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1) General Forum

243 votes

Stop trying to rehabiliate exploitative capitalism and publicaly promote another social model

It is clear that economies based upon capitalism are based upon inequality. Mc Dowell recognised this with his "inequality is needed" lines. However it is up to us on the left, those who have a genuine concern with social justice, equality, those of us who dont just play lip service to ... more

  1. I like this idea but it is definitely a long-term aim and will not solve our immediate problems. In my experience most people become disinterested when asked to focus on the longer term. That is not to say that we should ignore it. On the contrary we need to have a long-term aim for our society, but remember that the longest journey begins with just one step, one practical step to set us off in the right direction! What can we do now to begin the move in that direction?

    One of the greatest failings I s... more

  2. Emotional arousal locks our attention and narrows our perspective therefore i hope that the event on 30/10/2022 does not become a forum for 'scapegoating' but rather a space where people can be creative and patiently receptive to NEW ideas. Imagine a different Social Model with Our Natural Resources freely available to all like air, water,sunshine for starters.Education and the freedom to pursue our instinctive drives so that we can we can feel fullfilled.The current Social Model which is based on a Mo... more

  3. 3

    What amazes me is we elect a government at amazing cost to us to run the country. But they dont do their job they employ so called experts to advise them. Less and less do the do the People of Ireland have a say in our future. So called consultation with the public is a sham, as anyone involved will agree. The role of the Government, in a democracy, is to look after the best interests of the People not the financial benefits of the few as is happening now.
    We need a strong public sector who will demand t... more

  4. 3

    Tony Pratschke, you are not quite correct when you say that the government cannot create jobs, they employ possibly hundreds of advisors and researchers at a huge cost but no accountability to the taxpayers. On the other hand the semi-state sector although run down and in cases sold off at bargain basement prices by the four main political parties and Mary Harney did and do employ many skilled workers.

    The remaining semi-state enterprises should be utilised as job creators through diversification. T... more

  5. 3

    Sincere apologies David.

  6. 1


    You missed out 'high quality politicians'.

    It's not entirely facetious either. Those countries you mention have been around - and been successful - for a long time. If they're so good (and they are), why doesn't everyone copy them? Why ignore best practice? Our politicians must think they have better ideas is why!

    However, remember this:

    Norway is in a unique position, having something like 0.5% of the world's oil but a population similar to Ireland's. That is a massive piggy bank and what's mor... more

  7. 3

    I agree broadly but lets neither reinvent the wheel nor shoot for some ideal reform that has the potential to be sabotaged by special interests.

    What I'm trying to say is yes we need to declare that we don't want to go back to the old unsustainable ways of the celtic tiger but we should also use the example of the nordic states; Sweden, Denmark, Norway and say - this is the type of fair and successful society that is possible, its been done before, what do we need to do to get there...High taxes, high ... more

  8. 1

    Tony: 'right' and 'left' still hold meaning in particular contexts but should be combined with 'libertarian' and 'authoriarian'. You can be 'right' and libertarian or authoritarian or you can be 'left' and libertarian or authoritarian. You get better ideas of where people are with this.

    Ho hum. It's all irrelevant anyway, left/right/whatever: the capitalist growth model is looking at the end of growth as we know it in the face.

    'Growth' today means borrowing from the future and can only be achieved wit... more

  9. 1

    I wish to avoid some of the more clichéed political tabs when I emphasise the following points, which I believe to be essential. We must expose and challenge some of the jargon and assumptions infesting political debate in Ireland.

    1. Governments cannot "create jobs" (except in the Civil Service and State owned companies) but they can promote the establishment of jobs by others;

    2. Governments do, however, create a climate which affects the way in which jobs are created;

    3. Employers and in... more

  10. 3

    As one of those who was involved in the Tax Marches through the Galway Council of trade unions I was totaly disheartened by the way the ICTU took over the campaign and effectivly lost it for the workers in that nothing came of it. I am fearfull that the same thing will happen with this campaign.
    On the other hand I agree somewhat with the comments about protest marches - Same Faces at each and numbers dwindling for each.
    One of the problems as I see it is that most people feel there is no alternative as... more

  11. 1

    Govt needs to be in control of the circulation of money and credit taken out of the equation. our society/economic system has to be based on value - sustainable technology...

