Saturday, November 24, 2007

Boethius's Wheel

"It's my belief that history is a wheel. 'Inconstancy is my very essence,' says the wheel. Rise up on my spokes if you like but don't complain when you're cast back down into the depths. Good times pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it's also our hope. The worst of times, like the best, are always passing away."

So Boethius wrote about 1500 years ago*. And as far as I can see, it still holds true today, on a personal level and on a national/global level. Gordon Brown may have said "no more boom and bust" but the fact is he always had very little control over the economic cycle. It's human nature to over extend ourselves during the good times, thus driving the boom to unsustainable levels then doing the opposite during the downturn. And it looks to me like the 10 years of boom is just about to come to an end. Interesting times.

*I'm not particularly well read, I picked up on this quote when a tramp shouted it at Tony Wilson in "24 Hour Party People". It's then alluded to when Wilson is forced to present "Wheel of Fortune" in order to make ends meet.

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