Conservative Economics:

From the Guardian today:

“David Cameron today dashed hopes of public sector funding levels being restored once the budget deficit has been addressed, saying he expects staff to find new ways of working to deliver services on less money.”

Well, first of all we might say, what “hopes were dashed”? You’re a pretty confused political entity if you think that 1) the Cameronian-Tories are going to be in for the long-run; 2) that they might reverse their spending cuts.

Beyond such sniping, it is clear that these “cuts” aren’t driven by the “budget crisis”. The latest liberal cliche is to say that they are “ideologically motivated”. I won’t repeat that, because there’s always something vacuous about the often repeated phrase.

What are they “driven” by, though? I’m not sure I’m equipped to say. Some research would be nice, if we’re to penetrate beyond the reified zone of empty rhetoric. But, in its place, here is a rough sketch of the conservative/neoliberal economic trajectory, as I see it:

– Massive cuts in public spending/consumption, leading to very low/non-existent growth and thus:
– Increasing unemployment (keeping wages low)
– Aggressive attacks on public and private wage levels, pensions, other contractual benefits and working hours
– Ever increasing concentration of wealth

We might add to this,  1) increasingly authoritarianism (particularly the policing of politics and of protest) – in order to forcibly maintain a very unstable (because starkly unequal) economic system. And 2) increasing misinformation; in the place of hegemonic rationality we will increasingly have hegemonic irrationality: fear of “others” (muslims, gyspsies, immigrants), fear of “terrorists” (muslims, immigrants… workers, strikers, the unemployed, discontents, protesters, Leftists, students, minorities). This will increasingly appear to be central to mainstream political discourse; it will also open the door to fascist-populist street movments (eg. National Front, Neo-Nazis, EDL). 3) Finally – that all of the above is already happening, is all around us, is in a developed stage though it is still developing.

So, I have said nothing but the obvious. Still… in place of a more profound analysis, I think – temporarily at least – this will have to do.



~ by Wit on August 3, 2010.

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