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What’s your medicine Gentleman,

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” the last thing
you want to hear when you go to the
doctor, ” it’s progressive”
Boehm dr. Maurice Glasman who is a life
peer in the British House of Lords on
behalf of the Labour Party is a lecturer
on political source and as expertise in
community organizing also and in 2009 he
founded the blue labour movement which
advocates a community based democratic
socialism is a I think is an important
public intellectual in Britain and we
are very very pleased to have him with
us okay this is what right so bucket off
I’m it’s it’s really lovely to be here
with you
it’s when I was when I was on I was
thinking about it how long is it since
I’ve spent tonight in Jerusalem and it’s
something like 40 years so 40 years ago
and it’s a strange story so I went to a
Jewish comprehensive school in London
and there was a strategy for dealing
with children with behavioural
difficulties my own so there were and so
children from the West Indies they used
to send them back to the West Indies to
link up with their cultural roots and
can Bangladesh they said no to
but where did you send there’s an
interesting question where did you send
Jews where do they go back to when they
get into trouble so so they sent me to
they send me to Israel which you know it
was a very interesting choice and they
sent me to a to a religious girls
boarding school in Yama
so it’s taken this 40 years to return
I’m still thinking about all of that
yeah it was a Caribbean that there was
the kibbutz there was a yeshiva and and
there was a girls boarding school for
essentially Yemenite girls so this is
the story of my life it is it’s lovely
it’s lovely and extremely moving
actually to be back and thank you to a
long and it’s very good to see to see
you all and I thought oh because so
first of all I think I should say and
it’s important that in turn I’m sort of
made that move from academia and to
Poulter I am a populist I think that’s
important to put it out I’m a very happy
populist but it seems that it makes the
people around me unhappy so I noticed
that that is the the bad is that that is
the case so I thought I’d her as they
say these days in left-wing circles I
thought Todd self-identify in that way
and the first thing I wanted to do is
really just when I was thinking about
this was to share so a few months ago a
couple of months ago it was on I’m
pissed off to be exact I was in Baghdad
I spent five days in Baghdad and I start
by the Tigris and I took two packets of
matzah with me which I saw would last
last for the trip and I realized and I
was told several times that I was the
only Jew in Baghdad on on pass off and
it was a kind of a very shocking thing
to be there when 100 years before it was
at least one third a Jewish so I sat by
the river I and I looked around me and
and there was a shocking familiarity to
so to where I sat and I was joined for a
coffee by members of the Communist Party
who heard I was coming and they wanted
to have a chat
and they told me some interesting things
that I wanted to share with you but I
just didn’t know the first was that they
said that half the members of the Iraqi
Communist Party would use befall before
the Jews but before the Jews left and
the other half was here so this was all
news to me
and there were sons there who remembered
their parents talking about their Jewish
comrades with with tremendous affection
the second thing is that they really
liked the matzo but they had no cultural
memory of what it was so the memory had
gone of what Pesa was it must have been
a quite amazing thing in Baghdad I
obviously felt very bad because they
were eating all my matzah and I you know
I only had two boxes and there was a
long journey ahead but it’s a bit
difficult to stop eating here they are
this is nice and they used to tell me
that the Communists in Baghdad used to
organize in the slum areas so they used
to go to what’s now called Sartre City
but they used to be Saddam City that
just used to be a Shia slum area I’m
around Baghdad and that the message the
the message of communism had a huge
resonance among the Shia poor so you
know they they told me that all the Jews
had left the Saddam Hussein that then
killed all the leaders most of its
members but they were still there and
when I told them I was coming to Israel
to give a talk they asked me
particularly to bring a message to you
they said that if there’s any children
of Iraqi communists they wanted to tell
them that they’ve kept the faith that
they were still organizing and to please
get in touch so I’m passing on that
message and if what they told me was
true then at least one of you must be
the descendant of the Nawrocki communist
you is there anybody here
no no no do you know any do you know any
of the children any any nothing so what
they told me obviously mmm so that cast
some suspicion because they were college
they said that there were three types of
Jews in Baghdad there were doctors lots
of doctors business or communists that
was their basic why you know and they
they were they they were kind of
strangely sure that that the Iraqi Jews
still were communists in Israel like I
