Complex financial instruments come and go, but the hearts of men remain the same. Greed, vanity and hubris we always have with us, as well as a weakness for the soft sophisticated lie over the hard plain truth. About human nature, tradition – the accumulated wisdom of mankind – is never wrong. True conservatives – as opposed to those who confuse mammon-worship with moral and intellectual principle – know that a tolerable order can only exist when most people live by the moral laws articulated in time-worn banalities.
So, send the tumbrels into the streets to carry off the heads of sophisticates who believed that we had repealed the laws of economics and human nature by our cleverness. The Gods of the Copybook Headings demand propitiation. We shall offer them scapegoats and try to forget our own complicity in the coming catastrophe.
After all, these scoundrels did not elect themselves, nor was there an outcry heard in the land against Wall Street rapacity and recklessness when our 401(k)s were rising, and all but the lowliest plebeian was moving into his very own McMansion.
Along those lines, there’s one proverb that we will all become painfully acquainted with in the years to come: You reap what you sow.