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July 28, 2019

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Dipper

This is just snobbery. The absolute rubbish talked by establishment pundits that goes unchallenged...

e

Not convinced here. Suspect a weight of “buffoons or wrong ‘uns” is ever present. What's changed is exposure: a by product of need to fill 24 hour news (generally speaking) with anything other than instructive political analysis. Yet we don't see our 'competent', our 'successful' parliamentarians clamouring to broaden and deepen news media output. Our broadcast media age seems to have bread a paralysing fear among our would-be heroes. Trust me I'm a nice guy with a big brain and I know what's going on so you don't have to isn't cutting it any more.
Capitalism has indeed changed over the past 40 years. Each and every step has required just a little more derision for anything other than success in monetary terms. Failure is always expressed culturally of course, because how else could an entire class of diverse working people otherwise shoulder the blame .

Jim

"But in fact, the words “Leaver” and ”Brexiter” meant nothing just four years ago, when only a handful of cranks were obsessed with the EU"

As ever you are declaring without any proof whatsoever that the pro-brexit feeling that was unleashed by the chance of a referendum did not exist prior to that vote. Whereas in reality such sentiment undoubtedly existed, it was just entirely ignored by the main parties and the liberal establishment. The fact that lots of people in rather unheard of and unfashionable places were anti-EU was irrelevant to the London based liberals who control everything, as the Brexit voters were completely without political clout. The referendum did not create their views, it gave them chance to voice them. The Establishment had gotten so used to ignoring them, it was rather shocked to find there were a lot more of them than they imagined, so many indeed they lost the referendum. And people like you have been crying like spoilt children denied their favourite toy ever since.

Soreko

"just four years ago, when only a handful of cranks were obsessed with the EU"

It became an issue when it was linked to historically high economic immigration (as opposed to humanitarian immigration) following eastward expansion, in the context of a weakening of labour relative to capital (evidenced by growing inequality and weakened organised labour); and after 2016 in particular, all this became linked to the word "control".

Good or bad, New-Labour and the neo-liberal establishment pushed for rapid eastward expansion without transition controls and first underestimated the scale of the immigration (they relied on an econometric model) and when in a very short time there over a million arrivals as opposed to 13 000 per year, they played down the consequences. The view that large flows of low paid foreign labour was good for the country was not a politically clever argument to make at the time.

Before eastward expansion and the rapid increase in economic immigration, I agree, the EU was of little interest to the vast majority of people.

Blissex

«when the Tories let themselves get obsessed with Europe in the 90s, they were obliterated in general elections»

Property crash in the 1990s did them in, and kept them out of power until New Labour allowed another property crash. Upper-middle class english voters are merciless: if they don't get their £30,000-£40,000 a year property profit (redistributed from renters and buyers), they will fire any government.

Blissex

«escapees from North Korea are often surprised by the wealth of the west because they've been indoctrinated to think abject poverty is widespread and normal.»

It is indeed widespread and normal, because most "capitalist" countries are third-world countries.
Favelas are not the exception.

The celebration of food banks in the UK and the widespread need for food stamps in the USA also show that even in first-world countries there are large areas of destitution; there are widespread favelas even in California and London.

Kensington and Chelsea or even Barcelona are far from typical. Perhaps more people should read "This is London" by Ben Judah.

Blissex

«Before eastward expansion and the rapid increase in economic immigration, I agree, the EU was of little interest to the vast majority of people.»

And I quite agree witha that: not many people worried that the french or swedish etc., who can find better jobs with better pay in their own countries, come to the UK to outcompete the locals by accepting whatever pay and Ts&Cs they are offered.

The flaw with New Labour's policy (recommended by M King to push down wage inflation) was that they thought the votes of those affected did not matter at general elections. Indeed they did not, but the referendum was done on a completely differente base.

Bill Posters

"The prominence of low-grade MPs is relatively new"

Try reading this
Crap MPs Hardcover – 12 Nov 2009
by Dr. Bendor Grosvenor (Author), Dr. Geoffrey Hicks

Martin

Sounds like you think Brexit is a passing thing. But the latest Yougov puts the Tories well ahead of Labour, and since the referendum all the former have been about, is Brexit. Until Brexit is past (or passed) that is going to be the main event. So if, as seems likely, we go to the polls end October, the GE will be about Brexit tout court. By sitting on the fence and not linking up with the other Remain parties, Corbyn's goose will be cooked. A Boris government to 2024 it will be.

LarryJayCee

I don't think that Karl Marx is any longer a reliable historian when it comes to capitalism; we have learnt much about its evolution since he wrote in the nineteenth century. A modern book:
'Money Changes Everything' by William Goetzmann

https://press.princeton.edu/titles/10662.html

makes it evident that the origins of capitalism can be traced all the way back to Mesopotamia in the third millennium BCE.

Manhattan

A similar topic is touched upon by H. Talal in this blog post - https://humanitatis.home.blog/blog-feed/

Let me know what you think

Talking head

Any limits on government spending are pretty elastic: it all depends on public confidence in the money/bonds printed to pay for it. But maybe we risk losing that confidence if we talk too easily of an alternative to "capitalism"? A society without self interest is no more plausible than a world without gravity.

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