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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 6 / 2009 (535)

The bubble of ideologies

„It is said that all Cambridge scholars call zero aught
and all Oxford scholars call it
naught.”
Apud John D. Barrow

“The fact that I am here is a low probability effect,
and I have the tendency to forget this.”
Nicholas Taleb

The strangest thing brought about by the global crisis is the resuscitation of ideological perspectives. There is little doubt that peculiarity is a derivative of the lack of understanding. In this case, the opacity of causes and the inefficiency of solutions to the crisis have generated the massive recourse to the sufficiency of ideologies.

The fact that capitalism and socialism are being brought forth shows how tough it is to tolerate ignorance in the phase of the powerlessness of making things function normally. Instead of becoming an object of study in order for its determinants to become understood, the crisis has turned into the test field of doctrinaire rhetoric. That now a camp -that of the romantics - sees again the sprouts of revolution and the other - the camp of the attached - hopes for the market to level its failures, there seems to take place that which has been going on since Plato: a dispute for the assumption that ideas generate reality!

Unfortunately, the dispute has lately been taking aggressive forms. It is fueled by the winning experience of intolerance mixed with the majority's ideologically motivated exaltation. The crisis offers a chance to both bellicose camps of getting excited at the thought that the perfect disaster is linked to the other side's victory. The battle is still being waged on the barricades erected with the furniture that's been brought out from the offices of the internationals. This is why after the sounding of the horn for the fall of Sodom the next line is whispered to its biblical pair. Instead of distinguishing the causes of the crisis there is recourse to sounding the horn for the final solution to the capitalist Gomorrah.

What is unusual is that everyone expects their prophecy to come true. Only that, geographically, we find ourselves in a different place, where biblical inspiration is no substitute for reality. Beyond the ideologies the sense for a new global space is being traced, of which we must take notice in order to make understanding possible.

Sodom and Gomorrah are the relics of ideologies which appear different in form, but are identical in their conse-quences. Both have built themselves as systems of hierarchical control, one focusing the ambition on the control of power, the other on the control of wealth. At the limit, power and wealth were proven to be interchangeable, therefrom the resemblance between the two systems. They overbid on the control mechanisms until failure - in the case of Sodom, and until collapse - in the case of Gomorrah.

Sodom's planning and Gomorrah's market were proven to be formulas for excess: plan, evermore plan! /market, more and more market! Both have followed the obsessive path of the final frontier, up to the point of removing from consid-eration - in order to succeed - the rule of human nature of not taking leaps, otherwise it risks falling into the abyss.

The plan - a rational instrument used irrationally - and the market - a natural instrument used abusively - lead without exception to collapse. What provides the impulse towards collapse are the ideological perspectives in which the two instruments are interwoven.

Under this determinism it is certain the fact that neither the state nor the market will save us from the crisis. Be-cause both the plundering state and the deregulated market have the tendency of being more than what they would manage to be as instruments of control. They both end up devouring everything.

The consequences are not, in the end, different: the state stifles private initiative in the name of social good, the market centrifugates the non-productive society in the name of individual prosperity. The plan turns the mass-scale into a benefit for the clan which holds on to power through ideology, the market distributes wealth for the benefit of the elite which legitimizes its power.

Both social good and individual prosperity have been, are and will remain ideological chimaeras under whose folds the generational experiments for the control of rights and responsibilities happen again and again.

Claiming the danger of going back to communism is equivalent to shouting the eternity of capitalism. Frankly speaking we are nowadays deafened by the noise of political preferences whose fate depends exclusively on seizing the mechanisms through which mankind insures its comfort.

It must be said that the ideological sequestration of the components of the engine of prosperity or wealth alters the reversed link, both the positive and negative ones, in any social system of a spontaneous nature. Thus the system is corrupted either towards the natural, or towards the artificial, which means that it gets to adhere to the logic of ideologies.

If this crisis has something good in it, that something is related to the sensitizing of the consciesness for a critical mass of people which would consolidate the evolutionary trends beyond the empires of the ideologies.

Humanitas fluctuat nec mergitur!


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The bubble of ideologies
Marin Dinu

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