Paul says that rather than merely opposing austerity, the left should be pushing for supply-side socialism that opposes managerialist capitalism. I'm pretty sure he's right, and very sure he'll be ignored.
I say this because very many people are - still - blind to the problem of power. We see this in both serious and trivial issues. For example, why are there efforts to rein in bankers' bonuses and CEOs' pay, but almost none to constrain the origin of those big payouts, namely their power? Why do conventional economists spend so little time thinking about distributional issues, such as those between wages and profits? Why did Toby Young think it relevant that Lord Rennard doesn't look like George Clooney, as if the issue were one of sex rather than power?
Even Owen Jones, for all his virtues, seems afflicted by power blindness. Underneath the tubthumping, his call for "real alternatives to the failure of austerity" looks like just bogstandard Keynesianism that's quite compatible with capitalism. It's more Leijonhufvud than Luxemburg.
Why is power-blindness so ubiquitous? I blame cognitive biases, among them:
1. The just world illusion. People want to think we get what we deserve in this world. So just as they say rape victims were asking for it, they think high salaries are due to superstar effects rather than rent-seeking.
2. The fundamental attribution error, when allied to the urge to moralize, causes us to focus upon individual failures rather than structural ones. The phrase "greedy bankers" is a cliche, but the phrase "overly powerful bankers" is not.
3. Path dependence. It's natural to think that anything that's lasted a long time but be "natural" or immutable. Just as peasants thought it inevitable that lords would rule them, so we think today that it's inevitable that there must always be bosses; the failre to distinguish between management and administration adds to this error.
4.The Bonnie Tyler effect. A (large) part of the left are comfortable with concentrations of political power because they are holding out for a hero - a Chavez-type who will use that power for ends they like. But this lust for a white knight on a fiery steed will be unfulfilled. If you must take your politics from the hits of Dillow's youth, take the Stranglers rather than the Neath chanteuse.
Now, you might object that I've missed the point and that it's just utopian to think that managerialist power can be abolished. Maybe so, in the short-term. But it's also utopian to think that monetary and fiscal policies can create lasting full employment, or that it is easy to raise long-term growth.
Here, the left can learn from the right. A lot of what we now take for granted - privatized utilities and emasculated trades unions - were unthinkable once. But thanks in part to people preparing the intellectual ground, they went from unthinkable to inevitable quite quickly.