didn’t say anything I just moved on now
they also told me that the Communist
Party had gone into alliance with
muqtada al-sadr in the elections that
were coming up he’s sort of I think best
described as The Godfather of the sheer
mufti army and and they also told me
that they were going to win and I was
skeptical about that but they did win
they came they came first and they won
56 seats in the Iraqi parliament and the
program that they were running on was
was essentially a national what they
described as quite nostalgic words a
national unity program and they told
that the Communist Party was for many
years the only party in Iraq that was
not built around religious or ethnic
affiliation it wasn’t confessional the
practiced equality between men and women
and opposed the British Mandate which
brought back memories I rather they were
running on a nationalist platform which
was very strongly anti-american an anti
Iran and they really opposed Kurdish
separatism and I’m very involved with
curves in both Britain and Syria and
Turkey and that they wish to build a
national political program between all
communities and what they were really
running on was a was a populist
anti-corruption platform polarizing
against the privileges of what they call
over there the Green Zone that there’s
this there’s this world that looks quite
a lot like this
where people seem to be richer and
wealthier and they get water and they
get heat and they get jobs and then
there’s outside the Green Zone it’s a
completely different story so they were
running a very populist polarizing
against the Green Zone and the political
and economic bosses we seem to be living
better than them Ayatollah Sistani who’s
basically the chief rabbi in Najaf set
the tone and he issued a fatwa on the
day I was there which only was made up
of one sentence which it was better to
vote than honest Christian and a corrupt
Muslim so that was the general tone I’m
sharing with you and they’d built a
coalition between secular it wasn’t just
the Communists who were in this
coalition it was the Social Democrats
who let’s face it all three of them were
in there the Greens who were part of
there and the Iraqi Socialist Party were
part of this coalition called Sai roon
and they had a vision of democracy and a
moral economy that was based on some
kind of idea of a shared ethical
relationship between people and society
that was linked to ancient ideas of
citizenship of participative
self-government and of local assemblies
so Danny it’s important you know your
thing with the Civic Republicans of the
so in the brexit campaign all of your
lot voted to remain in the EU and a lot
voted to leave the EU remember Quinton
who’s quite a serious figure the day
after the vote he said to me there’s
much to learn he said from the Italian
republics because only if you had an
education could you vote so I’ve just
saved that that was a Republican just
yeah yeah okay I’m John I’m just raising
I’m raising the issue of of what that
distinction actually is about but what
they really wanted to talk about in
Baghdad was whether there was an
economic model knocking about in what
they called the west of the left that
could be adapted to the Iraqi
so they said that the Shia or as they
referred to them the Shia masses had a
strong sense of a moral economy a very
strong suspicion of capitalism but they
combined it with an equal dislike of a
centralized state the experience of
Barth ISM and Saddam Hussein had made a
big impression they’d read a few things
that I’d written about blue labor
Catholic social thought and I think I’d
need to – to expect so Catholic social
thought I turn to because there was so
little Jewish social thought or Jewish
political economy
we can talk about that and about this
idea of the common good which is central
to this negotiated settlement between
estranged interests and they wanted a no
thicker if there was anything that could
help them develop a secular Shia
position so this was all quite new to me
so I asked what formed that the Shia
ethics took what was the particular form
of this sheer idea of a moral economy
and they told me the story that when the
wicked Yazeed who was the Caliph
or made caliph of that time surrounded
the completely fantastic Imam Husayn of
which obviously Hussein is a direct
descendant I’m at the Battle of Karbala
with the Euphrates visible he and his
family and his followers would denied
water and most of them died of thirst so
this is the foundational story of the
sheer is that this great ethical guy and
his family and his followers were denied
water and and died and there is a
particular martyrdom of a bus which is
all about him going to get water for the
crying children
at the expense of his life and they live
that every year in what’s called the are
which is a whole series of things around
asure so for them water was not
considered a commodity or something that
should be hoarded it was a necessity and
a good
they should not be privately
fold or fold are used for political
reasons to manipulate people to your
will it should be shared water was
sacred so the campaign slogan that they
ran on was sharing the water that was it
that was their badges that was there
