Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context.
7 November 2013
“For a long time now, at least thirty to forty years, the policy of social democratic parties has been articulated, year after year of neoliberalist rule, by the principle that ‘whatever you (the centre-right) do, we (the centre-left) can do better’…
This state of affairs has a reason: social democracy has lost its own separate constituency, its social fortresses and ramparts: enclosures inhabited by people at the receiving end of political and economic action, people waiting and yearning to be recast or to lift themselves out of the aggregate of victims into an integrated collective subject with interests, political agenda and political agency, all of its own.
In short, what remains (at least in our part of the world) of the exploited industrial working class fighting for the vindication of the injustices it has suffered has shrunk to a marginal position in Western societies, repeating the itinerary travelled by agricultural labour a century earlier…
Moreover, what has remained of social democracy’s ‘natural constituency’ has been all but pulverized into an aggregate of self-concerned and self-centred individuals, competing for jobs and promotions, with little if any awareness of a commonality of fate and still less inclination to close ranks and undertake solidary action….Recast as consumers first and producers as a distant (and not necessary) second, the former social democratic constituency has been dissolved in the rest of the aggregate of solitary consumers, knowing of no other ‘common interest’ than that of taxpayers. No wonder the extant heirs of social democratic movements have their eyes focused on the ‘middle ground’ (referred to not so long ago as the ‘middle classes’) and rally to the defence of the ‘taxpayers’….the only ‘public’ from whom it seems feasible and plausible to obtain solidary electoral support. Both parts of the current political spectrum hunt and graze on the same ground, trying to sell their ‘policy product’ to the same clients….
It is the right, and only the right, that with the left’s consent has assumed the uncontested dictatorship over the political agenda of the day. It is the right that decides what is in and what is out, what can be spoken and what ought to/must become/remains unspeakable. It is the right, with the connivance of the left, that draws the line separating the possible from the impossible – and has thereby made self-fulfilling Margaret Thatcher’s sentence about there being no alternative to itself…”
This reasonable commonsense viewpoint is set out by Zygmunt Bauman, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Leeds, in his book “This is not a diary” published by Polity Press in 2012. See the entry for 4 January 2011, pages 107 to 109.
Antigone1984 is fully in agreement with Professor Bauman’s position, which chimes nicely with our own analysis of partitocracy.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
5.Ladder (21 June 2012)
6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.