Crocodile Tears

In the Financial Times, Jason Cowley regrets http://t.co/WUZG17HuNI that there is ‘no politically committed writer to whom we can turn and learn from at moments of national consequence or crisis.’ The story behind this lack is a story of growing integration among the various powers, so that true criticism – as opposed to carping, point-scoring and jockeying for power – finds no outlet in our media: such voices are simply not heard.

Politically committed voices were loud during most of the 20th century when ‘left’ and ‘right’ were at it like dogs fighting over a bone – the bone being power, with a juicy marrow of money that tends to accompany power. But during the last three decades of the century, parties of right and left gradually shed their extremists and a new consensus arose. This consensus somehow picked up the name ‘neoliberalism’.

Neoliberalism unites the powers of BigState and Big Capitalism into a new power, which tolerates the worst abuses the mind can imagine: genocide, torture, murder, robbery of land and livings, destruction of the environment, ‘science’ (meaning profit from legally-enforced monopolies of knowledge) and the fragmenting and insecure bondage of ever-growing debt. Some of these abuses take place in far-away lands, in client states run by gangster governments. Others – debt and systemic robbery, for instance – carry on at home behind hidden laws and hidden doors.

Critics of neoliberalism say its ‘democracy’ is a sham, its ‘freedom’ a mirage, its ‘concern for the underdog’ rampant hypocrisy. Such writers are little heard. An eminent newspaper editor once said to me: ‘It is not the policy of any mainstream newspaper or journal to allow criticism of the fundamentals of our civilisation.’ The situation is further complicated by lingering loyalties to ‘left’ and ‘right’. Writers who who reach for a different understanding – true democracy, true freedom for instance – have no widely-established readership.

So to Jason Cowley I would say: there are plenty of politically-committed writers making interesting comments, but no one has the opportunity to turn to them, let alone learn from them, because journals and newspapers like the New Statesman and the Financial Times deny them the opportunity to be heard.

Ivo Mosley’s latest book is ‘In The Name Of The People’ (Imprint Academic, 2013).

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