The history of politics, simplified.
When it comes to politics, we all feel confused. ‘Left’, ‘Right’ or maybe ‘Centre’. Liberal or totalitarian, Socialist, Revolutionary Socialist. What all these political ideas lack is a broad understanding by ordinary people.
Political change has always involved a small group of sometimes angry people like some of those above taking control of the state in the name of ‘the people’. This has never been a good idea, but it continues to go on, even now. Politics is therefore about power, who has it, how they get it and what they do with it.
This pamphlet was written to help the curious. It adopts a modern theory based on peoples’ experience. We call it ‘lived reality’. Today it reflects the reality of living in a globalised ‘free market’, but ‘lived reality’ works just as well for the lives of people in the past.
Our lived reality, therefore, describes how we got to where we are economically, politically and socially.
According to the Blue Revolution, all political decisions should be grounded in the reality of all working people- not a small minority. The last time this happened was thousands of years ago when we lived in tribal communities.
Politics is confusing. Too many political ideas are in existence with many ideas conflicting. Politics is all about how politicians, be they kings, political party members or business leaders get power, or influence those who have it. But it is also about how ordinary people experience the power of politics.
Power in ‘tribal’ communities. A harsh equality starting in the Middle East.
The earliest type of organisation is the tribe: a community of people and basic rules and principles which ensured order.
Rules controlled every aspect of life. For example, ‘marriage’, which today is a legal ‘contract’ between two adults in tribal times was instead an arrangement between different males and females in a tribe. In a tribe, rules were just accepted. Broken rules were punishable by death in order to preserve the values necessary to protect all its members.
Things like child marriage were not considered strange, the average age of death was 33 years old. The tribes’ survival depended upon it. Child ‘marriage’ minimised problems of adjustment by putting children in different households at a very early age.
Religion evolved from economic necessity and reflected the need for survival. Religions were used to legitimate authority and control behaviour. Stability created economic and social value.
Tribal rules required a fair distribution to all. Generally, men hunted while women reared children and were homemakers. There was a strict division of labour, but men and women would have been equally as important to the maintenance of the tribe. This is the sort of world that Islam’s prophet Muhammed would have known and explains why Islamic ideas take the form they do and why some Muslims are outraged by modern criticism of what are essentially the social and economic values portrayed in the Qur’an. ‘Islamism’ is an attempt by some radicalised Muslims to promote these ideas and impose them on others by force. They unquestioningly accept as ‘truth’ the Muslim holy book the Qur’an.
Most but not all tribal societies evolved over many thousands of years. Australia and what became the USA before Europeans arrived, were cut off from the economic melting pot of the Mediterranean and Middle East, so it meant that economic and social evolution failed to happen.
These Australian and North American tribes remained completely intact until European settlers revolutionised their ‘reality’ and changed their society by changing their economy. These tribes went from simple hunting and gathering to overt control based on the top down authority of the imported Christian church and British and Dutch monarchy. Even today some individuals have not adjusted to this cultural change of pace and like many people in the twenty-first century, are culturally conflicted or confused.
Try and imagine being part of a tribe in the Middle East or Mediterranean as it evolved between 5000 to 500 BC. Life was harsh with continual fighting for resources between tribes, but generally within the tribe itself, things were harmonious. Everyone had a role and values were simple even though practices like child marriage, cruelty or banishment of those who broke ‘tribal custom’ may have been normal.
There would be little rule breaking as people would have been socialised to conform by repetition of rules. You can still see the repetition of rules practised in certain communities today. Think about a person’s reality if they live in the western world having migrated here from non-western communities where ‘traditional’ values are still important. They may have to come to terms with rules or behaviour, some of which might be incompatible with their own culture of origin.
Imagine what tribal communities would make of western culture; our freedom, absence of different roles based on our sex as well as our different sexual lifestyles, our apparent lack of care for the elderly and our unregulated sexual behaviour. Our modern lives may be classed as immoral. Tribes had to have all these things under some sort of control. There was no choice.
Those with a desire to maintain simple faith-based or tribal values and practices may struggle to adapt to the modern free market and reject our twenty-first-century values. This has led some liberal-minded western people to play down the impact of traditional cultural practices on those from non-western backgrounds even when those practices conflict with western values of free choice and consent. This ‘liberal’ approach promotes the interests of certain groups instead of the individuals within those groups.
Many modern westernised people would find it hard in a strict tribal society. For the modern westerner, our reality is based on personal and economic freedom underpinned by our experience of the free market. Today we desire individual choice!
Cultural ‘conflict’ therefore is caused by lived realities being based on different sets of economic and social expectations. Globalisation is responsible, but western governments are to blame for the problems this causes. They do this by failing to promote the rights of individuals in the face of demands for collective rights, which may discriminate against groups, for example women. The demand by some groups to protect religious practice is one such example where individual and collective rights conflict.
It isn’t possible to adopt, promote or impose one simple set of moral rules and maintain personal choice. The contradiction for militant Islamists is that whereas tribal values were coherent with the economics of tribal society militant Islamists want to impose simple religious values on non-tribal twenty-first-century societies….by force.
Once we all lived in tribes and accepted simple tribal values. There was economic equality within tribal communities but different roles for men and women. Today conflict comes if different sets of values based on different economic expectations clash.
Humanities first Revolution. Political power becomes normal as kings take control.
In the Middle East, around six thousand years ago, tribal society started to change due to technological improvements. These improvements created the first agricultural revolution and gave rise to power by a minority over the many, political power! This helped create the Middle Eastern faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All these faiths tried to deal with the unfairness of political power by turning simple values into a set of ‘moral’ behaviours for all people.
‘Top-down’ control (which is like feudalism, as well as other systems of top-down authority) came about because people were able to organise the economy so that surplus food was available (a bit like a profit). To begin with, it was not a money surplus, but as people created more food than was needed, it became possible to trade and eventually money and wealth became possible. Inequality was born! A few people who did not work themselves could acquire wealth from the work of others.
As a result, ‘immoral’ behaviours like prostitution and adultery became possible. These would be activities almost impossible in tribal society but with surplus food production, people were more than able to support women (or men) who provided sex. It was also possible for rich men to support ‘their’ women, so some women did not have to work as they had to do in tribes. Patriarchal society was born, and the control of women in society began.
In its latter stages this period was an era when art and beautiful artefacts could be created by artisans, who were paid to create beauty rather than to hunt for food.
This economic revolution obviously changed peoples lived realities. The Old and New Testament of the Jewish and Christian faith and the Qur’an plus other religious views expressed by the prophet Muhammad are all about trying to re-establish a virtuous society during this period of economic upheaval.
Over thousands of years, where surplus value was created the bonds of tribal society were permanently broken, allowing a minority of people, an elite, to take the surplus value from working people and slaves and make it their own. They used this economic advantage to create and maintain power structures, so they could dominate and control ordinary people. Once this authoritarian system was established, life would never be the same again for billions of ordinary people.
Can you imagine how the Reality of the majority was affected by this significant economic and social change? People had lost tribal loyalty, tribal equality and predictability and were now subject to authority from elite minorities. For ordinary people, life was a complex mix of submission to various authorities, observance of religious rules and working hard to create property and wealth for others.
Authoritarian societies were thus considered by many to be very bad indeed. With economies in the hands of greedy kings, this era became humanities ‘nation building’. It started in the Mediterranean and Middle East with the earliest power based authoritarian systems in Egypt and Iraq. These authoritarian systems existed when other people, even in the same area of the world were still living in simple tribal society.
The ‘top-down’ model created by feudalism and similar authoritarian systems was very efficient and is still used today in politics and public service and public administration. People at the top of organisations and their ‘leadership teams’ make ‘decisions’ and as a result, earn more than the people creating the value whether it be an economic surplus value (profit) or social value (e.g. caring for society). It is not the nature of the activity that is the problem but the difference in reward which should as in tribal society be proportionate to the overall needs of society and its ability to pay.
Growing feudal and authoritarian societies encouraged further economic and social development because they allowed risk. They gave the power to change society and takes risks, to a king (or in some nations a queen) and abolished permanent tribal rules imposed and upheld collectively. The creation of economic surplus set humanity on the march towards modern politics and modern society but also created the inequality we still experience today.
