FRENCH AND ENGLISH.

There was a time when I knew some French, sadly only crumbs remain. I mention this language because I have a book on my desk written in French by Thomas Piketty. It has been translated into English by Arthur Goldhammer, the title is,’Capital in the Twenty-First Century.’ There are 685 pages, I confess I have not read them all. When faced with a very substantial volume I read first the introduction and then the conclusion. I have found both extremely interesting. Professor Piketty explains that economics is so much more than mathematics: ” I see economics as a sub discipline of the social sciences, alongside history, sociology, anthropology and political science. He prefers the expression ‘ political economy.’

I have a life-long interest in history and a more recent interest in sociology. How to earn and spend money has been a special interest since I was a child. My parents both worked very hard and mother had the difficult job of spreading the money father earned to cover the daily expenses of a family of six. This was not an easy task as the wages were limited, father’s work was always classified as unskilled. so I started with the personal and later extended to the wider political understanding of the economy of Britain. Piketty uses an equation r is greater than g, in other words–‘ capital reproduces itself faster than output increases.’

    Piketty continues; ‘ If we are to regain control of capitalism we must bet everything on democracy, and in Europe democracy on a European scale.’

The most important question is how do the democracies fight the globalised patrimonial capitalism of the twenty-first century. I think the first thing is we must know where our information comes from. BBC News raised the question where does most digital information come from? The answer is the originator is often hidden, in a democracy this is worrying, the information could be ‘false news’ with the deliberate intention of misleading the readers. As democrats we must know where the information comes from.

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