that was there their posters so for the
sheer sharing water was a primary
religious commandment and I thought that
that sounded like a very promising start
so I said what about oil and they
thought pretty much the same about oil
as about water it seemed it was a gift
from God and should be shared it was a
shared asset of all Iraqis
not something owned by the oil companies
or by the state and when I dug deeper it
turned out that being greedy and loving
yourself was not popular more emphasis
was given to what others thought of use
and of how you defined yourself and that
begin began to sound like a welcome
change from the identity politics of the
Labour Party where any doubting of
someone’s self definition is considered
to be an aggression so honest labour was
respected but their problem remained
that while she apologized had developed
a good line in hypocrisy so is
interesting the leaders have to always
pretend to be unhappy and suffering and
miserable they didn’t have a political
economy but that was built around that
sense of a moral economy and although it
was deeply held it was barely
articulated so it had no institutional
form so the reason I share this with you
is that moral outrage at capitalism is
universal it’s held most deeply by poor
communities that confront this
particular package that we’ve developed
for them which is economic liberalism on
the one side also known as capitalism
and then there’s political liberalism
which is a rights-based administrative
state a legal order state and they’re
together is globalization so in order to
buy into globalization you’ve got to
accept the economic and
that core liberalism and any resistance
to that is automatically considered to
be populist so I think that’s where we
populism is just that a disagreement
with the IMF and the World Bank is
already bad person bad character so any
form of democracy that seeks to assert
institutional constraints on the growing
of a person’s property and wealth is
populist and I noticed that commentators
and academics were scrambling around to
find a word to describe this communist
Mukti army alliance
they tried charismatic that lasted for
day or two then they moved to
controversial or maverick but that
didn’t really stick so you know where
it’s going they all settled on populist
and that’s what you get for sharing the
water I just want to raise this issue
that whole election as far as I could
see was about this concept of sharing
the water but that in itself was
considered fundamentally morally wrong
and the result of obviously bad
parenting and Anna generally shabby
culture so in a nutshell populism is
anything that defies the teleology of
liberal modernity this is what’s at
stake here there is a vision of liberal
modernity technology borderless worlds
free movement anything that defies that
in the name of democracy is at the
moment automatically classified as
populist I’ll try I was improvising so
I’ll now go back to the written text
okay so I’ll go back to the bit of the
written text that that’s what you get
for sharing the water okay populism so
populism is anything that divides the
teleology of liberal modernity the
domination of technology and a
borderless procedural legal system and
the free movement of capital people
money and things so I can send you a
copy of the paper it’s it’s good
so it’s the ultimate tragedy and farce
of the contemporary left for which on
part that we can’t articulate a moral
critique of capitalism on the basis of
democracy because that would expose our
lack of popularity and support in the
hearts and minds of the people it would
reveal our lack of trust in them and our
lack of belief in their in their
conception of the sacred so that’s why I
raised the issue of the water what
populism is really about is preserving a
sense of something sacred something
cover mental and we’ll have certainly
noticed with my tribe liberal
progressive Jews is that we don’t like
other people having a concept of the
sacred that’s really bad we can but they
can’t and that came out very strongly in
the brexit campaign so the idea of a
parliament and the common law and an
inheritance of an institutional system
that was kind of considered sort of
fascist in a way so a covenantal
politics is deeply part of what populism
is a redemption of an older promise and
that’s considered and very very bad so
there’s a there’s a real lack of
understanding or respect for a sense of
more relationships between people that
have been threatened by capitalism
humiliated by liberalism and now
confined no refuge in left politics so
the frontal explanation of God and will
be developing here is is that right-wing
authoritarian populism however you wanna
call it is Funt the fundamental cause is
the lack of a generous inclusive left
ideology and and that’s obviously the
task before us so the Communist Party in
Iraq is deeply secular and the
conversation with them is something I’m
sure that you’ll understand they pointed
out to me throughout the conversation
that they didn’t believe any of this
stuff about Imam Hussain and the war
karbala they were just explaining to me
that these were something that were
believed by the people and the people
were looking to them for hope and