Early and successful Middle East authoritarian systems were conquered by Islam. Some of these then adopted and developed mainly Greek science and other modern ideas of the day.
Whilst Islam in the Middle East was able to conquer authoritarian systems, these sorts of economic systems were eventually willing to accommodate Christianity too.
With Christianity, authoritarian systems such as feudalism adopted a religion which was unconcerned with earthly power and so accepted the idea of inequality on earth. Whilst Islamic authoritarian societies were forced to accept economic inequality, within Islam itself economic inequality was haram or wrong. For some devout Muslims today, this remains a major cultural rubbing point with western economies and some Muslim states like Saudi Arabia. In Islamic law there are strict rules about profit and fairness.
Like everywhere else in Europe, and parts of the Middle East, Britain was finally wealthy enough to develop feudalism after the Romans left in the fifth century. It became fully established after the Norman Conquest in 1066. Its decline began after the Black Death in the fourteenth century when a shortage of labour forced wages up and drove economic innovation.
Feudalism was the theft of resources from the many by a small elite who set up power structures to maintain their authority. The ‘right’ to do this was at odds with tribal values but elite politics won the day. Britain developed feudalism after the Romans left in the fifth century.
Nothing lasts forever. Feudalisms decline and the rise of capitalists power. The action moves to Europe.
In Europe Feudalism endured for centuries and in various forms it still exists today in parts of the world that are not yet industrial but are no longer tribal. Its main characteristic is still its top-down, unaccountable authoritarianism.
In Britain we consider ourselves beyond feudalism, but traces of it appear in ceremonial form in ours and many other modern European States. These states maintain power based on status/property/income and have as a ‘democracy’ a system based on the representation of the people by an elected as opposed to hereditary elite. This is promoted by politicians and generally accepted by the people as the acceptable antidote to past unaccountable feudal power and authoritarianism.
Britain remains in some senses feudal with democracy grafted on, because we now elect and pay our elite. We are still subject to their rules and decisions, however much we disagree with them. Disagreement between the people and our elected elite seems to be getting more common as they no longer seem to ‘represent’ the people who pay them. Us!
In Britain, feudalism’s decline began due to increasing levels of prosperity generated by education, science, further agricultural advances, and the work of an intelligent emerging ‘middle class’. This change began to develop after the ravages of the Black Death in the fourteenth century when labour was in short supply and wages were going up.
The earliest challenge to the British feudal system came about because ordinary working people were trading and by their combined efforts and expertise were creating greater wealth than had been previously possible. The feudal aristocracy who ‘owned’ all wealth were, therefore, getting rich at the expense of ordinary hard-working people. The aristocracy was also wasting wealth on wars and personal vanity.
Kings who at one time broke society away from predictable tribal society were no longer promoting economic and social evolution but were holding back changes demanded by a working middle class who were not benefitting politically from their skill and enterprise.
This middle class made up of innovators, merchants and hard-working ‘entrepreneurs’ was getting restless, angry and their workforce hungry. There were riots in England from the fourteenth century onwards due to food shortages and abuses of feudal power.
In Germany, ideas were developing based on religious scripture that supported a new economic model based on hard work that challenged the idea that the church was entitled to the economic wealth created by ordinary people. These ideas also challenged the role of the church in supporting the poor.
As with the change from tribal society to top-down authoritarian power like feudalism, the reality of different groups of people was again coming into conflict. This gave rise to revolution. The final stage of this economic revolution began in Britain in the seventeenth century, France in the eighteenth century and wider Europe in the nineteenth century and Russia and China in the twentieth century.
These revolutions put capitalist ideas into what had become declining feudal societies. These revolutions broke the power of those born to rule and replaced it with power based on the economic or political interests of a new elite. The elites were landowners and capitalists and their group interests became political Parties. Much later ‘workers’ gained their own parties too.
By freeing people from feudalism and reforming religion so people had to work hard for wages or make a profit rather than live on ‘welfare’ from the Church, capitalism promoted the world of the economic rather than the religious or feudal elite. Capitalism like feudalism still relied on surplus value being created, but under capitalism it was created by workers free to contract with capitalists for work. The surplus value was then acquired by capitalists in the form of profit. To succeed as an economic model capitalism needed people to be free to think, speak, innovate and trade. The legal principles of contract, choice and consent were the basis of capitalist economics, not as had been the case under feudalism: compulsion, coercion and control.
Capitalisms values of contract, choice and consent have been and continue to be liberating for working people, which is something that many left-wing politicians struggled to accept. Before capitalism, as we have seen, the aristocracy controlled the nation’s wealth. It was revolutions that had to be used to dislodge them.
In Russia and China, one form of feudalism with kings was replaced by revolutionary socialism: a system based on control of the economy by one political party that believed it represent the working class. Any one-party state is called totalitarian. Revolutionary Russia and China therefore did not become capitalist instead they fused their one-party political system with industrialisation. This undermined the workers who, whilst still creating surplus value (as in capitalism proper), were subordinate to the one-party state.
All ‘modern’ political systems all over the world including within western democracy promote the importance of the political party, but in ‘democracy’ there is a choice of parties to support.
In the west, capitalism did liberate innovators, workers and people of science from what had become the menace of the European feudal system. Once the scientist and innovators had ‘industrialised’ there was no holding back this engine of economic and social progress. A combination of people and machines created more surplus value than the world had ever known.
The British Empire was financed by capitalism. Like all empires, it had many moral failings. Eventually it was based on trade, freedom within the law and the accumulation of capital (surplus value turned into property, wealth and bankable money). Whilst based on trade, it was still skewed in favour of the capitalist economic elite. By the eighteenth century, it was fully exploitative of the nations it had conquered but to function properly it was able to leave a legacy in some ex colonies of contract, choice and consent and British common law.
Societies that could not innovate within the capitalist model due to religious observance, for example, created growing poverty for their subject peoples. As a result, Islam’s Eastern empire had disappeared by 1928. Islam is now re-emerging as a moral force across the globe funded by Saudi oil money.
Whilst capitalism as a system did not discriminate, it impacted harder on poorer, predominantly black or religious majority nations who have historically been unable to build up the capital or wealth necessary to be part of the capitalist system. Today many poor countries have authoritarian heads of State who don’t believe in liberating their people using freedom based on contract, choice and consent.
By creating so much wealth industrial capitalism was widely viewed as a force for prosperity and liberation, particularly for those middle-class owners of capital who maintained the system. They disguised its unfairness with religion, parliamentary democracy and the law. This is what is known as right-wing thinking; promoting the interests of capitalism.
However, capitalism was experienced as very unfair by the workers or as they were called then the ‘working class’ They knew they worked hard to create the surplus value necessary to make others very wealthy.
From the nineteenth century onwards, within western democracies industrial capitalism reigned supreme until the turn of the twentieth century. But industrial capitalism was a system that had in built ‘contradictions’ such as too few winners and too many losers, so over time legislation and taxation had to be used to minimise the bad impact of capitalism on the working class.
Capitalists wealth came and went often within families and usually over several generations and when capitalists failed the capitalist system took workers down too, leading to unemployment.
Whilst capitalism might have been ‘just’ because anyone, man or woman of any ethnic background could in theory become a capitalist by employing workers and accumulating wealth, it was unfair because it exploited the workers (exploited means making them work harder for their wages, so they created surplus value or profit for the capitalist). The unfairness of the capitalist system created ‘left wing’ thinking.
Capitalism took over old feudal systems and created a form of democracy that promoted the interests of its wealthy capitalist elite. Workers were ‘free’ but had to contract for employment and were exploited by capitalists. The unfairness of this economic arrangement gave rise to left wing political ideas.
Change again: Socialism. The rise of the left wing political elite.
So, in summary by the late nineteenth century, the UK, USA and Europe were capitalist countries, using representative ‘democracy’ to legitimise the capitalist systems so called ‘exploitation’ of workers.
It is at this point we meet socialism for the first time. There exist two kinds of socialism. Democratic socialism is not to be confused with revolutionary or single party-based socialism (like early twentieth century Soviet Russia, China or Nazi Germany).
