed it … Jean Valjean comes to mind). Anarchy is chaotic.

    daedal2207: “To paraphrase ‘Do not trust the businessman who claims to be a politician. He cannot see beyond the trade and his true concern is for personal or group profit. He may pretend to support the nation state but in reality he does not.'”

    We are not a lazy country. The empty vessel carries no reality … just emptiness. How do we garner back the communal (as in “country”) sense of purpose? No pain, no gain?

    daedal2207: “On to the next economic period in my reading for survival!”

    For my end, I’m searching for reassurances from the much-idealized Founding Fathers. As much deification as has been poured on them (what a shame!), boy, they sure were human, i.e. flawed. Did the knowledge of inequities bring on the Age of Enlightenment?Ron Chernow’s biography “Alexander Hamilton” is a worthy, researched chronicle. The written record of 220+ years exposes/foretells the CHARACTER that today’s “Countdown” confronts and which it tried to guard against. Yes, callous behavior abounds!! However, in the end, the test will be in the fortitude, self-respect and a high standard of decency that “so-called” political patriots will display/exercise and we will be willing to accept as … our “national character.”

    Fundamentally, in everything, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Maybe I’m wrong.

    Thank you, daedal2207. Always thought-provoking … with a touch of hope? I hope I didn’t deviate too much from the message. If so, I apologize for the doldrums.

    1. Again,well said Susanna.”Retreat is atrophy.” Last night President Obama cast some light on our guarantees as a nation.Basically he said that we all must continue to work and that the Constitution is not a guarantee but a promise whose fulfillment depends on grinding hard work and access to facts on which we can depend as the basis for both governmental and personal action, not propaganda and misinformation.The traditional media has a huge role here .

  3. Cruel “hands in the cookie jar” are observed in the rush to dismantle the independent ethics committee(aborted) and the firing of the 11 year inauguration’ President announcer’ {accomplished) Plenty more to come!

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