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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by gun ainm View Post
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    perhaps the natural conservatism of the majority is a problem - resist change to the status quo until one day the fascists knock on their door - oops too late.
    I think this is a bigger barrier to change than many realise. Unfortunately, "I'm alright, Jack" is generally the default position until, well, Jack isnae alright - then watch Jack howl with indignation.
    Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'...

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    Quote Originally Posted by gun ainm View Post
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    In general i'm in agreement with that, although to be fair to Jezza there is no point writing a manifesto now. I suspect by ignoring reality you mean ignoring the reality of the neo-liberal orthodoxy.

    dont want to necessarily get in to the specifics of current labour policy but take the example rent controls - are they disastrous? and for whom? useful report here http://allofusfirst.org/tasks/render...A150DF5D14ACD1 on why they might be a useful tool here in Scotland. other countries employ them widely without 'disaster'. We need to focus less on wealth creation and more on social utility and policies like this should be considered. happy to hear of potentially better solutions of course.
    I think rent control is a sticking plaster. And it leads to lack of investment in properties. Where I lived in London was practically slum housing in my lifetime because there was no point in people owning and improving the housing. Personally I think you need to tackle the problem head on and increase supply, while also providing some subsidised housing.


    modern usage of neo-liberalism (to my mind anyway) describes a form of capitalism born of hayek and friedman and other economists, you could contrast it with the Keynesian capitalism it largely replaced. Its a political ideology that was used justify and entrench the existence of the elite and has morphed through the 70s and 80s through to now to enable that continuity (paul Mason does a good description of the distinct phases in his book postcapitalism irrc. its great success is that superficially it came to be almost universally accepted by the public as 'common sense' or 'the way things are'. its adherents often don't even admit to it being an ideology. Analysis reveals serious flaws however which were always going to lead to its collapse - the need for continuous growth. which resulted in an economy that was built on little that was tangible. that's a different thread though. Characterised by free markets, small state, privatisation, regressive taxation, deregulated labour markets etc.
    Have you read Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher? It's very good on the 'common sense' aspect.

    I'd be interested in what you think those serious flaws are, because I think that's the heart of our conversation. I don't think they are systemic, or at least I don't think they are fatal, in that I feel they can be alleviated by a strong welfare state etc. Or to be more detailed, I think the benefits of capitalism are so strong that it's worth living with its disadvantages as long as one can find a way to ameliorate them - and I believe you can, actually fairly easily if the will is there.

    unconvinced it has dragged billions out of poverty, china for example has eschewed the 'washington consensus' and built its economy on mercantilism (as has Japan and to an extent Germany). undeniably there has been a bubble effect but this is not sustainable in the long term. genuinely i think its collapsing all around us and there's no way we can repair the roof while it falls in
    By your definition all those countries would fall under your hammer. If you are aiming to rip up what we have now, you would without doubt be changing things in Germany and Japan as they are still essentially capitalist entities with quite small differences from, say, the UK. China is perhaps more different still, but I'd be interested to see which of your structural flaws it is free from?

    Between 1990 and 2010 the number of people living in extreme poverty in developing countries fell by more than half. This is an extraordinary achievement. I've said it before, but if you have a system that you want to put in place instead of what we have - I mean a real root-and-branch alteration - you'd better be pretty sure it's good, because it'll have to go far to beat that. And as I say, your baseline is disaster, because every time this has been tried before it has ended in failure.

    you dont think the problems are systemic, that they are somehow 'natural'? maybe you can point me to the good times when it did reduce inequality either here or globally.
    I suppose somewhat controversially I'm not that interested in equality. If everyone gets richer I don't mind if the top 5% are getting even richer. Would you prefer everyone got poorer but the top echelons by more? Because that would be more equal but, I think, less desirable.
    my argument would be that the failures are a direct product of the system and i think any serious analysis would bear that out. 'tweaking' is not going to solve the fundamental tensions inherent in the system. I do agree the left needs to articulate an alternative vision and has by and large failed to do so (in a way that can capture the publics imagination) - there is a however a lot of good work being done by economists and thinkers out there. perhaps the natural conservatism of the majority is a problem - resist change to the status quo until one day the fascists knock on their door - oops too late.
    Well as I say I'd love to hear what these systemic tensions are.
    so what do I know

  3. #53
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    @gun ainm while I am slightly less sanguine than Henry as I believe globalisation has changed the capitalist game hugely, it is worth noting that we continue to have socialism as contemporary yardstick;

    - in terms of 'quasi socialism' we have Greece which has fared among the worst from the economic storm
    - in terms of a new experiment in fully fledged socialism we have Venezuela - descending into an abyss
    - in terms of mature socialism we have Cuba - a despotic state where the deeper end of our poverty issues would constitute affluence and North Korea which is lacking in a number of fronts.

    Capitalism appears to still be the least worst option; it's not really even close tbh

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryLB View Post
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    I think rent control is a sticking plaster. And it leads to lack of investment in properties. Where I lived in London was practically slum housing in my lifetime because there was no point in people owning and improving the housing. Personally I think you need to tackle the problem head on and increase supply, while also providing some subsidised housing.
    if ever there were a sticking plaster it is the provision of the crumbs offered by 'some' subsidised housing. More than 50% of all houses in private rented sector don't meet the basic standard, there are huge costs to society (particularly in terms of the housing benefit subsidy we pay to landlords) not to mention the impact increasing rents has during a period of real terms (or actual) pay cuts are the norm. if ever there was an illustration of how the market does not benefit society then this is it.


    Have you read Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher? It's very good on the 'common sense' aspect.

    I'd be interested in what you think those serious flaws are, because I think that's the heart of our conversation. I don't think they are systemic, or at least I don't think they are fatal, in that I feel they can be alleviated by a strong welfare state etc. Or to be more detailed, I think the benefits of capitalism are so strong that it's worth living with its disadvantages as long as one can find a way to ameliorate them - and I believe you can, actually fairly easily if the will is there.

    nope haven't read that and i'd counter that with paul mason's book postcapitalism which is basically an analysis of your question - cut n paste from a synopisis

    In reality the neoliberal model can only deliver: austerity, stagnation, low productivity, the stalled rollout of transformative information technologies — and the endless creation of low-skilled, barely necessary jobs. When it grows it creates asset bubbles and market collapses, and every boom and bust cycle destroys more of the welfare state; more of the remnants of social solidarity from the post-war era. This is not a temporary or accidental crisis. It means neoliberalism, far from being the midwife of a third industrial revolution, has stifled it.

    it is worth being clear its neo-liberalism rather than capitalism that the specific critique targets. hopefully i explained the distinction...>?

    By your definition all those countries would fall under your hammer. If you are aiming to rip up what we have now, you would without doubt be changing things in Germany and Japan as they are still essentially capitalist entities with quite small differences from, say, the UK. China is perhaps more different still, but I'd be interested to see which of your structural flaws it is free from?

    Between 1990 and 2010 the number of people living in extreme poverty in developing countries fell by more than half. This is an extraordinary achievement. I've said it before, but if you have a system that you want to put in place instead of what we have - I mean a real root-and-branch alteration - you'd better be pretty sure it's good, because it'll have to go far to beat that. And as I say, your baseline is disaster, because every time this has been tried before it has ended in failure.
    i'll try and come back to this when i have more time


    I suppose somewhat controversially I'm not that interested in equality. If everyone gets richer I don't mind if the top 5% are getting even richer. Would you prefer everyone got poorer but the top echelons by more? Because that would be more equal but, I think, less desirable.
    firstly reducing inequality is not the same advocating for total equality and not everyone is getting richer (far from it).

    Secondly my preference would be for neither, just because you posit a choice between those 2 options doesn't mean they are the only available alternatives.

