Monday, November 24, 2008

Repent all ye free market believers!

The end of the world must be near. Condemnations have begun to appear. (HT: EV )
... Our belief in the market – the midwife of technological invention – was the result. We have embraced globalisation, the widest possible extension of the market economy.

For the sake of globalisation, communities are denatured, jobs offshored, and skills continually reconfigured. We are told by its apostles that the wholesale impairment of most of what gave meaning to life is necessary to achieve an "efficient allocation of capital" and a "reduction in transaction costs". Moralities that resist this logic are branded "obstacles to progress". Protection – the duty the strong owe to the weak – becomes protectionism, an evil thing that breeds war and corruption.

That today's global financial meltdown is the direct consequence of the west's worship of false gods is a proposition that cannot be discussed, much less acknowledged. One of its leading deities is the
efficient market hypothesis – the belief that the market accurately prices all trades at each moment in time, ruling out booms and slumps, manias and panics. Theological language that might have decried the credit crunch as the "wages of sin", a comeuppance for prodigious profligacy, has become unusable.

This monstrous conceit of contemporary economics has brought the world to the edge of disaster.

The above is from Robert Skidelsky.

No comments: