The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

More on war...

My aphorism for the day: never trust in human rationality. I am reading a book that describes Norman Angell's pamphlet, The Great Illusion, which was published in 1910 and argued that war at that time between the major nations was inconceivable because of the economic havoc it would wreak on the highly interconnected European states. The book sold over a million copies and was feted around the world (and quoted by prominent politicians). One example of these connections was the fact that Lloyds of London insured the German marine fleet, and would have had to pay out to the Germans in the event that the British Navy sunk their ships. The point is that the prevailing attitude at the time was that it would be non-rational for the major nations to engage in conflict. One could say the same thing today.