leadership in building a secular polity
that respected those values so just
briefly in order to explain how I
understand this coalition and
particularly muqtada al-sadr just
imagine for a moment because many of you
are academics so we do this sort of
thing we imagine for a moment I’m not
suggesting that you do it for long just
imagine a fully military Shutts party
why with with local militias that
control the streets of pitar tikva and
other places right so a fully fully
mobilized malicious just party party
that was in alliance with the Communists
and left slate and that they just won an
election and we’re calling and were
forming the next Israeli government they
were in that process of conversations
and they were calling for full
Palestinian participation in the
governance of the economy and society
and above all for democratic
accountability at all levels of society
at their vanguard were enraged Iraqi
Jews who were going to rule in a
righteous spirit of justice the
polarization would be against the
liberal Ashkenazi left in this scenario
the Orthodox Rabbinate is a force for
moderation so I try just sharing with
you that’s that’s the that’s roughly how
I would translate that scene so I’ve
been travelled from Baghdad to to visit
the Kurds in northern Syria I don’t know
how much this has been covered here a
place called mid Java I miss his
technical nickname is the Democratic
Confederation of northland Syria and the
same question was posed there I spent a
week there so Isis was defeated or – was
defeated by there by a Kurdish led
coalition I’m not on the basis of
religion or nationalism but in the name
of a participatory democracy with full
women’s equality they have built
something eerily reminiscent of the
early kibbutz system
a kind of local communist
self-government that they call
democratic and federalism and they wish
to build a democratic economy they told
me that did not fall back into a
centralized state or a free-market and
that is the thing they really wanted to
talk about but it’s also true that
Turkey was bombing them out of their
homes and was not letting them back
which was also as you could imagine a
topic of conversation now this law who’d
be Isis in the name of democracy they’re
so populous that they were officially
designated as terrorists all right so
that’s where we are in the in the in the
world so I found a curiously comforting
that I was asked to write a that’s very
similar paper in response to the same
question to be given both in Jerusalem
and in Najaf where I will be going in
July I found it a lot less comforting
that the politics of Baghdad are more
promising than those of Jerusalem and
the next part of this paper is a
reflection on the meaning of populism in
academic discourse as I mentioned as a
support of a brexit I have become very
familiar with the snobbery and
assumptions of the progressive left and
I think it is this that needs to be
challenged before a constructive
alternative can be made meaningful so
when I studied history at university
just there so nice to meet you by the
way I was very interested in in your
area I was taught that populism was a
good thing there was a while ago the
populism was was this very good thing
they emerged in the United States in the
1890s as a democratic coalition between
southern farmers and eastern workers and
that has some understanding of class and
capital and that reached out to also two
small black farmers for support
the way I was taught in the in the late
70s and early 80s would was it was as
close as America came to a labor party
that could challenge the domination of
finance capital in the organization of
the economy and bring some security and
stability to both farmers on workers and
in many ways it was the
asked gasp of a vanquished tradition of
which I am of course part which saw
democracy as a means of shaping the
economy in the interests of the small
rather than the big that’s the key thing
about populism is it tries to constrain
the emergence of large and to keep the
small farm the dignity of work these
were the these were the concepts now
Roosevelt’s New Deal was by definition a
big deal and was based on big projects
led by Keynesian big brains but populism
spoke about the homestead and the small
farmer of our families and the dignity
of work and this is an important thing
about populism is nostalgia and nostos
the big nostos means longing for home
it’s a desire for some notion of of home
and if you look at liberalism if you
look at capitalism statism liberalism
and globalization it’s an endless tear
up disruption of settlement and endless
disruption of home and a move towards
huge corporations and large systems so
was the last gasp if you like in America
in this analysis of trying to preserve
some notion of attachment to land to
place to home and took to constrain the
domination and Finance capital I’m on
the left the most interesting thing for
I think his Antonio Gramsci
who wrote very well on this and the need
to build a popular coalition of
discipline forces he called the period
in which to quote him the oldest dead
but the new cannot be born he called it
an interregnum a time in between times
in which to Craig Graham she there is a
fraternization of Impossibles and all
