Tue May 17th, 2011 at 07:38:19 AM EST
A small entry just to link to a (in my most humble opinion) insightful piece from Toby Young at the Torygraph.
It's not just the Labour Party - the Left is in meltdown all over Europe
While most of the piece is about emigration (an argument that I would recommend reading), I cite here the part that I think is most interesting:
Ultimately, the reason for the left's political failure is the intellectual vacuum at the heart of the Left-wing project, the absence of an intellectually robust alternative to free-market capitalism.
I actually disagree with this, but it is a good start. The vacuum is not intellectual, it is moral: The modern left is mostly concerned with giving more access to consumer goods to the supposedly "have-nots". Considering the standard of living in Europe, I speculate that most of the Euro middle classes have more consuming goods than the fair share that can be possible distributed with resources of Earth divided by 7 Billion.
frontpaged with minor edit - Nomad
Having lived myself (with reasonable confort) with less than 900 euros a month for a couple of years, I am forced to ask it demanding for more money for the European middle classes (and 900 Euros is clearly Euro-low, not middle) is not just a variation of greed?
Shouldn't the main priorities be completely different: more free time, less unemployment (very compatible with more free time - work sharing), economic security, pleasure at work being more important than ever-increasing productivity, ...
At the suggestion of cutting salaries of 2500 Euros for 20% (Note: in a country where the minimum wage is 500!) in exchange for employing a proportional number of people (to cut unemployment), "left wing" people that I know get shocked at this suggestion. With such moral deviation it is quite normal that right wing parties are gaining: there is no moral misalignment. It is all variations of greed.
Wake me up when unions are common workers are fighting for the right of their fellow citizens to gainful employment (even if at the expense of their own financial advantage).
Until then I see two alternatives:
- We question some of our historical beliefs - e.g. a) ever eternal increase of purchasing power in a affluent society b) The atomization of relationships c) Conceiving Humans as anything more than consumers
- We perish.
Clearly, it is pretty obvious where this is going...