Monday, September 5, 2016

Lord Keynes — An Alternative Left Facebook Page

Mentions MMT positively.

Social Democracy For The 21St Century: A Post Keynesian Perspective
An Alternative Left Facebook Page
Lord Keynes

There are at least five categories of the political left in the US — Old Left, New Left, New New Left, Alt Left, and Far Left. The two principal categories are social democracy within a capitalist framework and democratic socialism in as socialist framework.

Politically, the spectrum is generally divided into Left and Right.  The political range runs from reactionary at one extreme through traditionalist, conservative, centrist (bi-conceptual),  moderate, and liberal to radical at the other extreme.

The monetary economics of MMT applies to any monetary production economy regardless of the type of political theory and political economy based on it. MMT as a theory of political economy based on the present system under a capitalist framework is moderate to liberal left with respect to policy, since it prioritizes full employment in economic policy.


andy blatchford said...

And the Ecosocialist Green Left (which I believe the US GP is now using the Ecosocialist tag).

Bob said...

Should be Ye Olde Left with a touch of Irish Spring.

Jim said...

Hi Tom,

Been a while. Interesting how you're categorizing MMT. The political spectrum over the past couple hundred years can reasonably be defined as how one's view relates to the Lockean 'natural' right to property and the limited role of the state. MMT is an implicit (and often explicit) argument that the state's role doesn't have to be limited and that the population collectively can have agency even if it doesn't directly own property. It's an end-run around the power of those holding property to control the socioeconomy and I'd therefore call it radically left. I think the idea that this great power should be used primarily to promote a 'buffer stock' employment within existing property relations is centrist at best.


Ryan Harris said...

Lively and healthy debate between the lefty factions this morning

Bob said...

I remember that interview. Reich took a pasting.

Kaivey said...

That's an interesting article, I will have to save that page. It looks like I'm old left, then.

I said before they I was uncomfortable with excessive multiculturalism and too much immigration, so it looks like I'm not alone here as a socialist. My best friend is indian, but I want the UK to be mainly indigenous. And I'm sure all other cultures feel the same about their cultures too. But there has to be some immigration because a bit of diversity is interesting and friendly.

I like what he said about the family too. Family values - and mine are socialist - are important.

I have a bit of conservative in me with a small c. Other than a mortgage for my house, I never go into debt, I just save to the money up instead. I have traditional conservative values of working hard and saving my money. I don't like lazy people, and working with them is a pain, but I don't like the protestant work ethic all that much either. I like to live in a fair and courteous society. I don't like people being dishonest or behaving badly.

I don't like violent and decadent Hollywood films.

I don't like too much change either, which is probably one reason why I hated neoliberal capitalism so much: My company kept changing my working practices, my hours, and cutting the manning making life difficult.

There's plenty of old fashioned traditional values there. I think my socialist values come from my traditional values.

Bob said...

Problem with labels is they come with litmus tests. I'd rather just state what I am in favor of or opposed to and let those chips fall where they may.

Immigration/multiculturalism is not as big an issue in Canada as it is across the pond.

Tom Hickey said...

@ Jim

Thanks for your comment, Jim. I am not stuck on any particular categorization of MMT. I placed it where I did to reflect how most MMT economists are positioning it. IT could be positioned radically and Calgacus has explained here in the comments previously why MMT is radical even through the MMT economists don't talk about it that way.

I missed your recent post. I just put up a link to it. Congrats on the new book, Capitalism and Oligarchy.

Tom Hickey said...

@ Ryan

Good one. Chris Hedges is always insightful.

Tom Hickey said...

@ Kaivey

I have some British friends that are of Indian descent. They were born and raised in England and consider themselves British. They think it risible when people take them for Indian.

Tom Hickey said...

A Bob

Canada has been a multicultural, multi-ethnic nation and multi-lingual from its inception, and it has been very open to immigration. It's a pretty successful example, I would say, in spite of some bumps along the way.

Kaivey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaivey said...

My best friend is Indian and is entirely English.

Kaivey said...

I've been looking through lord Keynes site and I would say that he has far more of a problem with multiculturalism than I do.

peterc said...

There are many aspects of Australia I am critical of, but its multiculturalism is one of the aspects I love most about it.

jrbarch said...

There is no duality, left or right, above or below in the human heart ... In the personality there is expansion and contraction, consciousness (unity) and unconsciousness (fragmentation); that is all.....

Human nature

The atom out of which a society is built is the human being. The human being is the grain of wheat, the society the loaf of bread; made wholesome, when the individuality of each grain is transformed into something that will nourish all.

