Wednesday, February 25, 2009

PostModernism and the Financial Crisis

I was having a chat with a friend the other night and we got started talking about the differences in generations and especially my generation's tendencies toward cynicism. Tiffany made the point that our generation does not have the same loyalty to concepts that previous generations seem to have and that extends to the idea of American exceptionalism and perhaps even Christian exceptionalism (more on those another day though). We are prone to deconstruction, breaking down ideas an concepts to an almost ridiculous level.

But one of the issues in not having those beliefs is that we tend to focus on the negative, probably partially fueled by media coverage which tends to focus on the negative. And we can tend to get disillusioned easily. We focus on the corruption and the problems without thinking as much about the solutions. Deconstruction without the reconstruction.

And as Tiffany pointed out in our conversation, this is going to be one of the biggest problems in getting the economy back on track. Because we might not necessarily hold to the ideas that an unfettered free market and capitalism are the best ways to run an economy (as the last 8 years seem to have indicated), we deconstruct those ideas and in the best cases, reconstruct around them. And that seems to be what Obama is looking at doing. Now, obviously people with ties to the older systems are going to be put off by this, and more "postmodern" observers will be suspicious about just about anything, perhaps even especially something coming from the government, because even with all the talk about hope and change, Obama is still a politician and on the trust level, politicians are about on the level of pond algae these days.

Ok, I think I've rambled enough.

1 comment:

mundiejc said...

after all the conversations that we've had, and you still want to argue that the last 8 years have been free market capitalism.

the federal reserve pumping billions and billions of dollars of new underpriced debt is free market capitalism? the government offering incentives for purchasing homes is free market capitalism? shoot... the government owning like 50% of the assets in this country is free market capitalism?

blaming capitalism for this mess is just ignorant. we haven't had true capitalism in this country in a long long time. we've had stealth government management, or as barack and the chicago school guys call it, libertarian paternalism. offering incentives for things you think are good. good intentions don't always lead to good results though. Very often, they lead to unintended consequences. Like we're seeing now.

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