G'day George,

Very few have left, and those you name are still on board - my guess from
the subscribed addresses is that there are about seventy of us here (some
are subscribed at more than one address).  I know Bob's still staring glumly
at all that late season ice and snow.  Can't think what's happened to our
other quasi-Swede; ya there, Hugh?

I dunno why we've gone quiet.  I guess we tend to rely on but a dozen or so
regular posters, and it wouldn't take too many developments to alter the
list's traffic.  A couple of illnesses, a couple of lay-offs, a couple with
new jobs, a couple with the northern winter blues, a couple with difficult
times at home and a couple in the final throes of theses and there you have
it.  A dormant Thaxis.  

Nothing to worry about just yet, I reckon.

Anyway, a couple of interesting chats are gathering pace, and one dares hope
that one of our quieter Thaxists might feel up to asking a question or
advancing a gratifyingly contentious proposition.

And what do you reckon, George?  Is capital in the throes of laying the
foundation for another smooth accumulation cycle?  Is it just fixing to
destroy some excess capital, centralise a few things, concentrate some
stuff, discipline those irksome German and Gallic tribes, and feel the
benefit of the 'information age'?  Or is America about to distort its
economy, lose its competitiveness in salient sectors, watch its greenback
slip and its rates rise, stop being the importer of last resort, and drive a
dozen economies into world-stopping depression?  Are we at a significant
moment here: a new bout of belligerent protectionism (as likely to assert
itself in the third world this year as it is in a suddenly desperate America
next year) yawning behind one door and a finally triumphant free-trade
hegemony behind the other?  Will a resurgent Japan suddenly bring
interventionist industry policy back into favour world-wide?  Is Keynes
really dead?  

And where's that Marx fella just now?  Nodding sagely in recognition of
destructive concentrations of capital and in smug anticipation of a
collision between global excess capacity, declining profits and spreading
disillusionment ... or creasing his brow at the corpulent stock exchanges,
swaggering Anglo-Saxon CEOs, rising American employment, possible incipient
recovery in Japan, and imploding social democrat platforms and support bases
in Europe?

I know it ain't as easy as my rhetorical little oppositions would have it,
but I'm too simple and busy a bloke to get a grip on all this chaos
uncertainty and complexity that the other side refers to as 'sound

So waddyareckon?

Yours hopefully,

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