“Talibans of Austerity”

As the quotes around the title of this piece indicate, the phrase is not Dalrymple’s own. In fact, it belongs to French economist Jean Pisani-Ferry, who recently used it to condemn those who advocate balanced budgets as a solution to the crisis of the Eurozone. At the Library of Law and Liberty (h/t Mary Catelli), Dalrymple says this remark reveals “a revolution in our sensibilities”:

The idea that living within your means is a form of austerity, and not (other than in exceptional circumstances) the elementary moral duty of people of honor, shows that, underlying the economic crisis is a profound moral crisis in western society.

Forget the reference to the Taliban. Just characterizing proposals to end profligacy as austerity is itself absurd and all too revealing of the mindset that created the problem in the first place.

One thought on ““Talibans of Austerity”

  1. Jaxon

    I was just talking to a lawyer recently who’s been busy defending people in the banking sector.
    He was rather an agreeable person though he was talking in terms of technical complexity (surprise) that, I felt, utterly evaded a sense of the ‘profound moral crisis’ that Dalrymple speaks of.

    I had to insist on rather strong terms that the discourse needs to change and, of course, I gave him a nice little list of Dalrymple essays to look up online.

    As it happens I have from quite early in life had an anxious sense of just where does the money I receive come from? In fact, although I don’t have personal debt, I did say to this lawyer that I do consider myself somewhat complicit in… errr Western debt, that I’m not somehow hermetically sealed off… but maybe that’s a bit banal, it should be obvious.


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