  12. 3

    How is the idea about havin a protest ahead of this proposal??????? have we not learned from earlier in the year people for whatever reason were not mobilising and it was the same faces out on the protests.
    I think this is a great proposal and hope it gets the time deserved to be debated, again I cant believe the other one is ahead of this, i have a feeling this protest that will be called will be behind a labour party banner, maybe im bein cynical, i dont know. I think we need to at least start lookin... more

  13. 1

    "Thank you for your response Mark, but socialism is not about austerity."

    I think you might mean me, not Mark.

    Anyway, I know what you're saying, no problem. I perhaps didn't go deep enough - we do need to overcome the myths that persist about socialism. I'm on your side!

  14. 3

    Thank you for your response Mark, but socialism is not about austerity. The 'austerity' e.g. shortages of goods in the former socialist countries and still present in Cuba are caused by a number of factors not least the bycotts and agression against them by the Capitalist countries led by the United States of America. We should be aware that any attempts by our people to develop any new form of economics other than capitalism will face resistance from capitalism as we have witnessed recently in Venezuel... more

  15. 3

    @ Louise of 5 days ago,
    I found your comment disheartening and flawed.
    When we have a globalised economy, it's not as easy as selecting the 'greenest' or most 'ethical' product, because to be honest, there just aren't enough ethical factories and employers in the world. There aren't even enough consumers who give a toss. A lot of the things we wear or fill our houses with come from China, where the average wage is £40 a month. We are not helping people in China by buying Ecover or sandals from Oxfam, b... more

  16. 3

    McDowells comments still infuriate me. Last night on Vincent Brown 19/10/10 a former banker said we can't tax the rich as they create all the wealth. Browne ate him, fair play. Theres no rehab of that type of mentality. It's dysfunctional, evil , call it what u will. Health,Education, Equality should be 'Ends' in themselves. Under Capitalism the 'Ends' are measured in '%' and '$', everything else is 'nice if u can afford it'. Ends and means have become inverted, and thats a dysfunction. No space for reh... more

  17. 1

    Noel said, "With respect, this presupposes that there can be a nicer form of capitalism. "

    Yes and no, Noel. I think you can have a 'no growth' form of capitalism. Feasta have done work on this.

    I agree broadly though, that socialism without the austerity is something to be desired but again, we come back to a greedy few who spoil the rest's chances of this.

    I think it's academic anyway. Both the left and right have to fight the same demon, that of limits. This last decade has seen those lim... more

  18. 3

    David you said: “Capitalism in its present form - one which promotes greed as good - has led us to this pit we find ourselves in.” With respect, this presupposes that there can be a nicer form of capitalism. Sorry but the development of capitalism over the period since capitalism replaced feudalism as the dominant economic system has been defined by constant struggle by the working people to achieve advancement of their pay and conditions etc. Lenin and our own James Connolly correctly described working ... more

  19. 1

    Louise said: "However, I feel by dismissing capitalism we overlook the power capitalism gives to the individual."

    Yes, for greed.

    Capitalism in its present form - one which promotes greed as good - has led us to this pit we find ourselves in.

  20. 3

    Yeah there are lots of good ideas on the forum. I guess what im flagging up is the need to have a longer term vision than the next 5 year or next 25 years. Its pretty clear that the demands of capitalism has both a flawed internal logic ( demanding/prediciting infinite growth on a planet of finite resources) and runs counter to the demands of democracy ( the ablitity for powers to make and take choices resides as close to the people the decisions effect). What is being called an "economic" cris... more

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