Thursday, January 17, 2013

Two Examples of the Appropriate Use of the IH metaphor

CCTV NewsVideo: Editor:James  on a “Bite of Chin” 
“UDF accuses invisible hand for party constant trouble”
The United Democratic Front (UDF) on Tuesday has accused some hands outside the party for the for the constant disagreements among the members.
I have noted several recent uses of the Invisible Hand Metaphor that are grammatically correct though I do not necessarily concur with their sentiments.
Internal organizational disputes are prone to allegations and counter-allegations of conspiracies and the IH metaphor is a powerful, because sinister, figure of speech used to denigrate or to damage unspecified other people, who may have quite legitimate grievances and aspirations. 
Attack their alleged or implied secret and invisible identities as an "invisible Hand", which if believed by the intended audience, undermines the substance of their possibly legitimate aspirations for a change of policies or personnel.
I have formed the impression, though so far I have not collected data, that the use of the IH metaphor (inspired by its over-use by modern economists and media publicists) in these political roles is resorted to mainly by dictatorial rulers in countries forming the usual suspects and dominant party leaders facing challenges to their authority and the usual privileges of mismanaging large budgets.  
I have also noted an occasional opposition using the IH metaphor against claims that the people in power are wielding secret campaigns against them, or vice versa.
Those convinced that there is an actual (‘miraculous’) IH working in the economy may wish to reflect on this trend internationally, both to consider how metaphors are used in English and how their own mis-use in economics has drifted away from Adam Smith’s metaphoric use in 1759 and 1776.
PS: I should add that neither use of the "invisible hand" in the above examples has anything to do with Adam Smith's quite different use of the IH metaphor in his works.


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