October 30, 2015

Martin Wolf. An essential component of an Edmund Burke intergenerational holy bond must be the willingness to take risks

Sir, Martin Wolf appeals to Edmund Burke when stating, “the value of tried and tested institutions ought to guide any Conservative government. The BBC is a great legacy from past generations. It must be passed on even stronger into the future.” “A public broadcaster is the property of the people not the elite” October 30.

Absolutely, BBC is to be defended and those who out in the world have heard it shine light on some very dark moments should be its staunchest defenders.

But that said, I do not think Martin Wolf has really earned the right to appeal to Edmund Burke’s assistance. Burke in his “Reflections on the French Revolution” wrote: 

“Society is indeed a contract…. It is to be looked on with other reverence; because it is not a partnership in things subservient only to the gross animal existence of a temporary and perishable nature. It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection. As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born. Each contract of each particular state is but a clause in the great primæval contract of eternal society, linking the lower with the higher natures, connecting the visible and invisible world, according to a fixed compact sanctioned by the inviolable oath which holds all physical and all moral natures, each in their appointed place. 

This law is not subject to the will of those, who by an obligation above them, and infinitely superior, are bound to submit their will to that law. The municipal corporations of that universal kingdom are not morally at liberty at their pleasure, and on their speculations of a contingent improvement, wholly to separate and tear asunder the bands of their subordinate community, and to dissolve it into an unsocial, uncivil, unconnected chaos of elementary principles.”

And one of the main components of such an intergenerational holy bond must be, no doubt, the willingness to take risks. That willingness that an immoral Basel Committee has seen fit to restrict, by imposing their absurd credit-risk-only weighted capital requirements for banks… those on which Martin Wolf keeps mum.

@PerKurowski ©