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October 24, 2020



Sir, what about Indian case?( we have reaction along with economic growth)


"All this is a way of saying that the left must be in favour of economic growth – albeit as green as possible."

I would phrase this slightly differently:

"The left must be in favour of economic growth that is compatible with reducing our impact on the environment to sustainable levels."

In effect, we need to accept that staying inside the outer ring of Kate Raworth's 'doughnut' is essential and this must drive what economic growth is acceptable. Indeed developed countries need to accept that their own policies need to be more conservative (with a small c) than this to allow headroom for countries that have not yet completed their demographic transitions and whose use of planetary resources will continue to rise.

Jan Wiklund

Did you know that I was not allowed by Facebook to link to this website?

They apparently regard you as dangerous!


@kartheek India has been stagnant for a decade now.


«Of course, it is morally right to assert the case for equal rights for minorities and women [...] Sometimes, there’s a distinction between what is morally right and what is tactically right.»

I guess then policies against the poverty of the working class, which is mostly white, are not morally right, but just tactically right.

If I may hazard a guess, the argument is that "The Markets" bestow poverty on lower class people because they deserve it, and even more so the white, hetero, male ones for being bigoted and being losers despite their racial and gender privileges.

"All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Markets made them all.

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
The Markets made them high and lowly,
And ordered their estate."

Except for interference with market outcomes by discrimination from white hetero male working class bigots?


It would appear to me that the culture war has been created by the well to do leftist middle classes attacking and attempting to control the working classes for their long held attitudes and opinions, not the working classes rising up and demanding to impose their social conservatism on the middle classes.

When holding the view that people with penises are men and people with vaginas are women makes you a target for the kulturkampf Left, its hardly the case that the social conservatives are the ones who have moved to the extreme.

Dave Timoney

One of the features of the last 40 years has been the way that progressive causes were advanced by adopting contemporary conservative arguments about personal freedom & market choice, notably in respect of feminism (the right to a career & "having it all") & gay liberation (same-sex marriage & the pink pound).

In other words, the culture war has largely been fought by the well-to-do rightist middle class in opposition to the well-to-do rightist middle class.

The idea that the culture war centrally involves either the working class or the left as a protagonist is a myth.

Nick Drew

What Jim said. And consider what's lining up enthusiastically on the woke side of these culture wars

being required to subscribe to the idea that a man who self-declares as a woman, is thereby and without further qualification A Woman, is the same as being required to believe in Transubstantiation or Virgin Birth

it is a Jesuitical religious position, with the attempt being made to impose it by force of law, just as did the the Catholic Church in bygone days

the freedom not to subscribe to such nonsensical things was once viewed as a great reform


"Which is another way of saying what Ben Friedman wrote in The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth – that economic growth gives us liberalism and demands for equality whilst stagnation and regress give us political reaction."

This tired old trope keeps getting repeated despite glaring counterexamples like the relative openness of the Great Depression and the rising intolerance in Reagan's 1980s boom times.

Friedman even admits as much.

When you keep repeating the same thing despite blatantly obvious counterexamples, it says more about you than about the relationship between growth and liberalism ...


"The idea that the culture war centrally involves either the working class or the left as a protagonist is a myth."

Yes, because the Universities and Educational system are such well known hotbeds of right wing thinkers demanding ideological conformity............


"It means the left must be very wary of getting involved in culture wars."

Not just this, when the left does get involved it needs to not be a dick. Don't call everyone a racist, realise that most people haven't been thinking about and tweeting about all this and have genuine questions.

Dave Timoney

@Jim, the "culture war" is not being fought on campuses or in schools. It is being fought in the pages of rightwing newspapers and on compliant TV programmes that take their lead from the press.

You might also have noticed that the media disproportionately feature rightwing academics, such as Nigel Biggar or Matthew Goodwin, in support of their belief that universities are intolerant or the working class socially conservative.

It's a scam.

The truth

A great article but then the red herring about BLM

BLM is a lie, pure and simple.

Blacks are less likely to be killed by police in the USA on a per violent conviction basis and a per forceful arrest basis.

Maybe it is racism causing them to committ more crimes, but the US police are not discrimating on the basis of race when they kill blacks (US police are equal opportunity killers)


@The truth. Police brutality may cross racial lines and I don't know of the claim you make since you provide no reference but blatant systemic racial bias amongst police officers is still revealed in studies.
"Based on information from more than two million 911 calls in two US cities, he concluded that white officers dispatched to Black neighbourhoods fired their guns five times as often as Black officers dispatched for similar calls to the same neighbourhoods"...


