Where is politics going?

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dyqik
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by dyqik » Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:46 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:35 pm
dyqik wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 4:54 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:38 pm
One thing that's sorely needed is a compelling alternative vision of the country.

It shouldn't be hard, as the status quo only works for a tiny elite minority and most people are dissatisfied.

But all the self-styled "sensible" people on the left seem to want to suggest is minor tweaks to whatever hellish dystopia the right has foisted upon us.
The sensible people on the left want fairly major changes to the actual status quo. The problem that divides the left is that those changes are only small changes to how the current status quo is sold by the right: essentially what the right sells is the high government spending, highly unionized, highly regulated capitalism of the post-war period as a golden age to go back to. But the right uses that sales pitch as an excuse to push 80s laissez faire capitalism further, rather than trying to do what made the economic gains of the 40s and 50s work.

The really major changes required to the post-war consensus are to reduce the systematic racism, classism and other bigotries of that period. There doesn't need to be enormous economic changes from that period of high government spending on infrastructure, education, creation of the NHS, etc. But that's still a massive change from the past 40 years of conservative economics.
I'm not really sure what you're referring to. The right certainly aren't explicitly pushing those features of mid-20th century capitalism. They openly boast of cutting welfare, cutting "red tape" and are overseeing the constant erosion of working conditions etc.

Nobody is saying "we need a well regulated economy, strong working class institutions and a social safety net", and the left should be.
The right pushes the "Make American Great Again" line (modified for the country of choice), which directly references things like the US moon shot, etc., but also pushes 80's economics as the way to make that happen. They sell a vision of the past that was built on Government interventionism, but blame government for getting in the way, and preventing that from happening again.

The fundamental difference between right and left in recent years is that the right believes that government should get out of the way of white men, and strives to make it so incompetent that people will accept government limitations on rich white men being removed; while the left, "sensible" or otherwise, believes that government should work efficiently for all people. That's a far bigger difference than the differences between "sensible" and far left.

The sensible left is explicitly saying that we need a well regulated economy, strong institutions and a strong safety net (look at Warren's platform, for example).

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by lpm » Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:58 pm

Herainestold wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:21 pm
The racism, classism, anti-semitism and general bigotry has gotten much worse, but unfortunately it is an inherent part of the economic system. Can't get rid of it without changing the whole system.
This is obviously wrong, but worryingly that's what all the rest of you have been implying.

All this racism, classic etc sh.t improved relentlessly, decade after decade. OK, so it's partially stalled over the five or ten years in a couple of countries while continuing for most of the world. But each generation is better than their parents.

Under capitalism there was a vast reduction in inequality over the 30 years from 1945. Much of the commentary on this thread comes from seeing a cliff to climb and having the usual human short term view. There's plenty of easy paths up the hill once you accept they are steady 30 year paths and not sudden vertical leaps.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by lpm » Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:03 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:38 pm
the status quo only works for a tiny elite minority
Come on mate, this is insane. Literally insane. It's a delusional rejection of the real world around us.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Imrael » Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:52 pm

If social media become publishers dont they have to basically stop allowing free access to upload etc? Surely a publisher has to be an editor as well?

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:35 pm

lpm wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:03 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:38 pm
the status quo only works for a tiny elite minority
Come on mate, this is insane. Literally insane. It's a delusional rejection of the real world around us.
I mean I literally know people who've become homeless this year after losing their jobs, people who have to choose between heating and food, stuff like that, in one of the richest countries in the world.

Obviously that was shorthand - I'm comparing the UK to the kind of 1940s/contemporary-Nordic model of socialism where young workers can also have nice things.

The inequality in the UK is disgusting, with even the red cross and UN criticising it. Maybe you live in a pampered bubble, or just don't give a sh.t?
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by lpm » Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:27 pm

You think that's new? Homelessness and poverty? I don't think you're allowed to moan while living a global life and waiting for a plane.

It's great that you have high demands of our society, but it does mean you're really bad at comparing current western life to history or sh.t current regimes.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:40 am

Of course it's not new, but it's getting worse because of deliberate choices those in power have made. I think it's ok to compare reality with the immediate possible, as well as with history and with other countries.

