Wednesday

soap box

neoliberals think that unfettered business is good for everyone, right? new labour gave into this ideology - they thought people would be better off if their employers provided for them. i'm of the opinion mandy and blair came up with this not through hatred of big government, but they thought that business versus goverment was a battle they couldn't win, so business would have to provide what the british government could no longer afford to. if people in the u.k. had necesseties provided by government, that would mean higher taxes, bad for businesses, who are flexible now. businesses - metahumans - don't need britain. now, they're choosing where to base themselves. thanks for that, thatcherites. well done. would it have happened anyway? was thatcherism/neoliberalism a response to gloabl trends or the instigator? of course that's an impossible question (cause/effect/cause/effect...). but my point is, mandy and blair reckoned that the best they could do for people was to attract businesses to britain by being competitive. yes, public services would suffer, but they would suffer even more if people were unemployed and couldn't afford to pay taxes to fund them. so they surrendered. business won.

now of course, businesses are selfish. they won't provide services to anyone but themselves and their employees (if they're lucky, or in demand). most metahumans don't consider the external costs, so neoliberalism is in fact based on a convinent lie, since most neoliberals are wealthy and them and their friends will do well out of neolib policy.

so the problem is:
we need big government to protect us from big business. that's what it's for, not for attacking other governments.
but big governments are bad too. the bigger they get, the less accountable they are (i concede that our government is probably more accountable now than, say, when we had divinely appointed monarchs, and is probably the most accountable now than at any time gone except for the civil war, when we got the government we fought for [unless you were a leveller, digger, or quaker etc.]). the fear of direct rebuke from the populace (this is meant to be a democracy, and nothing is more democratic than going out into the street and letting one's opinion be known) diminishes, and the more they can get away with. i'm afraid of governments.

so as i write this off the top of my head, it occurs to me that the bit that's bad is big. governments can work, when they're in touch with the people they govern - or rather, when they are the people they govern. but how can small community groups achieve anything, or protect themselves from marauders? we need a much stronger framework, all the way up to a world government. but with everyone employed in government in some way, who's going to be left to grow the crops? it's intractable. maybe they'll always be problems in the world. hey, we should live so long!
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