A Wake-Up Call For Social Democrats

May 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

Guy Standing has a fascinating essay on the rise of a new class-in-the-making, the ‘Precariat’. He argues that the mainstream left has no progressive agenda and has forgotten the basic principle that every progressive political movement has been built on the anger, needs and aspirations of the emerging major class.

The Precariat live with no control over their time and have no economic security – ultimately an argument of inequality.

Most in it do not belong to any professional or craft community; they have no social memory on which to call, and no shadow of the future hanging over their deliberations with other people, making them opportunistic. The biggest dangers are social illnesses and the risk that populist politicians will play on their fears and insecurities to lure them onto the rocks of neo-fascism, blaming ‘big government’ and ‘strangers’ for their plight. We are witnessing this drift, increasingly disguised by clever rebranding, as in the case of the True Finns, Swedish Democrats and French National Front. They have natural allies in the US Tea Party, the Japanese copycats, the English Defence League and the originals, Berlusconi’s neo-fascist supporters.

§ One Response to A Wake-Up Call For Social Democrats

  • Tom says:

    Interesting hypothesis. I feel that the left in Britain has no unified direction – the young have been put off the Labour party forever by the short-term politicking of Tony Blair. None of my friends put ‘Labour Party’ on Facebook – they all put ‘left-wing’ or similar. The Conservatives, however, all put ‘Conservative Party’. The main problem with the Labour Party is a large section of it aren’t progressive.

    We need to express a shared vision – we have one already but noone’s said overtly, so noone’s united behind it.

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