20 July 2011

Missing the Point

Paul Krugman posts videos from time to time on his blog that he thinks...well, for some reason Paul Krugman will post a video on his blog and tonight he picked "Don't Give Up" by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush.

I can't know this for sure, but there is a very good chance that I have listened to this song more than any other human being alive. I know it was written about a man facing economic uncertainty. But the message of the song is, quite obviously, that one shouldn't give up. It is a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit and an homage to the beauty of friendship.

Press on in the face of hardship...

don't give up
'cause you have friends
don't give up
you're not the only one
don't give up
no reason to be ashamed
don't give up
you still have us
don't give up now
we're proud of who you are
don't give up
you know it's never been easy
don't give up
'cause I believe there's the a place
there's a place where we belong

Pretty simple and yet powerful. And beautiful.

Which is why it is very weird that it is used by someone of the likes of Paul Krugman. You see, you don't need an indomitable spirit or friends and family to love and support you when you're down. In Krugman's universe, the government is just a giant insurance company with an army, not an institution created by men to insure their rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness (which includes the pain and learning brought by failure).

In his world, it is not the "us" who support you and your friends and family who know and love you and care about you. It is the collective "us", who support you because, well, if we don't buck-up when the hat comes around we're going to end up in jail.

It is the compassion and support that is done by the force of law that is so beautiful.

So don't give up...because there are some rich people out there who have too much of their own money. We're going to take it from them and make everything all right.

No comments: