Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
We're living a paradigm shift from the neoliberal system to something new. Whatever it is, it won't be politically "liberal".

Yes and No.

I think that the sovereignty of the individual will - necessarily - be a key attribute of the networked 'Peer to Peer' society I see evolving.

Where it will depart from neo-liberalism is in the recognition that with the privilege of individual property rights under the 'Rule of Law' come responsibilities and obligations to the society from which these rights flow.


Because there isn't a left ideology waiting in the wings, the system that emerges at the other end won't be a synthesis of liberalism and socialism,

I disagree.

In the UK at least, the values of Solidarity and Mutuality have always underpinned Labour: if you read the Party card you'll see that's where it's languishing - unread - in the wings. As the French guy said in respect of French revolutionary ideals: the 19th Century was the Century of Liberty; the 20th Century the Century of Equality; and the 21st century will be the Century of Fraternity.

The problem for Labour was that they were led astray as New Labour when Blair, Brown and the rest swallowed the neo-liberal economic Kool Aid.

As I have frequently said in my posts on Labour List, the Coalition's 'Big Society' - now running into the sand - is the greatest opportunity for Labour and Union members (if not their hierarchy) in the last 100 years.

The key to this is a new generation of collaborative agreements, developed 'bottom up' and acting as frameworks for self organisation to a common purpose. Such an approach could take the Left down the road of a modern day Guild Socialism or of the short-lived war-time Common Wealth movement, which was side-tracked into a Party, and shrivelled.

In the UK the Coalition's Localism legislation may well be intended to open up the way to privatisation, but in my view it creates a vacuum into which the Left - through their many Labour council gains - can drive a communitarian, co-operative and mutual coach and horses.

Even more extraordinary is the Coalition's - completely undemocratic - policy concerning the NHS. This is 'action-based' politics where their declaration of intent has already started the decomposition of the existing institutions as managers get out while they can.

In my view, such action-based and reality-based politics is a double-edged sword. Union memberships can and should simply take control and provide services directly to the public, cutting out the State, as well as shareholders, as middlemen. The enabling mechanism is new - direct - funding and financing, and that is where my interest - and a growing number of others - is completely focused.

In future, the policy will create the party - rather than vice versa.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Jan 10th, 2011 at 01:09:43 PM EST
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