    It seems you're less than convinced that there is anything wrong with neoliberalism, yes it has proven remarkably resilient and capable of evolutionary development but ever since the financial collapse of 2008 the curtain has been lifted - its clear that the market does not self regulate, that the state is required to prop up the banks, that the state ultimately underpins the entire economy - its the antithesis of the doctrine. Even the IMF, the great proselytiser for neo-liberalism in years gone by, has admitted its failures and contradictions - see Even the IMF Now Admits Neoliberalism Has Failed

    still even in the face of all the evidence and the emergent threat of fascism/nationalist authoritarianism it can be hard to disavow a faith so embedded. Thats why we need a new vision that can capture the public's imagination
    Last edited by gun ainm; 14-12-16 at 16:18.
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  5. #55
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    Poor old Paul mason. He seems to have malfunctioned since brexit and trump - his guardian columns which while I might disagree with them, were well written , have descended into incoherent gibberish.

    Post capitalism was quite good though - as far as I got, kinda gave up when the reactionary economics came out. But before that it was a well written digest of what you could have witnessed 'digital visionaries' rabbiting on about in the IT press / conferences of the last decade. Also some genuinely interesting stuff such as out takes from kapital suggesting Marx realised that technology would show up his theories for nonsense but then not including those sections.

    The mix of things you attribute to neo liberalism , citing him, is an example of the dead end he seemed to be going into when I stopped reading. Some of these are absolutely a product of neo liberalism - the globalising bits that people like mason support. Others are less coherent ; what does the stalled rollout of transformative technologies actually mean for example? A tad sweeping I'd suggest - technology driven transformation has been huge over the last couple of decades.

    Most oddly of all he seems to simultaneously celebrate technology making labour obsolete while bemoaning the actual initial stages of that - a doublethink that is all over his latest columns where everything that is good in one paragraph seems to be bad in the next.

  6. #56
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    @HenryLB, I'm curious - do you own or rent your home?

    I'm asking simply because I wonder whether or not you really realise that there are any issues involved here other than the macro-economic. Whereas for me, there's a question of a "sense of home" in play, one that profoundly affects one's outlook, and more specifically engagement with and embedment in a local community.

    I am currently clinging on to my flat where I've lived for nearly 7 years - it's my 8-yr-old daughter's childhood home, she can't remember anywhere else - because the best contract I can be offered is a 1-year rolling lease, which comes with rent increases at the pleasure of the landlord (I say "can be offered" - probably more accurate to say "will be offered"). I'm now at the limit of what my income will bear. Presumably, after living in and looking after the property for 7 years, I must now simply submit to the fact that what my income will bear is now exceeded by what "the market" will bear. So here in Edinburgh, as you've surely seen in London, it's time for the likes of me to up sticks and fcuk off somewhere else, so that good folks with more disposable income can populate the area. Natural selection, right? "The market" will find the level?

    I ask you: what about people? Increase supply, you say. Well, there's a whole load of new Cala homes on the site of the old Brunswick Street postal depot. I wonder if I can afford one of them? Can I fcuk.

    It's one thing if you're say, in your twenties and moving about, or deciding to work in London for a few years, but when you're a family who values roots and security, you view the rental sector in a wholly different light, I can assure you. The insecurity and sense of helplessness is profound.
    Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'...

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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    @gun ainm while I am slightly less sanguine than Henry as I believe globalisation has changed the capitalist game hugely, it is worth noting that we continue to have socialism as contemporary yardstick;

    - in terms of 'quasi socialism' we have Greece which has fared among the worst from the economic storm
    - in terms of a new experiment in fully fledged socialism we have Venezuela - descending into an abyss
    - in terms of mature socialism we have Cuba - a despotic state where the deeper end of our poverty issues would constitute affluence and North Korea which is lacking in a number of fronts.

    Capitalism appears to still be the least worst option; it's not really even close tbh
    I'd argue that it was the troika that devastated the Greek economy, loading unsustainable debt then socialising that on default but anyways this isn't about that. Clearly your two latter examples dont present an attractive alternative for Scotland either. In the European context the leftist civil war plays out between the 'traditional' social democrats and the new radicals of podemos, die linke and bloc izquierda. While this runs its course - and its essentially a fight between the 'neoliberalism with a human face' politics of Blair and his contemporaries and those trying to imagine an end to austerity - the radical right extremists are taking advantage of the vacuum. I think its fairly clear the centre left has had its day, there is no leadership, vision or imagination - the french socialists the latest to be swept away as irrelevant (particularly to the younger generations). The same will happen to British Labour unless they can reinvent themselves (and with Corbyn perhaps that remains a possibility certainly more so than it might have been under a Tristram Hunt or the like). If the civil war isn't settled and a new vision found I suspect the left will offer little but impotent opposition - it cannot afford that. DiEM25 perhaps offers at least the start of a vision for the democratic left in europe based on a re-imagining of the EU but its very low key at present.....
    "The old is dying and the new cannot be born. In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms can appear"

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    Quote Originally Posted by aggie View Post
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    @HenryLB, I'm curious - do you own or rent your home?

    I'm asking simply because I wonder whether or not you really realise that there are any issues involved here other than the macro-economic. Whereas for me, there's a question of a "sense of home" in play, one that profoundly affects one's outlook, and more specifically engagement with and embedment in a local community.

    I am currently clinging on to my flat where I've lived for nearly 7 years - it's my 8-yr-old daughter's childhood home, she can't remember anywhere else - because the best contract I can be offered is a 1-year rolling lease, which comes with rent increases at the pleasure of the landlord (I say "can be offered" - probably more accurate to say "will be offered"). I'm now at the limit of what my income will bear. Presumably, after living in and looking after the property for 7 years, I must now simply submit to the fact that what my income will bear is now exceeded by what "the market" will bear. So here in Edinburgh, as you've surely seen in London, it's time for the likes of me to up sticks and fcuk off somewhere else, so that good folks with more disposable income can populate the area. Natural selection, right? "The market" will find the level?

    I ask you: what about people? Increase supply, you say. Well, there's a whole load of new Cala homes on the site of the old Brunswick Street postal depot. I wonder if I can afford one of them? Can I fcuk.

    It's one thing if you're say, in your twenties and moving about, or deciding to work in London for a few years, but when you're a family who values roots and security, you view the rental sector in a wholly different light, I can assure you. The insecurity and sense of helplessness is profound.
    I feel for you. Housing is a social disaster; one with many roots. It's a failure of any kind of capitalism as well - and it's theorist are just as put out by it as left wing economists. In short, it locks the country's capital up in unproductive assets instead of growth producing ventures. A devastating legacy of the new labour years and one repeated in many places where the western model is failing. It's not simply about building more houses; I recall reading at the height of the boom that Britain had more houses per head than ever before - but also lowest ever level of heads per house.

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    @gun ainm - not meant to be flippant but the problem for podemos et al is they need to do more than imagine an end to austerity - they need to come up with a way to achieve. Democratic forms of socialism seem to me to be completely bust by globalisation. The 'right wing socialism' of front national etc is at least theoretically coherent being based in national protectionism; fittingly they are likely to square off against a Thatcherite , exposing all the twists and turns of modern European politics.

    It won't work of course but trying to implement a socialism compatible with free movement is trying to square another circle on top of the first one. Socialism in democratic form relies on taxing the private sector to fund state provided jobs and services. As taxpayer earnings are depressed and capital is free to move on the wind - there's a rather fundamental problem exposed. The dynamic the U.K. pursued in the 00s - flood society with cheap credit, covering up for depressed salaries and encouraging credit based spending that was then taxed to create public sector jobs and raise sector wages - was an example of the last gasp of trying to operate in these conditions. It's done now which is why public sector workers are now suffering similar to private sector peers.

    The only difference is they can stand on a fake high ground and blame government for not giving them more money. Private sector peers are exposed directly to the globalising forces that ultimately affect all, and face criticism for voting in response to that.

    Left wing and right wing ideas are all equally bust. The centre left are gradually accepting that they march with global capitalism, the far left is mired in irreconcilable contradiction, the centre right are seeing their dream of self reliant citizens ripped for arse paper, the far right are making hay but cannot possibly make a protectionist agenda work without the economic might that only the US has.

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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    - in terms of 'quasi socialism' we have Greece which has fared among the worst from the economic storm
    - in terms of a new experiment in fully fledged socialism we have Venezuela - descending into an abyss
    - in terms of mature socialism we have Cuba - a despotic state where the deeper end of our poverty issues would constitute affluence and North Korea which is lacking in a number of fronts.
    Next time it'll work, though. Next time.

    so what do I know

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryLB View Post
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    Next time it'll work, though. Next time.

    fair enough if you dont see the need for systemic change - think you will over the next few years at somepoint and then we can return to this thread? in the meantime enjoy the smug

    PS - george monbiot picks p on the theme in an article in today's guardian - i haven't really read him on economics before (his environmental stuff is usually ok and thought provoking) but he does hint at something i suppose i have long belived in - the notion of the commons and community 'ownership' of resources. Living in an areas that has a very high proportion of community land ownership this is something i can easily relate to. The case for despair is made. Now let’s start to get out of the mess we’re in | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian

    note this isnt a manifesto for change rather the start of a conversation but again its someone who recognises the contradictions and inherent flaws of the neo-liberal model (and indeed the old left) - we either evolve or expire
    Last edited by gun ainm; 15-12-16 at 09:51.
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    Monbiot lists a bunch of his hobby horses while exhibiting standard issue patrician racism by rendering brown people as little more than ciphers for his own patrician concerns.

    He doesn't land on any of the problems that are ripping apart western societies let alone hint at solutions (though I'm certainly not blaming him for the latter as I haven't encountered anyone, ever, who has any credible suggestions).

    As for the need for systemic change - there is one, but a reactionary instinct to retreat into old ideas is unlikely to be the answer (not least as they are the most repeatedly demonstrated failed ideas in history)

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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    Monbiot lists a bunch of his hobby horses while exhibiting standard issue patrician racism by rendering brown people as little more than ciphers for his own patrician concerns.

    He doesn't land on any of the problems that are ripping apart western societies let alone hint at solutions (though I'm certainly not blaming him for the latter as I haven't encountered anyone, ever, who has any credible suggestions).

    As for the need for systemic change - there is one, but a reactionary instinct to retreat into old ideas is unlikely to be the answer (not least as they are the most repeatedly demonstrated failed ideas in history)
    no one claims it was easy - i'm not sure in all my time here debating and reading your posts i have ever seen you advocate anything but the status quo (economically). If you do see the need for change due to the failure of the free market it'd be great if you could articulate an alternative. too easy imo to snipe at the sidelines particularly when the radical right are the only beneficiaries of the ostrich position. maybe we should identify the most pressing issues first? what say you?
    "The old is dying and the new cannot be born. In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms can appear"

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    Quote Originally Posted by gun ainm View Post
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    no one claims it was easy - i'm not sure in all my time here debating and reading your posts i have ever seen you advocate anything but the status quo (economically). If you do see the need for change due to the failure of the free market it'd be great if you could articulate an alternative. too easy imo to snipe at the sidelines particularly when the radical right are the only beneficiaries of the ostrich position. maybe we should identify the most pressing issues first? what say you?
    I think perhaps you're conflating my firm and unchanging view that socialism is not the answer with advocacy for the status quo. I'm fairly sure you'd grant that I have been predicting the demise of the western society I think is taken for granted, and the rise of dark forces, since quite a while before it became a mainstream concern. Those predictions are not founded in a view that all is rosey.

    I'm absolutely in favour of free society and consequently not in favour of a control economy (even apart from the fact it doesn't work). But that equates neither to the view that everything is dandy nor support for unqualified laissez faire - advocates of which I view as just as delusional as advocates of communism and in the case of the randian branch, similarly sinister.

    I'll return to your question when I have more time; though I'm pretty open about the fact that I don't have any answers and suspect there aren't any (without much more pain coming first).

    I also firmly agree with Henry that you've gotta be pretty sure that alternatives will work and be better; as no other alternative has ever worked or been better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gun ainm View Post
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    if ever there were a sticking plaster it is the provision of the crumbs offered by 'some' subsidised housing. More than 50% of all houses in private rented sector don't meet the basic standard, there are huge costs to society (particularly in terms of the housing benefit subsidy we pay to landlords) not to mention the impact increasing rents has during a period of real terms (or actual) pay cuts are the norm. if ever there was an illustration of how the market does not benefit society then this is it.
    But rent controls don't work either. They de-incentivise the building of new dwellings and discourage investment in existing ones. They have rent control in that notoriously inexpensive inner city Manhattan and look who has benefitted from that.


    nope haven't read that and i'd counter that with paul mason's book postcapitalism which is basically an analysis of your question - cut n paste from a synopisis

    In reality the neoliberal model can only deliver: austerity, stagnation, low productivity, the stalled rollout of transformative information technologies — and the endless creation of low-skilled, barely necessary jobs. When it grows it creates asset bubbles and market collapses, and every boom and bust cycle destroys more of the welfare state; more of the remnants of social solidarity from the post-war era. This is not a temporary or accidental crisis. It means neoliberalism, far from being the midwife of a third industrial revolution, has stifled it.
    I get that you are asserting this. I know Mason does too. But if it's so obvious it shouldn't be hard to explain in basic terms why this is all inevitable.

    To me it is not. There is no reason why banking regulation, for example, should not create responsible financial behaviour. Or why an appetite for more equality should not translate into more taxation and better welfare. The reason I think this is because in some places in the world this is already the case - it is literally evident.

    And as I say, the enormous achievements of capitalism bear some reflection. If you are chucking the baby and the bathwater out you had better be certain you can do without them.



    i'll try and come back to this when i have more time
    I'd be interested. Because as far as I can see, Germany and Japan are pretty neo-liberal. Put it this way, the kind of economy I'm advocating is basically like Germany, which is not anything remotely like a complete reformulation of the state of things that you seem to envisage, but rather an ameliorated, tidied up form of our own neo-liberal model. Do you honestly see those economies as that much different from our own?




    firstly reducing inequality is not the same advocating for total equality and not everyone is getting richer (far from it).

    Secondly my preference would be for neither, just because you posit a choice between those 2 options doesn't mean they are the only available alternatives.
    Obviously I was demonstrating how "more equality" is not of itself necessarily the best outcome, not asking you to pick from one of the two.

    No, not everyone is getting richer - Venezuela for example, having had a go at the kind of economy Paul Mason might advocate, is becoming decidedly poorer. The current setup is failing people in this country via wage stagnation. But extreme poverty globally is being eroded at an extraordinary rate. I hope your coming changes are ready to continue that trend, because from where I'm sitting every left radical attempt so far has bombed at that.

    It seems you're less than convinced that there is anything wrong with neoliberalism, yes it has proven remarkably resilient and capable of evolutionary development but ever since the financial collapse of 2008 the curtain has been lifted - its clear that the market does not self regulate, that the state is required to prop up the banks, that the state ultimately underpins the entire economy - its the antithesis of the doctrine. Even the IMF, the great proselytiser for neo-liberalism in years gone by, has admitted its failures and contradictions - see Even the IMF Now Admits Neoliberalism Has Failed

    still even in the face of all the evidence and the emergent threat of fascism/nationalist authoritarianism it can be hard to disavow a faith so embedded. Thats why we need a new vision that can capture the public's imagination
    This is the equivalent of right wingers haranguing leftists as though they are all Stalinists. We don't all want a libertarian, utterly deregulated capitalism, just as not all leftists want to nationalise the entire economy. Market failure is hardly new, but neither is market efficiency, and the latter can be enjoyed while correcting for the former, should the will be there.

