Friday, February 27, 2009
Some years ago I had a file labelled 'Urgent! Action Now!' Into this I had tossed things that were, indeed, urgent. But the fact that they had been tossed into the file at all indicated another aspect - they were, in my mind, too hard, in fact, insoluble. Filing them was a way of making myself think I had achieved something whereas I had, of course, achieved precisely nothing. Then we moved house. The file vanished and I forgot about it. It turned up several years later. I opened it fearfully, the problems inside had all gone away. Doing something was the same as doing nothing as far as these insoluble problems were concerned. That, it seems to me, is the story of the present crisis in a nutshell. The problem is insoluble. American sub-prime was just the beginning; now we have Europe's own sub-prime in the form of the collapsing eastern European economies. Everybody is running around crying, 'Urgent! Action Now!' and then tossing things into a file. The non-solution is to lose the file. Move on from this collapsed and absurdly unstable form of turbo-capitalism and start again. When we hear that message, the recovery will have begun. Don't hold your breath.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 9:29 am