Commentary on Political Economy

Friday 15 July 2011

Financial Times Plays 'Cat-and-Mouse' (they are the mice!) With Belbruno

We must have a secret admirer somewhere in the world! Entirely by chance, a certain "Wittgenstein" wrote in at the FT's Gavyn Davies Blog the following:

wittgenstein | July 16 7:28am | Permalink
@ iduende Taking up your point about the international or geopolitical considerations in the choice of economic policies particularly in the US, which is the hegemonic capitalist country - the one that guarantees the political as well as economic efficacy of the world capitalist order -, I would agree with you entirely. Actually, I would also point out that the tendency of capitalist industry is to develop what may be called "the world market" - which entails not just "free trade" between nations, but also "free capital flows" and therefore relatively "flexible exchange rates". What this means, in turn, is that the degree of conflict between capitalists and national working classes is then "homogenised" or "homologated" across national boundaries!
In other words, it is impossible for national bourgeoisies to make economic policy decisions without paying all the attention possible to what OTHER national bourgeoisies are doing!! The whole idea of capitalist "market competition" consists precisely and entirely of this: - that class conflict is "internationalised" because capital will "flow" to areas where "profits" are politically "easier" to realise!

May I point out, incidentally, that the present writer ("Wittgenstein") has nothing to do with "revolutiononline", who as of yesterday has also been "banned" by the FT. Of course, it would be quite ironic and flattering if people began to write in saying that "Joseph Belbruno is Wittgenstein" the same way they did with "revolutiononline"! In a week when the FT (Martin Wolf in particular) has made much show of criticising the Murdoch Empire, it would indeed be ironic if the freedom of the press were to be so brutally curtailed.

Wholly incidentally, as a brief appendix to this comment, let me point out to FT readers that since Belbruno has been "on the beat" the following improvements to the FT have occurred:
first, the FT has shut out comments to the Christopher Caldwell Column;
second, David Pilling is no longer writing on China (Jamil Anderlini is);
third, Martin Wolf has been more critical of China (and espoused many of Belbruno's ideas);
fourth, even Fukuyama has been more restrained on China (witness his latest article in the FT);
fifth, Professor Michael Pettis has received greater attention as a commentator on China.
Not a bad list of achievements - n'est-ce pas? "

Perhaps we ought to add to this list also the fact that "The Economics Forum" at the FT has been discontinued (possibly because the contributors could not bear the burden of incurring Belbruno's vitriolic wrath), Niall Ferguson has disappeared from the FT - and possibly many other "improvements" not visible to the naked eye.

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