Sunday, 20 January 2013

Struggling Croydon is to be "returned to its former glory" by a £1bn plan to build Britain's biggest shopping centre.

The giant, 2.2 million sq ft mall is set to be open in Croydon's town centre before the end of the decade after a landmark agreement between London's two most powerful retail developers.

The scheme will combine the two existing malls in Croydon – The Whitgift Centre and Centrale – in one huge new scheme that will overtake Gateshead's MetroCentre to be the biggest in the country.
Interesting report from The Independent, above, on the new mega-mall for Croydon. So it appears that the remedy for the hangover of 30 years of bubble-growth based on the untenable expansion of consumer credit is......more shopping centres.

What's interesting about the proposal is not just the inability of the rentier-plutocracy to understand that the world as they have always known it, which is to say one of debt-based growth, has irrevocably come to an end, but also that even within that paradigm there exist only a very limited number of practical concepts.

As such, the Croydon Mall is a very good example of what I call a legacy behaviour, which is simply the continuance of an obsolescent practice, long after it has lost efficacy, but before circumstances become adverse enough to prohibit it.

Another example of a legacy behaviour is currently being practised by France in Mali - the imperial intervention long after the end of empire. Britain is of course particularly prone to this kind of legacy behaviour, and as its troops are beginning the pull-out from Afghanistan, it's no surprise that David Cameron is starting to fulminate about North Africa.

This kind of action is normally known as "neo-colonialism" by theorists, but I'm not really convinced by that description, as the level of subsequent exploitation by the Westerners is always substantially lower than would be the case with a real conquering power. I think it's basically a moderately expensive habit that these countries won't really kick until they can economically no longer afford it. It's another reason why I expect chronic hot-clime-interveners France and Great Britain to form an ever-closer relationship in the ensuing decades. The pooled military resources will give them a few more precious years of sorting out the affairs of the natives.

11 comments:

Julian Bond said...

"legacy behaviour" or "descent into patternwork" ?!?

Phil Knight said...

*slaps forehead*

Yes.....they could well be two manifestations of the same basic phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

The french are doing it to protect their uranium supplies. So yes, all notions of neo colonialism are bunk. That's just the left unable to understand realpolitik and substituting it with racism.

Phil Knight said...

Ah, the belief that white people are always rational runs deep.

Anonymous said...

That is the last thing I would ever think. But France is definitely in Mali to protect its sources of Uranium. Look into it and you will certainly come to the same conclusion.

Jason said...

Hoping I'm not too far off-topic, I just want to thank you Phil for your intro to Glubb -- great stuff! Since I'm not necessarily a fan of all-embracing theses I loved his brevity. I'm think of taking a look at Carrol Quigley, did you ever give him a try? Ebert thinks he's worth it.

One question on Glubb: do you know if he ever read Spengler? He seems to talk as if he never did. That would make the parallels all the more convincing particularly the art--->rational science--->second religiousness thing.

Phil Knight said...

I've not read Quigley, but he's on my radar.

As far as I'm aware Glubb hadn't read Spengler - he was an Arabophile (sic?) and most of his books are about Arabian culture and history.

Jason said...

I've also enjoyed your posts on mana BTW. Interesting picture of how the social self and ego obtains chi and the archetypes that builds...

Even to someone as uninterested as you probably are in transcendence, you're showing quite clearly why mystics tend to seek nature and the unpopulous or at least non-social, attaining chi that bypasses society. Shamans have had to wander from the beginning.

Thanks for your insights!

Phil Knight said...

Cheers Jason,

I think I'm open-minded about transcendence-ideas and the "mystical" really. My position at the moment is that these things are psychologically true, and probably also socially true, regardless as to whether they are "real" in the outside world or not.

As to whether they are actually "real", I'm playing that one by ear, so to speak....

Jason said...

That's a good attitude. I began with it myself. Perhaps the only alternative is some kind of faith.

Your latest post reminded me of a night river trip I took in Shanghai not long back. On one bank the Bund with its confident 20s feel -- on the other, massively dwarfing it, pure Bladerunner...

Julian Bond said...

Anonymous @21-jan-2013
See http://atomicinsights.com/2013/01/france-does-not-need-malis-uranium-despite-all-conspiracy-sites-to-the-contrary.html for a more nuanced view especially the comments.

Especially this. So yes, the actions in Mali were not taken to protect uranium resources in Nigeria, but uranium resources in Nigeria are nevertheless involved. And there appears to be a reasonable case that these tensions are long standing, and have been historically rooted in long-standing conflicts with Western imperial powers, and natural resource development in the region (the predominant resources being gold, oil, natural gas, and uranium).