Saturday, 10 May 2008

Blogs and Sods

These last few weeks I've felt oddly disconnected from the blogging world. It seems all I have time for is scribbling the odd post and nothing else. No commenting elsewhere. No perusing new blogs to any depth. And it looks like the same could happen this weekend too. Once again I will be exiled from the internet as my dear beloved assumes control over the computer to write the final essay of her degree. But then you never know, I might just be able to squeak on.

Since I last went over the blog roll, I've added Climate Change and Trade Unions, Dreaming Neon Black, Enemies of Reason, Green from Below, Harpymarx, Random Blowe, Occasional Dugsie, Spoof Akehurst, and The G Spot.

And in the establishment's corner the roll welcomes pro-capitalist musings from "celebrity" LibDem blogger, Alix Mortimer and even more yellow belly aching from Quaequam Blog.

If there's a blog not on the rolls that you think should be, let me know.

I've also decided to skip two posts I announced previously. You can view the Socialist Party's election results here. Though do so with a word of caution - it has us Stokies down as scoring 3.5% when in fact we polled a massive 5.3%! Who knows what other percentages were mixed up? And practically the world and its leftist uncle have talked over the SWP's election results. I wouldn't really be adding anything new.

I wasn't too impressed with the new releases this week, so I plumped for Benny Benassi's pervy classic, Who's Your Daddy over in the top tunes section. Definitely not safe for work.

But while we're on the subject of music, I've been waiting a long time to stick this vid from Orbital up. Back in the day when I used to do things like getting drunk and kissing girls, Satan was a regular down our old union on the main meat market nights. Was the DJ trying to let us cool kids know he wasn't really into the Take That/Oasis/The Rembrandts/Alex Party pap of the day?


Jim Jepps said...

It's usually bloggers feeling disconnected with life rather than people living their lives feeling disconnected to the blogs - but it takes all sorts


asquith said...

Speaking as someone who holds similar views to A. Mortimer, I must protest. When we talk about economic liberalism we are emphatically not talking about the state-rigged, pro-huge corporations system that exists now. The free market was seen as a radical idea that challenged and threatened the established elite when it was first championed by liberals. It still is now.

We are not Thatcherites, because Thatcher wasn't truly economically liberal, just a class warrior for her own people. Also, a free market and free trade is compatible with (some form of) welfare state, and of course the state is necessary to provide a regulatory system and basic standards. I think you should try to understand what liberalism is all about, perhaps you'd like it :)

Phil said...

I don't know why you have an issue with my description of the aforementioned LibDem bloggers as 'pro-capitalist'. Free market capitalism with a minimal state is still, erm, capitalism. You know, that roller coaster of a social system that concentrates wealth in the hands of a tiny minority, perpetuates poverty and underdevelopment, stunts and disfigures what passes for democracy, and has brought us to the brink of environmental catastrophe.

I think I'll give free market liberalism a miss, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link Phil, really appreciated comrade!!

I need to get my act together re to Harpmarx blog...

Thanks again btw

Anonymous said...

Ha! There's a Spoof Akehurst....

Anonymous said...

Ooh, ta for t'link.

I think it's not so much the "capitalist" description in itself that Asquith objects to as all the loaded meanings you are ascribing to it, and which he refutes. Your sense of the word seems to assume an uncritical worship of specifically big business which has got absolutely nothing to do with the raw meaning of economic liberalism, and isn't necessarily an outcome of the raw meaning of capitalism either.

Being "pro-capitalist" bears the same relation to my economic liberalism as an inclination to be kind to hedgehogs bears to my sense of social justice. Well, *yeah*, I'm kind to hedgehogs whenever the opportunity arises. And I don't have an ideological objection to capitalism per se, except where it limits the liberty of individuals unacceptably (which would cover, for example, cases of monopoly). But it's not really the main event of economic liberalism, whatever Thatcher said.

Phil said...

Cheers for your tuppenth worth, Alix.

My ascription of you as a pro-capitalist blogger isn't really a value judgment, it's a matter of what political standpoint you appear to occupy from my position as a class struggle socialist. As far as I'm concerned, there's very obvious differences between you and say Iain Dale and Luke Akehurst. But I would say this is a difference of degree rather than of kind. Your respective philosophies have more in common with one another than you do with me and most of the bloggers I list in my counter-hegemony roll. And that commonality uniting you is support for the market (to greater or lesser degrees) as the best way of organising economic life, and consequently, to use a Marxist term, private ownership of the means of production.

Socialists, well, most of those describing themselves as Marxists, hold that capitalism in all its variants is a system of class rule that is inherently wasteful, unstable and exploitative. We want to see it replaced by a participatory and democratically planned economy, a society where the self-defined needs of our species and planet takes precedence. We believe capitalism has already developed the infrastructure for such a society, but it is the self-same capitalism that is preventing it from disappearing.

I suspect you and any other liberals reading won't be convinced, and I doubt any socialists reading your account of economic liberalism will be either. But that said there is always room for some dialogue. For example, from a socialist's point of view, liberal political philosophy (generally speaking) does not take on board the existence of classes. This of course is problematic when you live in a class society, but isn't when you don't. So I would imagine a future socialist society would draw on some of that heritage.

Right, I'd better go do some work. I'll be sure to pop by your blog fairly regularly to offer my odds and ends.

Btw, Asquith, you do look quite familiar. Were you ever at Keele? You look like someone I used to teach ...

asquith said...

Perhaps. But I was a bit twattish in those days, and hadn't really grown up. Attribute it to coming from a working-class, Mail "reading" family and having been to the worst school & sixth form of all time. So you'd best erase any memories you have of those days. But I've aye altered my views :D

In my vague way, I was trying to say what Alix has touched upon. I don't regard Thatcher as having been economically liberal. Although she did (what I regard as) good work in extending property ownership and encouraging small enterprises, she was too close to the nexus of the state and large corporation for my liking.

Have you ever thought that economic liberals and the far left are both against a state-supported, pro-huge corporations economy? There are some points of contact.

As I said before, I've only recently embarked on my journey. Perhaps, in 5 years, I'll have fully informed myself. Believe it or not, I actually am somewhat intelligent ;) I have a few mountains o' ignorance still to claim. But I think that's good, I'm aware of the challenge. I'll still be a liberal at the end of it :D