manner of morbid symptoms pertain
so a time just like our own so I think
we’re living in an interregnum the
oldest dad’s that you cannot be born
there’s all manner of weird you know big
arguments in England now are about
gendered toilets
and passports you know believe me people
are not talking about this around the
kitchen table so we’re in that strange
time at the moment and for grouchy
fascism was not populist but elitist a
co-option of the national popular as he
called it by the already powerful due to
the inability of the left to quote feel
the elementary passions of the people to
share them and to shape them so I’m I’m
sharing that as a definition of the time
we’re in so the turn against populism
I’m in academic analysis came with the
retreat to psychology as a means of
explaining the rise of fascism and the
downgrading of class culture and power
as important explanatory variables in
the analysis of political outcomes the
roots of this kind of psychological
research I think can be traced back to
an influential book published in 1950
called the authoritarian personality
written by a group of academics at the
University of California in Berkeley and
based on their study of prejudice and
anti-democratic tendencies among
I found out writing this paper that it
was sponsored by the American Jewish
Committee as usual and it was based on
Adorno’s work in Frankfurt undertaken
with Max Horkheimer around the you know
critical school which was based on this
authoritarian personality and what he
called the F scale or the pre fascist
personality scale which form the
methodology of the study and the survey
questionnaire that they developed so the
F scale listed a set of psychological
dimensions that could be measured in
individuals for example conformity to
traditional social norms upholding the
values of the middle class submission to
conventional norms and values and
towards in-group authority figures
punishing and condemning individuals who
don’t hold those conventional values a
rejection of inwardness the subjective
the imaginative
and of self-criticism and they developed
a psychometric test to identify a
personality type so basically in this
personality type if you were
white-winged you were mentally ill and
psychologically unstable and if you were
left-wing you were sane so that’s
roughly the the analysis that they
devoted it’s extraordinary that it
developed so deep and so far so any
agreement or any any conservatism which
I’ll get to any cultural conservatism
was was immediately seen as a
pathological disorder in some way in
this in this analysis
Christopher lash is a very big theorist
for me was white on to this right from
the late sixties and all his stuff he
really understood it in a very good
piece in in Taccone in a magazine to cut
in the first issue in 1987 really goes
through this I think very well so this
had consequences Adorno’s involvement
led to this interest in in authoritarian
populism and he’d Stuart Hall he was a
very important sociologist it left
socialists in Britain used it to explain
the rot the rise of fascism and bother
the wives of Thatcherism which he saw
strange thing he said about Thatcherism
is fascism but he’s kept all the
institutions that’s back to old you know
so he didn’t draw the conclusion that it
wasn’t fascist he just had to find a way
of explaining that present work Milton
Rickettsia has extended the work to a
psychological understanding this is a
classic of the genre of open versus
closed forms of minds as if we can be
anything other than open and closed as
if decide you know this idea that we’re
all open and they’re all closed but this
is all respectable academic work Bob
altameyer signified used Adorno’s
f-scale in response to criticisms and
created a new white wing authoritarian
psychometric tests and
and then it’s been as you know very well
used in looking at libertarian and
authoritarian values so what it does is
is the constructor binary personality
type using cognitive psychology in order
to develop a reductive and limited view
of human subjectivity using this method
to explain complex sociological
processes results ultimately in a
mechanistic dualistic and food
invariably polarizing understanding of
social relationships and political
identification and this is where we are
now so the use of this type of
psychological work of and political work
to understand authorities authoritarian
populism it reduces begs it Trump
Netanyahu voters to an undifferentiated
group of undesirables or inadequate
their vote is presented as a product of
their vice functional psychological
reaction to social change so this is
uncritical view of change but this is a
very good thing being open to change is
a very good thing
and anybody who rejects that bad they
bad thing
so each negative adjectives attached to
them has a corollary of a positive one
for progressive voters I don’t if this
joke makes sense here I always say in
political speeches it’s the last thing
you want to hear when you go to the
doctor it’s progressive it’s just some
way of breaking the news that things can
go wrong you know there being that there
is some tragedy in human life so when I
hear the word progressive I’ll say
that’s that’s very bad so what are these
