Monday, October 20, 2008

Smith, Keynes and burning cars

All for ourselves and nothing for other people seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
-- Adam Smith quoted by Susan George in We must think big to fight environmental disaster. George's vision is unity around the common purpose of facing up to the challenge. Touchingly, she looks back to her wartime childhood in Akron, Ohio:
Yes, there were still worker-management conflicts, but on the whole it was a time of opportunity, especially for women and minorities. Workers were well paid, everyone pitched in, "victory gardens" were cultivated, children used their allowances to buy war stamps, petrol was rationed. The country had never been so united before - or since.
Elsewhere, Nick Turse and Tom Englehardt highlight the costs of present economic troubles (car burning for insurance money has to be an icon of anti-sustainability).

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