8 November 2011

Brian Wilson Big On Bio-politics


"Austerity might also strengthen the most well-known building block of Italian society: the family. Many foreigners are rather sneering when they observe extended families living in the same block of flats, if not the same flat. It creates childish, immature grownups, they say. It's not usually true at all, and what those criticisms fail to realise is not only the fact that living together is very often an economic, rather than an emotional, choice (wages are extraordinarily low: the average monthly pay packet is €1,286 [£1,100] net); they also ignore the fact that the strength of the family is the reason that Italy's social fabric is so much better knitted than Britain's. And there are useful economic consequences: almost every successful business is built upon the family. Benetton, Fiat, Ferrari, Panini – all were created by many siblings, or many generations, of one family. If austerity means relatives have to huddle once again under the same roof, it might be claustrophobic, but at least it might mean that Italy, once again, resists the disintegration of the family unit."
—Tobias Jones, "Berlusconi's exit – what does it mean for Italy?" The Guardian, Nov. 10, 2011

1 November 2011

homers update

"An outward expression of the desire to withdraw money from the stream of circulation and to save it from the social metabolism is the burying of it, so that social wealth is turned into an imperishable subterranean hoard with an entirely furtive private relationship to the commodity-owner. Doctor Bernier, who spent some time at Aurangzeb’s court at Delhi, relates that merchants, especially the non-Moslem heathens, in whose hands nearly the entire commerce and all money are concentrated—secretly bury their money deep in the ground, “being held in thrall to the belief that the money they hide during their lifetime will serve them in the next world after their death.” 
—Karl Marx, A Contribution to The Critique of Political Economy