Gary Maclennan g.maclennan at
Thu Jun 21 23:25:14 MDT 2001

>In NZ, the 'new rioght' offensive proved incapable of restoring dynamism to
>the economy, and the ruling class have resorted to what we at 'revolution'
>have called 'caring capitalism'.  But the term is as ironic as real; this
>is not a return to the old capitalist welfare state even, but to employers
>adopting the view that 'social capital' is important.  The exhaustion of
>the new right here, the collapse of the working class as a political force,
>the social fragmentation attendant upon the economic reforms, and the
>failure of new right policies to lift the economy, have led the smart
>elements of the bourgeoisie to search for a new 'big idea'.  But embracing
>the concept of 'social capital' tends to be a way of *not implementing
>bourgeois socialism*, a la a welfare state capitalism, rather than a return
>to full-blooded Keynesianism.

Very interesting Phil.  I think that we are in something of a holding
pattern.  I do not think the ruling class know what to do. The only big
"idea" in town is Bush's return to War Keynesianism a la Star Wars initiative.

But there are some small ideas around in ruling circles. Thus there was an
article in the Australian in Friday which said that we had entered a new
cycle where the public now expected the government to spend on
services.  Blair's victory came about according to this line because he
promised to fix up education and health.

We now hear about 'civilising global capital' from the likes of Mark
Latham.  From the Liberals i.e. ruling conservatives, there is nothing.
Their coming defeat may not be the catastrophe that appeared possible some
months ago.  But they are going down, because no one wants them any more

Your analysis of the conjuncture that the New Right project has exhausted
itself is spot on. I also think that New Zealand was much worse than
Australia.  The papers here were full of the New Zealand "miracle" and
arguing that we shuld follow.  But the "miracle" has come and gone and the
articles in the media have gone too.

.And that is where we are.  There is a growing tide of reaction of the
neo-liberalism of the last quarter of a century.  This ranges from the
black blocs to charlatans like Latham saying he can civilise Capital.

For the Left the question is whether the new anti-capitalism movement can
grow. I will try and get around to responding here to Jim Heartfield's
piece in Revolution.



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