Monday, March 4, 2024
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Pragmatism as an train in listening to the music


I listened to an interview Lewis Goodall did with union chief Mick Lynch yesterday and preferred loads of what Mick Lynch needed to say. That is based mostly on a pc generated transcript, however it’s fairly shut. I edited some items out for the sake of brevity:

I am a really binary particular person. We both have a labour authorities or we’ve Tory authorities that’s going to be extra proper wing than the one we have as that is the one approach they are going.

The worst Labour authorities we’ll get will likely be higher than the very best Tory authorities. That is my basic disposition and it all the time has been.

That is not new [to anyone in]in my union. I am generally thought to be a bit out of step on that as a result of that is thought to be disappointing.

I’m pragmatic. Particularly ideology was a giant mistake for the left internationally. The Japanese Bloc and China: I feel they have been horrible calamities for … left politics.

I have a look at what Clement Attlee and Nye Bevan achieved in his interval and what others achieved, and even Wilson and Callaghan and others in Scandinavia, and in Europe via democratic socialism and social democracy. That has stood the check of time greater than ideological Bolshevism, or no matter you need to name it, Leninism or Stalinism or no matter. I feel they’ve been a catastrophe for the working folks of these international locations, so I am on that wing that does not imply you are shy about what you imagine in. I feel altering our communities via public housing and public possession is an actual elementary change. That modifications the category foundation of our economic system.

This jogged my memory of a quote attributed to Niels Bohr within the movie Oppenheimer, the place the change was as follows:

Niels Bohr: Algebra’s like sheet music, the necessary factor is not are you able to learn music, it is are you able to hear it. Are you able to hear the music, Robert?

J. Robert Oppenheimer: Sure, I can.

Each resonate with me. I’ll by no means be the world’s biggest theoretician. I may not even be an impressive theoretician. However I feel I hear the music of political economic system, with out the necessity for any ‘ism’ however pragmatism, tinged with empathy. The situation of the particular person dismissed too typically as ‘extraordinary’ is what issues to me, and never the promotion of any ideology.

I’m not  saying idea is pointless. I spend far too lengthy considering and writing about it to ever imagine that. However, the crucial level is that dogmatic perception in any idea will all the time be a hindrance to understanding the true nature of our political economic system. Guidelines are of use, however blind obedience to them is not sensible in any respect.

There was an ideal instance of this on this weblog yesterday. In my thread on the so-called maxing-out of the nation’s bank card, I referred to the federal government as a deposit taker as if this was a virtuous act. Accounting pedants got here on right here to level out that deposits are a legal responsibility of each a financial institution and the federal government. They sought to recommend that I used to be fallacious in consequence, and didn’t perceive the accounting concerned.

Within the strategy of doing so that they solely missed the purpose that with out deposits, a financial institution has no which means. Holding deposits is it important objective. The legal responsibility shouldn’t be, in that sense, problematic: it’s on the very core of the enterprise mannequin of a financial institution, because it may also be of the federal government that needs to offer folks with a spot for protected saving. Small-minded studying of a steadiness sheet can not, in that case, present any sense of the true significance of deposit taking for both governments or banks, and the one who merely is aware of the principles of accounting doesn’t in consequence, ever perceive what the problem that I sought to boost was. The folks quibbling on this subject can not, as Niels Bohr put it, hear the music.

My objective in penning this weblog is to interpret the music, in order that it is likely to be understood. That is likely to be a practical train, however the penalties are extra necessary than any idea, not least as a result of those that can hear the music might by no means imagine in fiscal guidelines.


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