Friday, 16 March 2012

Wealth creation

Wealth creation is what I intended to write about this morning.

It is a technical term in much the same way that Liberalism is. "Liberalism" is good, people think.

Uh no.

But even in its technical use it's barking.

Creation is something out of nothing. In Pauline Christianity, God thinks the universe into existence.

No one else can do that. Nothing else. The rest of us, the creatures, can only copy.

So "creation" and "creative" are metaphors, at best a suspicion that the "creative person" participates in some way with God's work.

And then we are told that x is created by y, to give it a sound of class. Hogwash created by Laboratoire Clochemerle for you.

Nowadays, of course, this is lost behind careerism and charlatanism, the resultant philosophy being best summed up by an advertisement for some kind of programmed knitting system a few years back: IT'S SIMPLE TO BE CREATIVE

Simple if you hope to live by it.

The words are not thought about. Like "inspiration". How many are really inspired? None? Anyone saying yes must explain the mechanism implied by the etymology.

Now "wealth". This is a slippery one in its use. I'll keep it simple.

Rome became wealthy when it had stolen a lot of stuff from other people. Britain too. USA etc. Methodologies may have changed a bit; but not much. China now. India. Ethical problems may have been hidden by exceptionalist claims. But wealth means basically a lot of stuff grabbed. Include in this the money people pay for crap.

So wealth is stolen from other people, making the thieves wealthy; and economics is the sum of the set of the stories told as the thieves explain away their crimes or others doing the task on their behalf: wealth, they say, is created from nothing by the abilities of exceptional people like us. Hence the Americas and Australia being empty because the first peoples didn't count cf Palestine in the twentieth century ongoing.

But the ab nihilo bit of creation is no such thing because it came from God. There always has to be something there. You just take it. The Greeks' creation consisted of doing a bit of improvement work on what pre-existed. One of the pre-Colombian systems, I forget which, had everything arising from some deity's semen. (And what does "banker" rime with?)

So wealth creation is nicking something and conning somebody. But most of it is nothing to do with making anything useful. It is -- sorry to repeat -- like Douglas Adams' fools who put themselves on the leaf standard to become rich in the spring. At best.

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