Plutocracy passes through a perpetual cycle. It lobbies against the restraints that curb its destructive greed. It succeeds. As a result it collapses. It gets rescued, at enormous cost, by the forces it fought: regulators, planners, tax collectors, an interventionist state. It recovers, dusts itself down, then resumes its attack on the people who rescued it. This assault on planning belongs to the cycle. But the damage the plutocrats mean to inflict will not be reversible.
George Monbiot, The Guardian.
I've had a number of arguments, some heated, some reasoned, based around this proposition over the years. It's inherent in democracy, it seems, and hence in western society. It is almost independent of government - indeed you could argue that the election of one government or another is an indication of where a society is in this cycle of death and rebirth rather than a driver of it.
We're now fifteen months in to a Tory/Liberal coalition government in the UK. We're a few months in to an SNP majority administration in Holyrood. I don't think it would be fair to say that I'm happy with either proposition. But more than that, I don't think the British electorate are happy with the Westminster coalition government. However, it's a consequence of the British public and their demands for change.
It's easy to turn around, point fingers at politicians and bankers and blame them for all of the woes of the country, but it's missing about 90% of the facts. I don't have all the facts, I'm not going to go in to the ones I have here, mainly because they're statistical and historical, but also because I know I'd get bogged down in it. It's complicated. Way more complicated than you could expect to find in the Daily Mail or on a web page.
There will be economics treatises written about this period of time though, addressing the economic cycle that Monbiot sums up so succinctly. He's writing about planning law, but the same could be said for civil rights, education, financial regulation, urban riots. Groups within society fight against constraint, break that constraint and collapse. The wider society then imposes those constraints. It's entirely natural and understandable.
If I write an economic treatise (I won't), I will call it "no more boom and bust".