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As all that is solid melts to air and everything holy is profaned...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Capitalism still in c..c...c...crisis

From today's Guardian. (Ah, but which day! And which year?)

The mentions of '1973 oil shock' below are interesting - the crisis which that created screwed up Ted Heath's Tories - helped by a miners strike- and led to election of an old Labour government in 1974 -who ended up having to rattle a begging bowl before the International Monetary Fund in 1975... and -if you believe Jon Savage/ England's Dreaming, through economic determinism created punk... and certainly gave Bowie's Diamond Dogs (inspired by Orwell's 1984) an extra edge

Now read on...

PS - this links to 'Fetishism of Commodities and the Secrets Thereof'

The Bank of England warned last night of a "vicious circle" in which frozen credit markets dragged down the economy as stocks tumbled following Wednesday's announcement of coordinated central bank intervention in money markets.

Share prices in London fell by almost 3% as dealers judged that the £50bn extra liquidity being provided by central bankers to seized-up money markets would not mark the end of the credit crunch.

By the close, the FTSE 100 was down 195.6 points at 6,364.2 with bank shares among the biggest losers. Barclays dropped 6% to 532.5p, while HBOS was down 8% at 762.1p.

Shares and bond markets were also hit by data from the US showing the biggest rise in factory gate prices since the oil shock of 1973 and a stronger-than-expected increase in retail sales last month.

Producer price inflation surged to a 34-year high of 3.2% in November because of a record rise in petrol prices, in turn caused by a peak in crude oil prices. Back in 1973, factory prices were also being pushed up by strong oil prices, which more than quadrupled in six months.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This made me think of you, quote is from the Situationist International: Its Penetration into British Culture (George Robertson) 1988

"For various reasons - a traditional British suspicion of intellectualism, the historical presence of a Romantic element in the British left avant-garde, etc. - it seems that in Britain there was an attraction to the superficial, subjective and spectacular aspects of the SI. Here a quote from Jamie reid is especially telling; discussing Chris Gray's Leaving the 20th Century, a compilation of situationist texts, which he helped produce and did the graphics for, Reid explains: I never really read it, but I loved the one-liners like the corpse metaphor.*"

"* J. Reid Up They Rise: The Incomplete Works of Jamie Reid(Faber and Faber London 1987) p.40. This comment is not as cavalier as it may at first seem. Jamie reid is in fact expressing a characteristic way of appraoching the SI: a slogan, quotation or metaphor can often illuminate an idea more directly and succintly than dozens of densely argued pages of text."

11:36 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks once again Noisy Sphinx

I will get a copy of the George Robertson article... will follow this lead up in due course.

Somehow got to cross-reference with the music downloads etc on the online Kill Your Pet Puppy - which almost amount to a re-invention of punk.


4:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found it in the anthology "What is Situationism? A Reader" edited by Stewart Home, a fairly interesting if biased selection of texts, some of which are also online, even though Home himself doesn't seem to have much to say (although he is of some interest for his occasional and half-assed blending of revolutionary theory with occultism). The Robertson piece is originally from Block #14.

British anti-intellectualism is addressed at more length in the Hidden History of King Mob at revoltagainstplenty.com (a very important piece of work indeed and thank you once again for introducing us to it.)

e.g. "And now we enter into some difficulty. In mentioning class here we encounter a major problem which perplexes these islands set adrift from the rest of Europe and which is so peculiar to it. It was as though we were reaching out wanting to grasp authentic life – a life that surely must be out there and at all costs. It was in this perspective that the embrace of a kind of stupidity in the very first lines of the manifesto of the Black Hand Gang must be placed: “Theory has really had it this time”. It was if the self-destruction of modern poetry and high art met head on and interwove with that distrust of books and academic learning so endemic among the working classes here. Together we could produce a libidinal vandalism and self-consciously delinquent life styles accompanied by incendiary leaflets on some event or other which could create instant adherents and a bewildered, open-mouthed shock among the majority they were handed to. But why this anti-theory and why was there this mistrust of theory among these islands working classes? E P Thompson, the social historian explained it by relating to the lacunae between our early, unfinished bourgeois revolution of the 1640s and the new, unprecedented rise of a rebellious industrial working class in the early 19th century. Sheer reaction throughout most of 18th century Britain meant we had a much-reduced radical artisanal sector in any broad sense to act as some kind of link. We had no cobblers like Joseph Dietzgen whom Marx admired or even a Proudhon. True, we had some fine ones –men like William Benbow – but it was as if they had no profile. A “social apartheid” was thus created, more basically referred to as an “us and them” which meant class separation was virtually a deep and fast flowing river with no bridges inter-linking each side. Thus, there just couldn’t be any “recovery through transfer” - in that excellent dialectical comment by Marx previously mentioned – as all books, all written knowledge was to be regarded by the exploited – in a broad, generally conservative, protective and even at times, despotic sweep – as suspect, despite the fact that an infinitesimal fraction of the dispossessed did make attempts at a more general learning (e.g. the Bradford Chartists who using the French tricolour as their flag also read the early Robert Southey etc). And so it continued right on into and through the 20th century."

3:33 pm  

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