The Heath Government: A New Course for British Capitalism
The eruption of the international financial crisis last August has thrown into sharp relief an often neglected dimension of inter-imperialist contradictions—namely the relation between the domestic class struggle and the international competition of the major imperialist states. There are two ways of neglecting this relationship: one simply regards the struggle of each working class against its own bourgeoisie as a more or less self-contained process dependent on the traditional or innate virtues and vices of the respective protagonists; the other presents an anonymous and undifferentiated international capitalism riven by an equivalent and omnipresent contradiction between labour and capital. It is now becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the simple fact of an interconnection between the domestic and the international policies of the different ruling classes in the imperialist states. But this does not mean that the problem is adequately thought through or even correctly posed. In Britain the standard solution even for the Marxist Left is to insist periodically that the ruling class is attempting to solve the problems of British capitalism at the expense of the British working class. This statement is, of course, absolutely true, but it would be true of every capitalist class and its government. The advent of the Heath Government necessitates a more precise account of the strategy upon which the ruling class has now embarked.
’My institution subscribes to NLR, why can't I access this article?’
By the same author:
Finance for Anarchists
Robin Blackburn on David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years. Anthropological enquiry into the fluctuating forms of money and credit over the longue durée.
Alexander Cockburn, 1941–2012
A tribute to Alexander Cockburn—director of CounterPunch, Marxian environmentalist, long-standing editor of New Left Review. Robin Blackburn traces his path from County Cork to Soho, Havana to Manhattan, the Florida Keys to California’s Lost Coast.
Atlantic economies remain mired in unemployment and stagnation three years on from 2008. Diagnosing the underlying causes of the crisis as global over-capacity, deficient demand and anarchic credit creation, Robin Blackburn explores proposals for a genuine exit from it to the left.
Reclaiming Human Rights
Robin Blackburn on Samuel Moyn, The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History. Demystifying the origins and ideological ascendancy of human-rights discourse.
State of the Union
The fate of post-bellum attempts to extend egalitarian impulses across race lines and factory floors, amid the sharpening class struggles of the Gilded Age.
Value Theory and the Chinese Worker
In answer, Blackburn explores the paradoxes of fictitious capital, underwritten by super-exploitation of China’s producers. A public-utility credit system, democratic forms of nationalization and mechanisms to socialize investment as steps towards financial dual power.
The Philosopher and his Blacks
Robin Blackburn on Louis Sala-Molins, Dark Side of the Light. Polemical assault on the French Enlightenment’s record on slavery—Condorcet’s contradictions, Diderot’s compromises, Montesquieu’s motivations.
The Subprime Crisis
As reverberations from the stricken mortgage market reach the real economy, Robin Blackburn reveals the origins of the crunch in the shadowy realms of financialization. Precedents from the bubbles and crash of the 1920s, warnings from pioneers and venture capitalists, and proposals for how to turn the crisis to socially redistributive effect.
Plan for a Global Pension
On current projections, a fifth of the world’s population will be over 60 by 2050. With old-age poverty set to increase across the planet, Robin Blackburn presents a plan for funding a universal pension of a dollar a day.
Finance and the Fourth Dimension
The concept of alternative futures, banished from postmodernity’s eternal present, flourishes on the financial summits of the global economy. Robin Blackburn argues against a neo-Luddite dismissal of the new financial engineering techniques by the Left, while coolly assessing the economic and social costs of their current configurations.
Robin Blackburn on Niall Ferguson, Colossus and Empire. Rehabilitations of colonial rule for today’s proconsuls in Baghdad and Kabul.