Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The London Riots and the excess burden of criminality.

This is a link to a paper which predicts that tax payers will be prepared to finance transfer payments to the poor to a degree dependent on the excess burden of criminality- i.e. the difference between the Social Cost of the Crime and the benefit to the criminal. The London Riots are an example of a spectacularly high 'excess burden' upon Society relative to the benefit to the thugs.

The model, however, relies- at least heuristically- on the notion that Law Enforcement Expenditure can result in the cutting off of Benefits to the offenders. But what if, life inside Prison is safer, more prestigious, and affords better opportunities for thymotic gratification and 'self-actualization' than life outside? Evidence from America indicates that, at least or certain cohorts in specific sub-cultures, this is already the case.

Secondly, the excess burden of the London Riots falls disproportionately not on the truly Wealthy or the Corporates but the marginal small businessman and self-employed tradesman. In a sense, it is this factor which gives the ongoing rioting in London its true Class character and revolutionary potential.

'Hoodie culture' as a rebellion against the Civil Panopticon represented by the CC camera, the feral pack of marauders as indicting spiritless Commuters streaming into the Underground like Pascal's sheep, the kicking in of shop windows as opposed to the kicking of Soccer balls, running away from the Police as opposed to running on the athletics track, the hurling of the petrol bomb rather than that of the discus- this counter Olympics, whose gratuitous physicality honours not Zeus but Chaos, challenges, not the Cosmocrats, who rule from above the clouds of High Finance, but those dim autochthones, whose industry is as incense to their Abstract, for Actuarial, Altars and without which those enpurpled, De Maistrean, and immortal Gods, did they but know it, crumble to dust..

The creation of the Welfare State addressed a Market Failure- a sort of Excess Burden for Society- arising from the manner in which the pack mentality of greedy investors, though individually rational, turned out to be collectively disastrous.  The first and fundamental tenet of the Welfarist 'Butskellite' consensus was full employment. However, from 1977 onwards, it became clear that necessary structural changes in the Economy required a very high natural rate of Unemployment under, contested relative Factor Income, downwardly sticky wage-price, regimes.

With Welfarism being abandoned as defeating its own purpose of raising living standards, public intellectuals grasped at Human Rights as an unproblematic Holy Cow.  But, quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi- what is licit for a God- and Welfarism was a Sky God with its own Social Engineering gradus ad Parnassum- is not licit for mere oxen- and Human Rights are as Pharaoh's lean kine with respect to any substantive Social Program- no matter how Holy.

Hegel's master-slave dialectic finds its resolution when, in the gaze of the slave, the master realizes his own dependence. For Fukuyama, reading Strauss's Kojeve, that History ended. But that was never History nor  we yet out of it- Lo! it gapes for us now.

The ' hoodie' who sees all but refuses to be seen, the non serviam of all that is invisible and as the Princes of the Air, here- truly- is the beginning of Work, of History, and with the London Riots the beginning of the end of the Human Rights, as opposed to, Actuarial, Welfare State.

As per usual, the Public Intellectuals are bypassed by nothing save History- which is Work. So large an 'excess burden'- and the excess burden of the London Riots can't be overstated for those of the middling order, the middling cohort, who are by far the largest, and most able to marshal the, not coercive merely but hegemonic, coup de foudre as vehicle to Class power- and it becomes inevitable that a 'meta-game'- a piece of virtually spontaneous, cloud sourced, mechanism design- will come into play; initially as a countervailing force, but ultimately a new, yet more illiberal, Social deonotology.

Between Olympus and Uranopolis- the Spartacist Utopia of Mt. Athos- lies always this shadow- Human Rights- which, at the level of Society, cash out as rites requiring child sacrifice- the fair faces of children hooded by Canaan's cowl, and masking the all-innocence devouring maw of Ba'al.

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