    You seem to be saying that neo-liberalism is bound for failure, that it is impossible for it to be mitigated and that it must end, while holding up countries like Germany, which are essentially mitigated neo-liberalism in action. Along the way you don't describe why these failures are inevitable, and you're not sure what you want instead.

    I just read the review of Postcapitalism in the LRB. Near the end it says

    In the end postcapitalism, like postmodernism, is the name of an absence, not a positive programme. Like the anticapitalism of the early 2000s, it tells you what it’s not.
    so what do I know

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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    I think perhaps you're conflating my firm and unchanging view that socialism is not the answer with advocacy for the status quo. I'm fairly sure you'd grant that I have been predicting the demise of the western society I think is taken for granted, and the rise of dark forces, since quite a while before it became a mainstream concern. Those predictions are not founded in a view that all is rosey.
    i recognise your critical, you just havent really taken the next step and advanced an alternative

    I'm absolutely in favour of free society and consequently not in favour of a control economy (even apart from the fact it doesn't work). But that equates neither to the view that everything is dandy nor support for unqualified laissez faire - advocates of which I view as just as delusional as advocates of communism and in the case of the randian branch, similarly sinister.
    i havent met anyone who doesnt favour a free society, i'd agree that command economies have major and fundamental weaknesses

    'll return to your question when I have more time; though I'm pretty open about the fact that I don't have any answers and suspect there aren't any (without much more pain coming first).

    I also firmly agree with Henry that you've gotta be pretty sure that alternatives will work and be better; as no other alternative has ever worked or been better.
    that's another no brainer who would want a change for the worse? thing is if we are on the cusp of the end of the neoliberal model, and the radical right are back in 'fashion' i'm not sure we have the luxury to just sit back and say we cant think of anything better that gets us back to a key point - that the majority may not be able to grasp change before it is too late, the tendency being to hold on to what they have as individuals, fearful (rightly) of losing it. I hope it wont come to the point when the window where change is possible is missed as we spiral off into some dystopian future.
    "The old is dying and the new cannot be born. In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms can appear"

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    Quote Originally Posted by gun ainm View Post
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    i recognise your critical, you just havent really taken the next step and advanced an alternative
    i will when I have one to offer. The only suggestions I have a are values based, not top down political solutions. But I recognise that is not going to happen any time soon, at least until things get far worse.

    i havent met anyone who doesnt favour a free society, i'd agree that command economies have major and fundamental weaknesses
    one of the weaknesses is Its mutually exclusive with a free society. Which is not to say the state can't play a bigger role in the economy of a free society - it can. That's when the practical considerations come in; it's just usually not very good at it and with globalisation and the way we live socially, its unaffordable.

    that's another no brainer who would want a change for the worse? thing is if we are on the cusp of the end of the neoliberal model, and the radical right are back in 'fashion' i'm not sure we have the luxury to just sit back and say we cant think of anything better that gets us back to a key point - that the majority may not be able to grasp change before it is too late, the tendency being to hold on to what they have as individuals, fearful (rightly) of losing it. I hope it wont come to the point when the window where change is possible is missed as we spiral off into some dystopian future.
    as I say, if I get a bright idea I'll let you know. But I'm not that clever - it's easy to see what doesn't work, it's much harder to fix things. Radical leftism is one of those things that doesn't work, nor is it superior to the radical right, really. At street level it's less malign, but in power they're both among the worst things in the world.

    I also know the bright ideas about fixing society pretty much always lead to disaster when implemented top down. Quite apart from the difficulty in reconciling such things with a free society, the world is just too complicated to be planned. You alluded to failed technology transformations - while I think that is far too sweeping an assessment, there are plenty around - almost all of them where something existing is the subject of the transformation (as opposed to something brand new, like smart phones say). That's because it's too complicated - while being childishly simple in comparison to organising society or an economy.

    This is not meant to be a counsel of despair though I realise it sounds like it. I remain optimistic that Britain will somehow muddle on with out things getting too bad. Other parts of Europe I'm less sure about.

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    @HenryLB - bit of a blunt question if you'll forgive it. From what I gather you earn your corn in some branch of the creative media. I admire that and absolutely come from a 'good for you' position. Nevertheless, dispensing with humility at the point it skews perception, you must recognise that very few people are able and / or creative enough to prosper in a field that I'm sure is viciously competitive and freighted with risk, but also fairly insulated from the negative effects of globalisation and such macro trends. (My subject matter knowledge approximating zero, I'm happy to take correction on that)

    It does sometimes seem to me that your assessments don't really recognise the plight of people who are not in such a rarified position (maybe not the best adjective but chosen to avoid the bilious leftist alternative of privileged when, unless you tell me otherwise, I'm presuming that whatever you have carved out is the product of ability and graft) and, to simplify while remaningI think essentially true, lose from the dynamics from which you gain.

    In recent years at least - and probably always - you seem far more conventionally socially liberal than moi, but I don't see all that much empathy with the situation of the 'left behind'?

    I know you are no more a believer in grand designs than am I, but do you at least acknowledge that the things you hail are a bit of a disaster for the majority who might once have aspired to that damnable thing in an age of aspiration; quiet, decent, lives?

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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    @HenryLB - bit of a blunt question if you'll forgive it. From what I gather you earn your corn in some branch of the creative media. I admire that and absolutely come from a 'good for you' position. Nevertheless, dispensing with humility at the point it skews perception, you must recognise that very few people are able and / or creative enough to prosper in a field that I'm sure is viciously competitive and freighted with risk, but also fairly insulated from the negative effects of globalisation and such macro trends. (My subject matter knowledge approximating zero, I'm happy to take correction on that)

    It does sometimes seem to me that your assessments don't really recognise the plight of people who are not in such a rarified position (maybe not the best adjective but chosen to avoid the bilious leftist alternative of privileged when, unless you tell me otherwise, I'm presuming that whatever you have carved out is the product of ability and graft) and, to simplify while remaningI think essentially true, lose from the dynamics from which you gain.

    In recent years at least - and probably always - you seem far more conventionally socially liberal than moi, but I don't see all that much empathy with the situation of the 'left behind'?

    I know you are no more a believer in grand designs than am I, but do you at least acknowledge that the things you hail are a bit of a disaster for the majority who might once have aspired to that damnable thing in an age of aspiration; quiet, decent, lives?
    As I have said before the bold Henry has had the square root of $#@! all posts on the fitba forums on here. Tory troll with far too much time. Goodness knows why you break bread M.

    BIG G

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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    i will when I have one to offer. The only suggestions I have a are values based, not top down political solutions. But I recognise that is not going to happen any time soon, at least until things get far worse.

    one of the weaknesses is Its mutually exclusive with a free society. Which is not to say the state can't play a bigger role in the economy of a free society - it can. That's when the practical considerations come in; it's just usually not very good at it and with globalisation and the way we live socially, its unaffordable.

    as I say, if I get a bright idea I'll let you know. But I'm not that clever - it's easy to see what doesn't work, it's much harder to fix things. Radical leftism is one of those things that doesn't work, nor is it superior to the radical right, really. At street level it's less malign, but in power they're both among the worst things in the world.

    I also know the bright ideas about fixing society pretty much always lead to disaster when implemented top down. Quite apart from the difficulty in reconciling such things with a free society, the world is just too complicated to be planned. You alluded to failed technology transformations - while I think that is far too sweeping an assessment, there are plenty around - almost all of them where something existing is the subject of the transformation (as opposed to something brand new, like smart phones say). That's because it's too complicated - while being childishly simple in comparison to organising society or an economy.

