[Marxism] fall out

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Sun Nov 13 14:45:10 MST 2016


Chalmers will say the only valid approach is to deal constructively with
the economic anxieties by protecting the social safety net, protecting
universal healthcare and ensuring adequate industrial protections.

If practical steps aren’t taken, the current trends will gather pace.

“If we don’t listen, if we don’t learn, if we don’t put all our energy into
this task, if we don’t find a place for them in the economy, if we don’t
get closer to those we represent, we don’t deserve their support,” he will
say.

“More people will head for the polar extremes of politics, there will be
more Trumps and more Hansons, more supporters with nothing to lose.”


The above is from a Guardian report on a speech about to be delivered by
Jim Chalmers, the shadow Finance Spokesperson for the Australian Labor
Party.

It is notable I think for the fact that he appears to be edging out of the
"Failure to communicate" paradigm that dominates thinking about the impact
of neoliberalism. The paradigm has it that people "feel" left behind and we
need to explain more clearly the benefits of globalization and
deindustrialisation.  Chalmers' special contribution is that we must not be
"snobby" and use language like "deplorables". Indeed he claims Clinton lost
because she used the word "deplorables".


So all that seems to be firmly within the Failure to Communicate paradigm.
What *might* be new, is the emphasis on protecting welfare and "finding a
place in the economy" for the victims of neoliberalism. I stress the word
"might" because the Labor Party has yet to move into a stance which is
explicitly Keynesian. They appear to be still locked into the "austerity
lite" mode. However, events such as the "Trump Phenomena [sic]" are
beginning to shake things up here.

It would seem that it is even making politicians think about politics;
something highly unusual for bourgeois politicians. Watching the Labor
Party trying to think, reminds me, as I have often said, of Dr Johnson's
remark about the "dog walking on his hind legs. It is *not done well*; *but*
you are surprised to *find it done at all."*


comradely regards


Gary



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