We started off this manifesto by referring to the world of the tribe and the feudal overlord. Let us look at these phases from an economic perspective.
Karl Marx described mankind and all creatures as having a “species essence”. A cat in the wild needs meat and so the species essence of a cat is to catch prey and feed its young. For human beings, the process is easier as we are armed with skills a cat doesn’t have and in addition we have the capacity of language to communicate, share knowledge and co-operate.
Our species essence is therefore based on these differences between us and lower mammals. From tribal times, we have had a problem with two things; gender and racial difference, deploying differential treatment for those who were visibly different from the group with power. Gender recognition (about 100,000 years ago,) gave rise to gender inequality – in effect stating “you are a woman that is what you do” (bearing children and looking after and raising young or caring for old), “you are a man that is what you do” (going out and bringing home the economic value hunting, or working).
Racial difference after conquest and cultural convergence was always achieved by the fact that man of whatever culture or tribe always had dominion over women and in most cultures still does.
The second aspect of the tribe and species essence was that life uncertain so mankind had to adapt or starve and consumed what food value he had quickly and evenly. Nothing could be wasted so everything was eaten.
Tribalism therefore shaped “species essence” in any one of several ways. But two themes come over; one is that men and women had distinct roles, and the second was that overall whatever was sourced was consumed. There could be no “storage of value”.
Once storage of value happened in pre-Biblical times a feudal system emerged and someone basically stole the surplus value defining the role of others to create value, which they then acquired. And so on and so forth. This went on right the way through Capitalism with bosses “stealing” value off workers, right up to the hitherto ignored, final collapse of capitalism in the west sometime around the mid-1980s when the west began to export its capitalism to China and importing its proletariat from Mexico or Eastern Europe.
In the 1930’s the collapse of the capitalist system gave rise to fascism and a world war. When capitalist systems collapse, they revert to their pre-capitalist identity namely their feudal form. Fascism was little more than a reaction to capitalism’s collapse in Europe in the form of a technological form of feudalism. Horrific, as it could do what feudal systems can do; treat people like objects with no value but do it on an industrial scale. Joseph Stalin in Russia was a feudal monster too.
In the 1980’s capitalism went into a crisis again. It was unwieldy and unaffordable in its “mixed economic” form. In the UK, welfare and state industries were toppling the economic system as was a totally naive belief that the Trades Unions were acting in the best interests of the “workers” by destroying industries. This was as much nonsense then as now. Just consider the Unions and Southern Trains in 2017. The Trades Unions, antagonistic bosses, the welfare system, National Health Service and nationalised industries made the mixed free market “capitalist orientated” system inefficient and therefore unaffordable and so a change had to take place.
On each side of the Atlantic two charismatic but largely economically illiterate leaders emerged with a view that the state must be brought to heel (in Britain it meant shedding nationalised industries) and that printing money was a cardinal economic sin. Whilst both facts are true, what went on to happen was unexpected. The two leading western economies the EU and US were watching the right things happen (economic growth) but not understanding why this growth was taking place. The economies of the west began to flourish. In the UK, the heirs to Thatcher (Major and Blair) spawned the heirs to Blair (Cameron and Osborne). Each man believing in turn that this story of wealth, and jobs in retail or services, was an economic success. All this of course led eventually to the famous banking crisis.
Governments liked the apparent success of this post 1980’s model before the banking crisis as the success generated tax revenue which could be spent on welfare, pensions and the state and unemployment was kept low.
Of course, as we said above we have economic value but we also need to create social value; welfare is essentially delivering social value by government. Ideally it should be a by-product of economic activity delivered within a social as opposed to state funded model. In our simple tribal society, the “social value” was always woman’s work which may explain it’s low value even in the west. This work still must be done in 2017 but it is not people who do it out of a sense of love or community, it is the state. A state that has taken on delivering social value because it over promoted the economy as a place of work particularly for women. The state we pay for as taxpayers simply can’t go on paying for an “elite” as well as pay our social care.
The whole post 1980’s socio economic process was given a name by the time Blair came to power. It was called “post neo classical endogenous growth theory”.
However, as politicians only knew what global markets did, and did not know how they did it, what no one was watching was how this economic success story was being paid for. It was being paid for by cheap foreign outsourced labour making the things the “consumers” of the west wanted whilst many blue-collar workers in the west were put out of old rust belt and manufacturing occupations.
When a car plant closed in the UK in the early noughties the New Labour government advised the unemployed to get work in supermarkets. Nothing wrong with supermarket work but not everyone can do it. This explains why the second and third generation ex industrial “out of workers” are voting Brexit in the UK and for Trump in the US. It is because of the effects of the liberal elite’s economic policy that has created an army of under or unemployed people who want to create value and do something and find they can’t.
The reason that this model has endured for nearly thirty years is that the cheaper foreign produced products carried the old price tag giving a great mark up. This made some people in retail very rich. In addition, the economic “miracle”, assisted by migration and family breakdown was increasing demand for housing making house prices go up allowing “capital” to be tapped off and spent on consumption. If you have borrowed against your house to pay off debt or buy a car, you have contributed to the nation’s short term success but long term misery … but don’t worry we have all done it!!
So where are we now? Well the debt based model continues. If Britain is worth (it is claimed) sixty five trillion pounds and as people have not yet borrowed sixty five trillion pounds there is still “growth” in the economy. This madness we call debtamorphosis and it leads us to our third simple manifesto pledge. Borrowing can never be a social or economic good. It must be resisted. It can only be justified if it is to be used as a driver for productive economic activity and or hard work like investing in machines or plant resources.
The student loan fiasco and the trend towards more borrowing must stop and the people must willingly come to the rescue of an economy we have all but ruined with our debt. For too long we have been egged on by governments who need our debt to boost the economy and then tax it to justify their elevated positions.
Blue Revolution pledge number three: Get debt under control and have a contract with the people to put social value back into society without the state paying for all of it. The economy should not be “taxed” to pay for people’s laziness or stupidity. Unlike in tribal society delivering social value should not be done in a sexist way and it should be encouraged at a neighbourhood level. As far as practical we must get the government out of social and economic activities adopting for government a simple regulatory function of markets which undermine the consumer.
Next – Law and Order