Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Proposal for an Alt Left Political Program

The Alternative Left Facebook group seems to be growing quickly, and I am very glad to see this.

So I have some suggestions for them to create a coherent political program.

First, the Alt Left needs to get a coherent economic theory. This is extremely important. I urge them to read up on why Classical Marxism is a flawed economic theory here, and why Marxism is based on the mystical labour theory of value.

At the same time, practically all other economic schools of thought from neoclassical economics (in all its forms) and Austrian economics are also charlatanry and pseudo-science.

The only real and proper economic science for a capitalist economy is Post Keynesian economics. The Alt Left should adopt this as its economic theory, quite simply because it *is* the only legitimate economic science for market economies.

There are various subschools of Post Keynesian economics, including Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), as can be seen here.

Post Keynesianism is a radical development of the theories of John Maynard Keynes, but also takes important insights from Classical Economics and the theories of the idiosyncratic Marxian Michał Kalecki.

There are all sorts of other ideas and policies that should be combined with Post Keynesian economics to produce a revitalised, rational, humane, and effective left for the 21st century, as follows:
Economics
(1) the objectives of economic policy are full employment by government fiscal policy and public investment, high wages, a tendency for real wages to rise with productivity growth, strong aggregate demand, and, ideally, a dynamic economy based on manufacturing.

(2) as in Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), the Alt Left should reject the myth that taxes are required to finance government spending (see the discussions here and here). Governments with their own central banks and fiat currencies are always solvent in their own currency, and there is even a case for limited Overt Monetary Financing (OMF) (or what is commonly called central bank “money printing” to finance some government spending).

(3) a fundamentally important policy to attain full employment is an MMT Job Guarantee. This is a program in which the government will offer employment to anyone ready and willing to work (but unable to find a private sector job) at a socially-acceptable minimum wage to ensure real full employment at all times.

(4) governments should generally pursue sensible protectionism and industrial policy, not only to protect their manufacturing sectors from the disaster of free trade under absolute advantage, but as the best strategy to ensure future economic growth and economic independence.

(5) governments should reject privatisation of social services and infrastructure. Instead, these sectors should be nationalised or run as public utilities and maintained by high government investment, e.g., in healthcare, education, scientific and technological R&D, infrastructure, etc. There is now even a case for limited nationalisation of certain key industries as an industrial policy.

(6) foreign ownership of public assets, infrastructure, key industries and large-scale foreign ownership of real estate should also be strongly rejected, and instead these sectors should be owned by private domestic citizens and things like infrastructure owned by governments.

(7) the banking and financial sector should be subject to severe regulation and prevented from destabilizing the economy, given its tendency to create asset bubbles and inflating the level of private debt to catastrophic levels. There is now a case for nationalisation of the commercial banking sector. For many nations, there is a case for discretionary capital controls (see here).

(8) the taxation system should be progressive, but particularly concerned with taxing parasitic rent seeking and destabilising speculative activity.
Social and Cultural Issues
(1) The Alt Left should support reasonable and sensible civil and equity women’s rights and gay rights, but strongly reject French Poststructuralism, Postmodernism, truth relativism, cultural relativism, moral relativism, SJW cults, divisive and extreme identity politics, Third Wave Feminism, and endless cults of victimology from identity politics. The combination of all these ideas has created a toxic wing of the modern left called the “regressive left,” which needs to be totally rejected.

The Alt Left should also reject extreme social constructivism and the “blank slate” view of human beings, because this is not supported by science.

(2) the Alt Left should strongly defend free speech and freedom of expression from its enemies on the right, the regressive left, and from religious conservatives.

(3) the Alt Left should support a secular state and separation of church and state, but not alienate liberal religious people.

(4) the Alt Left should continue the anti-imperialist tradition of the left, and be largely non-interventionist on foreign policy, but not isolationist.

(5) the Alt Left should oppose regressive and illiberal Islamism and religious fundamentalism, and promote the assimilation of immigrants in the West.

