Packaging News, 5th January 2012
Welcome to the New Year in all its revivalist socialist splendour. I don’t know about you but the more masochistic part of me has missed the Brezhnev era and is pleased to see the return of its entertaining mix of incomprehensible rhetoric and frankly barmy methods.
I am so motivated by the recent revival of unreal-politik that I am going to put myself forward as a candidate for the Soviet Sustainability Planning Department, Notting Hill branch, and look forward to your support as we march on towards a truly socialist future full of jolly targets and state intervention.
However, I think I can be a lot more ambitious than the current revisionist Trotskyite lackeys who lack the sweep and ambition of a truly Brezhnevian planning era. Why put forward a feeble one or two percent increase in recycling rated when, at a stroke, we can solve all of our woes by proposing 100%, 200%, perhaps even more?
However, I can only take credit for rediscovering this masterful piece of Soviet economic engineering. Comrade Leonid Brezhnev should be the object of your awe and adoration for it was under his leadership that socialist planners discovered this breakthrough in mastering continuous economic growth. Under Brezhnev productivity leaped ahead in mighty bounds, the Soviet economy booming to new heights as targets were revised upwards at the stroke of a pen.
So Comrades, I propose to increase recycling rates to 200%, ensuring each year we recover twice what we produce, driving waste into negative growth and boosting our economic performance to bold new heights. After all, the Soviets never bothered with any of this silly infrastructure or process investment nonsense, nor did they bother to provide the money to deliver the targets. That’s the beauty of post-endogenous socialist economic theory – all you need to do is set the targets.
After all, the Brezhnev policy worked splendidly until the pens ran out and no one could increase the targets anymore. This glitch in performance was rumoured to have been solved by the use of a pencil to increase the targets for Pen Manufacture Factory 7, Moscow district, but regrettably the genius of Brezhnev passed on to that great workers paradise in the sky the very same day.
Luckily for us the power of this technique has been rediscovered and we can now march on to embrace a glorious new future of target engineering without the burdensome need for the government to invest any time in providing a nationwide recycling infrastructure, or the spondoolies to support it. (You do know the government had converted to spondoolies don’t you? Allegedly it’s the safest currency around at the moment. Allegedly).
A regular column with Packaging News, ‘Design Talk with Steve Kelsey’, January 2012