Times Literary Supplement Magazine 6033 : 16Nov18 : After the Crash -

Times Literary Supplement Magazine 6033 : 16Nov18 : After the Crash

Yayınevi: Central Dergi

Yayın tarihi: 11/2018

İngilizce |

Tür: Dergi

It’s been ten years since the financial crash and, as Paul Collier notes this week, “we are still living with the staggering cost”. Such pain, you might think, should come with a concomitant increase in understanding, and a hard-earned ability to avoid such cataclysms in future. And yet, “we are now sadder and – thanks to recent scholarship – somewhat wiser, though perhaps not yet much safer”. Banking is no longer quite so glamorous, its mysteries not quite so respectfully admired, but its unreality persists.

More regulation is always more tempting, especially given “the erosion of ethics in the ultimate boring profession: accountancy”. But Collier makes clear that regulation is a game played on two sides, and is best likened to “whack-a-mole”: “one bunch of highly paid lawyers craft ever more complex requirements designed to curtail risk-taking; another bunch of even-better-paid lawyers are hired by the banks to find means of meeting the letter of the new requirements without changing the substance of their behaviour”. The difficulty of finding solutions, however, should not lead to us collectively despairing of them. “Policy has remained locked in the mindset that produced the crisis: the ideas cupboard is bare. Perhaps there are no good ideas to be had?” Paul Collier does not think so, and offers in his article some of his own.

Economics and politics are endlessly intertwined, and both dismal sciences in their own way. The TLS this week surveys the political landscape, and the various responses to its recent undulations: the rise of the Right in Germany; the precariousness of Putin in Russia; and artistic responses in the UK to Brexit. And then there is Trump. Always Trump. Unbowed by the blue wave of midterms, unmoored to normative standards of high office. And, as Toby Lichtig notes, a man somehow strengthened by critical attention. “The main problem”, he argues, “with writing against Trump is that it nourishes all sides.” Trump allows liberals to signal their virtue without ever allowing them to limit his vice, and each staged confrontation between the two sides only adds to the legend of the President in his own eyes and those of his supporters.

But is Trump a fascist? A strange question to ask seriously of a democratically elected US President, but it has become a part of the rhetoric that surrounds him. We asked some experts in the study of fascism to offer a reasoned view. As Mary Beard says, it’s a “convenient slogan to hurl at people we don’t like”, but – in the words of Mary Fulbrook – “there are worrying parallels”. That the question can be asked, and not decisively dismissed, is worrying in itself.

Stig Abell

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