(6) the Alt Left needs a sane and pragmatic policy on immigration. It needs to reject mass immigration and open borders on economic, social and cultural grounds, and support sensible limits on immigration. It also needs to recognise that promoting “diversity” is not necessarily a good thing in and of itself, and that multiculturalism has serious problems (see here).

(7) the Alt Left should consider the importance of the nuclear family, promote pro-nuclear family policies and – at the very least – be open to serious and rational discussion of the breakdown of the nuclear family in the Western world, and what harm this may have done to our societies, but with humane policies free from right-wing viciousness or free market economics.
As a further point of interest, there is an interesting post over at the Samizdat blog on the various subgroups of the Alt Left here.

He divides the Alt Left or the people who are receptive to it into these categories (I have added numbers for clarity):
(1) “The Left Wing of the Alt Right” – Rabbit uses this phrase quite explicitly. They are most open to race realism and most opposed to mass immigration and Islamism but are also inclined towards some kind of economic socialism or social democracy and are otherwise put off the Alt-Right somehow or other. Strasserites might be a more explicitly national socialist variant of this, and National Bolshevism would be even more out there still. Left wing nationalism would be a softer variant of this.

(2) “Gamergate Leftists” – Named from an article I read a while back claiming that most Gamergaters were left-leaning, these are another type. These types need not be big on Gamergate per-se (the more I studied Gamergate personally, the more lost and confused I got) but being anti-feminist (at least against the kind of PC feminist theory you'd find in a women’s studies class or on any left-leaning blog) and anti-SJW is huge with them as is civil and cultural libertarianism.

I found a number of these posting on anti-SJW pages. They come to the Alt-Left usually because of a belief in Leftist economics, though they are usually not that far Left. Guys who believe in some regulation and a social safety net. Some too get put off by the tendency of anti-SJWs to drift into genuinely misogynistic and racist territory. Remember kids that SJW and social liberalism are not the same things. Think YouTubers like Sargon of Akkad or the Amazing Atheist, though they don’t use the term Alt-Left to describe themselves. Not yet, anyway. These kinds are defecting less from Richard Spencer and more from Milo Yiannopoluous. I used Gamergate’s colors in the design of my page’s logo and banner in an attempt to attract these types.

(3) “Red Enlightenment” – These are most passionate about rationalism, skepticism, empiricism and in some cases, transhumanism and futurism. Generally scientifically minded and technocratic sorts of socialists or social democrats.

(4) “True Liberals” – Antiracist and feminist supporters who think the whole thing has gotten out of hand and are concerned for the SJW’s lifestyle puritanism and opposition to free speech. They are more pro-feminist and pro-social liberal than the Gamergaters though. “The Democratic Party of the 1990s,” someone once remarked to me when I described the alt-left to them, to which I replied, “There were no liberals or Leftists in the 1990’s except myself.”

(5) “Brocialists” – Socialists or social democrats with a penchant for men’s rights and anti-misandry. I seem to have drawn a number of these to my page, and a few of my moderators fall into this category. Hillary Clinton supporters have accused Bernie Sanders of using these as his base of support. Used as a pejorative by the ‘Lorettas’ of the present day left, I’m a firm proponent that we reclaim the term.

(6) “Red Templars” – Especially and specifically anti-Islamic. We get a lot of these from Sam Harris and Bill Maher’s followings. Unlike the Left Wing of the Alt Right types, these sorts are more standard liberals otherwise.

(7) “The New Old Left” – Would dispense with race, culture and identity all together if they could and make Leftism mostly about economic Leftism. The Realist Left page and the blog Social Democracy for the 21st Century are like this. Farther left you’d find /leftypol/ on 8chan and some Marxist/Anarchist groups that reject IdPol. A whole separate entry could be made of the economic subtypes one might find on the alt left. I've also found a lot of labor nationalists and assorted 3rd positionists: mutualists, distributists, market socialists, state capitalists, syndicalism and so on.
https://samizdatchronicles.blogspot.com/2016/09/sub-types-on-alternative-left.html
Group (1) doesn’t even belong on the Alt Left at all in my view: these people belong on the Alt Right. The only exception I would make is Robert Lindsay, who seems to have some pretty controversy opinions and is extremely hostile to cultural leftism, but at least doesn’t seem motivated by Alt Right racial hatred or white supremacism.

