Why We Need Alternatives to Money-Power
For two decades a remarkable new range of political and social intiatives have been set up in Britain. In some respects they reflect aspects of previous activities seen earlier this century and even back into the early part of the 19th century, dealing as they do with new types of enfranchisement, social audits of areas and groups of people, analysis and prescriptions about poverty in the midst of plenty, and so on. For despite broad economic growth in the post-war years of a degree not ever seen before, tensions, inequalities, deprivations of one sort or another became heightened by the fact that some people were becoming very much richer, and expectations enhanced through the ideology of never-ending prosperity. Although the search for new values and the growth of ‘alternatives’ such as the environmental movements, the women’s movement, the peace movement, ‘ethical’ investment trusts and the like, through the ‘new politics’ of the 1960s and 1970s, have been attacked with some successes by the Radical New Right, certain key changes about the way in which society should be looked at have become firmly embedded in at least one generation of people. Some years ago one of the authors quipped that the 1980s will be ‘the spot your friend decade’, and he now takes no great pride in uttering this crude truism, for the Radical Right has certainly driven many people who act in opposition into factions or fractions. Important ideas, such as the decentralist propositions of Fritz Schumacher, the disabling of people by ‘professions’ put forward by Illich, the alternative technology movement and so on have been assimilated only by some self-perpetuating fractions of people, with little or no access to or real activity in the national political forum. Others, such as parts of the ‘poverty lobby’ have felt it necessary to modify their modes of activity to retain political credibility somewhere in the ‘centre’ ground of political life in Britain. In both cases these understandable changes have weakened both particular and general challenges to the new status quo imposed by the New Right.
KeywordsLabour Market Full Employment Market System Satisfactory Housing Protestant Work Ethic
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