Whilst capitalism was based on contract and choice e.g. a worker had ‘choice’ of who to work for, it also meant working people toiled on low wages and in poor conditions to make a few people rich. The rich were rich because they employed millions of people and took the surplus value those people created banking it as their own.
As workers became more educated and organised (both expected within a ‘progressive’ capitalist system) they began to see the unfairness in what was happening and how the whole religious, political and legal system justified their exploitation, holding them back economically.
Left wing socialist ideas started to be promoted by an educated working and politically ambitious ‘middle class’. At first, they demanded capitalist industrialisation should be destroyed by violent revolution and replaced with socialist industrialisation. This was revolutionary socialism. It took hold as we have seen only in places like twentieth century Russia, China and North Korea
Concerned about possible revolution, democratic governments who wanted to improve capitalism used taxation to support those who fell out of the system and into unemployment. They also restricted the capitalist’s ability to take advantage of their workers.
In the free western world, over time, governments improved workers conditions and introduced clean air, education, housing and employment rights. Much of this is what revolutionary socialists had demanded. Similarly, rights like the right to vote or stand for parliament, rights that only capitalists enjoyed in the eighteenth century were extended to more and more people. It started with working-class men in the nineteenth century and then women in the twentieth.
This use of laws to support workers was the beginning of socialist ideas. Most would agree that this was the elite doing good. Revolutionary socialists disagreed they wanted economies taken over and run by socialist parties.
In the early twentieth century Russia and China experienced the revolutionary socialist elite taking control of the economy. For many decades after World War Two, this form of socialist state industrialisation became a political-bogeyman which western leaders called ‘communism’.
For working people in so called communist countries, the reality of industrial work was little different from the west. But with more freedom and innovation the west was more profitable and could offer a better lifestyle to its workers than communism, particularly in the USA.
All economic systems apart from tribal ones, need surplus value/profit to invest in maintaining the economy/society. Revolutionary socialist Russia never created enough surplus value/profit to pay for its bloated industrially inefficient state. Russia’s socialist experiment ended in the 1980’s. Arguably the EU is a similar bloated system today.
From the end of the second world war British capitalism was viewed as an economic model that had too many problems such as poverty amongst the working class, to be allowed to continue without some state involvement. Various means of re distributing wealth were introduced by the post war democratic Labour Party. These ranged from public ownership of some industries like Coal mining, Ship building and Railways (Nationalisation) to tax changes that put a high burden on the rich.
The welfare state and National Health Service also came into existence. It was also seen as desirable to control the economy by pumping in money when it began to stop employing people because demand for what they had produced was low and they were unemployed.
With a growing need for so much state control, the elite became ‘experts’ trained to manage the economy and society. The elite were now just as likely to be state employees like civil servants as capitalists. The term used at this time was the ‘mixed economy’. It was capitalism controlled by socialist ideas.
Capitalism was unfair to workers so ‘socialist’ ideas developed in Britain. After the second world war ‘democratic socialism’ regulated Britain’s economy. The idea behind democratic socialism is to take wealth off capitalists, wealth which workers have created and spend it on state provision like health care or welfare.
Government ‘experts’ and politicians become the new elite. Debt to the rescue!
The changes introduced by the socialist British Labour government after the Second World War led to a period of sustained prosperity. Inefficiency set in from about 1970 onwards. At this point the tax payer began paying for the nationalised industries that could not pay for themselves.
Because of changes in the global economy that have taken place since the 1980s capitalism in the west has had to evolve into what we now call the ‘free market’.
A free market is exactly what it says it is. Anyone can, in theory, become a producer or consumer. A process helped by the internet with ‘You Tubers’ making millions in sponsorship. People can produce almost anything and consume almost anything.
The free market relies on economic relationships which are negotiated by a global economic elite who, depending on how you see the free market, have either a monopoly over how this free market works or have no control over it what so ever. Those who influence the free market are amongst others the Multi-National companies, tech giants as well as national governments including the EU and global trade organisations.
The free market, unlike eighteen and nineteenth-century capitalism, is not concerned with personal morality it only needs ‘consumers’ with enough income to buy products. So, thanks to the free market’s need to have consumers, ‘lifestyles’ previously discriminated against by religious or cultural prejudice can be accommodated by economic freedom and the acceptance, for the time being, of the western political elite.
To enhance consumer choice some western businesses have sent their production to developing countries to save money on worker’s wages and thus maximise profit on their popular retail brands. This makes people in a few companies very rich but reduces the number of wage earners and taxpayers employed in the west.
Because of the way the free market operates it is seen by many as not just unfair but immoral. The free market is not capitalism. It is not an economic system based on a set of unfair but coherent economic principles reinforced by religion, politics and the law. It is essentially a global economic free-for-all. A religion of personal self-interest, desire and choice.
The free market has progressed around the world spreading the same values that gave rise to freedom in Britain, the United States and Europe, but in these economies its wealth-creating capacity has become weaker. So, to support its profitability money must be pumped into the economy by governments. Money based on debt and taxation.
To complicate things further, profit made by big western corporations is often taxed ‘offshore’ and therefore doesn’t contribute taxation to help pay for state the state bureaucracy we have inherited since the second world war. The government must therefore borrow money to pay for the services it provides. Services which many of us use.
The result is that powerful western elites and their parliaments, political systems and bureaucracies who in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries would have been paid for by capitalisms tax payments are now relying ordinary workers to pay for them via income tax and indebtedness. Workers are therefore sacrificing their power to consume, to pay for the state and government.
As we have said the ‘free market’ is a consumer market, therefore, the next revolution has its basis in spending power. It’s here we find the free market’s major problem. Expensive western governments reduce the ability of workers to consume. But to remain ‘free’ with values promoting personal freedom under pinning it, the free market needs consumers.
New consumers are also needed beyond the economically troubled European and American economies. Brexit should be about creating a greater global economic fairness by spreading consumer equality via spending power beyond the so called ‘rich’ but indebted nations of the west.
In addition to tax reducing consumer spending, consumer spending is worsened because the big corporations sit on mountains of profit and don’t put it back into the world economy as ‘spending power’ via wages. This economic model is unsustainable.
What was left of capitalism finally stopped working in the 1980’s. It became the market financed by debt and managed by global experts. It needs consumers, but governments take money from consumers. The global elite are making us pay for them and this limits our consumer spending. The free market protects our rights but is now debt dependent.
What future the free market as the elite go global. Power for the few, debt for the many.
Governments need money just as individuals do and the money needed is no longer available through the profitability of western capitalism. Today our state with its big employment bill relies on debt and tax to pay its way on our behalf.
No one questions the need for state employment (Dr’s, nurses, social workers, police etc) but the cost of paying the elite that manages them is no longer justified due to the nation’s lack of profitability and reliance on debt.
If free of the burden of too much government debt and tax the ordinary worker can become a more effective consumer, spending more of what they earn to enable other workers to be employed locally in businesses, shops, coffee houses and bars or in caring for their local community at large.
Above a certain wage level, payments do not add directly to local consumer spending but end up in the global economy. The power base of our wealthy political and economic elite.
To add to consumers woes much of our private debt which we are encouraged to take out to help with consumer demand, needs to be underpinned by some form of value. This value comes from land or property. In the case of land, an increase in land value works its way through the financial system as people raise money by mortgages. This gives us a contribution to national income based on asset value-based debt. This is what led to the 2007-2008 banking crisis when loans to customers were backed by land values and land values went down.
By basing much of a nation’s ability to pay its way on debt we are slowly gobbling up our food production capacity by selling land for debt backed development etc. This model provides well-paid work to service sector employees like bankers/lawyers/estate agents and land managers. It also provides taxation on profits for the state. Big corporations benefit too as tax income plus government debt pays for contracts to do work in NHS/defence/education and criminal justice or indeed build roads. All political parties in the UK must uncritically endorse this value backed debt model. What is the alternative?
More seriously, with all our debt we are slowly eroding the long-term viability of our planet as we in the west over consume its natural resources. The debt based free market system is damaging the planet to a far greater extent than any system before it. However, it has extended people’s rights and ended illegitimate abuse of those held back economically by low status or discrimination under earlier capitalist, feudal/authoritarian and tribal systems. As a culture our attitude to the free market is therefore ambiguous.
