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November 26, 2010



A journalist encounters a group of Highwaymen holding up a carriage, and asks how the robbery is going. He receives the following response from their spokesman:

We do understand there are conversations taking place between the carriage's passengers as to whether they should exercise some financial self-sacrifice. We have a process in highway robbery, and are beginning to discuss these issues with the passengers, so we look forward to what they have to say.

A "beautifully convivial and dialogical" tone may break with tradition, but it is a matter of style so long as Little Vince has the lead balls to back it up. Conversations can be a proxy for force, and a way to coerce others into acting. They can also be a tool of negotiation, allowing us to discover the passengers have a keg of gunpowder and matches, and are intent that it remain "their money or all our lives".

Ian C

A good friend of mine works under cover in the belly of the neoliberal beast in a major bank. He notes that the great majority of his colleagues on vast salaries and vaster bonuses talk endlessly of their 'compensation'. And they use the word advisedly. They really do see the cash as compensation for their sacrifice of their own lives to 70-hour weeks and all-night sessions completing work for clients in far-off time zones. They think we should be grateful to them for doing this. All this is completely un-speakable to the general public; and so the bankers must remain silent, while giving the impression of having conversations with Vince and Gideon.

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