Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Then and now

"Some of the owner men were kind because they hated what they had to do, and some of them were angry because they hated to be cruel, and some of them were cold because they had long ago found that one could not be an owner unless one were cold.  And all of them were caught in something larger than themselves. Some of them hated the mathematics that drove them, and some were afraid, and some worshiped the mathematics because it provided a refuge from thought and from feeling.  If a bank or a finance company owned the land, the owner man said, The Bank - or the Company - needs - wants - insists - must have - as though the Bank or the Company were a monster, with thought and feeling, which had ensnared them.  These last would take no responsibility for the banks or the companies because they were men and slaves, while the banks were machines and masters all at the same time.  Some of the owner men were a little proud to be slaves to such cold and powerful masters....

"But - you see... those creatures don't breathe air, don't eat side-meat.  They breathe profits; they eat the interest on money.  If they don't get it, they die the way you die without air, without side-meat.  It is a sad thing, but it is so.  It is just so....

"The bank - the monster has to have profits all the time.  It can't wait.  It'll die.  No, taxes go on.  When the monster stops growing, it dies.  It can't stay one size....

"The bank is something else than men.  It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it.  The bank is something more than men, I tell you.  It's the monster.  Men made it, but they can't control it"

In 2009 as in 1939


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