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Showing posts with label Rudyard Kipling Market loan dollar debt raise capital. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rudyard Kipling Market loan dollar debt raise capital. Show all posts

December 16, 2008

The Wisdom of the Markets

Rudyard Kipling wrote his poem 'God of the Copybook Headings' and still stands a metaphor for our current woes:

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return.

The poem was written in 1919, is apt and shows that nothing really changes.
Copybooks were an exercise book used to practise handwriting in. The pages were blank except for a printed specimen of perfect handwriting at the top. You were supposed to copy this specimen all down the page.The specimens were proverbs or quotations, or little sayings – the ones in the poem illustrate the kind of thing.
About Kipling: He had lost his dearly loved son in World War One, and a precious daughter some years earlier. He was a drained man in 1919, and England, which he identified with so intensely, was a drained nation. With all this as background, the general opinion is that The Gods of the Copybook Headings is a clinging to old-fashioned common sense by a man deeply in need of something to cling to....
As many do again just on 90 years later.