Tag Archives: social democracy

After the virus, after neoliberalism: manage for quality of life, not quantity of stuff

[Published in New Economy Journal, 6 May.]

As Menzies foresaw, we have had economic anarchy, and both security and progress have disappeared.

A spirited contest of ideas has already started regarding how we emerge from the coronavirus shutdown. The Prime Minister is talking about ‘snapping back’ to what we were before. Some would like to use the crisis to jump to essentially an authoritarian corporate hegemony. Others would like to see a more sharing society with a more active government and embedded in a healthy natural world.

We are highly unlikely to just snap back, but if we want a more caring, equitable and durable society then we need to get clear about what needs to be done. Some are allowing that neoliberalism is dead, but few seem to be clear about what might replace it. Going back to something like our postwar system might be a good start, but we can do better.

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The betrayal, corruption and capture of the Liberal Party

[Published at Pearls and Irritations, 6 May]

The Liberal Party has strayed far from the vision propounded by its founder, Sir Robert Menzies, to the point of being captured by special interests.

According to former Senator Ron Boswell, Sir Robert Menzies, founder of the Liberal Party of Australia, said in 1970 

Australian Liberals are not the exponents of an open go, for if we are all to have an open go, each for himself and the devil take the hindmost, anarchy will result and both security and progress disappear

This is a clear repudiation of the idea of unregulated markets, an idea that came to dominate the world and the Liberal Party a decade or two later.

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