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Tuesday, December 22, 2009


This is for those who accused me of being "too right wing" to be a member of the LibDims or similar on other occasions (& maybe even to reassure myself a little that they were wrong). Britain's communist newspaper has published this letter from me. I have had letters there before & have praised them as being much more truly liberal than our mainstream media. However they were about our genocide in Yugoslavia & they published a letter calling for support of X-Prizes.

This one is about the way forward for socialism. Perhaps the socialism I envisage would be rather similar to the liberal or even conservative one, at least to the extent that whatever the name it should involve freedom, equal treatment under the law, a rising standard of living for all & a philosophical belief in human scientific progress. There are members of all these movements who support those & members of all these movements who are deeply opposed to them though they would usually genuflect towards freedom as they try to slip the shackles on.

If socialism is considered to mean that society should be run for the optimum benefit of all then few would disagree with that (something which was not the case throughout most of written history). If it is a system of centralised dictatorial, or bureaucratic control of everything few would support it. Over the last century, partly under the influence of the USSR, it has moved in the latter direction. It is time for a genuine intellectual reconstruction of a progressive non-centralised ideal which accepts that the negative feedback provided by the market (customer choice leading to profits or bankruptcy) provide a vital role & that self seeking politicians largely don't.
I disagree with the letter of Reg Hennessey letter (Friday) about socialism & climate change.

We now know for certain that the global warming story relies on a few scientists, very heavily funded by government (£13.7 million in Professor Jones' case), massive government propaganda & the entire mainstream media propagandising in every possible way. What sort of radical socialism is that?

There is no political philosopher, not even Adam Smith, who was as supportive of technological progress as Marx.

His entire thesis is was based on technological progress improving methods of manufacturing & thus the class base of society.

The historical Luddites, while they were an opposition group had nothing in common with socialists. Indeed they were largely middle class workers seeing their skills replaced by machinery run by lower class ones which, understandably, they did not like. Pretty much the same applies today - look at the backgrounds of the Plane Stupid people, or Monbiot, let alone Goldsmith or Gore.

It is understandable that the left, besieged in recent years, has been happy to welcome the Luddites as fellow travellers & even be co-opted into big government scare stories but it cannot be consistent with any intellectual attempt to build a modern socialism & an intellectual foundation is vital.

If capitalism has been able to corner the market in promising to create wealth & socialists only promise to make us enjoy poverty I know which is going to have the greater attraction.
Incidentally I wrote this as 3 paragraphs which they paper enhanced by dividing into 8 - on a previous occasion I was told that the reason a letter hadn't been published was because it was longer than 2 paragraphs so I have tended to shorten where possible. It may not reach a massive audience but I am extremely proud of this letter.

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