I make no excuses for my politics, I am and I’ve pretty much always been of a Socialist mind, I grew up in the 80s listening to The Smiths and loathing Thatcher. Education and forty-two years of life have done nothing to convince me that any other system than that of social democracy can work in this rather fucked up world, it seems to be both logically, philosophically and practically the only system that consistently delivers for the mast majority of the world’s population. Libertarian, anarcho-capitalism leads to greed bordering on the criminal, economic ruin, banking crashes and the super-rich getting bailed out while everyone else suffers. Markets must be regulated, wealth taxed for benefit of society as a whole and investment made to help people out of poverty, provide good public education and health care and provide social and physical infrastructure. Marxism on the other hand just represses natural human tendencies for self-improvement, making a better a life for oneself and one’s family and aspiration, these are not evils, everyone wants to do better and to restrict this and the creativity that flows from this is wrong on any level.
The history of the 20th century can be defined by the struggle against three great totalitarian evils: Imperialism, Fascism and Soviet Communism, these ideologies were eventually defeated, however, the 21st century has brought us two other evils that threaten to repress mankind, the religious fascism of Islamic and Christian fundamentalism and the totalitarian tyranny of unrestricted free markets.
Religious fascism in the guise of Islamic fundamentalism demonstrated its destructive force on September 11th 2001, anyone that takes the view that we in the west brought these attacks upon ourselves because of our support for Israel fails to understand that it wasn’t the foreign policy of the United States that was assaulted that day it was the secular liberalism, democracy, sexual freedom and scientific rationalism of our societies that al Qaeda declared war upon. In a less violent but more insidious sense Conservative Christian fundamentalism has moved into mainstream politics in the United States, this is movement is sexually repressive, anti-scientific, anti-pluralist and regressive in a way that no mainstream political movement has been since the rise of fascism. With the recent rise of the Tea Party, Conservative Christian Fundamentalism is now linked libertarianism, this movement that can best be described as anti-government, it is a movement that seeks to impose massive restrictions on personal freedoms whilst limiting governments ability to intervene in economic matters in any way, shape or form.
It seems that we have replaced the tyranny of totalitarian politics with the totalitarianism of the markets, how else would one describe a system which prevents democratically elected governments from fulfilling mandates for which their electorates voted? When governments are afraid to increase public spending or enact a new taxation policy because of market reaction, then how can we claim that we live in democracies?
I hope to tackle these issues and other more mundane political issues in this blog.