The despair @EdwardGLuce in the pages @FT. Old Socialist comments

After Ms. Tett’s essay of April 22, 2020:

Headline: How much should it cost to contain a pandemic?

Sub-headline: Assigning an economic value to life is taboo — but we must confront the trade-offs

Mr. Luce’s essay doesn’t surprise, or even offer anything like a solution to the present conundrum. Perhaps the very nature/concept of that ‘conundrum’ makes it more amenable to extemporaneous political free association? Yet The Pandemic threatens the very Capitalist Enterprise in toto! What must ‘our’ response be? The bleak tone of Mr. Luce about, what is essentially a collapse of Capital, offers what?

Ms. Tett finds ‘hope‘ in the model offered by Bryce Wilkinson:

In “Quantifying the Wellbeing Costs of Covid-19”, a research note written for the pro-free-market New Zealand Initiative and published earlier this month, Bryce Wilkinson sets out to examine some of the fiscal trade-offs around coronavirus when it comes to health, wellbeing and cost. Whether you agree with his approach or not, the results are worth reading. 

The ‘as if’ here is that the fate of ‘our fellow citizens’ is not a compelling reason for political action, a reason that the State, and its vital civic dimension, should act as the glue that holds ‘us’ together? ‘A research note written for the pro-free-market New Zealand Initiative’ offers the reason for Mr. Wilkinson’s ‘research note’, whatever that is? Or should it be called by its name propaganda? A very particular kind of political advocacy/apologetic: red in tooth and claw Social Darwinism, that the Hayek/Mises/Friedman Trinity draped with the tattered cloak of Economics. 

Old Socialist



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.'
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