If you stuck a dozen random people in a room, they would eventually be talking about financialisation of our political economy. Their world. Whether it be the small business person discussing the joint onslaught from banks and government, social workers, teachers, nurses, doctors, and university professors, discussing the reshaping of their institutions. The onslaught of managerialism and privatisation on their profession. The person laying awake at night because their 300k mortgage takes so much of their dual income that they have the same disposable income of someone on benefits, even if their credit is better. The benefit claimant without money or control over their time, the mother who daren’t leave abuse, or the mother who has lost her child because child protection has been financialised to punish her for existing.
Thatcherism began before Thatcher, with the restructuring of our economy post IMF bailout in the mid seventies, and by now the pattern of financialisation is no shock to us. We all know what happened with the banking crisis and remember the sequence of events, even if our political media do not. The likelihood is that none in that conversation would identify as a ‘lefty’. Most would be alienated by that toxic culture or unaware of the existence of a very fertile media and politics entry ground, sustained by the fumes of an archaic left most assumed had died long ago, so little connection does it have to their life.
That conversation would soon build understanding and the common threads of the labour market, the debt based economy, and the dying political system, would bind them even if social norms made them wary of each other. It wouldn’t take long for that conversation to build knowledge, understanding, and cause their understanding of power and their society to reconstruct.
Most know instinctively that financialisation of the economy as a response to financial instability inherent in our system and caused by malfunctioning financial institutions is stupid and escalating the crisis we are in. That conversation would benefit from the perspectives and knowledge each participant had, and the analysis possible when that knowledge built would make the output of the dead tree press look laughable. And yet that conversation can’t happen.
We know why the right can’t have it. Trolling as political debate, as a privileged few decide who to demonise is not new as political debate. Its the oldest. That conversation could happen and is happening outside our political media in many many places, but there is a barrier to it impacting on media narratives. An elite seal around policy making, to keep democracy in the hands of finance so that every failure on the part of our financial institutions is projected out onto us, and financial crisis are turned into social, political, and ecological crisis. Shaping our world.
When democracy was subsumed by media, a class who behave like feudal houses emerged and the left got the biggest boost they had ever had. Their fertile entry ground could wantonly confuse the difference between useless and having no effect,. because being useless was their purpose and the only effect they were supposed to have was to provide a hermetic seal around the primary institutions of our political economy. The radical fringes, there to provide an dangerous electric fence so that anyone wishing to object found themselves in a game of auditioning to Oxbridge brats as marginalised groups needing pity and attention and was discredited by association.
The discussion about the relationship between social policy, the economy, inequality, debt, and financial instability, is happening everywhere. Austerity followed the same patterns all over Europe.
One wonders how long that seal can hold, now they have blown their transition to a digital landscape. How long can people educated to be useless discuss the complex, educated and intelligent electorate, like Hogwarts students discussing Muggles. How long can they demonstrate how viciously they will protect their right to disenfranchise, while engaged in an endless discussion about how to modify their language so they are reaching out to the simpleton working class they disenfranchise…
The politics of deficit reduction works like this. The mortgage holders experience the kind of low interest rates that mean they can sleep at night, while the poverty porn sold by the elite left, the rising body count, reassures them if its hurting it must be working. The elite left vocally discredit any opposition the way they always have and demand discussion only happens if it can benefit them.
This is while our political economy, democracy itself, and society, is liquidated and handed to finance so our private debt bubble can be inflated. This can’t go on forever, our debt crisis is nearing its denouement. The seal created by this elite left bubble, everyone was oblivious to existence of, cannot hold once that crisis is done.