On Nihilism

Some time ago, Paul Krugman gave the name inflationistas to those political and economic commentators who consistently, and in spite of the evidence, looked at the post crisis economic landscape and gave doom-laden warnings of spiralling inflation. Austerity economics was the only solution, and any Keynesian style attempt to promote demand in the economy would only drive inflation higher. The inflation never materialised, but their recommendations for holding it at bay never changed. Krugman concludes that they must have special reasons for holding onto this belief. He knows a lot more about economics and US politics than I do, but I have a pet theory about this.

Inflation means your money is worth less. The inflationistas are conspicuously in the camp of business and finance driven politics, in which neoliberalism is overwhelmingly the orthodoxy. Neoliberalism involves extending economic forms of analysis to areas of life that previously lay outside it, and therefore involves seeing all value in life in monetary terms. So if money isn’t worth anything, nothing is worth anything.

On these terms, to resist inflation is to stand against nihilism. There can be no more noble humanitarian calling. They are protecting the only thing that has any value in life, almost the value of life itself. Its metaphysical, really.

Just a thought.

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