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Anyone who read carefully, with any empathy at all, could smell the perfume of affection, of love, of hope for the world that wafted up from the pages of the book. Not from the data, or the modeling, but from the act of dedication that brought these people together for so long.
This brings to mind Richard King's The Party of Eros - Radical Social Thought and the Realm of Freedom, 1972 UNC Chapel Hill, and, especially, Norman O. Brown's Life Against Death, which I read in 1965. The bright red line that runs through King's analysis is the social concern for the lives of individuals, especially the sort of concern that parents have for their children and grandchildren and for the preconditions for them to have good lives. Karl Polanyi is not in his index, though his son, Michael Polanyi, a sociologist, is, but I find their work to be complimentary.
I see the current Masters of the Universe as damaged but highly dangerous people, regardless of the labels that might be attached to them. For them, winning the game as they see it is all. Monteryan once noted in a comment a conversation he had with a Bay Area venture capitalist that is highly confirming of your thesis that these folks see collapse on the horizon and are engaged in a spree of looting before the collapse becomes undeniable.
My sense is that they have little concern for any but their immediate families, if for them, that they do have effective control of governance in the USA, the UK and, probably, much of Europe, and thus they exercise a veto over any collective action to address the wider needs of humanity as that would cut into their efforts at self-aggrandizement. I would call them a Pirate's Cabal, but that would be insulting to pirates. On the level of public politics in the USA I have trouble identifying Presidents who had a truly mature concern for the welfare of future generations after Eisenhower other than, on the domestic front, LBJ, and Jimmy Carter. Clinton was more of a game player with a Democratic base than someone with a mature concern for the future - else how could he have signed the bill repealing Glass-Steagall? Obama hasn't even really tried to deal with the dead elephant in the White House or the Vampire Squid that killed it, even though he had the best opportunity in two generations to do something effective upon entering office. Meanwhile the world goes on like some badly scripted interminable soap opera towards what all fear will be a disaster.
"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
That's really only one more lie needed to trash the world.
That's the belief by the people that they are helpless.
Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
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