Tuesday, May 6, 2014

History's role revisited

So the problem with the South Pacific scheme in 1720s England wound up being one of demand outstripping supply.

The price of the company's stock, at a time when many of its holders were selling, was such that the country itself nearly ran out of cash. As a result, and unlike a similar situation with actual goods, England's credit was called into question - a state of affairs that's as perilous on the international level as it is on the personal.

What happened with the banking crash of 2008 wasn't as cut and dry as a single company over-valuing its stock, but the same greed, pride, and desire of the low to better their quality of life were at play. Not entirely rotten motivations, though the power players in both the 1720s and 2008 had no real need to improve their lot in life.

I'm not trying to say that history repeats itself, only that knowing about things like the South Pacific scheme show history's value. This Victorian miscellany of madnesses has got value.

And, running with Einstein's definition of insanity, there's the implication that humanity on the whole is a little insane.

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