Recession: a road to revolution - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
 
Date registered: Jul 2006
Posts: 5,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Recession: a road to revolution

Richard Gott: Economic recession is the road to political revolution | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

A spectre haunts the gatherings of the political elites of much of the world as they contemplate the imminent collapse of the economic and political model they have fondly supported for the last 30 years. Politicians and economists wedded to the current neo-liberal model of capitalism rail against one possible outcome of the current crisis that they regard as totally beyond the pale, something that is absolutely unthinkable and undiscussable and only mentioned to conjure up an alarming image that will frighten the children.

Yet the spectre is in fact a perfectly respectable economic philosophy invoked from time to time and in different places over several centuries. It has a name – protectionism – often associated with the writings of Friedrich List, a 19th-century professor of political economy who opposed free trade, supported government intervention in the economy and advocated the erection of protectionist tariff barriers to protect a country's industry and agriculture. His book, The National System of Political Economy, published in 1841, was highly influential both in the United States and in Bismarck's Germany. List was an early opponent of globalisation. He accused Adam Smith of "cosmopolitanism", of constructing the notion of a beneficent global community that clearly flew in the face of the facts.

For most people know otherwise. They know, with List, that the global community is an invented phantom. Nearer home, they have no reason to expect that the EU will protect their interests. Indeed, they vote against its proposed constitution whenever they get the opportunity. Europe is moribund, and the only community they know and recognise is the nation state to which they belong, and whose elected government they require and expect to defend their work, their culture and their way of life. Yet governments in the neo-liberal era have other concerns and have manifestly not been doing anything of the kind. As a consequence, as the banks go bust and the economic situation deteriorates, British workers have appeared on unofficial picket lines to defend their jobs, just as the citizens of Bolivia were led to demonstrate spontaneously a few years ago against the privatisation of their water supply. People learn quickly. As Lenin recognised: they can learn in 20 days what they forgot in 20 years.

Such a huge chasm between the faulty ideology of the governing elite and the growing political understanding of the great mass of the people leads eventually to regime change, as has happened in country after country in Latin America during the last decade. This is the spectre, even more dramatic than protectionism, that now looms over Britain and the continental partners with whom it has joined forces in the neo-liberal madness of recent decades. Suddenly, the probability emerges that few of today's governments will be here in a couple of years time; they will be replaced, and replaced again if they fail to come up with credible solutions. And the solutions will be national rather than global, supportive of the local society envisaged by List rather than the failed cosmopolitan vision of the neo-liberals.

Today's crisis is far more wide-ranging than most politicians and commentators are prepared to admit. It will last for at least 10 or 20 years, not just for one. It will go on and on, producing utopian programmes, reverses and changes along the way. This is not 1929, nor yet 1917. It is more comparable to the preliminary rumbles of 1789, to the collapse of the ancien regime and the start of a long revolutionary period of huge untried experiments and uncertainty.

There is an apparent flaw in this argument, of course, for today there is no left or right, and there appears to be no group of impatient intellectuals waiting for their ideas to be seized and picked up by the next group of leaders. The upheavals of 1789 were preceded by decades of Enlightenment debate, with political ideas that could be expanded and promoted by successive generations of revolutionaries. Today, so complete is the grip of neo-liberal ideology on the political and media structures of the west that no alternative ever gets an adequate airing. There seems to be an ideological vacuum.

Yet this is not really so. There are plenty of ideas about and many of them are being tested in Latin America by a new generation of political leaders put in power by rebellions from below. They just remain below the radar of the media and the political class, who pay no attention. Protectionism (in different forms and guises) is one new/old idea; the recovery of history is another. So too is the revival of the economic activity of the state, a state characterised by justice and efficiency, and as different from the Soviet Union as from the delirious construction of the ideologues of neo-liberalism.

In this unfolding scenario, forgotten questions will be asked again: why do we allow the media to be dominated by foreign owners and foreign programmes? Why is our economic activity in the hands of foreign corporations? Why are we forced by advertising to purchase products that we have no desire or need to consume, simply in order to sustain the country's economy? Why do we leave thousands of acres in the hands of private landowners? Why does our country make no effort to be self-sufficient in food? Why do we still pretend that Britain is an imperial country, 50 years after the end of empire? Why do we remain allied to the most dangerous and reactionary country in the world?

