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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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How the right sold austerity as the only economic solution

How the right sold austerity as the only economic solution | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Richard Seymour: More than 30 years of neoliberalism and six years of austerity have floored us, yet the left is incapable of mounting a serious challenge to this economic orthodoxy. Why?
Willy De Backer's insight:

"The political possibilities have been narrowed through serial defeats of the left, the consequent incorporation of social democratic parties into the neoliberal consensus, and the transformation of state apparatus in a less democratic direction. No governing social democratic party offers a serious alternative to the austerity remedy. The diminution of practical solidarity following on from the state-led defeats inflicted on organised labour is far-reaching. Nine out of 10 private sector workplaces have never seen a union rep, let alone a picket line; the number of days lost to strike action in recent years have been, barring a relatively small spike in 2011, at historic lows. The idea of "rank and file" organisation, let alone wildcat strike action, is something seen only on the peripheries of the labour movement. Trade unions have been effectively disciplined. This is an important reason why the labour response to austerity has been so feeble."

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Eli Levine's curator insight, March 28, 12:58 PM

There is, perhaps, no other field more political than economics.  Economics is politics, politics is economics.  They go hand in hand, one effecting the other, such that those with wealth have political power and those who don't are stripped of it.

 

It's  a shame that we don't move away from this hoarding behavior on the part of the rich and those who already have wealth and power. to do what actually works for everyone (including the rich, on the grand scale of things).  The environment is going to collapse under our current economic activity and, with it, will go the society, the polity and the economic wealth that went with it.  This will happen, regardless of if the society is able to overcome its malaise, to assert its democratic majority over the rich in the government.

 

Sadly, the official Left is led by a seemingly incompetent group of "yes people" who may secretly support the self-destructive endeavors of the Right.  They will neither let people who are competent at communicating to others rise in their ranks, nor will they necessarily adopt the policies that are NEEDED to preserve our world on the tangible level, not on the imagined level that the conservatives like to keep us at.

 

And so, we're left to die, individually and collectively, because no one with official power would rise to the challenge to get all of these conservatives from either party, public or private, into mental health clinics.  The opinions of conservatives from any party remain, as far as society is concerned, on an equal basis with the actual facts of the world (when they are so clearly not).  This is how civilizations end, because those who learn how to play the socially constructed game win out over those who know what the actual game is always about.  It's not the image of society that matters, but the actual conditions within it and within the environment that do.

 

That's what I've been saying these past 4 years.

 

And I doubt anyone has, or will, listen to what I have to say before it's too late to do anything about it.

 

Think about it.

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Class in the 21st Century

"We are witnessing the birth of a new era: novel relationships of class and nation, of ideology, identity and mobilization, and of global left-wing politics are taking shape. The end of the Cold War brought no ‘peace dividend’, merely a new cycle of wars. The triumph of Western capitalism was not followed by universal prosperity, but by soaring inequality and recurrent economic crises: East Asia, Russia, Argentina, and now the ongoing Euro-American turbulence. The classic issues of concern for the left—capitalist exploitation and imperialism, oppressive hierarchies of gender or ethnicity—have reproduced themselves in the new century. The struggle will go on: of that we can be sure. But who will stamp their mark on it—the new middle class, or the plebeian masses? "

Willy De Backer's insight:

Brilliant long essay by Swedish sociology professor Göran Therborn on the historical birth, demise and challenging future of the working class as a political and social actor at global level.

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Davos man thrives while the rest of us pay for his excesses

Davos man thrives while the rest of us pay for his excesses | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Davos is intellectually bankrupt. But the ideology it champions won't fall just by itself. Capitalism's dead end requires intellectual challengers, social movements and trade union leaders prepared to dare to reimagine their role."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Very good comment in the Guardian by Will Hutton.

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Transition écologique et sociale : les syndicats sont dans le coup

Transition écologique et sociale : les syndicats sont dans le coup | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Excellent article by French economist Jean Gadrey on progress in the trade union movement regarding the ecological and social transition.

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