Category Archives: Political
Jul 28, 2019Posted by on
I did consider withdrawing this post, but it has made me look at ‘Measuring Worth‘ in a new light and is useful to me. Specifically it made me consider how complex the issue of inflation actually is in a fiat money world. Especially in the light of the Retail Price Index and the Consumer Price Index that comprise the items making up the UK’s ‘shopping baskets’.
The best that I could do was to measure the value of one pound (UK) using three sequential periods from 1947 until 1970 and from 1972 until 2018. I missed out 1971 as it was the year that fiat money was introduced into the global economy. Even so the cost of inflation to the consumer for a basket of goods not included in the RPI or CPI indices was hard to identify. This is particularly true of groceries that are considered to be a necessary expenditure. Food is approximately 10% of the basket depending on the percentage variability of the other included items. The following notes below point out that measurements of inflation are based on a fiscal policy that is related to the RPI, CPI indices.
Jul 13, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I would venture that there never has been a time in history of mankind when there was not a wealthy Aristocracy. The Encyclopaedia Britannica opens with the definition that aristocracy means, ‘government by a relatively small privileged class or by a minority consisting of those felt to be best qualified to rule’.
Of course the vast majority of people supporting this ‘privileged class’ have no desire to rule, they are only interested in their own welfare. However, the even smaller privileged class¹ that they currently support most certainly do. Furthermore, be they capitalists or socialists, or even the demos (whoever they may be), the ruling elites always claim that they represent the views of ‘we the people’.
It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude. (Aldous Huxley – Berkeley 1962)
Written nearly 500 years ago and preceding Aldous Huxley’s remarks, the prescience of Étienne de La Boétie ought to be remembered for his essay The Politics of Obedience — The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude. Both are now largely forgotten by a demos that loves its voluntary servitude under a controlling oligarchy. However, searching for a political system on which there would be a consensus in the nature of a more perfect union is a fruitless task, as is any reliance on ‘we the people’ seeking political solutions to their subjugation. Read more of this post
May 4, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: When the Fixed-term Parliaments Act (FTPA) was introduced in 2011, the coalition government argued that fixed-term parliaments would have a positive effect on our country’s political system: providing stability, discouraging short-termism, and preventing the manipulation of election dates for political advantage. Yet the ease with which Theresa May was able to trigger the early election in light of her 21-point opinion poll lead over Labour over Easter (2017) appeared to cast doubt on its ability to deliver these aims. Read more of this post
Apr 20, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I live in a liberal democracy and wonder why others who do support the undemocratic relentless advance of a meritocracy to govern them, or at least a soi-disant version of it. Even in the unlikely event of an electorate choosing to vote for the most meritorious representative, they are still not a privy to their elected representative’s selection by any political system as a representative of any public administration. Both meritocracy and democracy are used as abstractions in political philosophy, it is clear that both words depend on the political system of the State. Whether it is modelled on a Chinese meritocracy, a liberal democracy, the emerging European Union as a political unit, or some other form of political system, they all claim to be democratic.
The world today is divided territorially into more than 190 countries, in each of which a national government claims to exercise sovereignty—or the power of final authority—and seeks to compel obedience to its will by its citizens. Britannica: Political Systems
Apr 13, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I add this as part of my 2019 April posts on political and economic themes, in which there are two reprises that are not quite the same as the originals. However, in this post, both the article on Friday and Ian Buckley’s essay Learning from Adam Smith quote the following caution from economic historian John Kenneth Galbraith.
Corporate executives and their spokesmen who cite Smith today as the source of all sanction and truth without the inconvenience of having read him would be astonished and depressed to know he would not have allowed their companies to exist.
Apr 6, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Perfidious Albion¹ was a phrase much used by Napoléon Bonaparte, who would know the epithet as La Perfide Albion. There has been an enmity between Britain and France at least since the loss of the Angevin Empire by the English (or should that be the Norman invaders) and the 100 years war. It may even be the English insistence on calling themselves Anglo-Saxons, a term used by the French in a pejorative way.
I am sure that the French teach their history as proof of perfidious Albion, with the Fashoda Incident added for good measure. The Fashoda Incident was not taught when I was at school. If it was a mentioned at all would have been overshadowed by General Gordon and Churchill (that hero of the English right and enemy of the British left) participating in the last cavalry charge at the Battle of Omdurman.
The English view of the French is hardly helped by those other Anglo-Saxons during World War I saying, “Lafayette, nous voilà“. Those other Anglo-Saxons who consistently fail to acknowledge the French contribution to the American Revolution. Something the British (or should that be English) also choose to deliberately ignore, even when teaching Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown.
Perhaps, joyously received by the French and resentfully by the British (including the English), was General de Gaulle’s now famous “Non“ to the British application to join the EU. De Gaulle was probably right about one thing (see cartoon below) and that was the English thwarting of European dominance by France — except Charlemagne who may (contrary to popular belief) not have spoken french. The English at this time were real Anglo-Saxons and had their own problems which, had he chose to, Charlemagne could have probably resolved. There are many claims that de Gaulle was the prophet of Brexit ensuring the recognition of the Anglo-Saxon intentions to the EU and the perfidy of Albion was understood by all.
Mar 30, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Last weeks post prompted me to research secession¹, whereupon I was surprised by the increase in the desire of various factions within States to secede (although living with the vestiges of the British Empire, I shouldn’t have been). There are as many and varied reasons for secession as there are methods of seceding, equally there are many are arguments for and against secession. Secessionist sentiments are in all of the major and minor political ideologies, with some having successfully seceded in the past 250 years or so and some failing to do so.
Read more of this post