what one of these closed and open things
for progressive and and non progressive
voters so the first is authoritarian
versus liberals that’s that’s one binary
closed versus open is another one of and
uneducated versus educated that’s very
important and more degrees you have the
better person and you are and they
reached a climber
so I think in the only line of poetry
from Hillary Clinton’s campaign and I
don’t know how this translate but she
called Trump voters a basket of
deplorable now it’s a really interesting
one because it’s a kind of develop
poetic metaphor so you could talk about
a basket of currencies you can talk
about a flock of seagulls
you know there’s various you know a case
of knives but this is a basket of
deplorable so there’s a range of
deplorable as I imagined in the basket
you know and is it so basically she
polarized against her own voters and
they wonder why she lost this has to be
explained psychologically why she lost
how about insulting your electorate is
there a very good place to start so a
study by Kate I’ve got a live with this
so apologies for her giving you examples
from Britain now but I had to live with
this with the brexit fight the brexit
vote was not a good thing and it has to
be explained in certain categories so I
studied by Cambridge University a few
weeks ago claimed that lead voters had a
tendency this is a very important word
for progressives they had a tendency to
be less creative creative is a very good
thing by the way we we should be always
creative I think it’s an it’s a it’s a
concept news for accounting basic
creative accounting means means means
cheating and lying and exaggerating but
we don’t see it like that with the
creative foget foget children creative
good good so leave voters are less
creative and they’re markedly worse add
quote coping with change than remain
voters if you actually looked at how
remained voters have responded to the
vote you wouldn’t think that they were
very good at dealing with change but
anyway we’ll return to that they lack
cognitive flexibility very important
concept and so are more likely to
support authoritarian ideologies they
right impermeable boundaries these
approach from this report and they tend
to gravitate towards a more ethnocentric
nationalist and socially conservative
mindset a spokesperson said by
connecting the realm of cognition to
that of ideology we find the flexibility
of thought may have far-reaching
consequences for social and political
attitudes exactly the same it’s in the
paper stuff came out in a big study of
Essex from Essex University which was
called the consequences of authoritarian
in Britain and it concluded that over
half the people in Britain have an
authoritarian personality type so there
you go these individuals tended to have
bad thoughts about immigration human
rights and most importantly the EU this
was backed up by YouGov poll the 2017
British social attitudes report said
that older people tended to be more
authoritarian and socially conservative
and they thought as usual all the lists
of the open/closed
things Chatham House is the same now
what I’m trying to say is is is that
this whole concept of populism and
authoritarian populism as viewed through
the prism of cognitive psychology is is
deeply political deeply flawed and
deeply biased and is anything but what
the consequences of authoritarian
populist me Britain said that they
described it as politically neutral that
this is just a politically neutral
attempt to understand social problems so
a negative framing of leave and Trump
voters reproduces in my view the
long-standing an uncritical class
condescension of the liberal
and it also avoids addressing the ways
in which our own interests in increasing
global mobility support for high levels
of immigration and a tendency to self
exemption from the size of nation and
place and the ways that they have
contributed to the growth of populism
the same kind of analysis can be found
in two books recently published
yosh amongst the people versus democracy
why our freedom is in danger and how to
save it published by Harvard and William
gall stones anti pluralism the populist
threat to liberal democracy published by
Yale and they tell very much the same
story open versus closed educated versus
uneducated the obvious superiority of
liberal democracy over any other form of
societal organization without any
acknowledgement that the present system
not only favors those with capital over
those without all those with
qualifications over those without it
also prefers those who wish to leave to
those who wish to stay that’s a that’s a
very big part of it they reproduce the
lash pathology on every page the
conclusion is that the working-class
vote against their own interests
obviously because they are either bad
people or stupid people but on the whole
they’re both so that’s the that’s the
dealing of the academic work on populism
so my argument to you turf is the inner
in an interregnum such as we are in
democratic politics is an argument over
sanity that’s what it is
you must that’s what’s up for grabs is
the definition of what is and is not
reasonable to believe during periods
when the old is dying and the new is yet