The big-name Gamergate Leftists seem to have a strange tendency to morph into cultural libertarians or even outright libertarians, and I have noticed the same tendency amongst “True Liberals.” Both Sargon of Akkad and Dave Rubin, though I doubt either are aware of the Alt Left, seem to be morphing into Classical liberals.

I am placed in the “The New Old Left” category but the description is not right: I constantly stress the need to understand differences of culture, and to reject cultural relativism as Postmodernist irrationalism. I also strongly think the Alt Left should adopt a pragmatic view that mass immigration and open borders are actually provoking a nationalist backlash in many countries. The Left should channel this into a healthy, sensible nationalism, and recognise open borders are wrong on perfectly good economic, social and cultural grounds.

Realist Left
Realist Left on Facebook
Realist Left on Twitter @realistleft
Realist Left on Reddit
Realist Left Blog
Realist Left on YouTube
Lord Keynes on Facebook
Social Democracy for the 21st Century: A Realist Alternative to the Modern Left

Alt Left on the Internet:
Alternative Left on Facebook
Alt-Left on Google+
Samizdat Broadcasts YouTube Channel
Samizdat: For the Freedom Loving Leftist

I’m on Twitter:
Lord Keynes @Lord_Keynes2
https://twitter.com/Lord_Keynes2

39 comments:

  1. I'd concentrate on E1 and S2. All else is debatable. Otherwise it's too tight a tent.

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  2. You're eventually going to get pulled into the sexual politics stuff - not gender politics, but sexual politics. And you'll find a huge divide between the "me generation" kids who want open relationships and various other crazy stuff and the people who don't see sexual politics as just about "me" but also about what impact their actions have on other people and on broader society. The latter will lean toward realistic discussions of demographic problems, childrearing and family structure and also, in some cases, how libertarian sexual culture is a true "patriarchal structure" that is designed to erode various moral norms that protect women. The "me, me, me" kids will be enormously turned off by any of this. And there are quite a lot of them. THat'll be a hard divide to bridge. Yet, outside of purely economic issues, it is almost certainly the biggest question that Western society faces.

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    Replies
    1. The cultural left screaming for polyamory and polygamy or whatever should just sod off and join cultural and social libertarianism. That is where they belong.

      Delete
  3. What about Galbraithian Institutional economics? That could provide an analysis of economic organisations like those in Sweden, Italy and the ordoliberals in Germany. Also, what about the "erratic Marxism" of Varoufakis? There's a TED talk in which he mentions his idea of an economic system combining keynesianism, Marxism and libertarian ideas. His commentary on "market free zones" and comparing the Valve corporation to others is also interesting.

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    Replies
    1. (1) modern non-neoclassical Institutionalism just converges with and collapses into Post Keynesianism on every issue that counts, though they do have some ancillary work of interest.

      (2) Varoufakis's "erratic Marxism" is a waste of time. In fact, Varoufakis is now defending the EU and open borders.

      Delete
    2. You should look into this new tendency on the left to borrow for Hayek and the Austrians. Varoufakis does it. Paul Auerbach's new book 'Socialist Optimism' is also leaning in that direction and making big waves.

      I think the trend is abominable. Like, really incredible. But it is definitely catching on amongst the Marxian left. Especially with the new found faith in those corners for a Basic Income. This will be a big debate moving forward.

      The source of this irritating trend can be found here:

      https://www.marxists.org/archive/lafargue/1883/lazy/

      Starbucks Marxists who have never worked a day in their lives. Highly obnoxious.

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    3. Any specific references to Varoufakis borrowing from the Austrians?

