Saturday, August 13, 2011


Continuing a sport theme.

Today the England cricket team beat India by a huge margin, and so replaced India at the top of the world rankings.

Andrew Strauss has been captain of England since 2009.

The chief executive of the International Cricket Council, Haroon Lorgat [1]:
On behalf of the ICC, I would like to congratulate Andrew Strauss, Andy Flower and the whole team for becoming the number-one ranked Test team in the world. I know they were determined to be number-one and through careful planning and a series of clinical performances, they have deservedly achieved their goal. They were clearly the most consistent side in the world over the past few years as evidenced by their 19 out of 30 Test wins and only four loses. 
At the end of a long series of tributes [2], a comment by former England player and journalist Vic Marks:
Strauss has done a terrific job as captain, they respect him so much, he's got no ego at all.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

American capitalism and the common good

This is from the last few paragraphs of "The practice of management" (1958) by Peter Drucker.  He is writing from, and about the USA.

Two hundred and fifty years ago an English pamphleteer, de Mandeville, summed up the spirit of the new commercial age as "private vices become public benefits" - selfishness unwittingly and automatically turns unto the common good.   He may have been right; economists since Adam Smith have been arguing the point without reaching agreement. 
But whether he was right or wrong is irrelevant; no society can lastingly be built on such belief. [...] 
Fifty years ago de Mandeville's principle was as fully accepted here as it is in Europe.  But today it has become possible if not commonplace in this country to assert the opposite principle that the business enterprise must be so managed as to make the public good become the private good of the enterprise.  In this lies the real meaning of the "American Revolution" of the twentieth century.  That more and more of our management claim it to be their responsibility to realize this new principle in their daily actions is our best hope for the future of our country and society, and perhaps for the the future of Western society altogether.