Some people believe the moral confusion of the free market requires a return to ‘faith’, Christian or Islamic. Others believe in taking whole national economies under government control.
A modern free market economy only works when people have almost complete economic freedom without fear or sanction. With state ownership, we might have jobs, but we give our economic freedom to the state and compromise our right to contract, choose and consent as we, rather than the state sees fit.
To see the impact of religion on a society look at Iran or Saudi Arabia. People crying out for the economic and social equality offered by the free-market, particularly women and the gay community. Lack of freedom affects prosperity and peoples happiness. It causes anger by supressing freedom and makes states oppressive.
Religion and traditional democratic socialism, therefore, fail the freedom for the worker test. They are solutions to a looming economic and ecological crisis that simply can’t reflect the expectations of a modern workforce enjoying lives based on choice, consent, freedom and limited democracy.
Blue Revolution is based on what is called ‘economic determinism’ or economic reality. In other words, the reality of working people. What working people experience should be instinctively more important than the views of people at the ‘top’ with their unconscious ‘global’ self-interest.
Ideas to improve society must come from the economic experience of working people and not from various political party conferences where policy is created by party members (a tiny minority of the people) then imposed on society (all the people) when parties get into government.
To preserve freedom ordinary people must now set the political and economic agenda just as the middle-class capitalist did in the eighteenth century. Political parties products of the eighteenth century have no significant role in influencing this process.
People should take more control in politics because having fought for the right to choose and consent and having gained our freedom and our limited democracy, it now seems like political parties and a global elite both paid for by our debt and taxes are taking our rights away and imposing their ‘global ideology’ on us. An ideology that accepts the abuse of people elsewhere in the world whilst undermining western national identities and the hard fought for rights that go with those national identities.
In Britain we need to reform our political system so for the first time ever it becomes a system that protects western values and our belief in the principles of choice and consent, freedom and democracy. Working western people would preserve and extend these rights to all the world’s working people. Every other class or powerful group restricts them as they always have done to preserve their power.
Look around you, most people you see would support all your freedoms unquestioningly as you would support theirs.
The free market creates our rights to choose and consent, but it relies on an economy which is dependent on debt. We need to preserve our free market to ensure we preserve our rights as working people because in much of the world people have few rights. If the debt dependent free market disappears our rights will go with it.
And finally, people power? Another Revolution where the people replace the elite!
We have been through this brief history of wealth and public power otherwise known as politics, explaining how working people have created wealth but have not held the power that wealth should grant. In the twentieth century the left wing had believed it was working in the interests of the people but once they had the power of the ‘state’ behind them they undermined economic rights with policies which increase the expense of the state, at a direct financial/social cost to the taxpayer.
Governments need to recognise that far from being an asset to the British economy, they are a pitiful hinderance to it by taking too much money in tax to pay for bits of their system that we no longer need, like their hierarchy and power structures in politics and in the public sector.
State costs reduce peoples spending power. Spending power is needed to preserve our free market economy and therefore our choice-based lifestyle.
So, what can we the nation’s working people do today to protect ourselves? Ordinary working people did not bring down feudalism (it was the capitalists that did that) and we did not bring down capitalism (it has been saved by corporate global economics and as the free market it is financed and threatened by debt). The next revolution is our revolution and we can’t afford to mess it up. Yet most people don’t even realise a revolution is needed.
Some things to consider
Firstly, Blue Revolution doesn’t need to have all the answers. We do not want to be like a political party promoting policy and selecting candidates in-house. We are simply a political ‘Brand’ anyone can use should they wish to.
We suggest that political policy must not be developed and implemented by a party elite. The most grotesque examples might be the Blair/Bush war on Iraq or the creeping power-based unification of the EU, but there are lots more examples besides, like the creation of the police and crime commissioners or The High-Speed Rail link (HS2) These policies never had the peoples approval.
Under our eighteenth-century parliaments political policies generally have nothing to do with the views of real working people. We, therefore, need to change the political system to make working people’s views more relevant. We need to stop our elite 650 British MP’s using their party’s membership to manipulate democracy in favour of their special interests, be those interests bankers, house builders, Trades Union Barons or militant identity groups.
Blue Revolution believes the only solution is to extend to the lowest legitimate political level, for example to parish councils, the power to contribute to debate and vote on national policy. Voting using technology would be very quick. A debate would be more interesting too, with a level of engagement that would be massive. It would be set up to ensure that where necessary every contributor had knowledge of their subject.
The effect would be that the elite Westminster bubble would burst because a parish councillor may advance the best challenge to an idea from a remote village in some-where-shire. The government would still be drawn from the largest group in Westminster but the people who debate their proposals and vote would come from a group of people considerably larger than the current 650 ‘handpicked’ party political MP’s.
The role of religion needs to be addressed too as traditional moral views are being promoted within a newly confident Islam. This poses a risk to equality in a way not seen since the seventeenth century. Religion has always been used by elites or those who would like to become elites. It does their mind controlling for them by promoting ‘spiritual’ compliance within the elite sanctioned faith.
To deal with ancient moral systems we need to dismantle all state authorised religious teaching and recognise faith as a personal choice that reflects a person’s spirituality but does not extend beyond that into the realm of politics or public life. Religion takes advantage of peoples innate spirituality and turns it into something that supports a political ideology. There should be no obligation on the nation or her people to accept any religion.
Today we see the consequences of religious morality as it violates twenty-first-century human rights, rights extended over centuries by progressive economic and social development in the west. This fact is lost on our culturally illiterate European elite who protect all religion, irrespective of that religion’s commitment to preserving the rights of the individual.
In addition to managing religious influence maybe working people should not have their opinions ‘informed’ by an over promoted media elite working to maintain a failing party based parliamentary political system.
The news department of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) should avoid bias and become a limited ‘public service’ news department paid for as now by taxation or licence fee, but which provides fact-based news or the attributable opinion of a wide variety of informed people. This would mean that the BBC or its employees would not be allowed to express their own opinions on air.
With News coverage based on facts and the shared reality of working people, workers could shape policy and make politics truly dynamic operating in the interests of the economy and working people and not the state or any elite.
Finally, unless change takes place the western economy will in the words of Karl Marx collapse under the weight of its economic contradictions. Today the most troubling contradiction is western government debt being used to enable consumers to buy goods made abroad. This does not generate sustainability for western workers or the free market system upon which people’s rights are dependent.
Reliance on this system will bankrupt the government first and then, the nation itself. Moreover, western companies like Amazon diminish jobs in retail and sit on a mountain of profit which doesn’t become via wages, more consumer spending. You can’t run an economy on this basis. It will eventually collapse. And then what? Religious authoritarianism, political totalitarianism, both?
Please support a Blue Revolution simply by thinking aloud and differently about your life and your needs. Think about your values and where your values and ideas come from and how you could become more outspoken to protect those values from the many challenges faced by working people in the twenty-first century.
If you want to you can donate even a very small amount to our group by going on our website ABlueRevoluton.Org.
Better still stand as an independently thinking and voting candidate for the independent brand Blue Revolution (read our website for details of how). You are totally free to promote your own political beliefs with Blue Revolution. We are not like other parties we have no bureaucracy and simply endorse you as a candidate if you share our values. You will be the people’s choice!
Alternatively, just contribute to the debate in your own way.
Remember peoples personal freedom is shaped by their economic and social life experiences and these are now under threat because we have a near-bankrupt western free market. We need to start the discussion. We can’t trust the elite anymore……if we ever could.
Thank you for reading.
The problem with the United Nations is that it has a perspective on the world shaped by two beliefs. The first is that western nations exploited black nations economically which is by and large true and secondly that it is now time to correct that by undermining western values. The problem for the UN and the culturally illiterate white elite is that they are being encouraged to undermine western values on the back of attacking past economic inequality. The worlds current inequality is not caused by western values which seek to liberate individuals but by religion, autocracy and ignorance. Characteristics we in the west are still fighting to remove in some places.
Firstly capitalism may have been a western ideology but it was only controlled by a minority of western people. Most white families at the height of the capitalist system, say around 1900 were exploited. There was no white privilege for them. Women didn’t have the vote and working-class men had only recently acquired it. Capitalism was an unfair system but it was capable of being made less unfair as workers became better educated and demanded rights that existed at first only for the capitalist class.
