ONE blogs – JOHN CALDER – Man for Monday: A NEW LEISURE CLASS?

The real causes of the long-expected depression (by a few thinking observers anyway) are seldom mentioned. It is not just the greed of a few – bankers, CEOs etc. – but a historical phenomenon that has been growing ever since the beginnings of modern capitalism in the period that followed the English Civil War. This forced the too large and growing agricultural majority population off the land and into factories and whatever town life could offer in terms of employment. Most of it, other than heavily exploited factory workers, went into domestic service, some went into the arm and navy that created the British Empire, but miserable slum life, involving much crime, as captured in the novels of Disraeli and Dickens, was the destiny of a considerable number of the new urban proletariat. This led to the rise of the middle classes which was able to rival and often join the old landed aristocracy, much of it originally created by the Norman conquest. read more —>

ONE blogs – JOHN CALDER – Man for Monday: IS DEMOCRACY A GOOD THING?

Is democracy a good thing? According to Plato who was able to observe it in its early days in Athens, which first invented it, definitely not. It is too open to corruption, either by those who use it through demagogy or whipped-up prejudice or bribery to take advantage of the naivety of simple people to achieve their own ends, or because most people are too unaware of what is best for them to be able to make the right choices. All that remains true today. Plato saw how Socrates, probably the greatest thinker and teacher of his time, was driven to his death by corrupt democracy. Indeed, if it were not for Plato we would not even know of Socrates’ existence, let alone his ideas because he appears to have written nothing down. read more —>

ONE blogs – JOHN CALDER – Man for Monday: THE CAPITALIST CONSPIRACY

Looking at the last two-hundred years or so, one can see how the growth of capitalism, starting in a small way with industries perceiving a need or possible opportunity to create one, where some new invention had come along, often taking the willingness of people to believe in the value of what would turn out to be a bubble, has developed into what it is now. read more —>