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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Blog 79. Piketty’s Stylish Statement of the Bleedin Obvious.


Cynics might be tempted to put Thomas Piketty’s celebrated tome Capital – ‘Capitalism doesn’t work’, on the shelf next to Obesity – ‘Over-eating makes you fat’.

It’s important to remember that accepting what is obvious isn’t necessarily easy. In particular, those with vested interests often need their blind incredulity smashed by a sledgehammer. For some it’s not enough to look around them at levels of personal and public debt, rising inequality, youth unemployment, social unrest, depression, addiction, friends applying for their own jobs repeatedly, zero hours contracts, reduced wages, creeping corruption, the rise of food banks, the increased numbers in work claiming benefits, ‘resource’ wars, starvation in a world of plenty, a rise in self-destruct illnesses and so on and so on – to conclude that Capitalism aint working.

C’est évidemment vrai.

Some people – politicians (?) – and maybe anyone else who has been living in a glass bubble for the last thirty years – may require 700 pages of facts and graphs, examples and statistics from a huge brain like French economist and big thinker  - Thomas Piketty.

Some folk need it written in blood – or French!

But some of us don’t.

You may recall that large swathes of the general public instinctively knew that invading Iraq was a shit idea. Others needed to wait for the body count and global terror inflation and the books that are coming out now from ex-serving soldiers to tell them in writing that it was a bloody, very bloody stupid idea.

So Piketty’s book is, by all accounts, being celebrated as both genius and earth shattering in the international corridors of power. If it takes a book for some rather than a little peer out of the window – I’m all for it – as long as the penny (or the dollar) finally drops – good.

Many ordinary men and women worked out that we are decimating the planet, long before the recent UN report (see blog77.) Others will only believe it when Birmingham is a bleached beach resort and cockroaches are running Wall Street - oh sorry – they already are – but you know what I mean.

So well done Mr Piketty. However, if I make it all the way through your book rather than just reading the copious articles and snippets and quotes and summaries, I’m still pretty sure I will still end up filing it next to those other ground-breaking, eye-opening volumes,

Fags – ‘Smoking Causes Cancer’

&

Planet – ‘The Earth is Round’

 

This week’s recommended blog from the archive is;

Blog 18. Elitism for All

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