From: Robert Corfe <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2021 at 10:24
Subject: Re: Reflections on (LVT), (MMT), (UBI), Bitcoin (BTC) with Henry George perspective
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
The text below may also be viewed or downloaded as an 8-page PDF
National Democracy and the need for unifying the political interests of populations on a worldwide scale. The divisions of party political systems are already counterproductive to governmental democracy in the advanced industrial economies.
The left/right divide that has served as a useful democratic mechanism for some 200 years in advancing progress is breaking down. The transformation of society and the world of work, over the past six decades, has undermined the basis and understanding on which governmental democracy works.
This is most clearly seen through the collapse of party memberships and voting figures, both locally and nationally, but is made far more evident through a number of other factors. Most significantly is the widening divide within the parties of both the left and right as to their purported beliefs in contrast to those decisions they actually make through the business of government. These changes have occurred through external pressures in displacing representative or democratic interests.
This especially applies within dual-party or confrontational democratic systems, as found in Britain or America, and to a lesser extent in multi-party or participatory systems where a variety of policies are shared out and balanced against each other through changing alliances. Neither of the two systems may be judged as preferential in any absolute sense, and although the success of the latter system may be said to be laudable in the Continental north European countries, it is less successful, and sometimes disastrous, in other territories where lack of stability is a constant source of anxiety. In glancing at the advanced industrial economies, however, it is in the confrontational systems of both America and Britain where the future of democracy has greatest cause for concern. Hence, the following analysis has these two countries particularly in mind.
If we take the example of the interests of the parties of the right, their purpose in the minds of the majority, is the unhindered pursuit of “free enterprise” (however that may be interpreted) in benefiting the majority population, against the threat of the redistribution policies of the left. In other words, the right are represented as promoting the interests of business, but without attempting to define precisely what those “business” interests are. In reality, the right promote the interests of conglomerates and the investing strength of powerful corporations with the aim of maximising investors’ profits.
This at once raises several questions. What can possibly be wrong in pursuing investors’ interests? Unfortunately, “investing” in itself is not self-explanatory as a wholly desirable activity. Firstly, the maximising of investors profits may too often lead to usury if it only entails the making of money out of money whilst sacrificing the cause of home-based productivity. Secondly, a sharp divide needs to be differentiated between national and international investment. Whilst the first is committed to home-based industry in promoting both employment within the nation state, and other profits stemming from production within the country concerned; the second benefits employment to workers abroad, in addition to other profits enjoyed by a foreign territory.
The above raises the profound question as to what should be the proper role of business. Its first purpose should surely be to maximise the interests of the majority population of the investors’ country through disseminating wealth through the business process. This, therefore, requires the need for investing activity to put its emphasis on home-based operations. If investors respond by saying that such an approach fails to fulfil their intentions, then something is amiss, and the function of thoughtful decision-makers should be to explore required adjustments, e.g., in regard to exchange rates, import controls, or alternative markets, etc. In any event, the right cannot be said to represent the business interests of the majority, if small or medium-sized business is disabled through cash starvation or other harmful circumstances.
If we take the example of the interests of the parties of the left, their purpose in the minds of the majority is to create an egalitarian society, but this is an impossibility due to their ideological baggage in regard to their view of the class divide. What the left have always sought is the creation of what they conceive as a “Working class society” and the repudiation of all those cultural factors associated with middle class interests. But the idea of such a society is something that nobody wants in the 21st century. This is because the transformation of society over the past 60 years has meant that both the Working and Middle classes, as they once flourished, no longer exist – or are fast disappearing. They have been replaced by a new heterogeneous middle majority in bringing together those at either end of the community.
It should also be added, in deferring to a fairer perspective of the situation, that the parliamentary left have “modernised” their attitude to capitalism in the sense of relinquishing their old Marxist beliefs and other calls for intervention, and instead decided to concentrate their energies on social and egalitarian reform.
Business, meanwhile, is left to the expertise of financiers to settle in their own way, and so a satisfactory agreement is settled between the left and right as to their respective and separate roles in the governing process. For this reason, the parliamentary left have only been able to maintain their viability in the free world since the 1990s through their dependence on balancing their economic interests with the parties of the right.
But this fails to answer the underlying irrationality in adversely compromising political purpose. The parties of neither the left nor the right come near to approaching the promotion of majority interests. The divide between the purported ends of political parties and what they do in actuality, compounds their problems in maintaining integrity, and drives them to greater confusion and hypocrisy. This in turn, in addition to the subjectivity of divisive attitudes, discourages the best minds from entering, from what has become, the destructive whirlpool of political activity.
There is, of course, a clear difference between following the pressures of popular demand, and following the demands of better judgement as influenced by the higher considerations of objectivity. Whilst the rhetorically driven thrive on the pleasures of a conflictual situation, the more thoughtful are ever in search for longer lasting interests in settling a quarrelsome environment.
