dimanche 3 mai 2015

Blue Labour, empowerment and co-ops

In France, reactionary thinkers like Marie-Pauline DESWARTE (http://bit.ly/1E4XdWY) fight individualism.

They criticize people who want rights without duties.

Mme DESWARTE insists on the importance of relationships.

A lot of citizens may agree with that.

Nevertheless, Mme DESWARTE explains other things too. She says that traditions should bind us all.

For this author, the religious past of Occident has created habits rooted in French people.

The division of society between the aristocracy who fights, the clergy, committed to prayers, and the peasants, condemned to feed the elite, is natural in the eyes of Mme DESWARTE. 

In her opinion, French people have been genetically changed by this past. Everyone can guess that Mme DESWARTE is not really in favour of immigration, because immigrants don’t have this culture and these habits passed on in their genes.

Are those who fight individualism obliged to agree with Mme DESWARTE on everything she says ? Certainly not !

In England, prominent thinkers fight individualism without wanting an omnipotent elite linked with a reactionary church.

Blue Labour, for example, isthe Labour Party pressure group that aims to put relationships and responsibility at the heart of British politics” (http://www.bluelabour.org/).

Critiquing the dominance in Britain of a social-cultural liberalism linked to the left and a free-market liberalism associated with the right, Blue Labour blends a ‘‘progressive’’ commitment to greater economic equality with a disposition emphasizing personal loyalty, family, community and locality.

The prominent thinker of Blue Labour is Lord Maurice GLASMAN.

An informal Blue Labour group exists within the Labour Party and is led by four MP’s (Jon CRUDDAS, Tom WATSON, Frank FIELD and David LAMMY).

Blue Labour often argues with the Red Tories (http://labourlist.org/2015/02/why-we-need-blue-labour/).

In 2010, there was an interesting public exchange of messages between Lord GLASMAN and the Red Tory Philip BLOND (http://bit.ly/1c9H9gH).

Blue Labour point is to reassert the place of reciprocity, solidarity and, above all, friendship and conversation in British politics.

We no longer have sense of being able to shape, collectively or individually, our own destiny.

The Blue Labour argument is that you can’t have collective action without conversation. Constructionists say exactly the same thing and the LGOC, who’s the author of this blog, clearly approves this trend.

Blue Labour preaches a complex gospel, rooted in Christian socialism, urging greater understanding of Labour's working class roots and lost supporters while rejecting big state solutions in favour of community co-operation.
Blue Labour has a strong sense that politics is a struggle between right and wrong, and that love and work are more important than economic reward.

Blue Labour doesn’t want to cater for the freewheelers, rather than hard-working families. The refusal to reward unwanted behaviour is also one of the fights of LGOC.

The solution is not a cosmopolitan disdain for patriotism and the endorsement of a social allocation system that favours the newcomer over those who exhibit decades-long civility and good behaviour.

Despite convincing ideas, Blue Labour is accused of being of a much darker hue than blue (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31729729) about immigration.

This accusation is unfair. Blue Labour MP’s have never said that immigrants will automatically be free riders. If free riding is avoided, citizens will be more tolerant and trustful about new immigrants, especially toward asylum seekers who want to fight for democracy too.

The Red Tory Philip BLOND exposes the true weakness of Blue Labour. Perhaps what is most of all lacking in the movement is any operational idea of an economically self-empowering society (http://bit.ly/1DwpcOA).

Few on either side of the political divide think that the public-sector union model in teaching or council services works well. In the eyes of the successful, organised labour doesn’t reward talent and allows free-riders to benefit from others’ hard work. For the unsuccessful, organisation alone will not solve their chronic problems. The unions won’t raise workers’ wages or skill levels and they won’t embrace their wider needs.

If creating co-ops means giving public money to rotten lobbies, that won’t help those who worked hard but were ruined by free riders.

We must define empowerment in order to help the victims of free riding. If we manage to do that, once again, a common destiny will be visible for all.

Then, reactionary thinkers will not remain the only known opponents to individualism.