Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bill Bonner hits another one out of the park

Unless we work out a way to turn back the clock, we're in the end game according to Bonner:

Another philosopher, Giambattista Vico, writing in the 18th century, put the beginning of the decline of Rome roughly at the time of the Great Fire during Nero’s reign. Nero, partly to pay for his post-fire reforms and reconstruction, began taking the gold and silver out of the coins. All civilizations go through three stages, Vico said – divine, heroic, and human. The divine period is ruled by the gods. The heroic period is adorned with victories and statues. Then, comes the human era. (Here, we permit ourselves to add a footnote to Vico’s oeuvre: the coin of the realm in early periods is the gods’ money – gold. Later, people switch to money of their own invention – the kind of money you make from trees.) This last stage, says Vico, is when popular democracy arises, along with rational thinking and what Vico delightfully calls the “barbarie della reflessione” [the barbarism of reflection]. In earlier eras, people do what their gods and leaders ask of them. In the final era, they ask, “what’s in it for me?”

Very good, not very long, and you need to read it. The Summer of Recovery is over and fall is here. Whether it is fall or a Fall remains to be seen. But no matter which it is, winter will inevitably follow it. If we're lucky, it's just going to be the "cold and flu season". If not...well, Spring may be a long time coming.

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