A human being has a three-fold lower nature (physical, emotional, mental) and an emergent nature (the heart, or soul; am using these words to indicate this noblest constitutional aspect in man) which ultimately is a bridge - back to the Absolute Principle and manifest BEING from which creation springs; the human spirit a part of that Being as an infinitesimal, atomic spark. Desire is the engine that drives this nature forwards (the arrow of time) towards our distant evolutionary goal and fulfilment, with no clue as to the role this little grain of spirit may play in the systemic whole: - on the planet, desire also drives our social expression and individuality. IMHO, our fortunes, in all aspects of the human drama, rise and fall on the vast under (and over) currents of human nature, while our concepts and technology drift along on the tide.

This drama is twofold, and we are barely conscious of the intertwining currents, interactions, tension and hiatus, arising from the duality in our nature - manifest as evolutionary drama in one stream, in short, consciousness - and the societal tsunami consuming us on the other (inept use of consciousness). No matter the ideology and struggle, civilisation or empire we build - they are transient waves on an ocean of human and environmental nature - and at this stage in our evolutionary career, civilisations rise and fall, cycle as always, almost unconsciously in response to a nature we do not fully understand. Although we moderns do not like to think of ourselves as ephemeral theatre on the face of this earth, billions and billions of human beings have come and gone to prove the point. Time and human nature has us in its grasp (although we pretend otherwise). Whither the path that leads away from this human dilemma? Whither the serenity in a sea of confusion and strife?

jrbarch said...


We carry within us creativity and destruction, ignorance and knowledge, darkness and light; kindness and cruelty, direction and confusion, love and hate. Our nature is dual and we battle with it - once again, almost unconsciously, every day. For me, the world is a mess, because it mirrors our lack of control over our nature. We do not fully grasp opportunity evolved; nor do we have the right tools and training, to fully utilise our natural creativity; build and destroy humanely towards the general welfare of humankind, without doing an enormous amount of harm along the way. There is no Project Humanity in our minds; or we recognise it only partially through the lens of evolutionary biology - our psychological nature being the youngest of our sciences. Man is both a physical being, and a psychological being. If human nature is an ocean, waves tumble upon waves, and cross currents surge upon cross current, vying for a little space; for some, supremacy and control (with no clue as to human vulnerability). We have little time to consider the ocean itself, or what we can do to pacify it, or what peace in itself may accomplish. I do not think this ocean of human nature is controllable, except one by one we gain sovereignty over our own little drop; and then learn how to work synchronously, to build a society from consent and vision as an expression of the more enlightened side of our nature, rather than the darker side that seeks dominance over the social fabric through greed and force, symbolised in a minority of regressive personalities who embody and exemplify our failings. But today, mind-borne fragmentation and separation is our apparent reality, the masses sleep while the intelligentsia argue, the predators have full sway; and given our human nature and experiences, we think peace is impossible. As in the individual, so too in the nation.

And yet, peace is possible, because it already exists within every human heart. We just have to learn how to feel it. Finding this peace is evolution; experiencing this peace is consciousness and utilising peace is both wisdom and intelligence: - the society is just a mirror to remind us, how far we have yet to go.

[intro to an article, jrbarch]

Magpie said...

Demagoguery: just a label change, from socialdemocracy to Alt Left.

Same shit, different pile.

LK said...

Whereas Magpie prefers authoritarian communism but under a different name? Same genocidal, murderous failed B.S., but different name.

Calgacus said...

Tom Hickey: IT could be positioned radically and Calgacus has explained here in the comments previously why MMT is radical even through the MMT economists don't talk about it that way.

Thank your for the endorsement! MMT academics sometimes quietly intimate something in that direction - Wray says the JG changes the structure of the economy. That a JG is or inevitably leads to socialism is the (or a) classical Marxist position - of Marx & of Trotsky (& surely many others whose statements I am ignorant of). Tocqueville and Senior agreed - which was why they and others oppose(d) a right to work. But many modern Marxists seem to forget this.

jrbarch said...

I think most people would agree, there is a fair amount of ‘world bashing’ goes on this site, along with country bashing, ideology bashing, leader bashing – not that they probably don’t deserve it.

But after all the bashing is done, frustrations vented and wounds are healed – we are still faced with construction after destruction; how to build a better world.

The essay I mentioned above speaks to this problem and is one point of view (and only a point of view). It posits something deeper going on in human nature, and takes up a human interest in things. It is posted over at heteconomist as a revised ‘essaic’ comment, under the Category Future Society and topic Free World Charter, thanks to the broad-minded generosity of peterc.

jrbarch on 9 July 2016 at 1:16 AM said: