When Social Capitalism Becomes National Socialism

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Couple of interesting articles in the [London] Daily Telegraph. Reporting on the close of the 2016 British Conservative Party annual conference. Saluting the end of metropolitan liberal capitalism. And announcing what the new Conservative slogan calls “A Country that Works for Everyone.”

What Tim in his article, and Allister in his, miss is that there is a significant difference between social capitalism and corporate socialism.

Trends, whether economic, social or cultural, tend not to work in tandem around the world. They move in ripples. Globalism has introduced large emerging economies to the unbridled and unequal explosion of the naked free market economics that developed countries experienced in the Eighties and Nineties.

This, in turn, and precisely because those same developed countries have, until the rise of Trump, Sanders, Corbyn, Farage and now May, sponsored open global trade, this has led to the decline of industrial economy in those developed countries. And their own emerging ‘economy’ of the left-behinds.

It is this sense of folks in the West being left out. Forgotten. That has fueled stuttering but generally well-intentioned attempts in the developed world to soften the harder edges of purist global capitalism. To evolve a form of national social capitalism. A social capitalism that I support. And one that I believe Tim is writing about.

One that repatriates and devolves decision-making. Includes. Promotes mutualism. Seeks not to interfere with outcome. But encourages opportunity for all to have access and to participate. That breaks down barriers. That holds no grudges. Demonstrates no bias. And, if participation is not easily possible, finds a dignified way to offer a helping hand to struggling citizens.

I do not believe this is what Theresa May is offering. It sounds similar. But it is not the same. What Tim’s article identifies as the support of politicians like May for the opportunity for all people to participate seems to be more about guaranteeing some of them the right to dominate over others.

The line appears to be, we can’t offer opportunity to all, so we’ll prioritize those with whom we associate. And give them all the goodies they demand. Something not unlike an economic version of your very own fifteen seconds of fame. A cultural phenomenon best summed up in Alan’s article, and which you and I recognize in the demagogic rantings of Donald Trump and Back-to-the-Fifties Nigel Farage.

Talk of right-wing governments intervening in industry, dictating to business, suggesting what is best for the less well-off, making a place for those-like-us by having a go at those-not-like-us, talk like this is not Christian democracy, Tim. It is corporate socialism. Which the rest of us know is a euphemism for something much more sinister.

Theresa May is not setting out a bold new plan to advance leftwards into Labour territory. She is transforming the British Conservative Party into UKIP. A party of fascism. A party which finds itself in bed with the likes of Prime Minister Orban of Hungary. Who just won his own national referendum. A referendum which pretended to be a statement on European policy. But was actually an open swipe at foreign refugees. A reminder of Europe from 85 years ago. And a foretaste of where the US will go if we choose to elect Donald Trump.

There are very thin dividing lines between global capitalism, social capitalism, corporate socialism and national socialism. Right now, leaders all round the globe are merrily dancing all over and around these distinctions. Lying just as merrily as they go. It is up to journalists like you, Tim, to keep them and us straight. Not to slip out of conference, and go for a drink with a buddy at the local pub.

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