Capitalism + Democracy = Friction

There’s no question that capitalism would run much more efficiently if people would shut up and take their medicine. Outside the G20 summit in London yesterday, though, people were numerous and fed up. Police tried to contain the situation with a controversial “kettling” technique, keeping people penned into a prescribed area in what amounted to false imprisonment.

Now the Guardian has a short video. Here’s a YouTube embed (below) or you can see it at the video’s home.

Also, London blogger Dave Hill interviewed two Londoners who were, of course, ready for tea “now that they’ve put the kettle on.” [Link]

The summiteers themselves succeeded at portraying unity, despite the early rift between the pro-stimulus U.S. and U.K., on the one hand, and pro-regulation France and Germany, on the other. The meeting’s final communique actually calls for an end to tolerance of tax havens and secret banking, points that the French and Germans insisted on. If we’re committed to a harmonious international system of finance (as we have been since World War II and Bretton Woods), it only makes sense to do this.

The Anglophones, for their part, got up to $1.1 trillion — that’s eleven hundred thousand millions — in stimulus spending around the globe. Numbers of this magnitude leave me feeling that we are talking about a virtual reality rather than the world people live in. And yet.

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