      Varoufakis' pro-EU apologetics are disgusting.

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    4. Basic income without full employment will just exacerbate welfare dependence and all the social problems that come out of it, especially for the welfare-dependent immigrant communities of Europe.

      The ultra-liberal and libertarian craze for drug legalisation is going to be disastrous too.

      Delete
    5. drug legalisation + idle unemployed people, especially men + basic income = social catastrophe.

      Delete
    6. Varoufakis mentions it in talks. Engage with Auerbach's book if you want the best exposition of this new trend.

      http://www.palgrave.com/br/book/9781137563941

      Delete
    7. What about a basic income as the welfare state, not replacing the job guarantee per say. If we're going to advocate social capitalism, which is what I'm assuming here, why would a basic income detract from the desire to work and become wealthier that many will have? You could easily taper it off to make work pay, like a negative income tax. In regards to varoufakis, I wasn't referring to the EU and open borders, but his ideas in his TED talk: "Capitalism will eat democracy unless we speak up". Also, in regards to drug legalisaton, why would softening laws on some drugs be a bad thing? It would take the dirt out of the game so to speak. I'm not talking about going mad with it, just decriminalisation to avoid needless punishment. That combined with a basic income need not entail unnecessary decadence. We don't have to give anyone more than the absolute minimum.

      Delete
    8. Full employment via a job guarantee can provide basic minimum income.

      Welfare is for people who cannot work, or who go through voluntary seasonal or frictional unemployment.

      As for pot being harmless:

      http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/marijuana-use-may-be-harmful-to-mental-health-the-family-healthguide

      Delete
    9. Whatever ideas you have on the health effects of pot, that isn't what I'm talking about. I'm saying that decriminalisation could lessen the nastier end of the drug world. Besides, smoking tobacco has negative health effects, are you going to ban that? Locking people up for soft drug use will cause more psychological problems IMO. In regards to basic income replacing welfare, it would prevent wasting money on bueracratic welfare programs that spend to much resources chasing up claimants. Yes there will be those that try to cheat, but they exist in any system.

      Delete
  4. "What about a basic income as the welfare state"

    Triggers psychological loss aversion. Why give everybody money and then take it off them again? It doesn't make any sense when losses are felt 2.5 times more strongly than gains.

    If you want unemployment benefit for frictional unemployment, pay unemployment benefit. If you want the state pension earlier, lower the age at which it is paid. If you want to help children, increase child benefit.

    A basic income that is less than the living wage is just a form of tax credits and suffers from the same problem that tax credits suffer from - it is essentially a subsidy to the private sector that reduces productivity and innovation. Labour has to be expensive to get the private sector to deploy capital to eliminate labour.

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    1. Neil wilson

      Tou forgot the new trendy goal shorter work week.

      If you want shoerter work weak put better regulations on the managwers.

      Delete
    2. Good points. However, this depends on how you structure it. If it is set up as a negative income tax, then you would always be better off in work, and it would taper off so there isn't a sharp threshold between unemployment and work. The point about innovation is a good one, but would productivity spent on implementing other welfare programs be any better? In terms of a job guarantee, how do you avoid the issue of creating work for the sake of work situation? The old "They pretend to pay us, we pretend to work" dilemma.

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    3. Anonymous

      i believe i solved your dillema look at my plan.

      in post labour scarcity society we will have the next types of people.

      1.creative artists actors and etc

      2.scientists researches academcians.

      3.small entrepreneurs (people which will still like to own their small bis)

      4.uncreative people which still want to work somewhere even though they are not that creative or briliant or simply because they like their boring job.

