Capitalism, Wealth, and Power

The current moaning about neo-liberalism, tends to obscure the fact that the last two hundred years have seen nothing less than the greatest progress in human history, provided, of course, that we are willing to define progress in a purely material way. Continue reading Capitalism, Wealth, and Power

Hannah Arendt versus Vladimir Putin

It is probably due to our biological origin as primates that our most intense feelings are so often associated with triumph over enemies. The Iliad is a hero song, where the bloodiest victories are celebrated with the utmost effort of poetical inspiration. No wonder, then, that the new Russian Czar invites his countrymen to indulge in these atavistic intoxication. More and more often, one can hear from his mouth how heroic the Russian people had fought against fascism and finally overcome it. Continue reading Hannah Arendt versus Vladimir Putin

Europe’s political madness

Wheat is still wheat, and pigs are pigs – that’s the difference with regard to computers, mobile phones or even cars, where every generation of products is subject to perpetual innovation. In essence, nature has created the pig (once this used to be God’s prerogative), since even the interferences of breeders are still rather limited. The so-called progress of agriculture is therefore almost exclusively due to the fact that pork, wheat, milk, and so on get cheaper. Continue reading Europe’s political madness

Europe’s Fiscal Pact – or how to make a deal with the devil

The euro area is struggling for survival. If you are still in doubt, listen to all those by now far less self-conscious, far less apodictic pronouncements of leading representatives from politics and economy. At the G20 summit in Los Cabos Jose Manuel Barroso even lost countenance!

“The euro is not in danger!” How often did Wolfgang Schäuble, Minister of Finance, how often did the gurus of politics, economics and finance feign unshakable certainty! To no avail. By now, pure fear has spread to the Commission and the European Parliament. With the euro’s collapse not only the idea of European unity will be damaged – the Brussels Babel of Eurocrats will falter as well and with it thousand of its richly endowed sinecures. Continue reading Europe’s Fiscal Pact – or how to make a deal with the devil

Transatlantic pundits

During the twenties of the last century Irving Fisher was an acclaimed economist, comparable only to Paul Samuelson or Joseph Stiglitz in our time. Like virtually all economists of international repute, he tended to be wrong – indeed fundamentally so. As late as October 1929, he reassured investors with his prophecy that their money would be perfectly secure in Wall Street. A few days later the world was horrified by Black Friday. (1) Continue reading Transatlantic pundits