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  • Balla Boy
    replied
    Originally posted by mr chips View Post
    I agree with the broad thrust of the article though, particularly this paragraph:

    "If you doubt this, consider what the essential functions of the modern state look like to any politicised person under 30. The state comes to the rescue of banks while snatching away benefits. It strides into sovereign countries, and commits serial human rights abuses. It subjects doctors, nurses and teachers to ludicrous targets. It watches us constantly via CCTV, and hacks our email and phone data. It farms out some of its dirtiest business to private firms. This is not a vision of modern government invented by the current lot: in Britain, it decisively came to life thanks to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Whether knowingly or not, they demonstrated an essential modern truth: that contrary to the vanities of the "free market", neoliberal capitalism needs the big centralised state to clear its way and enforce its insanities."
    I'd agree entirely. John Harris and I agree on a great deal as broadly socially liberal, economically left types.

    What he highlights, I think, is one of the great unrecognised shifts over the last few years. Harris addresses the left, but the cognitive dissonance is felt most keenly by the right, I think.

    We have spent decades with a Right/Left split that insisted that Capitalism was about individual freedom, lack of government intervention, private enterprise and all that. "Leftism" (to use the right wing monstrosity that covers everything from Social Democracy to Maoism) was about state planning, restrictions on individual freedom etc.

    The reality, of course, is that Capitalism is politically agnostic. Capital will side with democrats, fascists or (in the case of China) Communists according to what suits its needs. It will embrace authoritarianism to suppress dissent and protest while cleaving the to rhetoric of individual liberty to resist attempts to regulate it.

    It will encourage the state toward monopolistic service provision as long as that provision is outsourced, while insisting on market multiplicity if it is not.

    It will hire mercenaries or pliable governments to murder women and children from Ogoniland to the Amazon.

    There is no pro-capitalist/anti-statist divide, because Capital has captured the state from legislature through executive.

    It is, therefore, of no surprise to me that a modern state should be in the business of compelling people to work for corporations in return for benefits below the minimum wage. It is no surprise to me that it would be authoritarian, outlawing protest and crushing dissent. It's of no surprise to me that it should place the interests of capital and property above the interests of people and communities. Because it is a capitalist entity.

    That's not to say that the left cannot be authoritarian - it most definitely can. But we have had a live lab test for thirty odd years now that has demonstrated that the alliance of capitalism and libertarianism kicked off by Rand et al as a mutation of anarchism in the mid-twentieth century is theoretically and practically worthless.

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  • mr chips
    replied
    I agree with the broad thrust of the article though, particularly this paragraph:

    "If you doubt this, consider what the essential functions of the modern state look like to any politicised person under 30. The state comes to the rescue of banks while snatching away benefits. It strides into sovereign countries, and commits serial human rights abuses. It subjects doctors, nurses and teachers to ludicrous targets. It watches us constantly via CCTV, and hacks our email and phone data. It farms out some of its dirtiest business to private firms. This is not a vision of modern government invented by the current lot: in Britain, it decisively came to life thanks to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Whether knowingly or not, they demonstrated an essential modern truth: that contrary to the vanities of the "free market", neoliberal capitalism needs the big centralised state to clear its way and enforce its insanities."

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  • Balla Boy
    replied
    Big Government in action

    Eamo reposting John Harris. We are through the looking glass :)

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  • Eamo
    replied
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...ernment-market

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  • mr chips
    replied
    Originally posted by Sulla View Post
    Keep banging that drum Eamo.

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]7700[/ATTACH]
    All of a sudden, I got rhythm ...

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  • Hugged Rugger
    replied
    only difference with them is they say they'll vote no but then vote yes

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  • barleys chinos
    replied
    Has he welsh cousins

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  • Sulla
    replied
    Keep banging that drum Eamo.

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  • Eamo
    started a topic Big Government in action

    Big Government in action

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...g-8899083.html
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