" the "culture war" is not being fought on campuses or in schools. "

If course not, no one with right wing views is allowed anywhere near them, or at least to espouse such views anyway.


As always in this discussion and especially in the comments there is the confusion that results in right-wing whiggism described as "left wing", with the inability to make a clear distinction between right-wing repressive tories and right-wing identitarian whigs.

With the result that the repressive tories often don't realize that identitarian whiggism is on their side, as it is also designed to divert attention from pervasive economic inequality to much less prevalent identity inequality.

If as R Hattersley wrote the [minimal] aim of the left is "to change society in such a way that there is no poverty and deprivation from which to escape", then if that is achieved even the inequality from identity becomes a much less urgent issue. But the right-wing media, on both the whig and tory sides, continue to make a big deal of the latter and "leftoids" fall for it.

George Carty

@the truth

US police back in the 1980s were even more racist than today. The _real_ problem that has given us BLM is that US police have become a lot more _trigger happy_.

Perhaps the US needs to impose minimum size and physical fitness requirements, to ensure that they are competent at taking down suspects _without_ resorting to their guns?


George Carty

If economic stagnation makes people more right-wing, doesn't that mean that green socialism cannot possibly work, because the "green" bit results in the economy shrinking, which causes the masses to seek to preserve their own standard of living at the expense of the weak?

Note the recent rise of eco-fascism, as exemplified by the terrorists who murdered Hispanics in El Paso and Muslims in New Zealand...

Nick Drew

@ "doesn't that mean that green socialism cannot possibly work, because the "green" bit results in the economy shrinking, which causes the masses to seek to preserve their own standard of living at the expense of the weak?"

Conventional workerist labour is aligned with Growth as much as (most) capitalists are

"the left must be in favour of economic growth", as our host says. And traditionally, both would side with Lovelock: "civilisation is energy-intensive"

Some Greens suggest, optimistically, that there's no trade-off, because the switch to green will generate growth - like WW2 stimulated the US economy (though it didn't do too much for one or two others ...)

The Long-Bailey "just transition" policy isn't quite the same: it says, Go green, but not at the expense of jobs. Thus we see Labour supporting the new coal mine in Cumbria etc etc

But Swampie-Greens go the whole hog, inviting us to accept the impairments to civilisation which both traditional sides agree will follow

The interesting new thing is that since Covid, every party in almost every country is willing to see growth sacrificed for some greater good (reduction in deaths among the sick and elderly); not to mention the many Brexiteers who seem willing to scarifice growth, this time for political freedom

So: don't assume there's a guaranteed majority coalition for growth-and-all-its-civilied-benefits any longer


«If economic stagnation makes people more right-wing»

The claim is more generally that there are fewer distributional conflicts over a growing pie than over a fixed size pie, as growth can be used to give a little extra to most constituencies.

«doesn't that mean that green socialism cannot possibly work, because the "green" bit results in the economy shrinking, which causes the masses to seek to preserve their own standard of living at the expense of the weak?»

Here I remind the reader of the term "cram down": in a fixed pie situation if someone get more someone else must be crammed down. Whether that works smoothly or not depends on:

* Whether there is a class with hegemony that can smoothly impose a cramdown on some constituencies.

* If there is no such class whether "the masses" are dog-eat-dog thatcherites or are live-with-neighbours social capitalists.


«the term "cram down»

My usual relevant link:


«"The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
The Markets made them high and lowly,
And ordered their estate."»

Some (usual) relevant links:


Edis Bevan

You are indeed being barred from FB reposting for 'breach of community standards'. I am complaining....


I have long been a fan of yours but I HATE the term creative destruction. It is just wrong (perhaps deliberately). It is destructive creation. The car was not a consequence of the demise of the horse.

Ralph Musgrave

I agree with Jim above that leftie intellectuals should try to get their heads round the idea that men have penises and women have vaginas, though possibly that idea is too intellectually demanding for leftie intellectuals.

As an alternative perhaps they might try to get their heads around the idea that a culture which goes in for beheading, wife beating, genital mutilation, cruel forms of animal slaughter and killing apostates (to mention just five) is unlikely to have anything to offer us by way of "cultural enrichment." Though perhaps that idea will be too difficult for leftie intellectuals as well.


