Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The swing of an undamped pendulum.

I have a problem with capitalists when they claim to be the children of Adam Smith because they only picked out the bits they like, just like nutty Christians or Muslim or Jews or any religion you care to mention always seeks to do to defend their self interested position and vested interest.

Robert Owen's management of New Lanark sought to work within the principles of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations seeking to balance reward for the workers with an adequate profit for the owners. Some would claim that the 'experiment' at New Lanark was patriarchal and controlling but given the period, it was undoubtedly one of the most socially aware approaches of its time, creating opportunity for the many, and their children, who would have had no equivalent opportunity in any other work place of the day.

New Lanark was an example of capitalism, an example which understood Adam Smith's requirement that such a system could only work, develop, grow and be successful long term, if a fair day's work received a fair day's pay. Adam Smith's view was, without a financial balance and sense of fairness between employers and employees, no business created on his concept of capitalism would survive for long because any imbalance between the workforce and employer would ultimately lead to failure of the business.

The problem is men are greedy bast'rds and the few will always look to screw any system to maximise their own benefit whether Marxist / Leninism of the old Soviet Union or the current downward spiral of neo-liberal capitalism, a form of capitalism which is truly the most inhuman, degrading and self defeating form experienced since the Victorian era.

As a social democrat I see it is the role of the people and their Government to ensure that balance and fairness is maintained, a role that successive UK Governments, since the early 1970's, have singularly failed to achieve as the pendulum has swung from the extremes of Trade Unionism in the mid 1970's to the extremes of capitalism in the 2010's. Neither has been good for the actual people of the UK who seek to put bread on the table. Neither has done anything to redress the massive inequality in society either by the public ownership of manufacturing or by the untrammeled free market. It does not take much wit to understand the premise of the Wealth of Nations core idea:

Capital and people working in harmony for the good of all the people not the few.
Currently this is not the case - maybe it is time for a bit of social realism. An argument can be made for key areas to be under the ownership and control of the people; water, utilities, health, welfare and public transport. This leaves the entrepreneurs and financiers with a whole load of other ways to create wealth for all the nation while gaining the advantages of a workforce more at peace with itself by putting employees needs and business development ahead of the shareholders 'quick buck'. This is the role of Government, to seek the best balance between the needs of capital and people; not simply to support one side or the other, as has long been the case in the UK.

It is time for the pendulum to swing back towards the people but it is also time the extent of the swing back towards the self interest of the people is dampened and the inevitable rebound lessened. In this way the UK's violent 'boom and burst' swings also may be reduced to the mutual interest of all parties.

Will the SNP deliver the better, fairer balance they seek to create between the people and capital?

The only way to find out is to send as many SNP MPs to Westminster as is possible and put our trust they will not end up as yet another 'feeble 50' standing at the foot of the British Establishment table accepting what ever scraps they are thrown with over blown gratitude and the reward of ending up as members of the 'vermin in ermine', as Labour's Scotch apparatchiks so routinely have done over the last 50 years.

How long before we hear of the raising of Lord Broon of Kartoon, Baron of Dysart Bings?

1 comment:

  1. The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which is Part 1 is oft ignored or forgotten.

    Volume 1 puts the Wealth of Nations in context.

    Maybe it is not wanted on the voyage by the people of whom you speak.

    Ask the Chinese, they study 1 then 2