Was catching Holywoman up on the latest Brexit machinations last night, and something tumbled out of my mind that either fits in this thread, or in the “European Spring” thread… (Or probably both.)
Neoliberalism is dead.
Call it “Thatcherism”, “Reaganomics”, “Trickle-Down”… Whatever…
The idea that Governments exist to get themselves out of the way…
Or that there is no such thing as “Society”…
…Just doesn’t seem to have caught the imagination of the Public.
I’m not saying Reagan or Thatcher were “wrong” in their opinions and policies… Everyone is entitled to think their own thoughts…
Just saying that “Trickle-Down”/”Supply-Side” Economics hasn’t worked out for most people… As far as those People are concerned.
They’ve been told not to expect or feel entitled to “hand-outs” from “their” Government… All the while watching trillions in subsidies, corporate welfare and tax-cuts being freely handed out to those who appear least in need, and/or least deserving.
That’s a really important point that our OP Capitalista’s should bear in mind before wading in with their usual tropes.
People aren’t complaining about not getting “welfare”, hand-outs or higher “Minimum Wages”, just because they’re never happy… They are complaining about the fact that whilst they are being told not to expect anything, corporations and the ultra-wealthy *ARE* being given whatever they request.
If the kind of “Free Market”, Libertarian, laissez-faire
policies favoured by the followers of Ayn Rand were actually in effect and being applied universally, without fear or favour…
…Then most of the major investment banks in Western Society would have collapsed in 2008.
And all of the debt owed to those institutions could have vanished along with them.
But instead of writing-down (or cancelling) the over-priced priced debt products (euphemistically called “Credit”) that so many people were enticed into, Western Governments bailed out the institutions that had done the enticing, so that the enticers could go on collecting on those odious debts.
Why is it that people are so quick to pounce on “Welfare Queens”, “Entitled” Public Sector Unions, and other general, Street-Level scroungers… But never have a word to say about the billions and trillions in corporate welfare payments given without question (and often, before even being asked)?
The complaint being expressed in European cities (and spreading) is not, “We want more!”; but “Stop giving it all to them!”.
President Trump has done Humanity a sterling service by exposing the naked, rancid corruption at the heart of (all) “Politics”.
He hasn’t done and won’t do anything personally to “Drain the Swamp”, Creature-of-the-Swamp that he himself is… But he is sure as shit doing a magnificent job of exposing the Swamp in all its cynical and moribund glory.
Western Governments are so afraid that the Game is (Finally!) Up, that they are even trying to start World War Three with Russia and/or China, as a means to distract their polities from the appalling corruption of their politicians.
But nobody’s buying that either.
They’re not interested in any more “spin”. They’re not interested in any more platitudes or reassurances that “Everything is Going to Be Great Again (Soon…)!”, when Everything is getting so palpably worse.
So here’s the reason why I’ve opted to put this post in the MBGA Thread:
A UK Government led by Jeremy Corbyn would/will be the final nail in the coffin of Neoliberalism.
A Corbyn Government would/will reverse all of the “privatisations [sic]” and part-privatisations (profits = private; losses = public) that have taken place since Thatcher started “selling off the Family Silver”. And unfortunately for all the Neoliberal cheerleaders of “Private Sector ‘Efficiencies’”, those “privatised” and part-privatised infrastructure services, cannot possibly *BE* run any less efficiently than they are under current arrangements.
(Re-)Nationalisation of the UK’s rail, water and energy infrastructures would immediately improve the daily Life experience of most Brits, and would prohibit any future attempts at privatisation.
Corbyn’s Chancellor, John McDonnell, might even go as far as nationalising the UK Banking Sector, which would *MASSIVELY* transform UK Society, in ways that most people can scarcely comprehend.
And any ideological opposition to a Corbyn Government doing that, would have to deal with the obvious evidence of the failure of 40 years of “Supply-Side”, Neoliberal Economic policies.
And that’s really the crux of the matter:
Forty years of meek acceptance that “Things Can Only Get Better”, culminating in ten years of “Austerity” (for those without political influence), has provided ample evidence that “Supply-Side” Economic Policy has been an abject failure (who’da thunk it?).
The “Fear” of another “Winter of Discontent”
and/or a return of the ”Three-Day Week”
has long since lost its sting.
The cry on the Street is, “How could things *BE* any worse than they are now?!”
If Theresa May doesn’t manage to cling on to her increasingly tenuous position, and the UK Labour Party moves from its position of “Strategic Ambiguity”
on Brexit, to offering a Second Referendum with a now viable “Cancel Brexit” option
, in any General Election manifesto…
Labour wins that General Election by a landslide.
And the UK Conservative Party fractures, and never, ever, ever forms a British Government again.
Which is about the only way that the last two years in British politics won’t have been a complete waste of Time and Energy.