The bankruptcy of the left/right divide has therefore been made evident through the unintended attempt to maintain socio-economic class differences where none remain in reality. There remain economic differences within society, but because of recently formed transformational structures, they no longer lend themselves to a viable representative pattern for party or class-based conflict. This is because several generations of democratic egalitarian legislation have created a huge middle majority whilst leaving in the shade a small minority of the super-rich, and an underclass of unfortunates comprising a mixture of those from every sector of society rather than a distinctive proletariat as existed in a former era. The consequence is that when the new heterogeneous middle majority are called upon during election periods to engage in a knockabout conflict, in their disdain or disgust, they choose to give party politics a wide berth.
The politicians of both opposing groups are fully aware of these changes, but as they are committed to conflictual ideological positions, they are trapped within a framework of belief from which they cannot escape, and the fact that parties may change or evolve, is of little help in such a situation. They are therefore forced to prevaricate their approach to the public between election and non-election periods in regard to their view of divisiveness in society.
Whilst democracy in the past was essentially dependent on exploiting the wide socio-economic divisions in society; the current mood of society in the advanced industrial economies is the desire for a unifying appeal in bringing all towards a common purpose. This points towards the need for a new type of democracy. Democracy cannot exist without differences, as otherwise there would be no basis for its existence as a living reality. The regeneration of democracy will therefore be dependent on moving more towards a referenda type system whereby a wide variety of changing policies will be offered for popular decision-making. This would entail a move away from a collective (or divisive) mode of democracy, towards an individualistic (or anonymous participatory) system of policy creation through democratic consent.
Therefore, the situation as we find it today, calls for a democracy seeking to unite all sectors of society rather than divisions marking disunity. And this is emphasised when observing the underlying power shifting the decision-making of the nation state. Political parties and the outcome of elections, as we have clearly implied above, are no longer responsible (if they ever were entirely) for the exertion of ultimate power. The latter is exerted by the financial-industrial system of the nation state, and from the political perspective, this is almost invisible to the ordinary elector. This apparent invisibility is due to the democratic unaccountability of the financial-industrial system in a society that blithely assumes the universality of democratic rule.
If the politically active and committed were to concentrate a detailed attention to the world of business and how it operates – and irrespective of their place within the political spectrum – they would be startled by the picture that emerged. The ignorance of the politically committed to the world of business (and the right are as equally included as those on the left) is due to the assumption that business is beyond democratic control, and hence untouchable in a practical sense. The only connection between the two are broad theoretical beliefs with little practical value on a day-to-day basis. The underlying reality, however, is that the financial-industrial system has quietly taken over the totality of the political system which it controls through authoritative barriers claimed to be inescapable.
The problem confronting the interests of the majority is that the financial system operates for its own benefit against those of the country if the latter is defined as the majority population. There is no surprise in this since absolute power can only be expected to serve its own interests. This argument can only be given true meaning if concrete examples are cited of the economic problems facing this and other countries at the present time. Firstly, international trade may be beneficial or malign according to circumstances. It is beneficial to a country when it exports manufactured goods or services for a good return; but it is malign when it imports produce (agricultural or industrial) that may be produced in the home country through its own labour force. Such undesirable imports are only of benefit to traders.
International traders also engage in undesirable activity when they utilise offshore trading posts or banks for their own profit, or to evade the payment of taxes owing to their own countries. Most hypocritical are the claims of the financial elite in promoting the cause of the “environment” through “set aside land,” when in reality this leads to the contraction of profitable agriculture.
Incoming foreign investment in Britain or America is currently judged as a “good thing,” as it usually entails jobs for workers in these countries, but it also amounts to financial exploitation by foreign interests. It is notable that when Japan embarked on modernisation in the last third of the 19th century, she had the nous to vigorously oppose the idea of American investment, choosing instead to raise capital within her own borders. This approach to industrialisation, by a country at the dawn of Westernising, proved invaluable for her future prosperity.
Britain and America, on the other hand, with their so-called “open door” policy to trade, have sold themselves towards productive economic decline and debts that may never be repaid. Although the problem of public debt may (and is) easily overcome through printing money, unpaid personal debt has no such escape and ultimately brings ruin to those involved. Britain’s “open door” policy has not only led to vast swathes of rural land being passed over to foreign ownership, but even to placing essential utilities are under foreign control. Every country should seek to maximise the ownership of its internal resources if it is to avoid the possibility of financial blackmail in the future, or greater ruin in the event of an international banking crash.
Conversely, foreign investment by advanced industrial economies, such as Britain or America, may surprisingly lead to the ruin of the investing countries, as has occurred in recent decades. This may sound remarkable in view of their historical exploitation and successful profitability during the earlier colonial and imperial periods that so enriched their economies. What, therefore, happened at a later period? When home-based manufacturing fell into precipitous decline or was no longer capable of attracting investors, the latter naturally looked further afield to lower labour cost locations, and in this way investors’ profits were restored.
