Friday, 25 February 2011

Problems and Solutions

Sli Eile: Due to Blogger formatting problems, can't post this directly - but click here for a breakdown of the economic issues facing us, counterposing orthodox and unorthodox analyses and responses.


Slí Eile said...

@Paul with regards to the issue of the minor detail of the election and all that be assured that the 'Progressive Left' is united in deep prayer at this time. Yours Slí (fair point you made ...)

Paul Hunt said...

@Sli Eile,

Deep prayer may provide some solace, but remember Marx on religion and the masses. In all developed economies there is a solid phalanx of voters in the liberal, progressive centre. So-called New Labour in Britain recognised that power could not be secured unless they were brought on-side. Its strategy was to balance economic efficiency with social justice. Getting the balance right will pull this bloc towards the progressive-left. For a time Labour succeeded.

The madness of Tony Blair has destroyed this for a time, but it is the only viable political strategy for the progressive-left. (I tore up my Labour membership card when he became leader. As Roy Jenkins once observed: "Tony never wanted to be the Labour leader; he just wanted to be Prime Minister.)

If the left places too much emphasis on social justice (and is seen to be defending the indefensible) at the expense of economic efficiency, this centre bloc will drift to the right and generate a centre-right plurality for government.

This is what we are seeing in Ireland and throughout the EU. But the tide will turn eventually. However, the turn of the tide could see the emergence of nationalistic, populist, xenophobic forces. The progressive-left has to force and ride this turn of the tide by reaching out to those in the liberal, progressive centre.

There is no other way.