If you think everything's working fine as it is, great. I look forward to seeing your defending of post-Brexit Tory policy during the next year.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:44 am

Or maybe lpm is right?

Should UK politics just be a bunch of people going "Hey, you'd have even worse employment prospects as a woman in 1675" or "You think that's bad? Take a look at the Oxbridge entrance statistics for black males from Guinea-Bissau"?

After all, none of the stuff you're talking about is new, so to complain about it is delusional.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:00 am

lpm wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:27 pm
These Jewish people complaining about antisemitism under Corbyn need to get real. It's a completely delusional rejection of the world that was around us in the 1930s.
Edit: lpm didn't actually say this. I was attempting a rhetorical device, applying her argument to another context. Sorry that it wasn't clear.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Herainestold » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:17 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:00 am
lpm wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:27 pm
These Jewish people complaining about antisemitism under Corbyn need to get real. It's a completely delusional rejection of the world that was around us in the 1930s.
Anti-semitism has been simmering under the surface since forever. The Conservatives manage to keep it out of sight, but it bubbled up under Corbyn, he couldn't tamp it down and it ended up consuming him. As long as the Conservatives can weaponize it against Labour it is bound to thrive.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Millennie Al » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:21 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:00 pm
If you want to store things permanently and broadcast them globally you're a publisher.
Ok, then. So who is the publisher of this forum?
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Millennie Al » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:30 am

individualmember wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:00 pm
Grumble wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:10 pm
Surely anti-semitism is a by-product of the diaspora?
What is specific about that particular diaspora, compared to other diasporas?
The specific thing was that they were Jewish. It used to be the case that Christians and Muslims could not lend money for interest (still the case theoretically for Muslims, but they're a clever lot and in modern times have ways to achieve useful moneylending without technically charging interest). Jews were also forbidden from charging interest, but only to other Jews. Consequently, in the face of prohibitions on doing lots of other work, money lending was a common profession for Jews. This is an unfortunate profession to be in when someone wants to renege on a loan as they may try to exploit bigotry and prejudice to help them avoid paying both the original loan and the interest. However, money lending to honest people is quite lucrative, so Jews were often rich and resented. Hence the depiction of Shylock in the Merchent of Venice.

This is why the slogan "For the many, not the Jew" is so apt nowadays.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Millennie Al » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:31 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:00 am
lpm wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:27 pm
These Jewish people complaining about antisemitism under Corbyn need to get real. It's a completely delusional rejection of the world that was around us in the 1930s.
No, lpm did not write that and such false attribution is unacceptable.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Millennie Al » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:35 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:40 am
Of course it's not new, but it's getting worse because of deliberate choices those in power have made. I think it's ok to compare reality with the immediate possible, as well as with history and with other countries.
You, and those of us in countries like the UK, live a life of such wealth and privilege that Roman emperors would be astonished at your riches yet you complain it's getting worse.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by plodder » Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:28 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:21 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:00 pm
If you want to store things permanently and broadcast them globally you're a publisher.
Ok, then. So who is the publisher of this forum?
Whoever hosts it, I guess. Risk of liability was one reason we moved here.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by plodder » Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:31 am

Lol @ the number of conspiracy theorists here who are against the system.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:29 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:35 pm
lpm wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:03 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:38 pm
the status quo only works for a tiny elite minority
Come on mate, this is insane. Literally insane. It's a delusional rejection of the real world around us.
I mean I literally know people who've become homeless this year after losing their jobs, people who have to choose between heating and food, stuff like that, in one of the richest countries in the world.

Obviously that was shorthand - I'm comparing the UK to the kind of 1940s/contemporary-Nordic model of socialism where young workers can also have nice things.