      5.lazy bums who like do nothing.

      ok so when we are speaking about the first 2 types
      their help is not measured in prices
      its basically a help to develop society
      so i will think it will be fair
      that there will be gathered taxes
      and the citizens of the country will decide wages of this people salaries
      of course that if you get phd and you are academican you will get more than if you just started your bachelor
      or if you are expirenecd artist you will get more than if you are beginner artist.
      so there will be some kind of stages of development
      where people will able to development themself slowly
      by stages
      and get higher salary by stages of development and of course recognition.


      now about the 3 type
      the merchant type
      which like to do business

      and the question is what the hell he will able to do?

      he is not bill gates to buy a lot of really expensive machinary
      so
      there is a solution for that too
      and its good not only in case of automation
      but even now
      now what it is
      for every dollar salary or profit (if you are small bis of course big ones shouldnt get it)
      the central bank will type money and will give them
      for example if the subsidy rate is 10 cents
      on every dollar of salary or profit you get
      the central bank giving you 10 cents
      now it can set the rate
      to 2 dollars on each dollar you get
      or even 10 20 30 40 50 100 1000
      and since the big companies need this demand anyway
      basically this people can get good salary while still basically from a standpoint of the country doing their job for free
      and be competitve
      now about the type 4
      as we said there is wage subsidies
      so basically from the point of view of type 3
      they will be pretty cheap labour
      with almost no expenses.

      now why this model is still profitable?

      because big automated capital intensive companies will require demand and make profits in order to function and if there is no wages for people there is no demand.

      but if you subsidise wages in this way you are not just getting the needed demand to make capitalism work and function but also you are making people work and produce something which in other cases they wouldnt produce.

      so in this case people produce products and its save more real resources for capital intensive automated industries too in order to use it to increase even more the supply of products in the market.

      so nontheless its still efficent that people are working even in case machines are better anyway specially if this people enjoy their work.


      about lazy bums i am still undecided.

      Delete
    4. Interesting. It does require that the majority of businesses accept demand side economics, but it has potential. I do have a slight issue however with the statement about artists/academics. Their contributions may not be directly measured in prices, but they help produce wealth and things of value nonetheless. Artists can help with advertising, buildings, etc, musicians with emotional regulation and therapy as well as processing information (this is being researched in neuroscience) and academics I.e scholars, scientists, etc with gathering information and developing methods of societal organisation and so on. These things are abstract and therefore hard to quantify with a neat salary number due to epistemological uncertainty. As a result I'm not sure that simply having a citezans vote on this will be the best solution. Many of us would be making a value judgement about something we don't understand due to the limits of our knowledge. Also, in regards to subsidising companies, where do you draw the line with making them learn from their mistakes by going down? Presumably you have a solution in mind that will incentivise them to learn and innovate, but if you pay too much they may not develop new knowledge through trial and error. Of course, I could be wrong.

      Delete
    5. 1.if you cant find a price through the market, voting on it is the best solution i found for this problem,now if you have any better solution you are welcome to offer it.

      2.the subsidies will go directly to the workers and small bisnuess owners which would most likely will get advantage at hiring workers,since the government will subsidize most of their salaries anyway.

      (i told you about the benefits of this system and why its actually efficent).

      and the cutting edge technological firms will be anyway mostly automated and they will not benefit direcly from the subsidies.

      so basically you are still forcing the cutting edge technological firms to compete with each other with no serious market distortion to hold back their growth in producitvity.

      thats why i think the beauty in my solution,is that you can make machines and humans work together and not against each other.

      Delete
    6. Fair dos. It sounds like a good idea overall, aiming to solve the bueracratic issues of job guarantee as well as the potential difficulties of employment with basic income. In regards to those who are simply unemployed due to disability, illness, (mental or physical) or any other relevant factor, would they be subsidised by the state as well? Presumably we're talking disability benefit, child benefit, etc?. Also in regards to voting on wages for artists, academics etc, would this be through direct or representative democracy? And would it be mainly at council or national level?

      Delete
    7. "If it is set up as a negative income tax, then you would always be better off in work"

      Again it is just tax credits and fails to address the actual problem.

      There are insufficient jobs and the labour market is a buyer's market not a seller's market.

      And there always will be insufficient jobs because the problem is more than a lack of aggregate demand. It is a lack of *effective* demand in the labour market.

