Saturday, September 13, 2008

Muscular socialism

Interesting article by Matthew Parris in The Times. He points out that all this "caring and sharing" Christian socialism that he says Tony Blair was so enamoured with, with it's obsession with the poor and disabled, has little to do with what Marx talked about:

Away (the socialist should say) with caring and diversity: let's hear about investment, not subsidy; progress, not equality; about Crossrail (what's the betting Mr Brown cancels it?); about how Britain generates its own power, how we rescue our rail network from impending insolvency, how we get from London to Scotland by train in two hours, and how we stop the planning system throttling every big project; about how we develop a global positioning system that the Americans don't control, how we pay for better highways and uncongested streets with proper road pricing, and how we research and market carbon-free transport, heat and power.

Muscular socialism

From a pluralistic, or agonistic point of view it is necessary that there be a muscular, statist, centralising, collectivist alternative to the economically liberal, capitalistic, federalising tendency of the past few decades.

The problem with Labour at the moment is their complete lack of ideological candour and legislative narrative.

Parris claims he is an economic liberal: but he observes the necessity of a socialist or social democratic tendency in the political debate with the coming economic difficulties.

This is very astute.

(So much muscularity! I will need to go and have a lie down!)

[image from Trevor H]

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