Saturday, June 02, 2007

The evidence is also clear that quite different forms of capitalism continue to exist despite all of the talk of globalization-driven convergence to a minimalist welfare model

Interesting article here
on an alternative view of the spectre of Globalisation. The Scandinavian model of low corporate taxes and liberal social benefits has translated into some of the highest rates of growth in Europe and looks robust for the foreseeable future.

Here is evidence that economic growth is not the anathema it is sometimes labelled in certain circles. To equate economic expansion with the unfettered proliferation of every foreseeable ill is neither accurate nor fair. Rising productivity is more than ever today a function of capital intensive technological advance, which does not by necessity preclude sustainable development in an ecological sense or otherwise, or for that matter the prospect of a gradual plateau and a stabilization of the word's population. That's not the case now but the current trends are not a fixed proposition for the future.

Imagine a world where technology does the work that once required untold man hours, sustainable fuel alternatives, desalination plants providing water to once arid lands, among an endless list of other solutions to once intractable problems and you have a sense of another more optimistic view. It's hard to picture at this point in history where the world appears overused, overheated and always at war but there are signs of optimism everywhere even amidst all of the imagined signs of the Apocalypse.

But it will have to be an ongoing dialogue. Early economic liberalism in Britain had no conscience. Child labor laws, a m
easure of humanity required intervention, and continued vigilance, which is a necessity to this day. More than ever with imbalanced power structures the burden of proof should in an ideal sense lie with the strong. With these checks and balances it is, I think, the best way forward, perhaps the only way. I think this is the perspective that informs the enlightened entrepreneurs of today.

Mukesh Ambani invests in a new pad that draws allusions to the Han
ging gardens of Babylon. It may be a wise investment for India's first Rupee trillionare. Even with the estimated billion dollar price tag it still does not represent the proportional spending that most people make on their own homes these days. Still two things came to mind. I read Vikram Chandra's Love and Longing in Bombay recently. The first story in the collection, Dharma, as an aside refers to the casual first name relationship the householder, a legendary military hero shares with his servant. Chandra by way of explanation says he never married and so implies the absence of a bourgeoisie tic. I expect Nita Ambani will be happy with the new place. The second, is Shelly's poem Ozymandias.

On the theme of mortal vanity Damien Hurst unveils the wilfull extravagance of his latest work "For The Love Of God" a diamond encrusted skull of an anonymous 18th century man tabbed at 50 million pounds. If bought it will make it make it the most expensive w
ork ever sold of a living artist. Ozymandias left no greater emblem of his mortality than this unknown Yorick.

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