janan.ganesh@ft.com : The Pandemic re-writes ‘The Social Contract’ via Dickens & Orwell. Old Socialist comments

Mr. Ganesh’s literary overlay, Dickens vs. Orwell provides that frame, on power of The Pandemic is stylistically – I can’t compare it to Tom Wolfe’ s ‘snap, crackle, pop’ -for it is too sophisticated, in its way. And reaches an ersatz sumptuousness , almost reminiscent of Henry James. With a better sense of the imperatives, of the necessity of brevity, for a Boulevardier, who writes for a Newspaper as an avocation.

What Mr. Ganesh’s misses, avoids, or seeks to hide, under his almost elegant prose, is that it is not the ‘Social Contact’ that will be rewritten, but that The Neo-Liberal Age has come to its final moments on the World Stage. And what is to replace it is a new iteration of the Welfare State. The proof is the massive bail-out, read gift, for Corporations, and in America a measly $1200 for the lesser beings! 

The Political Melodrama is sharpened by the fact that  Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) sold their stocks in light of insider information:


Not to speak of other Senators lecturing on the Senate floor, the fact their constituencies, the potential recipients of that $1200,  will experience a moral sloth,  an instance of the perennial Capitalist Puritanism. Sen. Bernie Sanders replies with withering contempt. But watch the video, till a Republican Senator, offers a scolding to Sanders, wreathed in faint praise.

Old Socialist 



 In reply to Occamthebat
Thank you for your comment. Mr. Ganesh seeks to diminish the notion of the ‘social contact’ which is in fact the ‘Social Contract’, a speculative idea of long standing in both philosophical/political debate. As part of his maladroit apologetic for what has gone wrong with the Neo-Liberal Swindle: via his presentation of his fictional contest between Dickens and Orwell.  As an overarching metaphor that describes the political present. Its literary echo is the almost winning strategy, that Mr. Ganesh adopts. Yet, I will still place my argumentative wager on ‘a Boulevardier, who writes for a Newspaper as an avocation.’ description. 


P.S. I’m still waiting for Mr. Ganesh’s novel !  That creature of his bottom desk drawer needs to be published! Certainly not like the ennui producing novels of C.P. Snow, nor the pop drivel of Tom Wolfe, but more like Evelyn Waugh?

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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