“balancing opposing fates with each other” (fatis contraria fata rependens: Vergil)


The scope of the challenges we face—from racial inequality to the climate crisis to
the care crisis—cannot be addressed by the market. Only direct government intervention can affirmatively build the economy we need at the scale and speed we need. To explain and win this broad agenda, we need to change our approach and move beyond consumer-first governance.

Suzanne Kahn (2022). More than Consumers: Post-Neoliberal Identities and Economic Governance. The Roosevelt Institute (accessed online at http://rooseveltinstitute.org)

Yes, markets may manage some risks better, though not the risks of managing that way. The latter management belongs to government regulators. But is that enough?

“Government,” after all, intervenes directly in many different things at many other different levels. Isn’t it better to say government should first do more of this and less of that? This includes regulation.



One space spreads through all creatures equally –
inner-world-space. Birds quietly flying go
flying through us.

Rainer Maria Rilke


They spoke to me of people, and of humanity.
But I’ve never seen people, or humanity.
I’ve seen various people, astonishingly dissimilar,
Each separated from the next by an unpeopled space.

Fernando Pessoa


If this article is any guide, surely the response to its headline, “Uncertainty is not our friend,” is: It’s more complicated than that.


That modern scholars have managed to propose more than two hundred different reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire strongly suggests that conventional academic focus on just a single case is simply a dead end, and that comparative analysis of a process occurred so many times in history promises far more compelling results.

Ian Morris and Water Scheidel (2016). “What is Ancient History?” Daedalus 145 (2), Spring: 119.

And yet there’s that other dead end,

If only the elites could get their shit together, if only they would truly decide to act in the public interest, if only our political dysfunctions could be suspended in the name of a common cause, if only we could elect smart officials with the right ideas, a new era of prosperity and power awaits the United States. But the political dysfunction is only a symptom of the underlying economic disease. So there will be no policy solution to the problems America—and the world— faces, because no such solution, at least on the national level, exists. But of course, that’s what war is for.

James Merchant (2022). “Endgame: Finance and the Close of the Market System.” The Brooklyn Rail (https://brooklynrail.org/2022/03/field-notes/Endgame-Finance-and-the-Close-of-the-Market-System)


Novelist E.M. Forster’s exhortation: “Only connect!” Literary critic Frederic Jameson’s exhortation: “Always historicize!”

OK, if you put it that way, but still. . .Vergil is a better bet (the Latin above).

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