Superstition and Mystery are Useful « The Return of the Public

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Superstition and Mystery are Useful « The Return of the Public

Dan Hind on the UK's Independent Commission on Banking and how the term 'independence' is abused.

The members of the Commission are doubtless honest and independent-minded people. But they are also human beings. It is silly to imagine that they can be left in technocratic isolation to devise a reformed system of banking. They are being asked to judge a system that has given them wealth and status. Though the financial turn has failed in its publicly stated aims, it has made them private successes.

Russell thought that our reliance on experts who struggle to take wholly impartial views would only end if democratic publics became aware of the importance of finance and were able to understand its workings. He thought that it was a matter of ‘simplifying the principles of finance so that they can be widely understood’. In fact, as I have sought to show here, finance is fairly easy to grasp in its essentials. Indeed, as J.K. Galbraith once observed its very simplicity repels the mind.

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Donagh is the editor of Irish Left Review. Contact Donagh through email: dublinopinionAtgmail.com