Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It seems that this strawman is triggered by a rather convoluted reasoning :

  1. If we recognise that the planet is finite, this means we have to consume less resources
  2. If we consume less resources, this means austerity
  3. anyone who thinks this is the same as the monetarist economists who are strangling Europe.

Both 2 and 3 are non sequiturs.

No, the argument is that:

  1. By using the present crisis as an example of finite planet constraints, you are seriously misrepresenting the causes of the crisis.

  2. Obscuring the actual aetiology of the present crisis is Unhelpful both in solving the present crisis and in destroying the political factions that caused it and profit from it.

To which it may be added that said political factions are equally unremittingly hostile to the idea that it is necessary to reduce resource consumption. And that a demand-side crisis is infinitely easier to use to defeat, disgrace and destroy them than a supply-side crisis. So by attempting to fit the present crisis into your pet economic model, you are making effective political action against your enemies more difficult.

This may well be the last purely demand-side crisis for the foreseeable future. But it is a purely demand-side crisis. Pretending that it is a supply-side crisis concedes a point to your enemies that you should not be conceding until and unless a rational response to the crisis absolutely requires you to.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jan 29th, 2012 at 01:18:58 AM EST
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