This, from the BBC last November, reminds us how chaos is in the eyes of the beholder:
Eviction notices have been attached to tents at a protest camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral.
The City of London Corporation notice tells Occupy London Stock Exchange (OLSX) activists to clear the “public highway” by 18:00 GMT on Thursday.
The “public highway” being the land occupied by the protest at the time which did not belong to the Cathedral.
Obviously, the kind of chaos this was leading to – on a shared “public highway” – was considered by those who we presume should know more about these things as completely unacceptable in a modern civilisation. Two reactions then: first, this was chaos; second, we should not tolerate it.
And I can live with that conclusion – even where my instincts are not to approve.
This morning, meanwhile, we have another example of chaos – this time as defined by Iain Duncan Smith:
Iain Duncan Smith has said there would have been “chaos” if ministers had overruled the board of RBS and vetoed a £963,000 share bonus for its boss.
The government has come under pressure to act over Stephen Hester’s bonus as it owns 82% of the bank’s shares.
Cabinet Minister Mr Duncan Smith told the BBC “nobody would be happier” than ministers if Mr Hester declined it.
But it had been up to the RBS board – if they had gone, it would have had a huge impact, he said.
The kind of huge impact – on an 80 percent state shareholding, on tens of thousands of workers and on millions of customers – which no one in our society is willing to do anything about, at least in the sense of proactively preventing its occurrence.
Except, of course, by not only giving entirely in to but also sanctioning fully the rights of those making these implicit threats of executive blackmail.
Again, my reactions are twofold: first, as in the case of St Paul’s, this was chaos; second, we have no alternative but to tolerate it.
How do you expect us to believe in a socioeconomic environment which behaves like this?
I really find no other way of describing this second example than to call it economic blackmail by corporate hooligans of the very lowest order. And these are the captains of industry whose behaviours we are being asked to support and even emulate?
How very very short the modern representatives of capitalism are happy to sell their baby these days.