Economy and Danger

The world of 2008 underwent a major financial failure. A review of modern history will show, that these following years have much potential to be a very dangerous time, also. One warning sign of the danger is hearing talk of a ‘simple solution’. There is a term that should be avoided if ever there were one!

Societies, politics, economics, these are not simple things. They are never perfect, and are sometimes very imperfect and requiring change, but this change is a monumentally difficult, complex and dangerous task.

People are understandably infuriated by financial failure without ‘real economy’ correlations. There was no oil crisis, no food crisis, no massive industrial revolt, no technological failure; all of these things may come, but they were not there in 2008. What was there was a financial systems failure. It is perhaps a matter of opinion as to the exact fault lines, but generally it can be said with little worry about contradiction, that over the last three to four decades there was a political deregulation of the financial sector. Who lobbied whom is of course interesting but not for this piece.

The financial sector took on the role of the scorpion on the frog’s back and did what it is designed to do, severed its relationship to the real economy – which, ironically, has never been so good with so many rapid technological advances – and the aftermath of the damage was managed in a way that was grossly unfair protecting those who committed the crimes by forcing the victims to serve the jail time!

It is understandable that people devoid of jobs and hope scan the ideas horizon with anger at their core looking for change, looking for revenge. It is understandable – but still very dangerous.

In times like this in the past it has been the one who shouts loudest, lies hardest, and lies most completely who hoovers up the dissatisfaction. The results are eventually terrible in all instances. The consequences sometimes seem unlikely, we wonder – really how could we go from here to there, from a fully functioning society to one of collapse and constant peril…but this is missing the biggest lesson of history; these things just seem to sneak up on us.

The very notion of a society is beyond one’s control if not power; and the complex wheels and cogs begin to misfire and mutate quickly. Before anyone knows why exactly and with a mixture of shock, helplessness and maybe even some idiotic ‘nationalist’ vitriol thrown in we find ourselves armed.
No economic malfunction, ever, should lead to this. Ask the people – those who were left to ask – of 1918 or 1945 what they think.
In fact, if simple civil protests, most likely something that there should be much more of, turn violent and someone throws a stone that accidentally hits a three year old and splits their skull killing them…then it was not worth it. We know this is true we must only think it through. There is an order to wrongs, and while on one hand we must try very hard to find complex answers to difficult economic management issues we must on the other be equally cautious of simple loud answers, built on fear and anger.

Martin O'Dea

About Martin O'Dea

Martin O’Dea lives in Dublin, Ireland. His interests and writings are varied and include areas relating to human development through technological and biological advances, as well as the economics and politics of rapid technological advance. His first novel is 'Beyond the Subjectivity Trap'.