Interesting article from a moderate voice ... on the insanity of austerity

By Amartya Sen... we haven't learnt the lessons of history... http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/06/amartya-sen-economic-c...

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There is nothing insane about austerity; it's driven by ideology - neoclassical capitalism aka the market 'knows' best because 'the invisible hand' of the market adjusts and calibrates all things towards a most efficient economy. In that sense it is not so much insane as a figment of the imagination; and a fig-leaf for a class (or economic caste) system. 

One need only look at the economy as simply a system by which human societies generate and distribute the resources they need to survive and prosper and one can clearly see classes of people emerge, defined by the ease with which they access such resources: shelter, food, safe space, etc.  In socialism this distribution was monitored and adjusted via the State.  I'll not go into its successes and failures as that is another story entirely.

Today, the Bullingdon Club Boyz and Westminster cabinet of millionaires along with their media and establishment hangers-on are in a class of their own; as are political or commercial types receiving gongs, or the Rich Lists that get banded about at interval.  They are our signposts directing our aspirations.  The closer we are to their ideal form, the better a class of person we are.  This is what is so obnoxious about the Labour Party trumpeting its message to the 'aspirational' classes.

The neoliberal capitalist economic system is therefore like a rail network that the ideologues in power (Labour, Cons, Dems) have set to deliver resources only to people deemed a) powerful and influential and b) the deserving good.  The latter include the people who will work hard, consume copiously (to keep the capitalist wheels turning) and do as they are told; not ask too many questions or demands not appreciated by the former.  They submit to the 'wealth creators' who, being top dog, will do as they think best, no questions asked.  

The ideologues would also like us to believe that the wealth creators create wealth for society on account of their personal wealth trickling down on the deserving good. I call this pernicious bollocks. Which brings me to c) the class of people who are less deserving on account of not being very useful to wealth-creators: the retired, the poor, the radicals, the disabled, the ill, the ill-educated, the criminal (except those that move in influential circles).

So all this stuff about Keynes is good column-filling stuff but it does not contain any clues as to how the trains could be re-routed more equitably.

Brigitte

What an excellent assessment, it hits the spot exactly. I have just been reading Avril's most recent points relating to pleading not guilty in a criminal trial and the cost that will be incurred if you lose (See her comments on 38 Degrees Manchester). it is wholly about control by the elite to ensure that we, the people remain in our place.  The whole rotten political establishment subscribes to this ideology based on a corrupt right wing agenda. 

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