(re post 12):
As for Bernstein, my quick perusal (plus mass hysteria from the econ dept!), indicates that he's best forgotten. People have been assessing risk for thousands of years.
For example, Athenian clay pottery was well-known throughout the entire Mediterranian, and beyond, into Gaul. The Gauls, btw, loved the pots for decorative purposes, but refused to purchase the amphorae, because they stored their own wine into oak.
This is how, btw, native Gallic cercus fragments glazed with wine resins can be found in the Black Sea, along with Athenian pottery.
While the industrial basis of Gallic cooperage seems sketchy, the volume of that found in un-gallic places clearly indicates big bizness.
As for the Athenian pottery, we have sites, kilns, receipts, salary and cost accounting to demonstrate what everyone knew at the time: forget all of that philosophical stuff--Athens is a trader giant with its own port, Pireaus.
In brief, if you know that the economics of factory production exist in many places and times, would it not be prima-facie absurd to assign the virtue of 'risk assessment' only to your own epoch?
Besides, any reading of the massive literature on greek military affairs woud indicate the hellenes to be the acknowledged mastes of strategic risk. Whty would one not, therefore assume the same care in economic matters?
Speaking as second-generation half-Greek ancestry, Bernstein's notion goes far beyond the irresponsibly un-read. It's nearly racially offensive.
Moreover, he's using a poorly- researched concept (what has he read?) to raise a bully-pulpit cheerleader defense of an idea that needs no defending: todays' capitalists are somehow 'special'.
Well, not. For the corporate boardroom-people to read his nonsense and think of how special they are is to indulge in 'hubris'.
Worse still, their vanity is being provoked by an 'alagapalon'. Not good.
(Edited by Matthews on 1/29, 6:27pm)