Samir’s Selection 09/15/2014 (p.m.)
Power from the people: what privatisation has meant for Britain >>>
In the real world, when you strip the state of its duty to make long-term plans, or denigrate the practice, you don’t liberate citizens from planning. You make them subject to the private plans of others.(This isn’t privatisation as a narrow financial-political exercise, but privatisation as the dispersal of control over national economies of democracies away from the nations in which they are manifest towards tax havens, multiple jurisdictions, super-rich families and authoritarian states… Publicly quoted companies must become private equity companies, and private equity companies must become multi-jurisdictional entities, based everywhere and nowhere. That which was supposed to be private with respect to a government becomes private with respect to a people… How, I wondered, could democratic governments, with their rodent-class lifespan of four to seven years, hope to keep up with jurisdiction-hopping billionaire clans shuffling their assets to a century-long schedule? Or, indeed, with the generational strategies of big commercial corporations, or the sovereign wealth funds of authoritarian states like China and Russia?Civil servants are society’s wealth manager. We pay them to have foresight. But, in the view of Margaret Thatcher’s heirs, society doesn’t need wealth managers; ordinary citizens are served by the free market, individual choice and enlightened self-interest. State-sponsored foresight smacks of central planning, and central planning is a Soviet relic, or worse.)
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