At The Financial Times: Janan Ganesh on ‘plodding desires’, a comment by Political Observer

This is my second reading of Mr. Ganesh’s rambling  essay, it is full of literary/political twists and turns, notable for the partial quotation of John Maynard Keynes’ observations on the modern world, remade by the telephone, in his introductory paragraph: every rich white male, made a king, by the reach of technology, circa 1914? Not to speak of Mr. Ganesh’s philosophical observations on the human condition, remade by a version of Neo-Liberal Rationalism of the Thatcher/Hayek alliance, that still holds sway in the realm of thought, about humans and their political institutions, in the present.

‘We fear structural reform of the state because of, not despite, the great lifestyle upheaval brought about by geniuses at the nexus of technology and commerce in recent times. We are creatures of balance, not masochists for endless change and ever greater atomisation.’

‘…geniuses at the nexus of technology and commerce…’ Electronic trinkets as the consolation for the collapse of the Western Economies of 2008, its successor Austerity and our present economic doldrums? The rise of the 1%, the watershed of Neo-Liberal ascendancy?

‘In a sense, we like the NHS for the same reason we like the royals. It is a conservative impulse as much as a socialist one.’

The royals are the last gasp of Feudalism, and a symbol of an Empire on which the sun has set: an exercise of a vacuous nostalgia.

‘If this is somewhere near the truth, then it demands magnanimity from those of us who really are mad about freedom. For a youngish urbanite with good health, well-paid work and no duties, modernity is a daily miracle. Transience — of products, relationships, ideas — is not a problem, it is the point.’

‘…from those of us who really are mad about freedom.’ meaning acolytes of a  predatory Free Market Romanticism. ‘ youngish urbanite’ etc.  is a self-description, awash in self-congratulation.

‘Humans are hard-wired with more plodding desires: security, continuity, a nest. If these desires intensify even as capitalism showers people with bespoke choice, this is not necessarily a glitch. It might just be society’s mysterious equilibrium. Even if the medical rebellion is quelled, public sector reformers are up against more than producer interests. They are up against the oldest human yearnings.’

The patient reader is treated to this set of jejune observations on the human condition, featuring these nonpareils:

‘…more plodding desires…,… as capitalism showers people with bespoke choice.,It might just be society’s mysterious equilibrium.,… public sector reformers are up against more than producer interests. They are up against the oldest human yearnings.’

Political Observer

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/8fe525f8-b84f-11e5-b151-8e15c9a029fb.html#axzz3xE6DyOqI

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer.
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