It's the end of the world as we know it

Peter Kilander peterk at
Wed Jul 8 17:08:51 PDT 1998

And Lenny Bruce is not afraid

- for those of you not interested in pop culture, the preceding is from a song by R.E.M. one of whose members is Michael Stipe.

What do people think of Harper's magazine? Not too radical? The June issue sure played up the Chicken Little bit concerning the global economy. The editor, Lewis Lapham, described a recent meeting in Europe he attended along with the world's Panglossian elite. The only Chicken Littles present were Lapham, John Sweeney, and George Soros. "Imagine a pendulum," Soros said in his speech to the attendees, "a pendulum that has become a wrecking ball, swinging out of control and with increasing speed, knocking over one economy after another. First Mexico, then Indonesia and South Korea, and who knows what happens next? Maybe Brazil. Maybe Japan."

Also in that issue William Greider and Jeffrey E. Garten discuss the global economy. Greider comes out and says he's "a leader of the Chicken Little school." It's really interesting what Garten has to say and how this experienced Wall Streeter contradicts himself, but he isn't inane enough to suggest that the fact of Indonesian Leader Habibie urging his 200 million citizens to fast twice a week because of a lack of food is just an example of an optimal market system adjusting itself and prices to their optimal values resulting in a global economy that works best for the most number of participants.

Anyone read the July piece in Harper's by George Packer? In it Packer describes his personal experiences of being a socialist in this day and age. A depressing piece on a young, lapsed, American socialist. He joined the Democratic Socialists of America 9 years ago and dropped out after 7 years. (BTW, I joined the International Socialist Organization 5 years ago and dropped out after 1 year.) Speaking of the Old (30s) and the New (60s) American Left, he says, "Their betrayals, excesses, and failures helped make it impossible for my generation to share their beliefs with any certainty; the glamour of their communal passions afflicted my generation with a feeling of having come too late." Speak for yourself, George. Besides, more often than not, the problem is one of coming too soon. -------------- next part -------------- An HTML attachment was scrubbed... URL: <../attachments/19980708/1db0c6d7/attachment.htm>

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