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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Credit where credit's due

They say great minds think alike. Perhaps that's the reason so many so-called "Individualists" think they're so clever ("We're all Individualists and we all think the same"). At the same time there are a lot of things floating around in my head & I can't remember where I heard them first- or I attribute them to the wrong person(s). For instance, the (very good) phrase "No man is good enough to be another man's master". I got the impression in the past that it was something said one of the Levellers in the English Civil War. However, when I typed the phrase in a search engine, it was attributed to George Bernard Shaw.

However, recently I came across phrases which I use which were used by people before me, which obviously registered in my mind, but when I was blogging erroneously thought were my own. So I'm going to give credit here.

First, "Actual Existing Capitalism". That comes from Kevin Carson, and used in his aforementioned essay "Austrian and Marxist Theories of Monopoly Capitalism: A Mutualist Synthesis" which I read about a year ago (it could have been Boxing Day- it is good Boxing Day reading) on the Libertarian Alliance website and which I obviously picked up in my mind. Basically "AEC" is the horrible corporate system we live under, as opposed to the nirvana/idyll which fills economic textbooks and the speeches of mainstream politicians.

Second, "Far Centre". This come from an article in the Europe-wide EU-critical mag These Tides, available from either the Estonian think tank UKVE or the Democracy Movement. The article from the Vol.III No.4 (2001ish) issue of These Tides was written by Jim Wild, who has the dubious privilege of being the person who persuaded me to join the Greens (over a few beers after the Bruges Group meeting I wrote about recently). Jim uses the phrase "Far Centre" in the following context:

"Some political commentators call EU-critics extreme, and on the far something or other but something unites Blair, [Ken] Clarke and [the late Ted] Heath and it appears to be a similar belief in corporate capitalism of which the EU and globalisation are a part. They should perhaps be called the far-centre, as they appear to be moderates except that they have a very different idea of democracy to us sceptics. They appear to prefer rule by unelected committees, bureaucrats and bankers."

So that's my intellectual debts sorted!


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