to be born there is always a period of
uncertainty and menace when the previous
certainties characteristic of the
consensus no longer hold and previously
marginal voices are heard far more
forcefully and made more sense such
periods redefine the possibilities of
politics for generation shifting the
meaning of common sense and the
definition of Orthodoxy extremism and
moderation the problem is is the
previous consensus as I’ve tried to
display in the analysis of populism can
no longer can no longer predict or
explain reality there is a real
predictive problem in the dominant model
and the Democratic argument is over what
will replace it so I think this is what
is at stake in our workshop
the next couple of days summarizes the
inability of the left to explain or act
in the world and its reluctance to
engage with building relationships with
others who do not agree with us and who
dispute our values that’s where we are
and that’s what I hope we talk about but
it is also about the durability and
persistence of values that are now
defined as conservative the desire to
have a home and some security of
habitation to have long-term loving
relationships as a goal of human life of
an affection for inherited institutions
and conventions as a necessary aspect of
democratic Association of a sense which
that I really need to explain here of
place this is a tradition that goes back
to Aristotle and finds his strongest
contemporary proponent in Alistair
McIntyre and which underpins the work of
Karl Polanyi as well as Catholic social
fear at thought and infused people as
social beings with the tendency to
settlement an attachment who find their
meaning through love and free work and
the endless pressure of the
commodification of human beings in
nature the velocity of dispossession and
displacement generated by the
progressive consensus which combines
capitalism statism and liberal
liberalism wrapped up in globalization
is worth resisting in the name of
democracy and that the ideal the ideal
of a home in the world that can be
negated negotiated with others comes
into center stage and here I do think
that Oakland and the Kurds are ahead of
us in building an institutional
alternative Solinsky who’s part of this
story and sort of where I come out of
listed as one of his walls that a
constructive alternative was the price
of a successful politics that’s what you
did that was the work with your ways
somebody would always turn around
ultimately I said well what would you do
and if you’ve got nothing to say about
what you’d do beyond more women in the
boardroom that’s one that I hear a lot
you know there’s no structural change to
to capitalism
reform of the state then the politics
won’t grow so it’s worth concluding on
what the economic alternative would be
so I would start out with the
understanding the capital has a tendency
to centralize and concentrate that is
the equal of the state in Britain the
entire inherited wealth of the country
is concentrated in six banks and four
pension funds and we nearly lost it all
overnight on October the 8th 2008 that
was the kind of former suffering over
the entire nation when hasn’t really
gone away so an entire Civic ecology of
local banking institutions were deem
utilized and privatized in the birth
pangs of the liberal globalization era
and they no longer exist I don’t know if
that’s true here when I arrived at the
airport they were still banged lay on me
and they were still there still are they
still functioning autonomous
institutions or have they been
corporatized and taken over
they’ve been privatized exactly so the
names in England The humiliation is the
names remain but the ownership is
completely is completely different
though they still bankrolling labor that
needs you know labour needs some support
that’s interesting if if Labor’s real
significant social support is actually
capital that’s such an interesting
sociological observation of some kind so
they haven’t got people where they have
got money that’s quite interesting so
the first act of an alternative
political economy that understood the
necessity of a home and place that
understood the tendency of capital to
centralize would be the endowment of
regional banks that could not lend
outside the area that they are in and
which could constrain the pressure to
maximise returns which led directly to
the financial crash and the bailout so
an embedded notion of capital in the
places that people live and work so the
financial crash was the result of a
failure of many things but one of them
was also
Corporate Governance a comparative
analysis of corporate restructuring
strategy in Germany on the one side and
Finland the United States tells the
story clearly in Germany through the
representation of workers on boards each
stakeholder in first capital labor and
management had access to the same
information about the state of the firm
in the sector and could negotiate a
common response so the governance and
strategy of the firm itself became a
matter of negotiation as the workforce
and their representatives gained a
knowledge of economic performance and a
practical role in the management of the
economy the workforce has interests in
the flourishing of firms and an internal
