Tuesday, October 23, 2007

George Monbiot, poker of sleeping dragons

On a topical theme George has slagged laissez-faireism in the UK economy and has shat all over some moron called Matt Ridley. As usual, the businesses and vested interests are all on one side going "free us from the tyranny of regulation and we will create utopia!" whilst all informed, rational, sane people are on the other side going "well, no. Actually, you won't. What you'll do is create an opaque system of an epically corrupt nature where money is diverted away from societally rewarding endpoints and into the pockets of the already mega-rich".

You see kids, that's the point of legislation. You can't trust vested interests to govern themselves. Its like giving children the keys to the sweet shop and telling each of them to make sure that the others don't steal any sweets. Sooner or later their immature minds achieve the transcendant state of cooperating for their net good whilst presenting a united front of innocence whenever the shopkeeper returns to find half his stock missing.

As George alludes to, even where you have legislation vested interests work to subvert attempts to enforce its reasonable rules and limits by creating truly opaque accounting systems that are so complex they are effectively inscrutable to legislators. Behind this screen all sorts of dodgy business can be carried out at a subtle level- but that subtle level is surely better than the outrageous self-interest that would predominate in the absence of any legislation whatsoever!

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