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October 23, 2009



I think the pertinent question here is: Is there anything that can be done to stop the Boots* of this world? Govts across the West and beyond begin all policy from the viewpoint that what is good for business is good for society. And I mean all policy decicisions, however tangental to overt business exercise, can be analysed through the Neo-liberal Capitalist perspective.

Tbh, when I first came upon the Progressive's current exercise which uses, for want of a better term, classical economic analysis to highlight the deficencies of current govt policy, I thought the approach rather wishy-washy. After a rather lenghty survey of Socialism in Europe and beyond, the Progressive approach seems like the only game in town. Leftists, of any hue, are either intellectually bankrupt political economy wise; content to argue amongst themselves about obscure Marxist analysis without creating real world policies; or are just dressed up in a reddish tinge of NLC.

On another site, you asked where the passion was. It doesn't exist in any degree. NLC has driven very large wedges between various wage earners. While the left can get righteously indignant about the BNP appearance on telly, it can't honestly debate the fact that agency workers are being used to deflate all workers wages. The left, by and large, doesn't have the nous to counteract NLC tactics. There is a lack of honesty, vision and adapability required to put forward a more comprehensive alternative to the present system. While the Progressive economists can provide the economic ammunition, the broad left doesn't have the policy vision or philosophical underpinnings required to use the ammunition provided.

An entirely new approach is needed and the left hasn't advanced such an approach in its totality; nor in fragmentary forms. There is a deep psychological uneasiness within the wage earning cohort. On the one hand, they instincively know that they have to have some sort of collective bargaining power to ward off the excesses of the ownership cohort but they also believe or act, in parallel, by being repulsed by the image of a state, party or any collective system that is portrayed as directing every facit of their lives and therefore diluting individual identity. (There is a bit or irony at play here, imo, as Statist Capitalism is becoming a reality in the West. The mythology of free market doctrine masks the wholesale manipulation of the economy and society towards certain outcomes that favour select cohorts. However, there is spreading unease about this situation also.) It is in this nexus between individual freedom and the necessity of social cohesion in which passion is stirred. It is exactly where leftists fail most miserably - they operate in a philosophical vacuum. Beyond wholesale acceptance of neo-liberalist philosophy, the left is largely unable to debate and create policies which address the tensions between individual liberty and collective responsibility; no matter talk about value distribtuion.

*I could just imagine the cartoon imagery of the jack boot stepping on the poor worker which would have appeared as a matter of fact in the 60s, 70s, or 80s. Such would seem trite these days, if not still relevant. Maybe more so.

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If we accept that most of this money would have been spent (those on low and average incomes have a higher propensity to spend, unlike those on higher incomes who have a higher propensity to save), then that’s money not flowing to the proverbial local shops.

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