Common wisdom holds that the most complicated thing in the universe (asides fom the universe itself) is the human brain. In actual fact, however, other objects are even more complex – starting with human society, especially today's hypermodern society, a product of thousands and even billions of human brains; not to forget globalisation and the Internet.
Iraq has WMDs. It is not something we think, it is something we know. Iraq has itself admitted that it has had mustard gas, nerve gas, anthrax, but Saddam won't disclose. He won't tell us where and how these weapons have been destroyed. We know this from the UN inspectors, so there is no doubt in my mind.
Capitalism with near-full employment was an impressive spectacle. But a growth in wealth is not at all the same thing as reducing poverty. A universal paean was raised in praise of growth. Growth was going to solve all problems. No need to bother about poverty. Growth will lift up the bottom and poverty will disappear without any need to pay attention to it. The economists, who should have known better, fell in with the same cry.
The Chinese and their government are wedded to a different conception of society and polity: community-based rather than individualist, state-centric rather than liberal, authoritarian rather than democratic. China has 2,000 years of history as a distinct civilization from which to draw strength. It will not simply fold under Western values and institutions.
During the Italian crisis, about the proposal of replacing Silvio Berlusconi with Angelino Alfano, as the new Prime Minister of Italy:Replacing Berlusconi with one of his servile lackeys is unacceptable. Italy needs a credible government run by a respected & competent leader
As was rightly pointed out by Karl Polanyi in the 1940s, the 19th century laissez-faire regime can be thought of as one in which society is forced to conform to the needs of the market mechanism. "Instead of the economy being embedded in social relations, social relations are embedded in the economic system" in this laissez-faire regime. However, it was precisely because of this that the system gradually disintegrated from the early 20th century into economic and social chaos. "Since society was made to conform to the needs of the market mechanism, imperfections in the functioning of that mechanism created cumulative strains on the body social."