Digital Cabinet

Polevaulter Donkeyman's rants, raves musings and flame wars

Posts Tagged ‘A Point of View

This Explains A Lot

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David Cannadine explains FDR’s antipathy to capitalism and the free-market

Like his earlier presidential cousin Theodore, Franklin D Roosevelt felt a strong patrician disdain for big business and upstart wealth. This was partly because the Roosevelt clan was never very rich but it was also because in terms of their lineage and their lands, they were about as close to being aristocracy as it’s possible to get in a country, which came into being by proclaiming that all men were created equal.

Audio here

This lends support to Deirdre McCloskey‘s thesis of Bourgeois Dignity

According to McCloskey, our modern world was not the product of new markets and innovations, but rather the result of shifting opinions about them. During this time, talk of private property, commerce, and even the bourgeoisie itself radically altered, becoming far more approving and flying in the face of prejudices several millennia old. The wealth of nations, then, didn’t grow so dramatically because of economic factors: it grew because rhetoric about markets and free enterprise finally became enthusiastic and encouraging of their inherent dignity.

Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

March 8, 2012 at 14:55

History repeats itself, first as . . .

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This is not the first time Greece has destabilised monetary unions. David Cannadine reminds us of a time 100 years ago when Greece was expelled from another monetary union.

Ever since it gained its hard-fought independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1832, Greece has been plagued by recurrent budget crises, frequent state defaults and long periods during which it’s effectively been cut off from the international capital markets.

So while it was one of the earliest nations to join the Latin Monetary Union, its membership soon became more a cause of concern than celebration, for its chronically weak economy meant successive Greek governments responded by decreasing the amount of gold in their coins, thereby debasing their currency in relation to those of other nations in the union and in violation of the original agreement.

So irresponsible and unacceptable did Greece’s behaviour become that it was formally expelled from the Latin Monetary Union in 1908.

Audio here

Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

March 3, 2012 at 17:33

Research and Gardening

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Lisa Jardine makes a great point

no narrative will be intelligible to a reader if it includes all the detail the author amassed in the course of their research. A clear thread has to be teased from the mass of available evidence, to focus, direct and ultimately give meaning to what has been assembled for analysis. Daring to discard is as crucial as safe-guarding, for effective knowledge management and transmission today.

Audio available here

Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

February 27, 2012 at 05:18

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