Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Burst of the technocratic bubble

It hasn't been unamusing to see the editors of The New York Times framing reports from Athens this week as representing the "return of politics" to the otherwise chaste preserve of monetary policy. Der Spiegel, naturally, has been apoplectic

Policy is political, or the term is a non sequitur. The very assertion, that a possible referendum in Athens amounts to an incongruous intrusion, is not without merit, however: it's a concession that the wrong people might exert an influence in the shaping of policy. 

What is a non sequitur, is the assumption that a technocracy can be apolitical, much less technically disciplined. It's why Henry V consulted his monks on Salic Law; he wanted Burgundy, whatever the excuse. A technocracy is merely an interpolation, of one set of voices, insiders all, into a game which was never theirs. Show us a technocracy in finance which is not a handmaiden of plutocracy, and we'll show you an invisible hand.

William Shakespeare
King Henry V
 Act I, Scene ii
J.H. Walter, editor
The Arden Edition of
  the Works of William
Methuen, 1954©

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