I noted this in the Guardian this morning. It reflects one of my opinions on the European election result:
Intellectually, [Conservatism] certainly seems barely alive. A sense of entropy hangs over the rightwing thinktanks that used to show conservative governments how to change society. These institutions have grown old together: the American Enterprise Institute was founded in 1938, the Institute of Economic Affairs in 1955, the Heritage Foundation in 1973, the Centre for Policy Studies in 1974, the Adam Smith Institute in 1977. Despite all the setbacks for their free-market project – the financial crisis, the diminishing returns of capitalism for most people, the collapse of such once-lauded examples of outsourcing and deregulation as Enron and Carillion, the failures of privatised services ranging from trains to probation – the thinktanks’ answer to every problem has remained essentially unchanged: lower taxes, less regulation, smaller government.
I would have liked to have written that paragraph before the Guardian got to it, but the importance is the point it makes. Let’s leave aside the populist right for a moment: what passes for policy there is too often anyone’s guess, and the Brexit Party has made a virtue of having none. The mainstream Right is the issue here. And it is bereft of ideas.
Privatisation is failing. It does not need a policy of renationalisation to put it to death. Those services once privatised will return to state control over time by a process of re-assimilation if the right regulation is applied because properly regulated natural monopolies naturally belong under state control.
Out-sourcing is dead. No one can now believe otherwise.
Low tax is discredited, along with tax havens. People want the services states supply and understand that tax is the consequence (and yes, that comment is wholly MMT consistent).
And as for low regulation? Was there ever an appetite for it? Really?
The collapse of the Conservatives last week was, of course in no small part due to May and Brexit. But there was more to it than that. The Tories collapsed because they have nothing left to offer. They have no ideas to legislate. There is no economic policy that drives them any more. Austerity, which was always a belief system, is over. And morally they are bankrupt. The Windrush debacle and Universal Credit have proved that.
The day of the Right has gone. Long live the Green New Deal. Right now it is the only narrative the Left have. Thankfully it’s quite a good one, so long as you realise it requires international cooperation, which is the antithesis of Brexit. The paradigm is shifting, I suggest.