      That, along with other reasons, is why you need a Job Guarantee.

      Delete
    8. 1.sure they will be subsidised.

      2.i dont know if it will be chosen by direct or indirect democracy. but we should support this people somehow since they are bringing so much to our society, and they should be rewarded for that.

      Delete
    9. I'm the same anonymous. Yeah, that sounds about right. It brings the best of both worlds.

      Delete
  5. You pick and choose in the area of religious liberty. The Alt Left should promote religious freedom in both the private and public sphere, and only interfere where religions are directly coercive or religious practices physically impede spoken and visual communication.

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  6. "Third Wave Feminism"

    Many don't know what the waves are. Third wave feminism is queer feminism, that started in the 90s with Judith Butler's theory of gender identity based on Michel Foucault theories.

    There is this thing in the anglosphere of thinking that feminism only went bad recently with the 3rd wave. That's ignorant. It was always bad. 2nd wave feminists - Shulamith Firestone, Valerie Solanas, Robin Morgan, Gloria Steinem, Catharine MacKinnon, Andrea Dworkin et al - are as toxic as 3rd wave feminism. And the 1st wave wasn't any better either.

    “We are, as a sex, infinitely superior to men, and if we were free and developed, healthy in body and mind, as we should be under natural conditions, our motherhood would be our glory. That function gives women such wisdom and power as no male can possess. … When women can support themselves, have their entry to all the trades and professions, with a house of their own over their heads and a bank account, they will own their own bodies and be dictators in the social realm.”

    – Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “Elizabeth Cady Stanton as revealed in her letters, diary and reminiscences”, diário de 27.12.1890, Harper & Brothers, 1922, p 270. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=CIsEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA270

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  7. Economics (3), LK, what do you think of Pavlina Tcherneva's claim about Keynes and the "partial socialisation of investment" through a permament jobs scheme via investment spending? Including directly hiring people on the spot as necessary? She makes it seem like this idea preceded Minsky and came from Keynes himself. And that Keynes would not have been happy with the way pumping up aggregate demand was used in real life in the postwar period, because it was too crude to get rid of the last of the unemployment before inflation would appear. http://www.levyinstitute.org/publications/keyness-approach-to-full-employment

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    Replies
    1. I regret I haven't looked into it.

      Delete
    2. I hope you will look into it, as I previously assumed Keynes's desire for govt investment rather than consumption spending (because it was private investment that was volatile) was incompatible with a Minsky-style JG scheme. Tcherneva seems to show otherwise.

      I think that has an implication for policy formation because it could unite liberals who want a British investment bank or govt borrowing for investment with heterodox ppl who want something from Minsky. Greater chance of successful passage then?

      Particularly interesting is apparently Keynes insisted the output gap should be measured in terms of labour units.

      Delete
  8. Don't really see the point of progressive taxation, when you are a holder of MMT views and say taxes are not needed for financing government spending.

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    Replies
    1. because taxation needed in order to release real economic resources,otherwise you may hit the supply side constraint in the economy.

      and it will lead to ever growing inflation.

      Delete
  9. Full employment doing what?
    Does that mean forcing people to do something worthless?
    Why not leave work to people who can do something with it?

    I believe we should call for basic incomes and let people doodle and volunteer as they see fit. We can hook the anti-socials up to a pleasure tube.

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    Replies
    1. 1.full employment is about meaningful jobs, which are chosen exactly for the people and their preference.

      2.job guarantee is a macroeconomoc stabilization tool, which helping stabilize the economy to insure full capacity utilization,and reduction in private debt and to avoid recessions.

      3.basic income guarantee, is not liveable income guarantee. since if you want to implement it to be liveable income guarantee you will have to fight for it politically and it will really distort the economy in a bad way.

      4.about automation you are welcome to look at my respone to anonymous here.

      Delete
    2. "I believe we should call for basic incomes and let people doodle and volunteer as they see fit"

      That is a recipe for social atomisation, drug abuse, idleness, social catastrophe.

