Tories, blue and red

I’m coming around to the suggestion that there is a common weakness at the back of Anglophone labor parties’ concurrent woes. That, i.e., their embrace of a triangulating “third way” approach which abandoned dedicated advocacy of the working class in favor of grabbing “the center” (as defined by the corporate elite) was short-term convenient, but long-term self-annihilation.

This is often called “neoliberalism,” but aside from this having always felt like an intentionally misleading term, it has occurred to me that in practice it basically amounted to trickle-down economics 2.0. In theory, center-left parties continued to advocate government intervention. But from Tony Blair’s “first you need wealth to redistribute” to Bill Clinton’s “it’s the economy stupid,” in practice this easily devolves into “just keep corporate stock values perky and everyone wins.”

That didn’t work. The New Economy has proved to be much like the old economy, a rising tide does not in fact lift all boats, and for labor to share in economic growth it still needs to fight for it via some organized counterweight to corporate solidarity. Union strength having steadily eroded in Anglophone society, that leaves political parties‚Ķ which have been “consciously uncoupled” from working class advocacy for a generation.


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