Such liberating ideas can only come to the top of the agenda if the present political structure is demolished and swept away. Fortunately, the current systemic crisis is making this ever more probable. Our leaders, of course, ignore the likelihood of their imminent demise and scare us with innumerable arguments: protectionism is perceived at worst as an open door to fascism, at best as a forerunner of a yet more disastrous economic disaster. We should ignore the smoke screen of mystification that they try to erect and welcome the coming seismic upheaval. Then we will have to ride the political struggles of the consequent tsunami wave, and look forward with optimism to a more constructive and hopeful future.
maine_coon is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 02:15 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
mcbear's Avatar
 
Date registered: Apr 2004
Vehicle: E500Es
Location: The BlueGrass State
Posts: 29,579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Interesting article.

Sounds like he is feeling a bit paranoid and wanting to hunker down. This kind of global crisis is going to bring much of that about.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
mcbear is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
 
Date registered: Jul 2006
Posts: 5,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
here is his info from wikipedia. Interesting as well. I wonder why security clearance is needed for the editor of the cultural magazine. Yet he was in bed with KGB by his own admission.

Richard Gott - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard Willoughby Gott (born 28 October 1938 Aston Tirrold, England) is a British journalist and historian, who has written extensively on Latin America. A former Latin America correspondent and features editor for the British newspaper The Guardian, he is currently an honorary research fellow at the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London.

Contents [hide]
1 Early career
2 Embarrassing The Guardian
3 Books
4 References
5 External links



[edit] Early career
He studied history at Oxford University and worked at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. In the 1960s he worked at the University of Chile, where he wrote Guerrilla Movements in Latin America, "the enduring bible" on that topic.[1] In January 1966, Gott was a candidate in a by-election in Kingston upon Hull North for the 'Radical Alliance', running on a platform which stressed opposition to the Vietnam War; he polled only 253 votes.[2]

In 1967 he was in Bolivia as a freelance journalist for The Guardian to witness the events surrounding the capture and murder of Ernesto Che Guevara, and played a role in confirming that the 4-5 hour-old body in question was actually Che's, because he had met him in Havana in 1963.[3]

In 1981 the BBC sought to appoint Gott to the position of editor at its cultural magazine The Listener, but his radical politics led to him failing to obtain security clearance and the post went instead to Russell Twisk.


[edit] Embarrassing The Guardian
After repeated accusations of being anti-British, he finally resigned as literary editor of the Guardian in 1994 after allegations were made in The Spectator that he had been an "agent of influence" for the KGB, claims which he rejected, arguing that "Like many other journalists, diplomats and politicians, I lunched with Russians during the cold war." He asserted that his resignation was "a debt of honour to my paper, not an admission of guilt", because his failure to inform his editor of three trips abroad to meet with KGB officials at their expense had caused embarrassment to the paper during its investigation of Jonathan Aitken.[4] In his resignation letter Gott admitted "I took red gold, even if it was only in the form of expenses for myself and my partner. That, in the circumstances, was culpable stupidity, though at the time it seemed more like an enjoyable joke". The source of the allegation that he was an agent, KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky, subsequently accused former Labour Party leader Michael Foot of the same thing, which resulted in a successful libel action by Foot against the Sunday Times.[5]

Last edited by maine_coon; 02-10-2009 at 02:24 PM.
maine_coon is offline  
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 08:39 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
mzsmbs's Avatar
 
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1972 Mercedes 250 (/8) W114/M130
Location: on a high bank of a creek
Posts: 7,296
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
1789 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
Originally Posted by article
Why do we remain allied to the most dangerous and reactionary country in the world?
lol

rumbles indeed.

i wonder what 2012 is gonna be like.



in political asylum
mzsmbs is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 08:58 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
mcbear's Avatar
 
Date registered: Apr 2004
Vehicle: E500Es
Location: The BlueGrass State
Posts: 29,579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzsmbs View Post
1789 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

lol

rumbles indeed.

i wonder what 2012 is gonna be like.
Depends on the next 18 months.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
mcbear is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 09:26 PM
BenzWorld Member
 
Black Adder's Avatar
 
Date registered: Sep 2006
Posts: 114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbear View Post
Depends on the next 18 months.

I watched Jim Rogers on CNBC yesterday, he is still doom and gloom and says by the end of this year he will have divested himself of all of his USD holdings. That is a pretty drastic step but he has been right before.
Black Adder is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
     
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode



    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    Recession Marsden Off-Topic 117 01-22-2008 08:05 AM
    The best ever Revolution / Upraising maine_coon Off-Topic 21 08-20-2007 09:44 AM
    The Meritocratic Revolution Qubes Off-Topic 2 04-04-2007 05:32 PM
    Sony Revolution snips Off-Topic 2 03-20-2006 02:29 PM
    190 revolution benzo190 W201 190-Class 1 07-04-2004 06:26 PM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On

     

    Title goes here

    close
    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome