When even having an imagination is radical.


Perhaps the most disturbing element of the national Occupy Wall Street movement is how closely the issues relevant therein mirror the issues relevant in our little burg. Unable to imagine better, we’ve simply chosen to mimic the undemocratic and demoralizing machinations that put people into power and money not through any sort of meritocracy but rather via an ongoing series of crudely choreographed, rear end aimed ego-financial trips. Whether counted as lucrative contracts, coerced funding, or well timed looks the other way, ward heeling still sucks.

But, if we can change just enough to capture a small portion of the perennially frustrated, exit-bound metro intellect, the transformative effect in the city would discombobulate even the most entrenched spreadsheet dilettantes, the provincials across the Ohio included.

I’m for it.

Occupy Wall Street Rediscovers the Radical Imagination, by David Graeber (Guardian)

Everything we’d been told for the last decade turned out to be a lie. Markets did not run themselves; creators of financial instruments were not infallible geniuses; and debts did not really need to be repaid – in fact, money itself was revealed to be a political instrument, trillions of dollars of which could be whisked in or out of existence overnight if governments or central banks required it. Even the Economist was running headlines like “Capitalism: Was it a Good Idea?”

It seemed the time had come to rethink everything: the very nature of markets, money, debt; to ask what an “economy” is actually for. This lasted perhaps two weeks. Then, in one of the most colossal failures of nerve in history, we all collectively clapped our hands over our ears and tried to put things back as close as possible to the way they’d been before.

Perhaps, it’s not surprising. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the real priority of those running the world for the last few decades has not been creating a viable form of capitalism, but rather, convincing us all that the current form of capitalism is the only conceivable economic system, so its flaws are irrelevant. As a result, we’re all sitting around dumbfounded as the whole apparatus falls apart.