Thus the experience of workers improved as they were able to gain the vote, gain access to education, clean and safe working environments and could exercise the principles that underpinned capitalism namely contract, choice and consent.
Contract, choice and consent are the economic principles of capitalism that were slowly extended to more and more workers. It is these principles which are now under threat because the modern western elite and a growing number of nations in the developing world fail to see that whilst exploitation may have been unfair and wrong it reflected in economic terms rights we have now extended to more and more people. These economic rights have now assumed a social character and underpin ‘liberal’, personal and ‘human’ rights.
Being ignorant of the role of capitalism in creating individual rights is why rights are being undermined by an assault on what is seen as white western culture by the identity left-wing. Capitalism might have begun as ‘white’ culture but the economic and social rights it has created need to be extended to more communities and societies and not be undermined by crude racism based on ignorance of the role capitalism has played in liberating people of all races from cultures that enslave, discriminate and kill.
Humanity has experienced two revolutions in the last 10,000 years. Two revolutions since we were able to create more wealth than we needed as a species to survive. When this happened, it was possible to distribute it equally or alternatively for one man and his family or group to acquire that wealth and acquire the power that went with it. This latter model was revolution number one, it took much of humankind from hand to mouth tribal reality into the world of power, politics and inequality, in short, political authority was born. Whole systems of laws and faith were created to promote the ‘normality’ of this arrangement.
Religion tried to compensate for the inequality of this new economic world order. However economic reality cast aside the idealised visions of heaven on earth promoted by faiths like Judaism Christianity and Islam and gave only heaven in heaven.
This system of aristocratic families ‘owning’ almost all the wealth created by slaves and workers continued for thousands of years slowly moving out from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Eventually, it arrived in Europe by the turn of the second millennium. Britain was probably too swampy, cold and hilly to generate enough wealth for anyone to waste time trying to acquire it after the Romans left……until 1066 or thereabouts.
Once Britain became subject to this autocratic feudal exploitation, any notion of equality disappeared and lives became a struggle to survive, not just survive against nature herself but against powerful ‘political’ forces too. Natural events shaped the reality of everyone’s lives, but whether it was war or famine the ‘top people’ the aristocracy always fared much better than those toiling at the bottom. And moreover, the ‘top people’ fought the ‘rabble’ to ensure the survival of their system.
Famine was a reality for the poor, but famine and plague were touch papers for the next great revolution. Again, economics played the most significant role. A shortage of labour drove up wages creating a class of trading merchants who by increasing their wealth could challenge the rights of crown, church and aristocracy.
Famine stoked riots but also stimulated agricultural innovation. The feudal system was quietly being undermined from the economic base. The religious legitimacy of a feudal ruler was now capable of being challenged by a class of people wealthy because of hard work and enterprise. Eventually, revolution number two swept away British Catholicism and promoted the work ethic.
By the seventeenth century, having been convulsed by revolution number two which whilst superficially about religion had its real origins in economics, the merchant class amassing a popular revolt finally took away through revolution the power of the king.
Capitalism was born from the ashes of the feudal system. Like all revolutions, it salvaged what it could from the ‘old ways’ adopting feudalisms top-down structure but with an economic model based on new ideas like the freedom to acquire wealth using principles of contract, choice and consent. Capitalism paid for its power outsourcing control to parliaments and courts rather than acquiring its own power based on feudal entitlement, status and birthright.
This populist revolution created the basis of our present Parliamentary and legal system. A mixture of feudalism and capitalism; a kind of political labradoodle. Not one thing nor the other! Very expensive, class-based but not status based. However, the elite capitalists paid for the system out of the profits made for them by the working class. Workers paid nothing directly to the state until about the twentieth century.
This model worked on and off, well into the twentieth century, notwithstanding the odd crisis or the wars it caused when it failed in places like Germany in the 1900s or 1930s. Where it has been successful it has for two hundred years underpinned freedom and rights to contract, make personal choices and consent to lives in general. Also unlike the other two other systems which pre dated it, tribalism and feudalism it has been flexible enough to extend rights to all adults by the late twentieth century. The left doesn’t understand the concept, but the world’s future should not be about socialism but about progressive capitalism. The rights-based equality of progressive capitalism is why ideologies promoted by the UN that hate equality, particularly for women, are turning capitalism into a hated ideology to be destroyed because of its origins in white European economics. As well as attacks from autocrats, ill-informed socialists and religious cranks, capitalism has its own problems too.
By the 1970s capitalism was again beginning to fail. Most of us didn’t realise it because just like the elite of the sixteenth century holding on to their feudal power, our ‘global’ elite began selling us the idea that all’s well in the global economy by creating the global ‘free market’. This approach enables them to hang onto their power. The so-called left-wing assist, acting like useful idiots using the new religion of ‘identity and diversity’ which differentiates the working class and sows class oppression and class confusion. So within the framework of capitalist rights and free market muddle have we got to the point of a third and probably final popular uprising or revolution?
Capitalism needs both the supply of goods and just as importantly the demand for them. Henry Ford paid his workers’ good wages and gave them time off so they could not only afford to buy a car…..they had time to drive it for leisure. Today we have broken this link between productive workers and consumers. We have out of the ashes of a broken capitalist system turned to debt to create the demand for products which as we consume them, make our global elite very rich but the debt both government and personal makes us poor. This is for us the first whammy. We pay with debt for a system that makes a political and economic elite rich.
In our globalised world our global elite doesn’t pay tax and moreover, they don’t employ many people. Those they do employ are on low wages, work in oppressive countries or at home their jobs are often subsidized by our governments and that means the taxpayer foots the bill. This is the second whammy.
The third and final whammy is that our whole debt based political and legal system is now very expensive having grown in size and scale since the end of the second world war. Now, of course, we ordinary workers have to pay for it.
So, what does this mean? It means we need another revolution. Revolution number three. A revolution based on working peoples twenty-first-century global economic realities. So in summary we have populism because:
- The political and economic system is more expensive than it has ever been but now ordinary workers, rather than the elite pay for it.
- Governments encourage debt to maintain the illusion that the economy works. It doesn’t, no economy can rely on debt and welfare forever.
- Working people’s voices have become excluded from political debate due to the end of open politics. Our current economic system has no money to distribute so left-wing politics is irrelevant and the capitalist system is now a bankrupt free-market relying on worker serviced private and government debt, so right-wing politics is irrelevant- we no longer need to debate this stuff we need a revolution!
- To preserve the rights, we gained with capitalism the right to contract, choose and consent, we need to ensure the free market survives. But that free markets survival can’t be based on debt. We need to shrink the bloated, unaccountable undemocratic and expensive state and give workers more time and more money to run our nation on our behalf. This is not socialism. This is not the power of the state controlling our lives but our lives controlling the state.
Is this revolution a long way off?
As working people, we are still holding out for a hero a Nigel Farage or Donald Trump? Or we are holding out for a political ‘party’ to save us. In France, they thought it was Macron! Any person or party which has to fit into our 18th-century political system will fail.
The system within which our heroes and parties operate is broken just like the economy. We need a new system that promotes our western values but doesn’t rely on the past political system to deliver our future. We need a revolution, a peoples revolution, a revolution of the independently minded blue collar worker. A Blue Revolution to bring religion to heel, promote equality, control top public sector wages, make corporations pay tax on national earnings, give workers more money and time and shrink the state so we can afford to live in it.
That is the workers challenge for the twenty first century.
John McDonell, Jeremy Corbyn, Paul Mason all claim some inspiration from Karl Marx. But identifying with Marx is very different from thinking like Marx. It is sadly true that no politician of the modern era thinks like Marx and indeed Lenin, Stalin and Mao would all have been considered ‘false prophets’ by Marx himself. He was a champion of working people and their lived experience. He also disliked the bourgeois attempt to hide its ‘slavery’ under a canopy of righteous concern be it by a charity or the State.
In economics, therefore, how is burdening the working class taxpayer with National Debt by trying to promote the interests of the rich with bourgeois economics in the form of neoclassical Keynesianism in any way Marxist?
