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the psychosomaticity of crisis

with 3 comments

From an FT article yesterday about the probability that European states are about to sell-off what’s left of their publically-owned companies in order to plug budget gaps:

“The original catalyst for privatisations in the 1980s and 1990s was ideological, but the current motivation will be far more financially-driven,” says Craig Coben, head of equity capital markets in Europe for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Governments don’t quite have the crown jewels they had before but they are going to be looking to take advantage of market opportunities.”

Of course, both episodes are ideologically-driven, and of course there was a “financial” issue at play the first time around too, but then again we know what Coben means. The first round of privatizations happened because it was the right thing to do, this time because, ostensibly, there’s nothing else to do, which may have as much to do with the volume and viability of other possible answers in the two cases, but again, we know what he means.

But there’s something counter-intuitive about the progression, isn’t there? A drive that starts in ideological realm, the realm of argument and fantasy, that procedes to materialize itself, to come true. That is to say, there’s something psychosomatic, something of the imagined-become-real symptom about the long progression of this crisis. You worry so much about having a heart attack, you get so anxious about assembling your collection of cures both conventional and holistic, chemical and folk-borne, that there you are, dead in the parking lot of your Recently Privatized Medical Facility.

Written by adswithoutproducts

March 14, 2010 at 9:42 am

3 Responses

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  1. Let’s not be too gullible: who are these interviewees?


    March 14, 2010 at 9:59 am

  2. Well, yes, but that was the plan all along, explicitly so in the USA at least: premeditated murder by induced suicidal behavior. Politicians win with the slogan that government is incompetent, succeed in their mission by failing at their job, and win again on the strength of their “I told you I was sick” record. Of course, the key factor is that such politicians don’t die with the government they kill: human parasites have the admirable ability to transplant themselves to another host (“private” corporations, if you’ll forgive the oxymoronic shorthand) when their present one fails.

    Ray Davis

    March 14, 2010 at 4:03 pm

  3. Gabe,

    Sure… But that’s in a sense why one reads the FT. To hear the powers that be talk their books…


    Yes, agreed. A pernicious cycle that it would be nice to break, somehow, someway…


    March 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm

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