He doesn’t even understand what he himself is saying

Jeebus:

I am writing this sitting in a hotel breakfast room. Simple observation shows that obvious that the assumption that we are indifferent to others is false. People are cooperating over the breakfast buffet. That buffet shows that someone cares – and profit alone cannot explain that. The staff are attentive, and very clearly being respected. The interaction of those within the room is interesting to observe – most especially at the tables where colleagues are meeting before a working day: the interactions are clearly about more than personal gain. There are enquiries made as to well-being that are obviously sincere: the ‘other’ matters at a level far beyond their utility.

And we all know this is true. And yet we organise our economy as if it is not. And that is the paradox that is laying our society, our well-being and our lives low in the twenty first century.

That hotel breakfast room is indeed the economy. And look at it, people are cooperating and it all works.

Which is what we do in that economy. You know, interact and cooperate.

Or as we might put it, try not to use the example of a market economy working to rail against a market economy. The logic doesn’t really work if you do…..

45 comments on “He doesn’t even understand what he himself is saying

  1. Perhaps he is sitting in a hotel in the old USSR where everything including the food and service was hunky-dory. Perhaps he thinks that this breakfast was organised by politicians and bureaucrats. Perhaps he is just a moron

  2. He obviously doesn’t get out much. Maybe this is the first time he’s observed a breakfast buffet and is overwhelmed: “Oh brave new world that has such creatures in it!”

  3. I am writing this sitting in a hotel breakfast room. Simple observation shows that obvious that the assumption that we Comrades are indifferent to others is false. Comrades are cooperating over the breakfast buffet. That buffet shows that Comrades care – and profit alone cannot explain that. The staff are attentive, and very clearly being respected. The interaction of those Comrades within the room is interesting to observe – most especially at the tables where Comrades are meeting before a working day: the interactions are clearly about more than personal gain. There are enquiries made as to well-being that are obviously sincere: the ‘other’ matters at a level far beyond their utility.

    And we Comrades all know this is true. And yet neoliberal capitalist running dogs organise our economy as if it is not. And that is the paradox that is laying our society, our well-being and our lives low in the twenty first century.

    There, fixed it for him..

  4. Clearly he’s lying. The only thing that would catch his eye at breakfast would be his fifth sausage or eleventy first piece of bacon.

  5. I take it that there are no Germans in the room. They just take everything they can so they don’t have to buy food during the rest of the day

  6. ‘That buffet shows that someone cares – and profit alone cannot explain that.’

    Yes they do care; they care about the profit, otherwise the buffet would be free and the staff would be working without being paid.

    ‘The staff are attentive…’. Otherwise they get fired or if in some Countries won’t get a tip.

  7. Simple observation shows that obvious that the assumption that we are indifferent to others is false.

    This is why he greeted everyone he saw in the hotel personally, paid close attention to every single person he saw that day, their clothing, facial features, hair colour.

    There were several hundred people on the train this morning. If I wasn’t indifferent to 99% of them I’d go stark staring mad. The train driver drove the train into the city; they do it every day and have done for years so I was indifferent to it. If I was on a plane and the pilot successfully crash landed a defective aeroplane I would be less indifferent to it.

    Anyway, capitalism and making a profit usually entails showing an interest in the customer and their interests, it is why the Guardian reading middle-class snobs hate it so much. Imagine having to show interest in what awful working class people want! It’s appalling.

  8. One passage really struck me as odd

    “colleagues are meeting before a working day: the interactions are clearly about more than personal gain. There are enquiries made as to well-being that are obviously sincere”

    Does he only converse with others while buying stuff or lecturing them? Has he never practised the art of conversation? Has he never seen people chatting before? It makes you wonder how he got his wife. Was it by mail-order?

  9. I must have missed the part where he described offering to share his hotel room and breakfast with someone else who hadn’t paid for it, you know, in the spirit the economics of cooperation.

  10. To be to him though his ideal society has, throughout history, created things which bring people together. Day-long food queues, to name but one.

  11. In Australia, restaurant staff are trained to glide silently through the restaurant making eye contact with no one. Even if you do manage to catch their attention, it is unlikely the requested beverage will arrive before you’ve finished your meal.

  12. I prefer to book through NeoliberalHotels.com.

    The staff are on minimum wage and don’t give a crap, but you can give them a slap. The buffet is a free for all with many a weaker member of society ending up on their arse after having been elbowed out of the way by someone taking their eggs order. When meeting colleagues for brekkies, chat is usually of the “get your backside into gear or you can clear your desk, you useless waste of space” variety. And that’s the 5 star neoliberal hotels.

  13. Can I express smug self-satisfaction?. He’s staying in a hotel where the breakfast is a buffet? The dizzy heights he has reached! Wouldn’t eat one of those if you paid me. Find I’ve had the misfortune to be staying where that’s the option. Go find a decent restaurant. Where the truckers eat is favourite. The Joy of Capitalism. Beats muesli, stale croissants & a hard boiled egg.

  14. @diogenes ” It makes you wonder how he got his wife. Was it by mail-order?” and then they find out what an arsehole he is and leave him. No wonder he’s billy no mates if he thinks friendly behaviour is unusual.

  15. Anyone remember how shit British Rail buffets were? Back when a bureaucrat of the state was serving coffees at stations rather than Starbucks or WH Smith?

  16. The interaction of those within the room is interesting to observe – most especially at the tables where colleagues are meeting before a working day: the interactions are clearly about more than personal gain. There are enquiries made as to well-being that are obviously sincere: the ‘other’ matters at a level far beyond their utility.

    Really? Given that Richard Murphy does not know any of these people personally, how can he accurately determine the actual and baseline utility of the ‘other’ matters he describes? The obvious answer is that he can’t.

  17. Diogenes – ref the Germans. Absolutely right. I worked in a hotel and saw food slipping into German pockets, especially when an ultra-religious Christian group was staying. Their tour guide warned us.
    They had never heard of the commandment against stealing, funny that. It’s fairly basic.

  18. Economics has been used as a mechanism to propagate a pernicious myth, which is that all that matters in life is us. And by us I do not refer to a collective noun. I instead use the word to indicate supposedly disconnected and indifferent individuals. Economics has taken an assumption made to make the maths that it idolises simple enough for economists to handle and turned it into an ideology. It has promoted a cult of selfishness. And everything that we are suffering follows from that.

    The usual: A grandiose, fact-free claim used to set up an equally grandiose demand for the complete dismantling of existing society and its replacement with a new, Murphy-approved society.

    What a tiresome little twat he is.

  19. and of course it goes without saying that he is using the word “utility”, presumably to remind us that he is an “economist”, but without any appreciation of what it means

  20. The argument that “in real life people often cooperate voluntarily, ergo people should accept top down intense government control of everything” is not a new one. Not necessarily logical, but hardly new.

    In the US it’s been used in context of “the pioneers cooperated and banded together in wagon trains, so rugged individualism is myth and the government should control everything (all in the name of cooperation)”.

  21. Diogenes said:
    “Does he only converse with others while buying stuff or lecturing them? ”

    He lectures at everyone, even when he’s buying stuff from them.

  22. When I was on holiday a few weeks ago, in furrin, I waited 50 minutes for a grilled sammich in a not particularly busy cafe (beating by a full 25 minutes my previous record at the Swiss Cottage leisure centre, for a so-called steak sammich).

    The staff in furrin were lovely, tho.

    Is that what he’s getting at?

  23. Murphy’s infantile observations are of an environment where it is in almost everyone’s interests to be compliant, non-confrontational, co-operative and civil, if not friendly so no surprises there. What matters more is the environment when there are no such incentives.

    Rather ironic therefore for him to pen that absurdly (I nearly borrowed his own cliché staggeringly) simplistic article on his blog, where his own antagonistic, insulting and irascible behaviour – to anyone who does not have a tongue inserted up the fragrant Murphy arse – is on public view.

    There is a solution though – to throw the un-cooperative cvnt off a tall building.

  24. BF There is a solution though – to throw the un-cooperative cvnt off a tall building.

    It’s the 11th September…

  25. Edward Lud said:
    “When I was on holiday a few weeks ago, in furrin, I waited 50 minutes for a grilled sammich in a not particularly busy cafe”

    I had a similar experience this summer, but had to leave after an hour because the car parking had run out. And the butty wasn’t even to be grilled. That was the Cotswolds; strange country.

  26. What’s Murphy doing in a hotel anyway? I thought his Green beliefs stopped him travelling? Or is he just incapable of making his own breakfast?

  27. What’s Murphy doing in a hotel anyway? I thought his Green beliefs stopped him travelling?

    No, his green beliefs stop you travelling.

  28. @Diogenes September 11, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    I take it that there are no Germans in the room. They just take everything they can so they don’t have to buy food during the rest of the day

    ROFL – you win

    .
    @Rob September 11, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Anyway, capitalism and making a profit usually entails showing an interest in the customer and their interests

    It is why the Guardian reading middle-class snobs hate it so much. Imagine having to show interest in what awful working class people want! It’s appalling.

    It is why the Guardian (and Mirror) readers work in public sector – customer service not required

    .
    @bis

    When I’m staying in a hotel for work I have fruit & muesli and wrap a danish pastry for later – quick & easy

    On holiday I go for a relaxing full English breakfast, chat etc

    .
    @MBE

    Good point. No need to waste time with dragging to roof and throwing

  29. “That buffet shows that someone cares – and profit alone cannot explain that.”

    Why not? Would not competition for profit explain that. Sure, you can lay out a crap buffet and make a few bucks on it – but if someone lays out a better one then . . . wouldn’t people go to *it*? Meaning you stop making money? So you have to up your game? If nothing else, you have to be good enough that people will be willing to eat your swill rather than forgo the meal.

    “The staff are attentive . . . ” Yes. Because they are being paid to. And if they were less attentive then they would be less efficient and then they would be paid less. So they’re maximizing their own profit by being worth a damn so they get paid more.

    And to take this into more nihilistic territory –

    “the interactions are clearly about more than personal gain. There are enquiries made as to well-being that are obviously sincere: the ‘other’ matters at a level far beyond their utility.”

    No, that is their utility. These people are valuable to each other – if only for emotional reasons. So they are willing to pay attention to and care for each other. Notice how they don’t ask the wait staff how they’re doing? Because they don’t care. Those people fill a need through their service, not social interaction.

    Nobody in that room is being nice to each other for the sake of being nice to each other. They’re being nice to each other because being nice to each other is the best way they know to get what they want.

    Hardcore: Everything is an economic transaction. Everything is a trade. Economics is not about money, its about value.

  30. “Ljh
    September 11, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    He obviously doesn’t get out much. Maybe this is the first time he’s observed a breakfast buffet and is overwhelmed: “Oh brave new world that has such creatures in it!””

    Oh no – he’s highly familiar with buffets of all kinds.

  31. “RichardT
    September 11, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    What’s Murphy doing in a hotel anyway? I thought his Green beliefs stopped him travelling? Or is he just incapable of making his own breakfast?”

    The wife had enough.

  32. Re 11 September

    “Drones” Attack World Trade Center

    In case anyone wonders why so many look with a jaundiced eye at the New York Times and other media outlets of its propagandistic ilk:

    Here’s The Outrageous 9/11 Tweet The New York Times Quickly Deleted
    Eighteen years to the day radical Islamic terrorists killed 2,977 innocents on American soil, The New York Times posted an inaccurate tweet that earned the left-leaning outlet a flood of criticism and prompted a quick deletion and correction.

    Note that compared to the original appalling tweet, the corrected tweet completely turns into a pretzel to avoid placing any blame, oops, not PC, erm.. responsibility on the islamic terrorists who actually committed the acts.

    The best reply on the link…

    Andy Peppers: I refuse to say “airplanes” were responsible for 9/11, as it hurts the vast majority of airplanes who aren’t radicalized and had nothing to do with the attack. I think we should stop airplanophobia because it always leads to violence. Most planes just want to live happy lives with their families.

    https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/drones-attack-world-trade-center.295211/

  33. @bis

    Didn’t say work was. In my mind a working day starts from leaving bed and ends at returning to home/hotel (lunch is same I’d prefer 15min and leave 45min earlier rather than an hour wasted). The work time thus minimised.

    .
    Working together at breakfast:

    Africans in Paris have held a protest against black on black violence in SA:

    ” If you want to kill anybody, kill white people, kill chinese people, do not kill your brother.”

    https://twitter.com/BasedPoland/status/1170327881744101378

  34. @Diogenes – wasn’t it Dachau?

    I seem to remember posting here at the time a scrap of doggerel that I ascribed to the bard of Ely who declared that he could himself well have been an inmate there for telling economics ministers or Reichsbank presidents like Funk and Schacht how to do their job. It went something like this:

    When I visit Dachau,
    Somehow,
    Everything I see
    Makes me think of me.

    Clearly this needs rethinking.

    On the steam train
    Through that entrance again
    “Arbeit macht frei”
    It could well have been I
    Among the pundits
    Despatched to Auschwitz.

  35. WE DON’T “ORGANISE” THE ECONOMY, THE ECONOMY ORGANISES ITSELF. Which, if he had any ability to notice the universe around himself, he would have noticed in the dining room. Anybody trying to “organise” the economy just kills it off.

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