In sociology how is the lefts ‘identity’ obsession even remotely promoting the interests of workers when these identity obsessions have abandoned any link to workers lived experience. The basis for Marxism is in science, not woolly idealism imposed from the top down.
Next time this Marxist ‘holy trinity’ bore the TV viewer with their opinions on how Marxist they are, take it with a pinch of salt. No one who grandstands above the working people is a Marxist. In their case, they are merely well-camouflaged members of the bourgeoisie. Or less politely…..class traitors.
Marx was a classical economist which explains why he wanted actual workers to ‘own’ the means of production. Workers, free from the need to work longer hours than necessary would have time off for politics, recreation and family life. Capitalists, of course, exploited workers by taking workers working hours so they could make a profit (Capital) and become, like an aristocracy. An aristocracy based on wealth acquisition rather than inherited status. Like elites, they forced additional effort from the workers but without actually going as far as killing them. Capitalists needed a workforce.
Socialism is the reaction of the State to that exploitative situation. A ‘socialist’ State takes the wealth from the capitalist and spends it on the workers. It doesn’t, however, go as far as giving the workers the ‘means of production’ but offers welfare etc. Workers still have to work the capitalists hours.
Workers are thus exploited by the State! Go too far with this model however and the State not only undermines the systems productive capacity it enslaves the workers as well. ‘Socialist’ States thus stop serving the workers and start to serve themselves. Hitler/Stalin/Mao get into power promoting the rights of workers but end up enslaving the working class……and often killing them.
Today we have a ‘Left-wing’ of such obvious naivety it has no idea what it’s role is supposed to be in what is in effect a 21st-century post ‘capitalist’ age.
To maintain its relevance as a ‘socialist’ party the Labour Party gathers together a collection of senior State and charity employees plus a massive constituency of the politically lame and out of touch. It became a party of minority and sectarian interests united in the belief that any ‘identity’ other than ‘worker’ is radical even if the identity is simply not being a Tory. Identity without economic relevance is utopian nonsense. There is no united, militant economically exploited industrial working class anymore, just a big bunch of people who hate their lives, the Tories, real workers with Brexit opinions and probably each other
The left cannot depart from its historical self-belief or their faith in the transformative power of the socialist State because it is ‘socialist’ and proudly so. But it is no longer revolutionary. Its revolution was fought, won and then became irrelevant between 1945 and 1979.
Socialism is now is now counter-revolutionary. It’s trying to persuade its members and voters to once again empower a socialist State and in doing so undermine the working people. Under socialism, empowering workers has never been on the cards. Socialism is all about the State.
The next revolution we get must to minimise the cost of the State and politically empower the workers. Socialism won’t do that because it can’t.
Why is it difficult to identify the cause of the distaste for the white middle-aged, middle-class male by the white non-grafting elite. Some have speculated that the elite are ingratiating themselves with the theologians of PC or virtue signalling the new culturally approved piety of cultural Marxism. Some of these arguments are persuasive and for one commentator Toby Young writing in the Spectator hopes to work out his preferred opinion before he has to part with more television licence fee money as the BBC elite are advocates of getting white middle-aged males off the box.
For Blue Revolution, it is a very straightforward issue, but hard to explain. So here goes. The elite has a hair trigger for ‘class’ being oversensitive about what they see as their own privileged position culturally politically and in the arts. However, they seem unwilling to grasp the fact that class, as anything meaningful in a Marxist sense no longer has relevance and, rather embarrassingly, it has been replaced by a global resurgence of the ancient concept of ‘status’. Obsessing about class and ignoring status allows them to overlook the new post-capitalist structures that have created their own privileged position in life.
In classical Marxist terms, the ‘class of a person is created by the relationship between that person and the means of production and in particular, their role in creating wealth. The modern elites are not therefore defined by ‘class’ but as such but by their status. This is because they have gained and hold power and influence not by exploiting workers in a Marxian sense, but by operating within a closed system that has power and influence paid for by taxation or debt which is taken at source from workers wages, or in the case of the BBC the licence fee.
This creates an embarrassing problem for the ‘right on’ elite. They recognise their own superiority compared to what they incorrectly see as the ‘working class’. However, its difficult to accept their lofty position may be part of the problem based on their own ‘privilege’ because as pseudo-Marxists they adopt the view that they are there to promote as ‘class outsiders’ the interests of the working class and all its minority offshoots be they black, transgender or Gay. This is ‘Blairism’ or ‘Clintonism’. This explains why they still think there is a Capitalist class that needs bashing and don’t see there a privileged class of elites of which they are part.
For the pseudo-Marxist elite, therefore, the only way of maintaining this idea of working-class ‘good’ ‘middle class’ bad, is to turn their back on to those they see as less important members their class group. This is the use of status and status has never been class-based, it is an ancient privilege that is conferred by acquired or inherited power, and is definitely not linked to one’s role in the grubby world of the productive economy.
This privilege passes within families (Kinnock’s/Blairs/Freud’s etc) and allows a person to publicly denounce their own ‘class’ members with a degree of relaxed superiority based on their status. To preserve their status and feel good about their values this high-status elite are able to denounce or sack those of similar ‘class’. All with the connivance of the status-dependent 21st-century’ state’ or the Board of the BBC and then to dress up their values as a war on ‘class’ privilege, as opposed to status. This pretty much explains the battle lines in Brexit. The High-status elite against the lower and middle-status workers.
They get away with it because they understand how the intellectually deficient ‘left’ respond approvingly to ‘dog whistle’ terms like a class privilege and class disadvantage.
The modern world is turning back towards status as in the West ‘class’ as a meaningful way of defining people declines in relevance. Most of the non-capitalist world still reflects ‘status’ which is an ancient form of describing power and importance. In much of the wider world as well as in the West there is no such thing as a modern exploiting middle class so there is no exploited ‘working class’. Even so class privilege rather than status continues to be the elites ‘straw man’ tackled by virtuous pseudo-Marxists whilst they cunningly ignore their own illegitimate status and the illegitimate power that goes with it.
The ‘riddle of history solved’ is relatively easy to explain. It is basically why so many people create economic value but so few people ever get to control it. From the moment we had more than we needed to survive as small tribes, systems of authority have sprung up to control surplus value and those authorities have controlled people. Whether it is the proto-feudalism of the Pharaohs or the early Kingdom of Israel or Muhammad’s Muslim Empire ordinary people has been subject to the violent rule of the minority. Religion playing the role of defending the social and economic reality for all involved.
The political ‘Right’ claim that the capitalist model delivers a greater equality. Certainly, in destroying feudalism it put an end to control and servitude for workers by those of superior status, the nobility, but in its place, we gained a more mobile and ever-changing hierarchy of capitalists and their political servants in parliament ‘contracting’ to undermine the rights of workers. Socialism was a reaction to this capitalist exploitation. It sought to control capitalism and redistribute capitalist wealth in the ‘name’ of the workers. Wherever socialism was introduced however it only ever acted in the name of the workers’ apart from the brief period between 1945 and 1970 in the UK when it did serve the social as opposed to economic interests of the workers. After 1970 it ceased serving anyone’s interests other than the State itself. As the ‘socialists’ have always put it the workers were ‘exploited’ by the ‘bourgeoise’ or capitalists as they are now better known (see Opinion 11/02/2018) so the States job was to exploit them back.
In its defence, capitalism did create lasting legal principles such as contract, choice and consent which as Karl Marx anticipated have ‘taken on a social character’ and have become an expectation of working people the western world over. Preserving these values is now a revolutionary act in the face of the counter-revolutions being waged by the forces of the ideology of Islam, the corrosive effects of crony capitalism and the confused ideology of twenty-first century socialism shorn of its economic role to exploit capitalism in the name of workers and now neurotically fretting about ‘identity’ as though a collection of militant groups is a substitute for a revolutionary working class.
So the ‘Right’ is not right in thinking that ‘capitalism’ is fair… it’s not it needs regulation. But the left is wrong to think that capitalism is so wrong it needs exploitation by the State. Exploitation of capitalism by the State on ‘behalf’ of the workers has simply created an unaccountable class of State bureaucrats who no longer exploit the capitalists to pay for the State but exploit the workers to pay for it instead. This is therefore why the Left can’t be ‘left’…because it is now hell-bent on exploiting the workers through taxation and debt and the right isn’t right because capitalism is incapable of acting fairly and will always seek to exploit workers and always with the connivance of the State, even a left-wing State. Hence the Blair/Clinton/EU obsession with supporting crony capitalism.
