Thursday, 12 March 2009

Jon Cruddas Thinks He Has The Answers…

In ‘CiF’, the socialists in New Labour are pushing to advance their agenda on the back of the recession:
Archbishop Rowan Williams is right to raise larger questions about our economic predicament. The political elites of both New Labour and the Conservatives offer no economic analysis of the crisis and no political leadership. Their goal is to return the economy to business as usual. But the status quo has vanished and there is no turning back to the neoliberal model of the past.
So, what does he suggest in its place?

Well, you might call it ‘New Socialism’:
The policies we develop to tackle the crisis will shape our society for generations to come. We need to create a new kind of economy and we need a set of principles to guide us because this recession is also a moral crisis.
This is the progressives making their move, finally, and seeking to shape the sort of society they wish mankind to conform to (while no doubt staying aloof from the process themselves, as befits the rulers of society).

And they are as wrong, and for the same reasons, as the multiculti crowd that is still in power:
How shall we live together and build just institutions that create a sense of belonging? We can find an answer in the ideas of socialism. Not the old socialism of command economy and centralist state. We can create a new socialism that recognises cultural difference and whose civic state is democratised and decentralised.
If you ‘recognise cultural differences’ you enshrine separate identities, and create the climate for pressure groups to argue for ‘recognition’ under the system for them.

You’ll have what we’ve got now - but with added socialism! That’s never going to be any kind of answer.
The central value of the new socialism is equality, the belief that each individual is irreplaceable and of equal worth. People today no longer accept that morality should be imposed on them by the state or by so-called social superiors. But we are not witnessing a decline of morality. People are making their own ethics to live by.
But they aren’t going to be ‘of equal worth’ if you ‘recognise cultural differences’ are they…?

And what we are witnessing is exactly a decline of morality. If there’s no clear agreed standard of ways to behave that ‘society’ as a whole signs up to, then, indeed, what you have is people ‘making their own ethics’.

How’s it working out so far, Jon? Is it bringing you votes in Barking and Dagenham?
The neoliberal right in both the Conservative and Labour parties treat individuals as if they are atomised units of economic calculation. Governance is either by market or by a micro-managed culture of targets and performance. But individuals cannot be reduced to this kind of one-dimensional existence. We are essentially dependent upon one another throughout the course of our lives. Society is made in our relationships.
Really? It sounds a lot like your idea of ‘society’ was made in a sociology department…
When David Cameron gave his speech about hugging a hoodie he was scorned, but he was right. Without love people lose their self-esteem. They lose the capacity to be true to themselves.
The problem we currently have is NOT people with low self esteem, though. It’s people with far too much, totally unwarranted, self-esteem! It’s the Baby Boomer generation grown up, and demanding ever more attention and political power to continue their hedonistic lifestyles.

And passing that attitude on to their children. Hence we have the Darrens of the previous post, believing the world owes them a living because ‘government money’ falls out of the sky.
But there is the kindness of solidarity with others, the generosity that comes with mutual sympathy. To live well and to live together requires give and take. Equality is the measure by which we judge who takes too much in the way of advantages and who not enough in terms of burdens. Equality is the ethical core of justice.
Britain is indeed starting to judge ‘who takes too much in the way of advantages’, Jon. I don’t think you are going to care much for the conclusion they’ve reached, though….
We are in danger of becoming a society of strangers. We have to build a political community to develop a new kind of economy and determine the just distribution of resources. We need political leadership in which government and the people work together toward a good society. This requires a new socialism committed to the common good, to equality and to social justice.
‘Social justice’. There ain’t any such animal, Jon.

And until you can ask the people to work towards a ‘good society’, they need to agree on a definition of same. And if you plan on ‘recognising cultural differences’, you’ve rather painted yourself into a corner there. Haven’t you?

9 comments:

Oldrightie said...

Thought provoking as always, JuliaM. I'm afraid my anger the moment any mendacious Labourite opens their arrogant mouth, I just close my mind. The time to try and debate with these people is when their power is less damaging.

AntiCitizenOne said...

Julia,

I'll let you into a secret, weel it's a secret becuase it's

a) true
and
b) noone seems to know it.

The secret is
GOVERNMENTS REGULATED THE CREDIT BUBBLE INTO EXISTENCE.

New Socialism will regulate us into a new era of shortage.

dmc said...

"not witnessing a decline in morality,"what planet is he on?look at his present socoialist goverment for lessons on loss of morals.
You will always have inequality,it is natural,no one is the same and a good job too otherwise we would all have a boring sameness.
Hang on,thats what they want isn't it.

Mark said...

'We are in danger of becoming a society of strangers'.
This seems to be an implicit nod by Cruddas to the truth which Robert Putnam identified a couple of years back (and which was then flushed down the memory hole)namely, that in very ethnically diverse communities, people tend to 'hunker down' and a large chunk of 'social capital' evaporates as a consequence.
As I recall Cruddas was a junior in the Home Office at the time, and commissioned spurious 'research' which attempted to deny the applicability of Putnam's findings to the UK. What a deceitful, two faced creep he is !

John M Ward said...

Ah, the Regressives…

Instead of going into a detailed comment (it is a long article!) I'll summarise by saying that the quoted matter is just a load of Crud-
das. ;->

JuliaM said...

"New Socialism will regulate us into a new era of shortage."

Not all of us. THe likes of Polly Toynbee and her revolting ilk will, once again, make out like bandits!

"You will always have inequality,it is natural.."

Indeed. You might as well expect to halt the climate of this plan...

Hang on!

"Cruddas was a junior in the Home Office at the time, and commissioned spurious 'research' which attempted to deny the applicability of Putnam's findings to the UK. What a deceitful, two faced creep he is !"

The perfect NuLab politician, in other words....

JuliaM said...

'Regressives'. I like that.. ;)

malpas said...

I suspect that the people you borrow money from will have a powerful say in how your future is run.

Stan said...

Loads of garbage from Cruddas - the morality bit especially - but it's this that gets me.

"The central value of the new socialism is equality, the belief that each individual is irreplaceable and of equal worth."

Wasn't that the central value of the old socialism or did Orwell get it wrong? Of course it is bollocks as it has always been. Does Cruddas seriously believe that the murderer of Robert Knox is irreplaceable and of equal value to society as, say, a neuro-surgeon? If he does he is stupid, if he doesn't he is a liar. He's not stupid. I can just about accept the idea that we're all born equal (although that isn't strictly true, either), but the idea that we're all equal is sheer idiocy. We are not and never will be. What we do have - less now than a generation ago - is equality of opportunity. The important thing if society is to progrss is to find out who has real talent and who doesn't - the elite - and allow them to flourish to the best of their ability. You can't do that by mixing them in with the dregs. As Steyn likes to say - if you mix a half pint of cream with a half pint of shit the result is more like the latter than the former. What we need to do is separate the cream from the shit.