We need transcendent, transformative politics in this country and the world, but the mainstream paradigm remains a struggle between established power bases – one, a social democrat model as epitomized in Scandinavian models and the other, a Thatcher/Reagan model of social darwinism wearing a mantle of trickle down, supply-side economics. There is no question that I prefer the social democrat model, but I think neither model is particularly well-suited to the challenges that the planet is cranking up to deal with a species that is out of control.
Greece’s experiment with austerity politics in a time of economic stagnation proves once again that pulling more money out of a economic system that has a crashing demand side will cause the economic system to slip to a lower state. It doesn’t seem to matter if all of the most photogenic politicians that money can buy are spouting platitudes about “growing the economy” by reducing debt, austerity politics just don’t turn stagnating economies around. You do austerity politics in good economic times, you do keynsian economics in economic downturns if you want somewhat stable economies. You also need a stable and consistent tax policy that generates the revenue needed for public services. You don’t flatten taxes in boom times because you will need the accumulated revenue when the boom times go… well… boom!
Boom and bust. Bubble economies. These cycles should not be a big surprise to anyone who has studied economic cycles.
Transformative politics? Does that mean democrats? uhh… no… I don’t think those folks misunderstand who is footing the bill for their elections. Do you think Goldman Sachs money is showing up in the Obama re-election till because they think Obama’s ideas are great? Well, maybe. GS has done pretty well since Obama became president.
No, I am thinking about really transformative economics and politics.
Real utopias. I like the sound of that .