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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Jeanette Winterson

The Times Online has a nice piece imagining a reading list for capitalists:

Right now, I would like to put every City trader and master-of-the universe banker into an offshore penal colony where they would have to make their own clothes out of copies of The Wall Street Journal, cook a ration of rice in a dung-oven, and read at least one important book a day. I think they can all begin with Das Kapital, not because Marxism is a viable economic model, but because the rich West urgently needs to remember that making money is neither an end in itself, nor an activity that commands respect.

Jeanette Winterson

7 Responses to “Jeanette Winterson”

  1. Tommi says:

    Thanks for link. Great article. I recently read Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine”. Lots of great stuff in there about “capitalism”.

  2. Jim Murdoch says:

    Not that that wasn’t interesting but I much preferred young Eleanor’s virtual Hell.

    jb says: Hi Jim. Yeah, the nice touch was Bernard Matthews turkeys.

  3. maitresse says:

    I love JW but this article was a load of bollocks. I would be very peeved indeed if my partner were taken from me and placed in a penal colony and forced to cook rice in a dung oven because he has committed the egregious sin of being a trader at a bank (SG, no less!). He’s ridiculously good at math and they pay him well to be so. Well, but nowhere near as well as JW imagines he is paid. After French taxes he probably makes less than she does per year. The system may be corrupt, but don’t hold the cogs responsible for the designers.

  4. It’s bollocks, but not because of my love interest.

    Making Money simply signifies that someone places a high value on their service or they have traded assets well. Much of the time those skills deserve respect.

    It’s extraordinary how one can leap from the simple observation that money isn’t everything to a desire to create a penal colony for financiers. Apparently money is more important to Winterson than she’d like to admit.

    Leave me out of Winterson’s post-monetary fantasies. As history has shown, they will be post-growth, post-progress and life will return to being nasty, brutish and short.

    jb says: Much of the time, Mindles, those skills deserve no respect whatsoever. Think about it.

  5. Dick says:

    If bollocks, it’s my kind of bollocks. Preferable, in any event, to the special pleading above.

  6. maitresse says:

    Oh, get off it, Dick. The popular conception that the city traders are rolling in it is just hysterical. If Winterson had any idea how little the average trader actually makes in return for his labor she’d understand the pet theory that Kerviel rigged the whole thing as part of a plot to bring down the system. The farmer and the cowman should be friends.

  7. Valerie Anne says:

    This is one great article about capitalism.