The State is not the Nation the people are and they need to secure in perpetuity for our daughters and sons the values of contract, choice and consent and take over the running of the Nation from either an ideological ‘left’ or ideological ‘right’ State. Getting rid of the power of ideology is clearly the place to start particularly with the ideology of Islam trying to colonise both the left and the right!!
3rd June 2018
The Rt Hon James Brokenshire
Secretary of State for Housing
Communities and Local Government
2 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DF
Dear Secretary of State
One issue which is causing ordinary people great concern and is clearly not being addressed within communities is associated with the high numbers of people of the Muslim faith living in concentrated areas of inner cities. There are many challenges arising from this development some of which may be reflected in attitudes towards other faiths. There, therefore, appears to be little integration as the “British way of life” is seemingly Haram to many observant Muslims.
Having reviewed what may be behind the creation of a form of separate development, it seems to us that there have been a number of reports which have been significant in the past and continue to exert influence over the behaviour of Public Sector organisations and we believe this impedes the development of a shared set of twenty-first century values.
The Parekh Report published by the Runnymede Trust in 2000, the Mc Pherson Report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence and the Runnymede Trust consultation into “Islamophobia” have in our view all resulted in unintended consequences that are impacting on communities now.
Taking each, in turn, the Parekh report was comprehensive, well researched and influential. It fixed the policy expectations that were considered necessary to deliver a safe harmonious multicultural Britain in the new Millenium. It was culturally Marxist in its emphasis on prejudice, discrimination exclusion and inequality, as opposed to being class-based. However, the upshot of such top-down engineering is that it presupposes that the solution to important issues can be delivered by government and public sector policy.
However, it is interesting to note that the report did make the following percipient comment “The need for both equality and difference and to respect the rights of both individuals and communities appears to be beyond the compass of existing political vocabularies. The debate about British multiculturalism needs to pursue these long-term questions. It has hardly begun”
We would argue it has never started. This inability to meet the demands of equality and difference has established we believe a culture of organisational paranoia about the negative role in which organisations see themselves having unintentionally reinforced prejudice. As a result in places like Rochdale organisational fear and the absence of the ‘shared core values and human rights culture’ advocated by Parekh led the abuse of vulnerable white girls. This unintended consequence is now leading to anger being directed at the State by ordinary working people and their anger is both justified and understandable. If a report promotes a set of policy suggestions of a legal and procedural nature with vague suggestions about “values” that are not adopted by all communities and children are harmed, people will be moved to anger.
In respect of the Runnymede Trust Commission on Islamophobia in 1997, it identified a ‘mad’ view of Islam by westerners and came up with eight ways that groups with opposing views could overcome prejudice. For example, seeing groups as different but having equal worth, as opposed to seeing groups as violent etc.
The problem with this method is that it has been adopted by liberal western groups and yet the failure to adopt this method of mutual understanding by grassroots Muslims has resulted in a failure of dialogue at street level. It is sadly a commonly held view that Western culture is haram! The effect is that there has been a general retreat from dialogue at community level unless publicly funded schools are taking non-Muslim children to mosques. There is, therefore, a general reinforcement of separate development. This phenomenon has not assisted the aftermath of Rochdale. Communities simply do not widely share the same values and clearly have no desire so to do. The Islamic faith contains many values at odds with many of those of the twenty-first century West with little mutual respect particularly in respect of the treatment of women and girls.
Finally, the report into the tragic death of Stephen Lawrence identified institutional racism within the police. The allegation of police racism continues to cause problems in communities today. If prejudice, discrimination, exclusion and inequality are identified with public bodies as suggested by Parekh then those bodies like Police and Local Authorities will fail to serve their communities. They will and do operate to politically safeguard themselves from the possibility of charges of racism by the government or overt Political Correctness from the press.
Currently, knife crime and gang violence are establishing primitive values that are totally at odds with values compatible with the twenty-first century and little is being done to address it. Is there a “Queen’s Peace” in our inner cities?
If it is as stated that these issues remain beyond current ‘political vocabularies’ then it is urgent that action is taken. We would urge Her Majesty’s Government to consider a wide-ranging commission and consultation at all levels of society exploring the issue of community integration. There must be no hiding from harsh realities like faith justified abuse that has become established in some communities nor the social failure in white working-class communities that has created many of the victims. We need to have an open and transparent debate before the differentiation of communities, the lack of shared values; (the ambition of Parekh) starts to cause a generalised breakdown of moral cohesion.
On behalf Blue Revolution
Here at Blue Revolution, we argue that all ideas including religious ones are shaped by economic reality rather than being plucked from the air by prophets or soothsayers. Look at any society at any time in history and there will be patterns and rituals linked to the ‘economic circumstances’ of that society be it a tribal, feudal or a capitalist society. These economic circumstances are formed either by levels of scientific ignorance or scientific discovery and how this influences the way economic value or wealth is created as well as who gets to control that wealth. Essentially all this forms a prevailing ‘ideology’ a belief system if you like, with numerous ideological ‘pretenders’ to challenge it, some more or less credible than others. Socialism has been a challenger to capitalism just as Christianity tried to challenge the world of the first century in the Middle East.
Much is made by Christians of the role of Christianity in creating capitalism. This seems at odds with our ‘economic determinism’ as Christianity should be a product of economic circumstances not the originator of them. The Christian message was certainly unusual in the first century but it was utopian and in no sense capable of replacing either the barbarism of the warring tribes from Abraham in the Old Testament to Muhammad and jihad in the seventh century nor the feudalism stirring into life during the same period. Christianity, however, could not have happened had there not been an increase in available wealth to be distributed fairly as described by Christ, or unfairly as happened under feudalism. Christianity was a post-tribal ideology like feudalism but one so passive as to be overwhelmed by barbarism when barbarism resurfaced with Muhammad and jihad in the seventh century.
The problem for Christianity was that wealth and the desire to gain control of it created an aggressive patriarchal feudal system. The parable of the loaves and fishes and Christ’s invocation to “render unto Caesar that which is Caesars, render unto God that which is God’s” was not a credible economic ideology given feudalisms economic impulse to control from the top. But along with ‘love thy neighbour’ and ‘turn the other cheek’ Christianity did create an ideology of peace that allowed stability within a warring and fractious region, consolidating feudalism. This Christian inspired passivity allowed for the separation of religion from the economy and State. Which in turn led to prosperity. This prosperity only lasted for about seven hundred years though. It ended with the advance of Islam.
Within seven hundred years Islam would by force of arms take the Middle East from relative stability to wars based on banditry, domination and forced conversion to Islam in the name of Allah and all at the point of the sword; jihad. Being an ideology of warfare and enforced submission, Islam’s glorious age only came with its conquest of feudal dominions in the Middle East, all pretty much concluded by the middle ages. This ideology of war and conquest secured the Middle East for the Muslim world and rendered the Jews and Christians second-class citizens in what had once been their prosperous homelands.
Sensing the extinction of Christendom in the late 11th Century Pope Urban sanctioned the Crusades. The Crusades, therefore, were not offensive wars they were defensive wars, an attempt to protect feudal Christendom which had surrendered to Islam’s ideology of warfare and banditry. The crusades failed spectacularly to protect Christendom from Islam.
The early economic success of a Christian Middle East fuelled Islamic expansionism. Islam would not have gained any headway had not the economic strength in the region stimulated the Arab tribes to unite under one leader worshipping one God and embark on an ideologically driven programme very much at odds with what had become the relative stability of early feudal ‘Christendom’.
So, putting Christianity, the crusades and Islam in an economic context, one needs to see religion as no more than ideology driven by economics with, in the case of Islam, a ‘God’ sanctifying greed and brutality. Whether an ideology takes off as Islam was able to do and Christianity largely failed to do in the Middle East between the seventh and nineteenth centuries, depends upon whether it reflects the economic needs that relate to that time. Christianity being a passive faith derided by Adolf Hitler for its weakness, allowed feudalism to evolve but likewise was powerless to stop Islamic expansionism.
