Wednesday, December 18, 2013

One of the phenomena of the twentieth century wa

One of the phenomena of the twentieth century was the emergence of what I might
call the committee mentality, and you can probably recall a joke
or two about how such collaborative unities work: a camel is a
racehorse defined by a committee. Whether we think about the
local library or school, or about the running of the nation or the
globe, we can bring to mind such clumsy structures that ponder-
ously eat up the time and intelligence of the participants, some-
times while one individual ñ like the Pope of Money! ñ really rules
the roost. Another phenomenon of the twentieth century is in-
creasing specialization. Now, if you follow up the pointers of
section four of chapter ten, you will find that we are not at all
opposed to specialization. But again you can recall various satiri-
cal comments on specialists: people who know more & more
about less & less; or, sons of bitches from out-of-town. What is
missing both in committee work and in over-focused specializa-
tion is the authority of relevant understanding.
Without such
authority, apparent authority shrinks to power in various forms
of undress, and we are forced or cajoled to bow to influence, to
money, to Machiavelli: the prevalent sicknesses of a century that
gave us mobiles and mass-murder. Recall Gandhiís reply to the
question What do you think of Western Civilization? ëIts a great

Beyond Establishment Economics: No Thank-you Mankiw

Bruce Anderson, Philip McShane
Axial Press, 2002 - Economics - 277 pages


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