Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Jane Jacobs / Systems of Survival
A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of
Commerce and Politics
chapters six, seven

Trading, taking, monstrous hybrids and anomalies. Street gangs and organized crime, Mafia, Columbia drug cartels, Neopolitan Camorra, Hong Kong crime associations are examined. How does organized crime fit — or not fit — into the scheme of two survival systems, the guardian and the commercial? Exhibiting essentially guardian habits and characteristics; loyalty, hierarchy, use of force; they have in common an involvement in trade, resulting in "monstrous hybrids." 
The centrally planned economy of the Soviet Union comes in for special attention—
If you put economic planning into guardian hands you get economic planning for guardian priorities. The planning apparatus that presided over these [Soviet] investments, in itself, a pork barrel providing millions and millions of desirable jobs, increasingly for their own sake, not because they were pulling their weight creating viable production and commerce.
Or as the joke went up and down Eastern Europe, "we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us." 
Law and agriculture are anomalies and are seen as subversive of the systems but interestingly art's provenance "seems to come from both taking and trading ... and its difficulties different from those of commerce and guardianship" To come: a discussion of "casts of mind."

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