Monday, February 16, 2009

I give you....

...Dmitry Orlov commenting on Conservative males superpower collapse and the effects of radical socio-economic change (my partner got a good laugh out of this quote: it validates a thesis she probably shares with many about some men):

This is because when times get really bad, as they did when the Soviet Union collapsed, lots of people just completely lose it. Men, especially. Successful, middle-aged men, breadwinners, bastions of society, turn out to be especially vulnerable. And when they just completely lose it, they become very tedious company. My hope is that some amount of preparation, psychological and otherwise, can make them a lot less fragile, and a bit more useful, and generally less of a burden.

Women seem much more able to cope. Perhaps it is because they have less of their ego invested in the whole dubious enterprise, or perhaps their sense of personal responsibility is tied to those around them and not some nebulous grand enterprise. In any case, the women always seem far more able to just put on their gardening gloves and go do something useful, while the men tend to sit around groaning about the Empire, or the Republic, or whatever it is that they lost. And when they do that, they become very tedious company. And so, without a bit of mental preparation, the men are all liable to end up very lonely and very drunk. So that's my little intervention.
On a serious note, looking at our major institutional responses to the financial crisis, I see a lot of attempting to prop of the status quo and keeping the game alive, and little overt recognition of the idea they're playing a different sport now. I suppose we shouldn't expect more, and we may find our tattered system has some life in it yet (which does mean it is necessarily a good thing; all the problems of globalisation will still be there if they fix it), but on some deeper level, we and our elites ought to be thinking about the implications of the possibility the old city has fallen for good.

We haven't hit bottom yet, and we can't even be sure we know where bottom is. Once we do, and the indicators stablise, we'll at least have a baseline to work with.

(h/t Global Guerillas)

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