    This is not meant to be a counsel of despair though I realise it sounds like it. I remain optimistic that Britain will somehow muddle on with out things getting too bad. Other parts of Europe I'm less sure about.
    fair enough you've probably highlighted one of the main differences between us, out of which the political divergence stems. I am at heart someone who believes in change, if you dont change you wont improve and 'making things better' (even just by a wee bit) is at the forefront of my conciousness. I cry and rage at injustice all the time, peace only comes if I find a way to disengage with the human world. I'd rather have a go than make do, perhaps if I had more to lose it'd be different but there are plenty of folk out there who have less. I believe in democratic principles but despair at the masses who seem only too happy with mediocrity if it means they are slightly better off than someone else. At the individual level that's hard to find but somehow representative democracy turns the sum of those individuals into a craven mass. In such a circumstance it'd be easy to justify the extra-democratic yet as you say all too often the legacy of that instinct (however well intentioned) has been poisonous. Even where such action has eventually resulted in a better position its taken decades even centuries to get over (e.g. Irish Revolution). I don't know the answers either but I'd rather take a chance and work from principles to find a solution that sit passively in the hope that somehow magically things will be ok. Maybe having a faith helps still the hand....? cheers
    Last edited by gun ainm; 16-12-16 at 11:23.
    "The old is dying and the new cannot be born. In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms can appear"

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    Quote Originally Posted by gun ainm View Post
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    I believe in democratic principles but despair at the masses who seem only to happy with mediocrity if it means they are slightly better of than someone else.
    Sorry to but in but this bit intrigues me. Have you read any Du Bois by any chance? He talks about poor whites in the US during slavery in relation to 'psychological compensation' and the 'psychological wage' i.e. we might be poor, we might even be starving but at least we're not n**&*&s. You might find it interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gareth View Post
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    Sorry to but in but this bit intrigues me. Have you read any Du Bois by any chance? He talks about poor whites in the US during slavery in relation to 'psychological compensation' and the 'psychological wage' i.e. we might be poor, we might even be starving but at least we're not n**&*&s. You might find it interesting.
    the forum is designed for folk to but in - I welcome it, particularly when it points me in the direction of an essayist I have never read or indeed heard of. From your synopsis I think he sounds dead right - thanks
    "The old is dying and the new cannot be born. In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms can appear"

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    Quote Originally Posted by GORDONSMITH7 View Post
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    As I have said before the bold Henry has had the square root of $#@! all posts on the fitba forums on here. Tory troll with far too much time. Goodness knows why you break bread M.

    BIG G
    I'm a member of the Labour Party. And I have posted in the hibs forum. Furthermore I'm not a troll.

    I'm not that bothered about your opinion of me, obviously, and I actually rather like you. But man, you're wrong a lot, aren't you?
    so what do I know

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    @gun ainm;

    Sorry R I don't want this to sound catty but wow is that reminiscent of the self regard with which the liberal left holds itself (and I know you don't count yourself in that number).

    Far from being an embracer of radical change, you resolutely oppose every real world example, resolutely oppose any roll back of establishment power, you despair at the masses 'happy with mediocrity' (boy does that phrase invoke the self righteous ideologues that killed 100 million people) and yet join in with condemnation of real world attempts by the proles to push back against the system that crushed them. I'm sorry to break it to you, you actually appear deeply conservative (in the sense of resistance to change) and all this rhetorical stuff appears to be you own faith which helps console you within that reality.

    I, by contrast, really am for change - and as soon as I see a persuasive plan I'll be all for it. I'm not persuaded by your fondness for old fashioned formulas which failed to begin and are manifestly inapplicable today, nor am I ersuaded by the populism of the moment; although not being as change averse, I'm not as distressed by it as perhaps you are.

    I don't think there are any easy solutions, if any at all, but we for sure won't get there with the upside down faith propositions that lie behind your condescension towards the masses. While things have dipped in recent years we are still pretty much at the apex of human comfort and freedom that there has ever been. That has been achieved by people putting their shoulder to the wheel and tackling what's in front of them, not by grand schemes.

    That's why the shafted of today are upsetting the apple cart rather than waiting for those that condescend to them to enact some utopia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    @HenryLB - bit of a blunt question if you'll forgive it. From what I gather you earn your corn in some branch of the creative media. I admire that and absolutely come from a 'good for you' position. Nevertheless, dispensing with humility at the point it skews perception, you must recognise that very few people are able and / or creative enough to prosper in a field that I'm sure is viciously competitive and freighted with risk, but also fairly insulated from the negative effects of globalisation and such macro trends. (My subject matter knowledge approximating zero, I'm happy to take correction on that)
    The effects of globalisation on creative media have been pernicious. I mean for years they've had to give away the products (journalism, music particularly) for free which has destroyed marketing spend in those areas and smashed wages. There is more spending on advertising digitally now but it's still incredibly low and crucially most of the turnover is sucked out by facebook and google. So budgets are fractions of what they were, and stretch over more platforms than ever. The downward pressure on wages is enormous.

    Yes, offshoring light bulb manufacture is bad for the 200 people working in a lightbulb factory. But it's good for the 500 people who get those jobs in Vietnam. Lightbulbs become cheaper and inflation lowers in the first country making goods less expensive for workers there. Obviously it's horrible for the people who lose their jobs, but my point is that there is some upside. In the case of advertising and media the upside is largely limited to enriching the people who own google and facebook and making money for shareholders in companies like Unilever.

    I suppose you could say this is web-related rather than globalisation per se. But you can absolutely offshore many 'creative' jobs. I just finished on a bit of work that was rotoscoped in India instead of by us. So the two freelancers I would have employed for two weeks didn't see a penny of that work.

    It does sometimes seem to me that your assessments don't really recognise the plight of people who are not in such a rarified position (maybe not the best adjective but chosen to avoid the bilious leftist alternative of privileged when, unless you tell me otherwise, I'm presuming that whatever you have carved out is the product of ability and graft) and, to simplify while remaningI think essentially true, lose from the dynamics from which you gain.

    In recent years at least - and probably always - you seem far more conventionally socially liberal than moi, but I don't see all that much empathy with the situation of the 'left behind'?
    I absolutely sympathise. I think it seems like I don't because I disagree with you on where the problems are coming from and thus how best to deal with them. I think that immigration is overall net beneficial and I think that within reason, and if properly offset, having things made in foreign countries needn't be a disaster for UK labour.

    But the key is 'properly offset'. Which may in fact be the wrong word, because I'm not talking about merely papering over with, say, welfarism, but actually creating a better set up. But that's a book-length post.

    I know you are no more a believer in grand designs than am I, but do you at least acknowledge that the things you hail are a bit of a disaster for the majority who might once have aspired to that damnable thing in an age of aspiration; quiet, decent, lives?
    I don't really, because as I say I think we fundamentally disagree about quite axiomatic things.

    On a side note, I wouldn't get too caught up in all this metropolitan elite stuff. As my friend the journalist often writes in his columns, his critics who never tire of calling him a member of the elite might get a surprise if they saw his house.
    so what do I know

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    [QUOTE=egb_hibs;1560895]@gun ainm;

    Sorry R I don't want this to sound catty but wow is that reminiscent of the self regard with which the liberal left holds itself (and I know you don't count yourself in that number). Far from being an embracer of radical change, you resolutely oppose every real world example, resolutely oppose any roll back of establishment power, you despair at the masses 'happy with mediocrity' (boy does that phrase invoke the self righteous ideologues that killed 100 million people) and yet join in with condemnation of real world attempts by the proles to push back against the system that crushed them. I'm sorry to break it to you, you actually appear deeply conservative (in the sense of resistance to change) and all this rhetorical stuff to be you own faith which helps console you within that reality. I, by contrast, really am for change - and as soon as I see a persuasive plan I'll be all for it. I'm not persuaded by your fondness for old fashioned formulas which failed to begin and are manifestly inapplicable today, nor am I ersuaded by the populism of the moment; although not being as change averse, I'm not as distressed by it as perhaps you are.
    i wondered if you'd take it as an attack/criticism, it wasn't meant that way. off course not all change is good, it needs to reflect values. The key is to push change in a positive direction (hence my support for indy for example) and yes for me right now that's against the rise of the radical right/neo-nationalists. If you are embracing (or at least not concerned by it) that well that's just another difference between us. Again you characterise this rise as coming from the proles when in actual fact it is being led by the Trumps and Farages of this world, they are snake oil salesmen, opportunistically tapping into to the mood,as the neoliberal model collapses. they are not leader's who offer a solution. I'm not interested in your assessment of radicalism/conservatism on that basis but would point out its a very simplistic measure that lacks any nuance at all. Its so obviously uncritical that I can only assume you employ it in an effort to brow beat those you debate with into a Hobbesian choice that you'd imagine would favour your position as if by force of will alone. It'd be nice if you'd listen rather than rush to condemn and set up straw men.

    I don't think there are any easy solutions, if any at all, but we for sure won't get there with the upside down faith propositions that lie behind your condescension towards the masses. While things have dipped in recent years we are still pretty much at the apex of human comfort and freedom that there has ever been. That has been achieved by people putting their shoulder to the wheel and tackling what's in front of them, not by grand schemes. That's why the shafted of today are upsetting the apple cart rather than waiting for those that condescend to them to enact some utopia.
    I did try to draw a distinction between the masses and the individuals who make up the masses - i was trying to convey my feelings about a potential weakness in representative democracy. Thats not advocating for its immediate replacement but recognising flaws. what we do about it I am not sure because as you'll have registered i am not exactly enamoured with extra-democratic solutions.
    "The old is dying and the new cannot be born. In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms can appear"

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    @gun ainm

    I didn't take it as an attack nor did I mean to attack back hence my opening words. I do however disagree with your assessment of our respective positions.

    Nor am I unconcerned by Trump - quite the opposite, indeed I have been rabbiting on about the potential rise of the right for near as long as I've haunted this site. I just think I'm less distressed than you and one reason is that despite the rhetoric and some of his more crazed supporters I don't think Trump really is mussolini. What Europe may yet throw up remains a different matter. He is however, plenty bad enough - so bad I would have preferred Clinton which is like you opting for thatcher.

    You talk about the Irish revolution and other events yielding change that is ultimately for the better after decades of pain; and yet again you recoil from that when it's front of us. This is another example of my point about the gap between rhetoric and practice. Ditto your often referenced preference for direct democracy - and yet when that is given a run out with brexit (and whatever outcome one favoured it sure exposed the limits of direct democracy) you again demur.

    You may respond that Trump doesn't represent the right kind of change - but then the prevailing Irish revolutionaries were at least as far from your worldview. In any case how does that make you different than me - you think there needs to be change but he does not represent the right kind. I agree, but I haven't seen anyone else I'm persuaded has a better alternative. In short, I would like change but not any old change, and I can't see what I consider to be an option i would support. How is that different than you other than that you do see options - in a way I personally find mystifying because I am unaware of any even theoretically viable programmes being advanced by those who 'imagine' a better world.

    Things are on a downward trajectory from the absolute zenith of human comfort and freedom that has ever existed. I'd argue it's that very bounty that is the ultimate route cause, it having detached us from reality and each other. Whether that's right or not, it remains the case that as Henry noted, one has to be pretty damn sure of a better alternative before jumping in. The Dante-esque fate of Venezuela, cheerled to the edge of the cliff by affluent western utopians is a text book example of the irresponsibility of the latter and the folly of reckless pursuit of an ill thought through dream.

    In short, I'm for change but only for change I can believe in - to paraphrase a contemporary pied piper. I'm not sure how that differs intrinsically from you while in practice, change that I don't believe in, doesn't knock me sideways to the same extent despite the fact I wouldn't claim - because I don't believe it - that revolutionary strife is made worth it by developments decades later that may or may not have happened anyway, or indeed some better outcome may have happened (or worse). I think that before you pull the roof down you need to be sure that there is a damn good chance it will improve things directly. I don't mean immediately, but as a direct consequence.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ps the point about Farage and Trump is moot and not just because the left are almost always led by the high born. I don't believe Trump will change much but being a billionaire is sadly the only chance that someone could - the rest are so dependent on vested interests. Farage may have been a private school boy but he's manifestly more comfortable among the plebs than any other leader; he is in any case now replaced by nuttal who is quite different. The notion that the people are hapless and beguiled followers of clever fagins when they don't agree with what the middle class left decide are acceptable views for them to hold is a fatal inhibitor to affecting any change.

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    [QUOTE=egb_hibs;1560901]@gun ainm
    Nor am I unconcerned by Trump - quite the opposite, indeed I have been rabbiting on about the potential rise of the right for near as long as I've haunted this site. I just think I'm less distressed than you and one reason is that despite the rhetoric and some of his more crazed supporters I don't think Trump really is mussolini. What Europe may yet throw up remains a different matter. He is however, plenty bad enough - so bad I would have preferred Clinton which is like you opting for thatcher.[QUOTE]

    we shall see on Trump and we're agreed that Clinton represented the lesser of two evils

    You talk about the Irish revolution and other events yielding change that is ultimately for the better after decades of pain; and yet again you recoil from that when it's front of us. This is another example of my point about the gap between rhetoric and practice. Ditto your often referenced preference for direct democracy - and yet when that is given a run out with brexit (and whatever outcome one favoured it sure exposed the limits of direct democracy) you again demur.
    er what equivalent Irish revolution is upon us? the closest parallel would be Scottish Indy and you know my position on that - I don't anticipate recourse to violence though. You also know how conflicted I was on the Brexit vote. again it was about the lesser of 2 evils. I don't recall ever championing direct democracy (at the level of the state certainly) - maybe you're conflating that with industrial democracy (for example).

    You may respond that Trump doesn't represent the right kind of change - but then the prevailing Irish revolutionaries were at least as far from your worldview. In any case how does that make you different than me - you think there needs to be change but he does not represent the right kind. I agree, but I haven't seen anyone else I'm persuaded has a better alternative. In short, I would like change but not any old change, and I can't see what I consider to be an option i would support. How is that different than you other than that you do see options - in a way I personally find mystifying because I am unaware of any even theoretically viable programmes being advanced by those who 'imagine' a better world.
    issue as I see it is you're not actively looking for a way to change things, it doesn't drive you. you appear to prefer to sit back and hope that something better comes along or that we magically muddle through.

    Things are on a downward trajectory from the absolute zenith of human comfort and freedom that has ever existed. I'd argue it's that very bounty that is the ultimate route cause, it having detached us from reality and each other. Whether that's right or not, it remains the case that as Henry noted, one has to be pretty damn sure of a better alternative before jumping in. The Dante-esque fate of Venezuela, cheerled to the edge of the cliff by affluent western utopians is a text book example of the irresponsibility of the latter and the folly of reckless pursuit of an ill thought through dream.
    if that's the case would you advocate a reveral of that prosperity - that'd be logical based on your analysis. waiting for proof before making any change is a luxury too ofetn unavailable. I appreciate its the best position to be in but we'd not yet have left the oceans if everyone took that approach to risk. finding the balance between risk and caution is key but if you're not willing to bring new ideas (or even rehashed old ones) to the table as a proposition then you're fundamentally anti-change.

    In short, I'm for change but only for change I can believe in - to paraphrase a contemporary pied piper. I'm not sure how that differs intrinsically from you while in practice, change that I don't believe in, doesn't knock me sideways to the same extent despite the fact I wouldn't claim - because I don't believe it - that revolutionary strife is made worth it by developments decades later that may or may not have happened anyway, or indeed some better outcome may have happened (or worse). I think that before you pull the roof down you need to be sure that there is a damn good chance it will improve things directly. I don't mean immediately, but as a direct consequence.
    never has revolution been of benefit? that's a different thread imo but its an interesting proposition. i might start it if i get a chance over the next wee while

    Ps the point about Farage and Trump is moot and not just because the left are almost always led by the high born. I don't believe Trump will change much but being a billionaire is sadly the only chance that someone could - the rest are so dependent on vested interests. Farage may have been a private school boy but he's manifestly more comfortable among the plebs than any other leader; he is in any case now replaced by nuttal who is quite different. The notion that the people are hapless and beguiled followers of clever fagins when they don't agree with what the middle class left decide are acceptable views for them to hold is a fatal inhibitor to affecting any change.
    its funny seems like only yesterday you were arguing that the workers had been misled by leftists throughout history and voted/marched against their own interest and values 'corrupted' as it were by identity politics. you cannae have it both ways.
    "The old is dying and the new cannot be born. In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms can appear"

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    @gun ainm

    Trying (no doubt will fail) for brevity;

    Point re the Irish revolution is that initially painful change may yield progress decades down the line. That surely applies to today's populism? It may not do but then the Irish revolutionaries couldn't have predicted contemporary Ireland - which is very differently to what the prevailing faction implemented.

    I thought you had spoken positively - at least in theory - of direct democracy. If that's a mistaken recollection, apologies. Not entirely sure I know what you mean by industrial democracy and how it applies to policy outside the narrow and narrowing context of industry.

    Me sitting back - and you're doing what, precisely? I make changes where I can influence things which I'm not going to go into here. I don't have any ideas how to change macro economics or British society for the better. If you do, what are you doing about it? Muddling through is, by the way, not a defeatist position - it's how things generally actually happen.

    Reversal of prosperity - you appear to me not so much as to be acting without proof but ignoring the facts of what is happening because they don't fit with your preferences (which in some cases are inseparable from that reversal). That's kinda one step back from sitting back doing nothing, as I see it.

    Saying I'm anti change because I'm not acting on a better plan I don't have is a bit weird. I'm not anti more fuel efficient cars because I don't know how to design one.

    American revolution could Ben convincingly argued to be a positive - can't think of any others of the top of my head; not if we mean violent revolutions anyway. If we mean transformative change then there are lots of positive examples, in recent centuries mostly from liberal capitalism.

    Don't agree your last bit compares; identity politics have changed real world conditions and politics. People have looked at that and responded. That's nothing like suggesting people are hapless marionettes dancing to the tune of Farage or Murdoch or whomever. It's close to the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    What. The $#@!. What is this? I can't... I just.... I dunno. How can something like this happen? What fresh hell is this? Who allows this to... I mean... like....really?


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    Really surprised that this historic Tax raising capability budget has not been discussed by Nationalists on here, of whom there are plenty.

    My reading is that there are £300M+ cuts no matter how the wee guy that is Scotland's Finance geezer denies it. As I said on numerous occasions the voices of the the Nationalists on here would fall silent when criticism was needed. Not a $#@!ing word about the historic tax raising powers. The wee guy who presented the Budget when challenged over the specifics sounded like Osbourne ' We cannot raise tax to 50% for the richest in society because it could raise less tax' that is the richest 1% we are talking about. Double whammy for Souter. Happy to kid on that millions of cuts to vital services arenae happening or effecting workers and their families. No matter how hard the Finance Secretary tried to spin it, what is absolutely clear is that this budget contains a £327 million cut to local services across Scotland. Fighting for the Scottish people my arse.



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    Last edited by GORDONSMITH7; 17-12-16 at 03:10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gun ainm View Post
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    i'll try and come back to this when i have more time
    I'd still be interested in your thoughts, should you have time amid the Christmas 'fun'!
    so what do I know

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    Quote Originally Posted by GORDONSMITH7 View Post
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    Really surprised that this historic Tax raising capability budget has not been discussed by Nationalists on here, of whom there are plenty.

    My reading is that there are £300M+ cuts no matter how the wee guy that is Scotland's Finance geezer denies it. As I said on numerous occasions the voices of the the Nationalists on here would fall silent when criticism was needed. Not a $#@!ing word about the historic tax raising powers. The wee guy who presented the Budget when challenged over the specifics sounded like Osbourne ' We cannot raise tax to 50% for the richest in society because it could raise less tax' that is the richest 1% we are talking about. Double whammy for Souter. Happy to kid on that millions of cuts to vital services arenae happening or effecting workers and their families. No matter how hard the Finance Secretary tried to spin it, what is absolutely clear is that this budget contains a £327 million cut to local services across Scotland. Fighting for the Scottish people my arse.



    Thoughts amigos.

    BIG G
    If raising a tax gets to a point where it brings in less money to the exchequer, then it's utterly foolish to raise that tax.

    You don't do it just because you want to penalise those that have plenty money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TariqE View Post
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    If raising a tax gets to a point where it brings in less money to the exchequer, then it's utterly foolish to raise that tax.

    You don't do it just because you want to penalise those that have plenty money.
    Sounds like a pretty Tory argument - can’t raise tax for the well off as they wil find means to avoid paying it?

    My view is if we want to live in a civilised society then we should have a welfare system that supports people through unemployment without the need for foodbacks and a local government system that means for example that homes are available for the homeless and care support is available for those that need it. That’s why I’m still a Socialist and vote Labour?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TariqE View Post
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    If raising a tax gets to a point where it brings in less money to the exchequer, then it's utterly foolish to raise that tax.

    You don't do it just because you want to penalise those that have plenty money.
    Drivel! you pay tax you get civilisation. Many countries manage to get tax from their better off. yes lots of wealthy people will dodge tax if they can. The point is to make sure they can't. When we have real poverty and need then what are we if we turn the other way and ignore the simple maths. More tax intake, less poverty. Indeed poverty itself is very expensive.

    on a personal level, I am not a wealthy man but would happily pay more for a fairer society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by madhibby5 View Post
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    Sounds like a pretty Tory argument - can’t raise tax for the well off as they wil find means to avoid paying it?

    My view is if we want to live in a civilised society then we should have a welfare system that supports people through unemployment without the need for foodbacks and a local government system that means for example that homes are available for the homeless and care support is available for those that need it. That’s why I’m still a Socialist and vote Labour?
    If a Tory argument is based on the facts what happens then? The 50p rate generated, according to various estimates, a reduced take through to a slight gain. Meanwhile. the year after it was repealed, the tax take jumped up. To what extent the latter is due to people finding ways to defer payment in the hope of a rate change has not afaik been quantified.

    Inconclusive then, but bottom line is coffers were filled better when the rate went down.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by O'Driscoll View Post
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    Drivel! you pay tax you get civilisation. Many countries manage to get tax from their better off. yes lots of wealthy people will dodge tax if they can. The point is to make sure they can't. When we have real poverty and need then what are we if we turn the other way and ignore the simple maths. More tax intake, less poverty. Indeed poverty itself is very expensive.

    on a personal level, I am not a wealthy man but would happily pay more for a fairer society.
    Would you do other things or support other measures that have a more direct effect on a fairer society, by which I assume you mean less polarisation of wealth? Globalisation and the disintegration of the family are far more consequential than trying to get more out of tax to patch the damage. Globalisation is also one of the biggest tax issues alongside everything else.

    Old Labour style social conservatism and labour protectionism seems to have arrived at its historical moment only to find 'labour' parties hell bent on opposing it, and demanding instead the tax dollars it's super rich core interest group can well afford to buy a pliant populace, but the burden of which generally falls on the already stretched.

    To add the proverbial salt to the wound, this leaves the public sector bosses standing on fake moral high ground, demanding more taxes for salary rises while damning as racists their private sector peers whose salaries are being depressed by globalisation (and who still have to provided those taxes). Result; social division, increasingly intractable problems and left wing irrelevance.

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    - - - Updated - - -



    Would you do other things or support other measures that have a more direct effect on a fairer society, by which I assume you mean less polarisation of wealth? Globalisation and the disintegration of the family are far more consequential than trying to get more out of tax to patch the damage. Globalisation is also one of the biggest tax issues alongside everything else.

    Old Labour style social conservatism and labour protectionism seems to have arrived at its historical moment only to find 'labour' parties hell bent on opposing it, and demanding instead the tax dollars it's super rich core interest group can well afford to buy a pliant populace, but the burden of which generally falls on the already stretched.

    To add the proverbial salt to the wound, this leaves the public sector bosses standing on fake moral high ground, demanding more taxes for salary rises while damning as racists their private sector peers whose salaries are being depressed by globalisation (and who still have to provided those taxes). Result; social division, increasingly intractable problems and left wing irrelevance.[/QUOTE
    as a 45 er not a 68 er i have some sense of agreement with you. Globalisation has shown that social and economic radicalism are not the same thing. I think that governments can still use tax to pay for reform but i get your point about public sector bosses; stackers to a man and woman.
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    I can't pick up the exact thread here but I know what it's about roughly....

    Firstly this pathetic government think we should be grateful for allowing local authorities to raise council tax to pay for social care. Well if the government had not repeatedly cut funding for social care we wouldn't be in this position.

    Secondly the Tories have planned a whopping 3% cut in corporation tax, to please their big business buddies. This represents a staggering £1.3 billion annually and now the working class are expected to pay for it.

    Don't get me wrong: I get clobbered for tax in every pay packet, but if it goes to worthy causes like the NHS, it doesn't hurt so much. It currently goes towards over £40 billion annual spending on defence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jock3 View Post
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    I can't pick up the exact thread here but I know what it's about roughly....

    Firstly this pathetic government think we should be grateful for allowing local authorities to raise council tax to pay for social care. Well if the government had not repeatedly cut funding for social care we wouldn't be in this position.

    Secondly the Tories have planned a whopping 3% cut in corporation tax, to please their big business buddies. This represents a staggering £1.3 billion annually and now the working class are expected to pay for it.

    Don't get me wrong: I get clobbered for tax in every pay packet, but if it goes to worthy causes like the NHS, it doesn't hurt so much. It currently goes towards over £40 billion annual spending on defence.
    If the government don't incentivise businesses to invest here, there will be no private sector incomes to tax, and thus no money for the public sector that demands ever more.

    Corporation tax is an odd one - its taxing money retained to grow businesses and thus generate more tax. Other taxes already cover every point anyone benefits from income, the rationale for corporation tax is not clear at all. All in all, it's one of the few instruments the government have in response to the globalisation favoured by the 1% and the left.

    As for defence, I realise the far left are as keen as ever to see us defenceless in the face of Russian authoritarianism, but the rest of the country is never going to be as keen to see us vulnerable to rule by jackboot.

    Perhaps all taxpayers could find common ground in supporting efficiency drives to shrink the state bureaucracy, get rid of the meddling and socially destructive politicised roles funded by the state (all the quangos, promoters of racial politics etc)? This would surely deliver tens of billions of savings with zero negative impact on state services.

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    Quote Originally Posted by madhibby5 View Post
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    Sounds like a pretty Tory argument - can’t raise tax for the well off as they wil find means to avoid paying it?

    My view is if we want to live in a civilised society then we should have a welfare system that supports people through unemployment without the need for foodbacks and a local government system that means for example that homes are available for the homeless and care support is available for those that need it. That’s why I’m still a Socialist and vote Labour?
    It may sound like a tory argument but what it actually is its a statement that it's foolish to raise a tax that will actually cost us money. A commonsense statement really.

    Would you see investment into public services suffer just so that you can see the wealthiest paying a higher %age of their their personal income?
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    Quote Originally Posted by O'Driscoll View Post
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    Drivel! you pay tax you get civilisation. Many countries manage to get tax from their better off. yes lots of wealthy people will dodge tax if they can. The point is to make sure they can't. When we have real poverty and need then what are we if we turn the other way and ignore the simple maths. More tax intake, less poverty. Indeed poverty itself is very expensive.

    on a personal level, I am not a wealthy man but would happily pay more for a fairer society.
    That's not the point I made. Taxation is necessary I agree, but raising it to the point where the tax intake (which you say you want to increase) actually goes down, then that is foolish.
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    Jeremy Corbyn on telly at last...

    Jeremy Corbyn Says He Doesnt Need to Be Rebooted | Good Morning Britain - YouTube

    I can't believe how biased and aggressive the GMTV presenters are. Gaun yersel' Jezza

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    Quote Originally Posted by jock3 View Post
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    Jeremy Corbyn Says He Doesnt Need to Be Rebooted | Good Morning Britain - YouTube

    I can't believe how biased and aggressive the GMTV presenters are. Gaun yersel' Jezza
    Have you caught up on all his relaunch interviews today? What an utter shambles. It's pitiful.

  45. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by jock3 View Post
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    Jeremy Corbyn Says He Doesnt Need to Be Rebooted | Good Morning Britain - YouTube

    I can't believe how biased and aggressive the GMTV presenters are. Gaun yersel' Jezza
    He's destroying their party, they're bound to be pissed off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    He's destroying their party, they're bound to be pissed off.
    I don't think he's destroying. It's now destroyed. 28% in the polls at this time in a parliament is unprecedented.

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    post miliband the three "mainstream" leadership candidates were duds.

    chuka dropped out.

    so the option was more of the same (which wasn't working with the electorate) or change - and there was only one candidate for change on the ballot.

    in the pre brexit world the possibility of toppling cameron and osbourne seemed nigh on impossible with the three "mainstream" leadership candidates.

    now i'm not going to argue the choice was right or wrong, the polling for Lab may still be as low under cooper flint or burnham.....what has not helped is the PLP split/civil war.
    follow the programme archive on twitter: http://twitter.com/hibsbollah

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny View Post
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    what has not helped is the PLP split/civil war.
    This is a myth. The opinion polls were shocking from the moment Corbyn was elected. Indeed he was the first ever elected Labour leader with negative polling numbers when elected.

    This myth perpetuated that it was only when the PLP imploded in the most pathetic coup in UK parliamentary history that Labour started to poll so poorly is with respect utter $#@!e.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf View Post
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    This is a myth. The opinion polls were shocking from the moment Corbyn was elected. Indeed he was the first ever elected Labour leader with negative polling numbers when elected.

    This myth perpetuated that it was only when the PLP imploded in the most pathetic coup in UK parliamentary history that Labour started to poll so poorly is with respect utter $#@!e.
    indeee. The whole episode is a saluatory lesson on the dark side of faith based beliefs; the capacity for rejecting reality is amazing.

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    what has not helped is the PLP split/civil war.
    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf View Post
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    This is a myth. The opinion polls were shocking from the moment Corbyn was elected. Indeed he was the first ever elected Labour leader with negative polling numbers when elected.

    This myth perpetuated that it was only when the PLP imploded in the most pathetic coup in UK parliamentary history that Labour started to poll so poorly is with respect utter $#@!e.

    it didn't help though.......you have to admit that, it wasn't a positive thing for the Labour Party

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    indeee. The whole episode is a saluatory lesson on the dark side of faith based beliefs; the capacity for rejecting reality is amazing.
    as above - i'm not saying all was rosey.... but the plp did not help the situation.
    follow the programme archive on twitter: http://twitter.com/hibsbollah

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