I don’t think it matters anymore the justification or the illegitimacy of the student protests in Montreal. I don’t think the optics of unruly, discomforting protestors following peaceful demonstration, obnoxious blockades and predictably useless black bloc antics matters. What is important is the advent of repression. The passing of Bill 78 to constrain the protests includes unpardonable ambiguities like, “anyone who “helps or induces” someone to break the law is guilty of the same offence”. For this to happen in Quebec echoes the over reaction of the October Crisis when habaes corpus was suspended. Everything I see from the Canadian press is hand wringing about possible, larger revolts (cf. Lower Canada Rebellion) and nothing factual. MacLean’s Magazine characterizing the entire protests as the work of “spoiled children” is typical of a conservative, passive aggressive national culture that colludes with its elites (oh hai Frums).
Below is a video from the Bloomberg Markets 50 conference this past week in NY of Bridgewater Assoc. LP founder, Ray Dalio. Mr. Dalio was featured recently in the New Yorker,, and his hermeneutics of global markets is interesting. I need to re-visit this at least.
Perfect timing and perfect antidote to a long miserable PNW Spring, videoblog of the start of the production of the Hobbit by Peter Jackson. Replete with Sir Ian sporting a playful cap. I hadn’t noticed but the cast also includes Bret McKenzie of the Flight of the Conchords, Brian Blessed as King Dain Ironfoot (typecasting a Dwarf King), and David Tennant as King Thranduil (typecasting again as an Elven King). It was a great Friday morning.
Loss of confidence coincides with a general loss of hope. It means there is no trust in a better tomorrow, or at least the chance for progress. As it escalates, one can feel like there’s an increasing certainty that one’s children and grandchildren will not be better off or even more secure. These are old and authentic feelings that all people have encountered, particularly when it comes to their governments/rulers.
When you look at history cursorily — what happened to Rome, Central America pre-Columbus, the Dark Ages in Ancient Greece — whatever epoch changing moment you can identify when there was wholesale dislocation and people abandoned their cities and economies, there was a loss of faith involved. The economies stopped working because people no longer believed there was anything worth trading, and consequently, there was no stability. People stopped trusting institutions and didn’t care and/or didn’t have the resources to support anything but themselves until their infrastructure — military, sanitary, agriculture, trade — was completely unsustainable and could no longer support itself. The so-called barbarian invasions in Rome were actually more incremental, and were really the last straw that broke everything. The decline had been going on for much longer.
Nice summary article on the maybe obvious point of interpretation, economics starts with ideology. I liked this post because it’s by an economist, stating what economics is really about and what the actual starting place of its practice must be: the stating of one’s bias and beliefs.