The Left’s failure is not so much that neoliberalism has failed, but that when it did there existed no alternative that could challenge its dominance.
Democratic states have only ever existed as an ideal – an abstraction more malleable than is often acknowledged and a form of government utterly incompatible with capitalism. ‘We must make our choice,’ warned the American jurist Louis Brandeis, ‘[w]e may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.’ There can be no compromise because between the two because the concentration of economic power is inherently undemocratic.
While the slaughters continue in the United States, Australian gloating at our lack of mass shootings is more than a little misdirected. Tim Robertson explains.
We live in a society in which economic rationalism predominates and those who simply discount or dismiss economic arguments around migration policy risk being ignored. There is something abhorrent about reducing the life of an asylum seeker to a dollar amount on a balance sheet. For this reason, it’s important that an economically-minded approach doesn’t replace calls for more compassion, but operates alongside it.
In his new year’s speech, President Xi Jinping told the Chinese people that their nation was in the process of implementing something unprecedented. There would be challenges, he warned, but if China remained united the ultimate goal of creating ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’ could be achieved.
It’s easy to dismiss this kind of rhetoric. After all, China’s economic reforms seem to be moving away from socialism towards capitalism at a rate never before seen. However, it’s important to understand what the country’s leaders mean when they talk about ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’. Moreover, it helps understand the Communist Party’s response to the recent stock market crash.