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August 08, 2019



"It's a similar mechanism to this that helps explain Ben Friedman's point - which is perhaps the most important fact about contemporary politics - that economic stagnation breeds intolerance and closed-mindedness."

I think the shaping of preferences performed here is to redefine the growing consciousness of and opposition to one's vulnerability in the face of bourgeois power in both its global and domestic forms as "intolerance and closed-mindedness." rather than the (not particularly inchoate outwith the current dearth of electoral possibilities I'm guessing) rebirth of echt class consciousness.

"Shut up and suffer in the trap we've built for you and whose bars (in the shape of asset prices and costs of living perfectly incompatible with global competitiveness)we are unwilling to remove because they're the primary source of our wealth and power" is kind of a hard sell in the democratic (a few years ago I'd have been calling it the late-democratic) era. Even if they succeed in redefining it as a form of reaction the bourgeois have to offer some sort of settlement (not easy after they've elected to relentlessly calumniate the punters in the foulest terms) or watch the lid come off the pressure cooker sooner or later.


so, run that bit about economic growth and the EU past me again. I seem to have missed the evidence bit.


'its in no-ones interests' is a classic technocratic quote.

In conflict after conflict, smaller armies get concessions from bigger parties by being prepared to tolerate a lose-lose outcome, so forcing the larger party to accept a smaller loss for them and a win for the smaller party. The Vietnamese army wasn't bigger than the American army, but it beat the American army by making the cost of victory too large, even at their own expense.

It is the inability to understand this that makes the technocratic Remain group wrong. they will keep conceding until there is noting left to concede

Just to bang on, what Remain, and particularly Labour Remain, have signalled, is that they are guided entirely by the consensus on short term economic indicators such as Stirling. They have given the EU and anyone else a clear road map on how to steer the UK into an outcome they desire. Just astonishingly dim-witted completely unaware behaviour


In a subsequent post, Wren-Lewis asserts that
"Everyone telling you that you cannot vote Labour because Labour “is an antisemitic party” is telling you to vote for No Deal."

Well, Labour is (or has become) an antisemitic party.
IMO that means they should not be voted for, Brexit or no.
Clearly Wren-Lewis believes that anti-Jewish racism is a lesser evil.
I beg to disagree.

The Rage

Understanding why Jews like Donald Trump exist will describe why Jews like Boris "Johnson" exist. Debt expansion. Sadly the ole barbarian tribes have become addicted. Ashkenazi simply don't know what to do. The industrial revolution is not repeatable.


Do many young people passionately support Corbyn now? Although those people, of whatever age, who actively support him are absolutely passionate about it, I know far more who are passionately anti-Conservative - at least, the party as it is now - but are convinced that Corbyn is not up to the complexity of the job of running the country and mistrust his policies too. Support for him has dropped considerably since the last election. My three children intend to vote LibDem at the next election, as do I. I voted Labour last time but I won't again.


That article by S Wren-Lewis is quite off the mark, as for example most retirees are invested in "global" pension funds, not mostly in UK companies or cash.

But the conclusion is the highest level of ridiculousness:

“a force of ideas rather than interests. It is neoliberalism, and in particular the idea that the state and regulations just get in the way of prosperity for all, that is powering many of these mavericks”

HAHAHAHAHAHA! All those thatcherite rentiers are really only considering their interests, they could not care less about ideas, they reckon that state and regulations get in the way of them screwing everybody else. There are few people more self-interested and who despise ideas (which they consider propaganda to feed to gullible simpletons) than those rentiers.


«But what exactly is the mechanism here? I’m not sure that it is simple mechanical self-interested support for specific policies: “Jeremy Corbyn will cut my rent.” [...] Instead, what’s going on is a change of identity. In the 80s, many young people identified themselves as property-owners and voted accordingly. Today, they see themselves as propertyless and so vote Labour.»

This describing having the long term interests of a “property-owner” vs “propertyless” as a difference in "identity" is one of the most ridiculous, word-twisting rewriting of history and meaning I have seen in a long time. Amazing clintonite/blairite comically stretched spin.
The politics of interests of course is not just “simple mechanical self-interested support for specific policies”, it is about knowing that the party you vote for will fight for your interests over time, because of aligned interests, not because of sharing an identity.

The people who voted Thatcher or Blair for decades did not vote their "identities", but their trust in those parties to continue delivering the massive increases in their income and wealth that their policies indeed delivered, decade after decade. Tony Blair himself, describing the "Sierra man", wrote:

“I was canvassing in the Midlands on an ordinary suburban estate. I met a man polishing his Ford Sierra, self-employed electrician, Dad always voted Labour. He used to vote Labour, he said, but he bought his own home, he had set up his own business, he was doing quite nicely, so he said I’ve become a Tory. [...] people judge us on their instincts about what they believe our instincts to be”

And those instincts are clearly about interests: "Sierra man", as a property and business owner, knew by instinct that the Conservatives would support his interests better than the Labour wing of Labour.

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