The inequality in the UK is disgusting, with even the red cross and UN criticising it. Maybe you live in a pampered bubble, or just don't give a sh.t?
Possible that you're both right. I'll suggest that the status quo works for about 60% of the UK population (see previous discussions on household home ownership, share ownership, private pensions etc). That still means that tens of millions face enormous hardship, and also explains why for at least 40 years the UK hasn't elected a government that promises radical redistribution of the wealth of those 60%.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by lpm » Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:26 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:29 am
for at least 40 years the UK hasn't elected a government that promises radical redistribution of the wealth of those 60%.
That's true but misleading. In 1997 the UK elected a government promising redistribution of incomes and opportunities. It has never been a democracy to look fondly at the word radical.

Nor have the elections of right wing governments come from voters in the prosperous 60%. A large part of the 40% rejected Corbyn and gave Johnson a landslide win.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:28 am

lpm wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:26 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:29 am
for at least 40 years the UK hasn't elected a government that promises radical redistribution of the wealth of those 60%.
That's true but misleading. In 1997 the UK elected a government promising redistribution of incomes and opportunities. It has never been a democracy to look fondly at the word radical.
By radical I meant things like a return to the 98% income tax rates of the 60s [ETA the top marginal rate]. Blair and Brown never promised anything like that.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:33 am

lpm wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:26 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:29 am
for at least 40 years the UK hasn't elected a government that promises radical redistribution of the wealth of those 60%.
Nor have the elections of right wing governments come from voters in the prosperous 60%. A large part of the 40% rejected Corbyn and gave Johnson a landslide win.
That’s right. Which is another reason why there hasn’t been electoral success for radical redistribution.

And on the other side of the coin, all the middle class professionals who support Labour aren’t into radical redistribution of their wealth (again, radical goes way further than an extra few percent on the income tax rate).

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:43 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:28 am
lpm wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:26 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:29 am
for at least 40 years the UK hasn't elected a government that promises radical redistribution of the wealth of those 60%.
That's true but misleading. In 1997 the UK elected a government promising redistribution of incomes and opportunities. It has never been a democracy to look fondly at the word radical.
By radical I meant things like a return to the 98% income tax rates of the 60s [ETA the top marginal rate]. Blair and Brown never promised anything like that.
PS Which isn’t to criticize Blair and Brown. I think they accurately assessed that overall the electorate would only support the modest redistribution that they delivered.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by lpm » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:01 am

That's not the only path up the mountain.

UK % going to university has gone from 15% to 50% over 30-35 years. Teaching in comprehensive schools is vastly better over that time. The NHS provides much better healthcare. Poverty in the elderly has done the opposite to the university stat, going from 50% to 15%. Child poverty has fallen.

And this in a country notorious for vile Tory governments and austerity. Think how much better it's been in countries where is been basically Blairism throughout.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:20 am

lpm wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:01 am
That's not the only path up the mountain.

UK % going to university has gone from 15% to 50% over 30-35 years. Teaching in comprehensive schools is vastly better over that time. The NHS provides much better healthcare. Poverty in the elderly has done the opposite to the university stat, going from 50% to 15%. Child poverty has fallen.

And this in a country notorious for vile Tory governments and austerity. Think how much better it's been in countries where is been basically Blairism throughout.
I don't disagree, there were improvements in public services when Labour was in government.

On the other hand, inequality rose through the 1980s. After 1997 it fluctuated but strikingly the latest numbers are pretty much where it was in 1990.
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Source

The Labour governments from 1997 on never suggested that they wanted to reverse the curve and get inequality back to where it was in 1979. The top rate of income tax in 1978 was 85%. In 1997 Blair and Brown inherited a top rate of 40% and it stayed there until 2010.

Again, this isn't a criticism. IMHO they would not have won in 1997 if the Labour manifesto had promised 70s level income tax rates.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by plodder » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:43 am

housing costs make up a lot of the current inequality, especially structural inequality which keeps people in their place.

There are a number of land reform proposals, some pretty modest, which will help address some of the structural problems, but demographics are also creating a pinch.

My point being that the solution isn’t as easy as a few % on income tax.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:56 am

A wealth tax would be a good start. Lots of EU countries have them, typically below 1%. Let's take back control from the oligarchs and give £350m a week to the NHS.
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