      Delete
    3. I totally agree that a basic income would lead to anti-social behaviour(as well as creative pursuits which may have unforeseen benefits).

      However, games and technology will be used to curtail the costs of anti-social behaviour. Already violent crime is going down because youths play COD instead of going outside. And not working a 14-hour day 6/7 days a week lead to more idleness, drunkenness and drug abuse etc. The Devil makes work for idle thumbs and history itself is a march away from God towards idleness.

      I suppose the reason I support UBI is because the majority of people would need to upgene before they can upskill and fit in with tomorrow's clever, clever economy of technology. There's literally nothing they can do in the real world.

      Delete
    4. You could certainly make UBI bring an end to the latchkey kid generation and the feminist-induced plight of working and lower-middle class women who have to work the double shift of both breadwinner and caregiver.

      Delete
  10. A bunch of questions for LK and fellow real leftists.
    1. As to economics, would it not be important to state that genuine left-wing policies should aim at reducing inequalities ?
    (For both a priori fairness reasons and empirical utilitarian reasons as found here :
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spirit_Level:_Why_More_Equal_Societies_Almost_Always_Do_Better)
    2. Should we not distinguish between basic goals (a fair and decent society), general means (full employment, reduced inequalities, good education) and more specific means (border control, job guarantee schemes etc.) that may differ a lot from age to age and country to country ?
    For example, a small and highly educated population might need neither a job guarantee nor strong tariffs. Instead they may invest in training to keep a technological edge. Of course this does not apply to large countrie with mass unemployment to fix.
    3. Do we need to agree on "human nature" to agree on most political subjects at hands ? Furthermore what exactly do you blank slaterism and why is it wrong ?
    (I read some stuff from Chomsky or from Konrad Lorenz arguing against behaviorism and found it convincing. But then it is a rather specific and highly academic debate.)
    4. How is the State to strengthen nuclear family ?
    Bob Rowthorn had some proposals as to divorce but I do not know your legal framework good enough to have an opinion.
    5. What about threats toward environnement ? Global warming seems real. And even if it were not, natural species disapearing and natural resources becoming scarce are.
    Is it not a priority to fix it ? (Provided that "free market" solutions will not.)
    6. Last but not least, what should real leftists actually do ? Should they for one thing join non-neoliberal social-democrats like Corbyin (flawed as some of his tenets are) ?
    In France our "socialist" party is rotten to the bone, that's why almost all genuine left people left but how is it elsewhere ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (1) of course it is aimed at reducing unjustifiable inequality. At the same time, total equality is a communist myth. There have to be incentives in society and in work
      (2) yes
      (3) extreme bank slateism is the idea that everything is socially constructed and human nature is totally malleable.
      (4) divorce court should take more account of children and make no fault divorces harder to get, if there is no justifiable reason why they should be granted.
      (5) yes, of course environmental issues matter
      (6) situations are different in different countries. Perhaps some mainstream left-wing parties need to be badly beaten before they can be reformed

      Delete
  11. Thank you for your answers.
    I am not sure whether inequalities are necessary to economic efficiency. Anyway in order to win elections we need a large coalition. Total equality (however we come to define it) is not appealing to middle class voters. It would also certainly involve lots of coercion to obtain which is counter productive beyond some point (look at prohibition...)
    Even if there were nothing like "human nature", it would not mean that it is easy (or desirable) to change deeply entrenched customs and habits, as for example regarding food. May be what you criticise is more the utopian mindset ?
    A more difficult point is : how to reconcile traditionnal keynesian "growth oriented" policies with preservation of scarce resources ?
    (I asked because of an alt left blog deeming "malthusian" those who are skeptic about continued growth. May be Malthus was right in the long run ?)
    As to mainstream (formerly) left-wing parties there is little evidence that electoral defeats make them amenable to more keynesian, more pro blue-collars policies.
    On the overall I definitely agree with you but I feel more pessimistic about what can be done.

    ReplyDelete