The World Order of George H. W. Bush (1924-2018)

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A generation later, George H. W. Bush’s many presidential speeches about the “new world order” are especially striking for a naive-sounding but rigidly ideological outlook with origins on the Utopian and Marxist Left. He saw what he wanted to see, and tried to use his awesome powers to force his “vision thing” into being. He did not succeed. No one does. What such “seers” do, however, is enable the tricksters, frauds and villains of the world to advance. We might start with Bill Clinton.  Continue reading

The end of capitalism has begun

Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopian

The red flags and marching songs of Syriza during the Greek crisis, plus the expectation that the banks would be nationalised, revived briefly a 20th-century dream: the forced destruction of the market from above. For much of the 20th century this was how the left conceived the first stage of an economy beyond capitalism. The force would be applied by the working class, either at the ballot box or on the barricades. The lever would be the state. The opportunity would come through frequent episodes of economic collapse.

Instead over the past 25 years it has been the left’s project that has collapsed. The market destroyed the plan; individualism replaced collectivism and solidarity; the hugely expanded workforce of the world looks like a “proletariat”, but no longer thinks or behaves as it once did. Continue reading