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New Left Review I/46, November-December 1967


Jon Halliday

Reply to Ishiguro

Hide Ishiguro’s apt comments are most welcome: my analysis was certainly somewhat abbreviated at many points. However I would like to defend myself against the implication that I was supporting the traditional right-wing view in Europe. The essence of the bourgeois viewpoint, in Britain at least, is to blame Britain’s ills on the working class, ignoring the rotten condition of the British capitalist class, and to bestow (envious) praise on the Japanese managerial stratum, while ignoring the Japanese working class. I do not for one moment support this view. Wages play only a small part in determining a country’s competitiveness—if Britain is falling behind now it is not because of high wages for the British workers. My discussion of wages was meant as a criticism of Japanese capitalism from within, not as a Chauvinist comment on Japan’s international position.

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