Thursday, May 4, 2017

Bill Mitchell — Resistance and change doesn’t come from going along with the (neo-liberal) pack

I get a lot of E-mails that accuse me of being politically naive. The accusations were rekindled by yesterday’s blog – British labour lost in a neo-liberal haze. I imagine if I wrote a blog where I outlined support for Marine Le Pen in the context of a two-way fight against the worse-of-the-worst neo-liberals Emmanuel Macron the accusations would turn uglier even. My support for Brexit was met with similar hostility from a range of (self-styled) ‘progressives’ as being naive and offensive. Why, Brexit was a conservative plot wasn’t it? How could I have missed that? Progressives are now advocating votes for Macron even though they know he is an archetype neo-liberal – the anathema of what they believe. And they tell me every day in these E-mail tirades and other blogs that I should give people like Jeremy Corbyn some slack because he knows better than me that to advocate a major departure from the neo-liberal macroeconomic narrative would be political suicide. So why don’t I just shut up and recognise that politics is beyond my grasp and I should desist. Basically that is the message I get regularly. Well, I am sorry to say, such views completely misunderstand the role of an academic and the way in which resistance is constructed....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Resistance and change doesn’t come from going along with the (neo-liberal) pack
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia


Dan Lynch said...

For once I agree 100% with Bill.

"The citizen's job, I believe, is to declare firmly what he thinks is right. To compromise with politicians from the very start is to end with a compromise of a compromise." ~ Howard Zinn

"In protest there must never be any compromise. In politics there is always compromise." ~ Bayard Rustin

Politicians have to find compromises to get anything done, we all know that. But as private citizens we should not compromise ourselves.

Schofield said...

I don't agree with Bill Mitchell because I regard money as a double-edged sword not merely in domestic use (house price hyper-inflation) but in global trading (Chinese official monopoly on currency exchange). Both of these phenomena result from money having no set intrinsic value. The defense against money being used aggressively for trading advantage is the formation of a trading alliance or bloc, a form of immune system against potentially economically deadly viral attack.

Salsabob said...

Then, Professor Billy, in your frequent attack on people who are trying to actually get something done (including stopping the greater evil), please note that you are just being academic.

Detroit Dan said...

Well said, Dan Lynch.

Tom Hickey said...

I think it is a matter of strategy rather than policy disagreement.

There is nothing that says everyone has to adopt the same strategy in political activism.

While I tend to agree with Bill Mitchell's approach to strategy, I have also learned from (sometimes bitter) experience, that the stronger approach doesn't appear to be effective until there is a critical mass and it can turn some people off that might otherwise be reachable.

But without an activist strategy then it is often necessary to wait for the bottom to fall out before the public wakes up and then they may pick up the nearest or most visible "solution" on the table and it may not be the one you advocate.

Right now, I think it is getting to be time to pressure some politicians to step up to the plate instead of playing it safe. Matters are getting critical now that the wheels are starting to come off globally, affecting the core of the empire as well as the periphery.

Matt Franko said...

Venezuela running over people with APCs: