26 May 2010

We must halt the capitalist merry-go-round

David Marquand writes in The Guardian an interesting piece that looks at how the 'new politics' needs a realignment of the mind and 'needs Caroline Lucas'. He writes: "Tarted-up neoliberalism won't cut it. The great question of our time isn't the deficit, but halting the capitalist merry-go-round."

Photo: At Stroud's District Council's election count when Anya Whiteside returned from Brighton where she had witnessed Caroline Lucas become the first Green MP

The article covers some of Labour and
Lid Dem failures - it is worth a read but if short of time here are some key parts of the article which also argues that the LibCons are an improvement on the previous government - and how the 'Labour party is not going to change in a hurry.' And 'how the Liberal Democrats have undoubtedly changed, but in the wrong way. They have lost their reason for existing. There was point in voting Liberal Democrat when they could claim to be the party of insurgent democracy. There is no point in voting for them merely because they have buttressed Cameron's Whiggish statecraft.'

It then goes onto argue we need a realignment: "For the last two years we have been living through the third great capitalist crisis of modern times; and it is not over yet. The neoliberal paradigm that has dominated policy-making throughout the developed world, not least in the institutions of global economic governance, has been turned inside out. Markets, we have discovered (or rediscovered), do not always know better than governments. Private greed does not procure public benefits. The lords of creation in the hedge funds and investment banks are not wealth creators. They are wealth destroyers. A rising tide does not invariably float all boats. The self-regulating market of neoliberal economic theory is a phantom, whose pursuit led to a shameful increase in inequality and eventually to a catastrophic fall in employment and output. The newly untamed capitalism of the last 30 years has not been driven by "rational economic actors": the "rational economic actor" is another phantom. It has been driven by stampeding herds of electronic gamblers. It is not only monstrously unjust, it is also unsustainable – not only economically, but politically, environmentally and, above all, morally.

"Yet the implications have not sunk in....Sooner or later the crisis-haunted capitalist merry-go-round will have to stop. The great question for our time is not how and when to cut the fiscal deficit, or calm the markets, or curb the bonus culture, or tax transnational financial transactions – pressing as all these questions are. It is how to halt the merry-go-round before it is too late: how to switch from an unjust and unsustainable economic order to a just and sustainable one. No single thinker, party or school of thought offers a complete answer, or anything like it. Answers will have to be hammered out in open-minded dialogue, between all those who accept that tinkering is not enough, across the lines of party and creed. The need, in fact, is for a realignment of the mind, socialist in economics and republican in politics. In such a realignment the Green movement must surely have a central place, along with radicals and dissenters from all parties and none. Caroline Lucas, over to you." See full article here.

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