Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mixed Economy Blues and Reds

Why is the mixed economy still a thing and who on earth really thought it would be a good idea in the first place to put together such an unstable mix of contradictory ideologies as socialism and capitalism? As this combustible mix has created inevitable periods of boom and bust exacerbating economic cycles since its inception decades ago, it is worth examining the motives behind its construction and looking at its deleterious effects and consequences more closely.

It is undoubtedly the case that the mixed economy is a product of pragmatism,hedge betting, an avoidance of principles in favour of a shabby compromise that ultimately satisfies no one and causes endless wrangling between the respective advocates of its conflicting constituent parts, the socialists blaming  the capitalists for its failings and vice versa. Bizarely what is more often the case and something very noticeable in recent times is for capitalism to take the whole rap for the sins of the mixed economy - witness the endless discussions on the 'crisis of capitalism',the failings of 'late capitalism' which goes entirely unchallenged by the alleged and putative defenders of capitalism the conservatives who in the face of this onslsught for some reason best known to themselves maintain a trappist silence.

The injustice of this much repeated canard that capitalism is the sinner rather than  the sinned against lies in the the glaringly obvious fact that in the mixed economy model it is the socialst element that has been free riding at capitalism' expense since its unfortuante inception, as the wealth creation is solely on the capitalist side of the equation and the socialist part is merely the redistributor of its fruits and profits and is defacto parasiting off capitalism's achievements.

It is for the above reason that capitalism has nothing to gain and all to lose from this marriage made in hell of the mixed economy for when as  inevitably it must, the mixed economy crashes upon the rocks of its own internal contradictions it will be tainted by the association and the calamties laid at its door alone.

 Is this not precisely what we see in the Corbyn phenomenon?  The failings of  socialism go undetected in a mixed economy which were it to be forced to stand alone in a complete socialist system without capitalism to masks its defects they would be all to obvious and glaring,witness every single country throughout the last hundred years that has experimented with socialism from Soviet Russia to present day Venezuela. Granted that even in those obvious examples socialist's defenders still argue theirs is a good moral system, nevertheless, minus the mixed economy it would be that much harder to maintain such a fiction. This is not to say that a Corbyn governement would be welcome to dispel any illusions people still have about socialism but merely to point out the fallacy of those who blame capitalism for the failures for the mixed economy.

The obvious solution to the mixed economy conundrum, having exposed its follies and fallacies would be to advocate for either outright socialism or capitalism allowing the respective ideologies to stand or fall by their own merits,a fair fight in other words without all the obfuscations,evasions tawdry compromises and conflations implicit within the mixed economy. This is unlikely to happen all the while the conservatives stick stubbornly to their pragmatism but its beginning to look decidedly like thin gruel in contrast to Corbyn's red meat ideological socialsm and whilst it sufficed in the Blair years it is not looking like a viable proposition as the emboldened advancing Islington Marxist snaps ever more menacingly at May's heels.

Things are made more problematic however by the sad fact that under May the long standing lamentable vice of tory pragmatism has given way to an implicit endorsment of a soft tory socialism - witness her first speech as leader where she pledged to redistibute wealth towards the 'just about managing' and this explains why the tories have been so reluctant to confront Corbyn's socialism uncompromisingly -it is hard to critique an ideology that one partially shares and has been stated before in any contest between similar ideologies it is the party that holds to the ideology most consistently that ultimately prevails. This will explain the horror of a Corbyn government if it comes to pass. In such a dynamic Corbyn looks principled and May shifty.

If capitalism loses it will be by default,the absence of a principled opposition to socialism and its altruist roots. To lose a debate is regrettable enough but to lose by never having the debate is tragedy itself.

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