One day in the Sunny South a philosopher king went to church, the oldest non-profit organization in the world, to rethink John Maynard Keynes and Paul Krugman.
The economist sat in the pew, scratched his chin, and thought to himself: this man at the lectern preaches to his flock, the flock likes what he has to say, and the flock is persuaded to give them their money if he tells a good story.
How does this Alabama preacher pull off such an economic miracle in Montgomery? All this preacher really does is explain to his congregation the fundamentals of their own religion. Then he passes around the collection plate to make his income.
The philosopher king goes home that evening. He turns on CNBC to watch Jim Cramer and Larry Kudlow. The philosopher king, who has always considered himself as a jack of all trades, watches the divine Cramer explain “Mad Money” to millions of bamboozled people following the latest developments on Wall Street.
The Dow is gyrating like a stripper swinging on a pole at the Pink Pony in 2008 with Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns collapsing. Everyone is throwing their money on the stage.
The philosopher king scratches his chin and thinks to himself: Jim Cramer’s “Mad Money” really ought to be clinically diagnosed as a form of madness. This is nothing but pure show business. You can’t predict the madness of crowds. It is impossible to reason when you are experiencing a collective wave of anxiety and euphoria.
Every rock star or writer intuitively knows when he has succeeded in winning the crowd over to his side. He is fully conscious of the aesthetic nature of his craft.
I remember last time when I was hit by this vision. It was around the time that Jim Cramer said that Bear Stearns was fine. I had spent many nights watching Cramer, analyzing his every move, and trying to make sense of what he was saying.
That was the day that I figured out that economics had become a pseudoscience. My own mind seemed to make more “cents” or sense to me. I was so disoriented by the prophetic revelation that I was knocked out of my computer chair. It took me months to recover.
It felt like I was getting knocked down by The Holy Spirit. God himself had saved me from the stupidity of Larry Kudlow and Jim Cramer. I had realized that money is faith. I had been given a revelation.
Note: I apologize to friends who I called in a temporary moment of disorientation. It is not often we are visited by a deity. Hopefully, you can now consider the theoretical insight on its own merits, and I can get some much needed rest.
The real power that “puts a spell” over men is narrative, discourse, the clever manipulation of words and symbols, images, myths, stories, and great songs, which are the “symbolic power” at the bottom of every faith and culture.
Does this make any sense to you? It makes more sense to me than every Paul Krugman column I have ever read. I’m quite sure that man is a charlatan.
Note: I have literally been “moved” to write all this. I must get some rest.