“Without the networks, Internet is nothing … Internet is not just a question of liberties, it is a question of money.”
When Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange, one of the main sponsors of the e-G8, held in Paris on 24 and 25 May, uttered these unambiguous words, everybody in France seemed to be relieved: the debate about civil liberties on the Internet – which Bernard Kouchner wanted to make the central topic of this e-G8 – was put off until later, while the inexorable course of its commodification has been going on unhindered.
Lawrence Lessig, a Law professor at Harvard, … Read the rest
One thing is clear in retrospect: governments under the influence of the powers of money were a huge mistake. In the early days of the United States of America, Jefferson fought for a republic of citizens, Hamilton, for a republic of merchants. Hamilton won, that much is known.
In the twentieth century, von Mises, von Hayek and their likes, drafted the charter of an irreversible takeover of nations by merchants, who would be the new aristocrats of a new feudal system. They did win, and then, the spirit of Hamilton invaded Europe. It would be cruel to recall the most … Read the rest
Cityislander’s imaginative translation of “La nuit du 4 août” at the French end of this blog. Many thanks to him!
Exactly 220 years ago (the French Revolution), on the night of August 4th, 1789, the question certainly was not about systemic risk. Yet, on that very night, an event of systemic magnitude occurred: the French assembly ended the feudal system and its privileges.
Keeping this historic event in mind, we have to reflect on the fact that we have not yet fully grasped that when systemic risk became an issue in 2007, capitalism wasn’t just going through a rough … Read the rest
Published in Le Monde – Economie, March 2nd 2009 (transl. Danielle Goodman)
Let’s assume that governments are actively concerned with the interests of the populace at this very moment – an ardent hope of mine. To succeed, their actions have to benefit from a certain surprise effect so as not to be thwarted in advance by those who know how to use the new measures for personal gain.
Authorities therefore explain themselves as little as possible as far as their planned initiatives go, and when they do so, to calm people’s worries, their explanations are formulated in such oracular terms … Read the rest