expertise in the work of the firms and
the risks that they carry in terms of
losing their livelihood if the company
fails so the sacrifices asked as workers
was balanced by their participation in
the process of production as an
institutional partner so a common good
model or Apollonia model of corporate
governance ensures that the workforce
have the information and institutional
power to negotiate enterprise and
sectoral strategies of renewal so I
would roughly say a third of the seats
on the board for capital a third of the
seats for the workforce than a third of
the seats for the area that it’s in so
that you embed you embed the firm him in
though in that place I don’t know what
the situation is here so I go lightly
but in England there’s been a massive
preference the university education over
the vocational education that’s been
absolutely so the knowledge economy I
know I was I was in develop all ago and
it was a nightmare the startup nation I
remember that your Jewish history is now
summarized in being a startup nation
that’s that can’t be right but there is
and then that went to the knowledge
economy and then of course the creative
the creative economy that’s that’s
that’s always the word that is used when
the working class is going to be really
humiliated so there’s been a massive
investment in university
in transferable skills and not in
vocational and specific skills and then
the lack of having specific skills led
to the necessity of immigration so the
working class were told simultaneously
you were not going to train you to do
anything because that’s old-fashioned
and that’s not part of the creative
economy and at the same time you’ve got
to have mass immigration because you’re
so useless and you can’t do the work so
that was a big part of what happened
with the Beggs it both in terms of
globalized liberal teleology it was
assumed that there would be a decline in
manual jobs and an increase in
transferable skills Gordon Brown who was
prime minister predicted in a 2006
speech that there would only be 600,000
low-skilled jobs in Britain by 2020 in
fact the figure is 3 million and so
there was a complete misreading of
reality they just thought that manual
jobs would no longer exist but the
figures are there and in the paper in
1984 there were 70 universities in
Britain now there’s a hundred and
seventy 14 percent used to go to
university then now it’s 48 percent the
budget there were 7 billion today is 33
billion and there’s been exactly an
equal collapse of investment in
vocational education so that’s the class
nature of the progressive liberal
teleology so you might say that the
human desire to earn and belong has not
been part of this approach and the
result is that what we have is a
polarized labor market and a polarized
politics so the alternative that I’m
presenting to you here is that we should
understand people as embedded and
embodied and not simply as either
rational choosers or as closed-minded
authoritarian personality types what is
required is an economy that is embedded
and embodied through banking and
vocational institutions that constrain
capital but also we need to think very
seriously about a renewal of essentially
an old-style kyboot system participative
local assemblies you know that’s a very
important part of the work and it is
worth me
in conclusion the capital in its
essential form is promiscuous that’s
what it is it seeks the highest rate of
return at the fastest possible speed
once the returns begin to slow it seeks
new partners that can deliver higher
returns quicker when human beings are
the commodities this leads to an
inhumane system that disrupts
relationships durable patterns of life
that offend against people sense of the
sacred the extreme cases would be
prostitution and body part sales it also
exploits and degrades nature in ways
that deplete the necessary inheritance
for future generations in other words it
becomes a form of nihilistic plunder in
which the incentive structures are
towards vice and a working around of the
Wolves regulations which are seen as an
external imposition so that’s why there
needs to be an internal goods internal
power within the firm and within the
structures of capitalism karl polanyi’s
argument developed in the great
transformation that the economy the
satisfaction of human needs and wants
through skillful and complex work is
threatened by the commodification of
Labor land and money the factor markets
is an important one so the economy
requires social institutions that
disseminate skills distribute knowledge
and preserve the status of the person of
something other than a commodity
societal institutions of non-pecuniary
form renew the cultural resources or
constituents of society from depletion
and exhaustion by defying the claims of
capital and educating the person towards
a nation of internal goods as well as
external value so my conclusions are
paradoxical in order to build a radical
Democratic politics we must become more
conservative in order to attain
citizenship we must build alliances with
faith the modernization is based on the
renewal of tradition and perhaps most
importantly that populism is the best
hope of democracy ok




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