October 27, 2020



Cases   ( 917,575)
Deaths   ( 45,365)

Deaths per million   ( 667)


Cases   ( 462,372)
Deaths   ( 10,254)

Deaths per million   ( 122)

Jan Wiklund

If identity politics gains predominance, of course the biggest identity wins. Britishers in Britain, Hungarians in Hungary, Germans in Germany. It should be obvious, but there are many people who cannot see it.


Growth is such an ergodic concept. In pushing for equality, we must stop fighting for equality. GDP is a political figure. If statisticians were honest, they would include standard error in their GDP estimates, which would be huge because GDP is over half imputed. Maximizing GDP is silly and leaves many behind. Fetishizing growth at the expense of fighting for basic income is a political platform I can not support. And I voted for Mondale/Ferraro in 1984! So the left has lost me.

Samuel Bytheway

One problem with the idea of "not getting involved in the culture wars" is that it tacitly assumes "we" aren't directly effected by them - if you're queer or black you cannot help but fight back in the same way that you'd yell if someone was standing on your toe. "Us" not rising to Tory assaults implies that "us" has a choice in the matter.

James Charles

'A “green industrial revolution” is no different to any other form of industrial revolution in its voracious consumption of what remains of Planet Earth. And insofar as it is primarily the still – for now – solvent western states which will benefit, it should more properly be regarded as the final act of imperialism rather than a genuine effort to decarbonise the economy. Not least because the additional energy to allow the massive increases in mineral extraction and refinement envisaged has to come from somewhere, and it isn’t going to be from wind turbines and solar panels for much the same reason.'


The Tory party has also pretty much renounced public health:

October 28, 2020



Cases   ( 917,575)
Deaths   ( 45,365)

Deaths per million   ( 667)


Cases   ( 479,621)
Deaths   ( 10,359)

Deaths per million   ( 124)


Beyond shocking and shameful:


Rania Khalek @RaniaKhalek

I assume all those liberals opposed to cancel culture are up in arms about the Labour Party suspending Jeremy Corbyn over the manufactured anti-Semitism scandal. Strangely I missed their protestations. Can you please post it here since I’m not seeing it?

12:03 PM · Oct 29, 2020


Ultimately then the so-called Labour establishment has chosen to destroy the most honorable and decent and socially-caring party member possible. I am beyond appalled. The heck with such a Labour Party; the heck with such Labour indecency.


Never ever will I forgive a so-called Labour leadership that would so demean a truly wonderful Jeremy Corbyn.


The reflection of distressingly poor public health policy:

October 29, 2020



Cases   ( 965,340)
Deaths   ( 45,955)

Deaths per million   ( 676)


Cases   ( 496,342)
Deaths   ( 10,416)

Deaths per million   ( 124)


The ruining of a socially compassionate Jeremy Corbyn by the so-called leadership of Labour, tells me there is no future for Labour. Labour's leadership has shamefully betrayed all the party should stand for.


No matter whether a person has been Labour or Conservative, to not be appalled and frightened by the way in which Jeremy Corbyn has been treated by the British media, with echoes in America and Australia and Canada, and ultimately forced out of Labour should be distressing.

Do Chris Dillow or Simon Wren-Lewis, for instance, have any idea what this means?

A life of supporting social decency and progress in the UK is finally dismissed by a Labour coterie for whom social progress has become unacceptable.

I am truly distressed.



October 27, 2020

Britain’s Health Workers Face 2nd Virus Wave, but This Time With Less Support
Public backing for the efforts of the country’s health service is eroding amid a lack of a clear government policy to deal with the pandemic, many medical workers say.
By Benjamin Mueller


October 30, 2020



Cases   ( 989,745)
Deaths   ( 46,229)

Deaths per million   ( 680)


Cases   ( 516,424)
Deaths   ( 10,515)

Deaths per million   ( 125)



Vijay Prashad @vijayprashad

More than anything else, @jeremycorbyn is a most decent man. The @UKLabour suspension of Jeremy further diminishes the @Keir_Starmer leadership. People like @HackneyAbbott, @johnmcdonnellMP and Jeremy represent humanity against the venality of the British ruling class.

7:47 AM · Oct 30, 2020

James Charles

According to C.W..
“Chris Williamson
Despite cries about ‘institutional anti-Semitism’ and an ‘existential threat to British Jews’, the EHRC based its report on a tiny sample of 70 complaints made over a three-year period.
It only found two examples of supposed ‘unlawful harassment’ – out of half a million members.”

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