Having secured various successful feudal kingdoms and dominions Islam’s doctrinal obsessions saw the end of progressive social and economic evolution in the Middle East. Indeed, such is the capricious notion of the Islamic God that everything ‘evolutionary’ or progressive is a blasphemy, essentially stopping economic development in its tracks. Islam having appropriated feudalism continues to operate this socio-economic model today having nowhere in the world progressed anywhere near democracy. Feudalism in the twenty-first century is politically about as advanced as Islam can become, given its doctrinal demand for control, compulsion and submission. This can be seen in Iran and Saudi Arabia.
With Christianity routed in the Middle East, it fared better in Europe where arguably the climate didn’t suit the Islamic warriors and there was little in the way of booty after the retreat of the Romans. Continuing with its ideology of ‘turn the other cheek’ Christianity contributed to the economic success of the western world because, just as it yielded to early feudalism, it was flexible enough to ‘turn the other cheek’ when the juggernaut of scientific discovery and rationality (the Enlightenment) fired up capitalisms engines in the 17th century. By being benign and allowing the economy and State to evolve independently of faith, it allowed progressive social and economic development
Christianity, therefore, facilitated economic and social progress, unlike Islam it didn’t stop it in its tracks and whilst always two steps behind capitalism (as we would expect as economic determinists) in terms of driving equality, Christianity allowed capitalism to deliver the economic rights to contract, choose and consent that emerged from the Protestant work ethic and become mass industrialisation and then in the twentieth century ‘social justice’. Capitalism has in the subsequent three centuries liberated people within all the nations of the free world. Whilst Christianity has all but faded away. However, just like Christianity in the first century, capitalism is now weak and complacent and has out of cultural ignorance, given the green light to Islamic expansionism. Where this will lead us ‘god’ only knows.
Karl Marx as anyone who reads our posts will know was an economic determinist. Even now this is an ‘unfashionable’ theory as it places all ‘ideas’ as the outcome of economic circumstances, including religious and political ideas. Thus, the demands of religion or politics are simply a reflection of how economic value is created and who controls it and disposes of it. Every phase in history to date has been a struggle between those who have amassed economic value (the powerful) and those who created it for them (the poor).
Until the seventeenth century, most people were in bondage of one form or another, the birth of capitalism in the eighteenth century took away the overt bonds between the powerful and poor and replaced them with contract, choice and consent. Little changed but in theory at least people were ‘free’. With the end of the feudal system, hard work, luck and a talent for enterprise could turn anyone into a capitalist, even those who had previously been bound to others.
The world of the eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries was characterised by ‘free’ people winning and losing economically. This economic paradox is what intrigued Karl Marx. Capitalism was a system that was in all senses ‘just’ but was clearly unfair. It was ‘just’ because it was based on Contract, Choice and Consent unlike the values of the feudal system, control, compulsion and coercion but….it was unfair because the elite, the capitalists, made the system work for their benefit. The composition of the capitalist class, unlike that of the aristocracy, changed as economic fortunes changed, but the system was politically robust enough to survive whoever was rich or poor. To preserve itself capitalism created institutions to support it. Political parties, parliaments, Laws and Local Authorities, an established religion and more recently ‘state broadcasters’ all combined to preserve the status quo. After the Second World War two socialist governments of both Labour and the Conservatives sought to extend the rights of contract, choice and consent to as many workers as possible as well as redistribute the economic value more evenly via tax and welfare regimes.
Well, that story takes us to about 1960. After about 1960 capitalism went into one of its frequent periods of collapse. Capitalism collapses all the time and according to Karl Marx would finally leave a legacy of workers who could both recognise and utilise the principles of contract, choice and consent but within an economic system that was under the control of the workers and not the capitalists. The surplus value that made the capitalists rich would be distributed fairly amongst the working people who created it. The end of unfairness would arise because the people would have economic equality which would generate social equality and a fair income for all. Equality between all people, men, women, and people with a variety of different lifestyles would prevail as there would be no basis for discrimination as everyone’s talents would be needed within an economy of mutual interdependence. We are a long way from this model happening but some of the principles have merit, particularly if applied to the public sector.
All models of the economic and social organisation must arise from the base, from the working people who, recognising their equal status as workers only seek to take out of the collective pot an amount that reflects their contribution to the pot with some account taken of their unique needs (having children for example). The mechanism for this is of course contract, choice and consent. A process that both reflects and reinforces equality at every social and economic level; between politicians and people and between the people themselves.
The ‘State’ would shrink back and become merely a way of enforcing equality within the Nation and upholding Contract, Choice and Consent. A legal system would be needed not representing ‘capital’ but the sometimes conflicting needs of people within a contractarian society. This would take eighteenth and nineteenth-century capitalist principle into the twenty-first century. But something is preventing that happening.
The answer to why t hasn’t happened is complex. The ‘capitalist’ system was designed to protect ‘capital’ amassed by the rich, capital created by the worker. Today we have the ghost of a capitalist system that has collapsed but leaving behind its complex eighteenth-century formal power relationships. So, the good news for the worker is that we have contract, choice and consent welfare and health care. The bad news is the system still requires unequally distributed wealth to function and this is now created by the banking system and the State at large via National Debt and we the working people are paying for an army of rich public servants and a financial and political elite with personal and National Debt.
Because the nature of the problem is complex the problem we have in changing this situation is also complex. As working people, we still don’t see ourselves as a mass movement sharing the same values, so we idly identify ourselves with political parties of all stripes that are hostile to our instinctive dislike of the debt-financed political and economic elite. In this sense, the confused socialist and Green party along with the Lib Dems stand for a continuation of the top-down relationship between State and People even though ‘capitalism’ as an economic system requiring a command and control relationships to protect ‘capital’ no longer exists. It’s an oddity that socialism is in Marxist terms still a top-down, command and control ideology, that seeks to reinforce the power of the State and is, in Marxist terms, therefore ‘counter-revolutionary. In that sense Blair, Corbyn and Clinton are all the same. Counter-revolutionaries and the people instinctively know it.
So, into this ideological muddle comes the principles of A Blue Revolution. A worker’s revolution that seeks to take the values of our society, contract, choice and consent and use them to form a State that is flatter, cheaper, economically more equal and significantly more democratic and ecologically less harmful.
This model won’t be delivered by a socialist type party. Socialism is paternalistic and relies on a powerful State just like top-down religion requires a powerful God to deliver ‘justice’. Socialism is no help to the future, indeed with its top-down obsessions, it is getting in the way of progress.
So it leaves either an upsurge in support for A Blue Revolution, which is unlikely in the next two decades or an enlightened Conservative Party to do the Nations bidding and restructure our State along the lines sketched out above. The detail will be more complex but broadly the public sector must be reconfigured so public services like health and police etc are not delivered using industrial top-down hierarchical models with huge wages at the top, which are unreflective of the actual effort put in. We need to develop what we describe as social models to deliver public services.
Similarly, the State needs to withdraw from all areas of moral behaviour aside from protecting the vulnerable and allow all adults to ‘contract’ as responsible people. We can no longer afford to subsidize ‘lifestyle’ issues and that must include having children. If people want to have children, they should contract with each other and not simply default to the ‘State’ to pay for them. There is no ‘capitalist’ paying taxes for our welfare, we are all paying for it with our debt. Marriage should be a proper contract and the state should simply ensure a contract exists if people have children, just as it does for a property.
Finally, our political system is binary to reflect the eighteenth-century obsession with land and capital. Binary systems are prone to failure in the modern world as the two sides coalesce around ‘ideological’ positions and the people get ignored. This has happened too many times to recount but the EU is the most striking example of political failure. We need to change the political system so that people get in who are able and willing to think rather than obey party diktat. If we got rid of parties or rather they got rid of themselves and we had a larger number of politically minded people involved in running our nation we would not need to reform the electoral system. We only need to do that because we have political parties operating within a binary parliament.
The revolution may come eventually, but we hope before the debt-dependent free market collapses or the top down cultural Marxists inflict either totalitarianism on the workers or even worse religion takes hold. No one really knows what they the elite are up to. But everything they have done over the last forty years fails the sniff test.