Sunday, May 04, 2008

Monetary Kulchur

"and the light became so bright and so blindin' in this layer of paradise that the mind of man was bewildered."

Ezra Pound, Canto XXXVIII

"Since the 1980s," Richard Cook tells us, "every U.S. economic expansion has been nothing more than a Federal Reserve-created asset inflation." Eric Janszen reaches a similar conclusion about so-called "financial bubbles", which he prefers to describe as periods of "asset-price hyperinflation". The basic idea is that government and business get together to create financial instruments to artificially inflate the price of assets in a particular industry (information technology and housing being the most recent, energy is next, it seems). It's all very Poundian. Janszen seems a bit accepting of the whole affair and doesn't make much of the extraction of profit; Cook, however, cites Major C.H. Douglas and everything. Here at the Kulchural Studies Revival Center we follow such ideas with interest.


Kirby Olson said...

Money & Modernity: Pound, Williams, and the Spirit of Jefferson, by Alec Marsh, is dirt cheap right now at

I've read parts of it. I seem to think that Hamilton and Madison are where it's at.

Call me a Federalist.

I prefer Madison's Protestant Puritanical feeling of the down side to things utopian.

I see that you like utopia on either the right or the left, and tend to Moebius strip a bit.

I tend to see worst case scenarios everywhere, but feel that the center is what must hold.

Kirby Olson said...

Are you going to read more of the Obama book or not?

In it, he describes a man named Frank Marshall Davis who was a black writer for the Honolulu paper who was a major influence on him.

He belonged to the American Communist Party and hated Christians.

Go to and look up Frank Marshall Davis.

There are some books by him in there including a round-up of articles he published in the Honolulu paper.

It seems like a link that probably no one else will explore. has a used one for 19.95 or so, but I don't know if they will ship it overseas.

Thomas Basbøll said...

Thanks for the prod. I'll have a look at that passage. I've got to say though, I'm skeptical of your way of establishing guilt by association. Obama seems to have found an all purpose answer; he engages with people on specific ideas and deeds, not sweeping positions. So, yes, so-and-so may be a communist or an islamist, or whatever. In Obama's America we listen to what they have to say on the issue in question and expect them to be generally decent like everybody else. Commies can be decent people too.

Kirby Olson said...

This is where I think that Obama is not paranoid enough about his associations, and how birds of a feather flock together.

He does have an affectionate but distant stance toward Frank according to the Wikipedia entry on Frank (Frank died ca. 1985).

I think the race is about choosing one kind of SYSTEM over another, rather than choosing one person over another.

That is, I am Lockean, and the candidate who gets closest to that gets my vote. Anyone who ants the top-down heaviness of Marx will not get my vote.

Obviously someone like Ceausescu or Stalin is terrible, but in a liberal system where they could be voted out they would have had to play ball with the voters. They couldn't just freely exterminate them.

I also want the judiciary to interpret rather than to make the law, since that's how the checks and balances deal was designed.

With Locke, Madison's my baby.