There is no justice.
There is money.
There SHOULD be conscience, principles, virtues, and values tempering HOW we earn / produce money and apportion its spending, but nature has no rules and languages within which we culturally define and suspend ourselves may offer or encourage awful options for channeling behavior.
Juxtapose the Glory of the Sochi Winter Olympics with the then Early Destruction of Syria.
For the tyrant and the civilization represented: what’s wrong? Where’s the problem?
The mass murdering of challengers and rivals confirms power.
That’s natural, isn’t it?
Of course, it’s not the only way to go, and the developed open societies and diversified economies of the west have proven that.
Perhaps our experience of the world only picks up the reflection of the character of its global business and political elites.
The talk-about inspiration for the post was a piece by Kevin Sieff on Luanda, Angola appearing in The Washington Post, August 2, 2016: “An oil boom made it the most expensive city in the world. Now it’s in crisis.” The poster had complained about petro-state corruption and celebrity perfidy in accepting gigs at private parties paying $2 million in fee.
(Perhaps BackChannels and its editor should take a break right about here — and both may but will forge on another moment).
Who is to say that states from Angola to Burma to Moscow to Tehran should not be feudal or medieval in character?
Should there not be dictators — or other singular powerful personalities — who build worlds around themselves and produce spectacles — in Syria, an entire theater of politics and war — for others?
The “responsive and responsible” governments of democratic open societies (of the west — but, really, anywhere similar ideals and related practices prevail), don’t just obtain money and spend it capriciously or selfishly, and while they certainly produce in their constituencies people who would do that, they may also demand greater virtue on the part of their own business and political elites.
In the modern atmosphere, economic development and urban and rural planning PLUS the integration of public and private interests in development becomes so common and transparent as to become invisible to most people most of the time.
The modern Everyman need not worry about roads and sewers, water pipes, electrical supply, and communications infrastructure and all other such basic building blocks because all contribute some (and many do work in related industries) all of the time.
Boom-and-bust has always been the rule for mining towns and “petro states” but more responsible spending around them may also ease conditions when prices fall or the lode done run out.
The modern communities of Democratic open societies get a very different effect from that kind of broadened cooperation and inclusion.
Posted to YouTube October 20, 2014.
Result: no “ghost towns” — real ones or sets — that aren’t productive.