Such innocent-regarded activities may be undertaken in the name of promoting “American” or “British interests,” on the grounds of formal ownership patterns, but in reality, it is nothing of the sort. This is because jobs, skills, profits, enterprises and entire industries are lost in the home countries. In this situation, only the money profits of investors remain. This reflects the darker side of investing when it slips into usury, or the making of money out of money with no productive or other social benefits to the investors home country.
The above situation, however, is often lightly dismissed as an economic threat on the grounds that countries may “outgrow” the need for manufacturing, and instead move over to enlarging their service and IT industries as sources of greater wealth creation. Insurance, shipping, investing, and information technology, etc., are seen as superior and more complex forms of business that may look down on manufacturing as more suited for simpler and less developed peoples. But such a view of business is clearly a nonsense. Firstly, there is no inherent territorial exclusivity in regard to jealously maintaining any service or IT industry; and secondly, no such industry has any “special complexity,” other than the possibility of occasionally bamboozling the competition.
The moral of the situation, as we find it today, is that the production of tangibles, either through manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, mining, etc., are the sole long term modes of wealth creation for maintaining any nation state. It will also be found that in those territories where manufacturing is most dominant will eventually and inevitably attract the strongest and most successful service industries. Why should China, for example, feel obliged to adopt any of the service industries of America or Britain, when her own costs may be more competitive? Who could have guessed thirty years ago that the ordinary Chinese person would be amongst the most astute and keen participants in playing the stock market?
At the present time, the American government and people are “up in arms” against what they claim is “unfair Chinese competition.” But who is really at fault here? It was the American people alone, whose investors insisted on transferring their industries abroad in the cause of maximising their own profits. As the saying goes, you can’t have your own cake and eat it! If cheaper sources of manufacturing are sought, then don’t be surprised if you diminish or eventually bankrupt your home-based industries. Transferring manufacturing abroad not only benefits foreign workers but adds to the costs of re-importation. That is, many products assumed to be owned by British or American companies only need to be closely examined when the “Made in China” label is discovered.
The answer to the major problem now confronting the advanced industrial economies of the West is the need for National Democracy as the leading political cause in every nation state. There is no other alternative in confronting the runaway debt in the advanced industrial economies. The true cause of National Democracy also points in one direction only: viz., the establishment of government that economically benefits the majority population. If the narrow interests of investors (who have done so much to undermine prosperity) are pushed aside; or if other dominant vested interest groups, as the super-rich are to be side-lined, then our financial-industrial institutions must be made democratically accountable. This would, of course, pass professional business power entirely into the hands of governmental authority, but if that is in the light of transparency and ongoing control in meeting unanticipated difficulties, no objections are likely to be raised.
National Democracy, as defined above, calls for every nation state to maximise its self-sustainability. Such a policy not only helps to ensure against the hard knocks of financial crises when they occur from time to time, but helps to guarantee the sufficient production of food and other essential resources. International trade should serve the economic interests and other demands of the majority population, and not merely the profitability of traders. The import of bananas, pineapples or oranges by countries in the northern hemisphere may be described as justifiable trade, whilst that of potatoes, carrots or cabbages is not. Hence national democracy calls for the international protection of nation states through strengthening their internal economic potential, and so is directly in opposition to the idea of nationalism defined as narrow self-regard against the interests of others. The subjection of business to democratic accountability towards a common understanding naturally contributes to such a cause.
The older concept of “internationalism” or “globalisation,” has already been discredited for several years by both the left and right: the former on the grounds of exploiting the better economic interests of nation states through duplicitous means; and the latter, for dismissing or trampling on the cultural and individualistic characteristics of the countries they supposedly represent. There is hence an element of hypocrisy in the very idea of “internationalism” as traditionally understood when sought as an ideal itself.
In conclusion, it may be noted that the above proposals for the democratic reform of our financial-industrial system, cannot be promoted or even effectively argued, unless the way is made clear by repudiating the discredited ideological baggage of the left-right divide in regard to what is usually referred to as “globalisation.” New political thinking is required that rids the divisions of the past that create a blind spot for the future, so that a call for unity may be made to those of good intent from every sector of the community and irrespective of past prejudices.
© Robert Corfe
Robert Corfe is the author of numerous books and articles
on the need for promoting home-based productivity in
maximising the economic interests of majority populations
and in reversing the problems of debt in countries worldwide.
In the above article he discusses the differing manifestations
of investment in identifying as to when it may be either
malign or beneficial.
What, then, can be the practical approach to achieving National Democracy as defined above?
It would be premature to attempt the formation of a new political party at this early stage. It is therefore preferable to aim at the more modest task of establishing a broadly based movement seeking to appeal to all persons irrespective of their political or non-political leaning or practical involvement in struggling for a better society. In other words, an appeal is made to persons of good intent sympathetic to the idea of unifying all sectors of the population to a cause transcending present political divisions.
It is not suggested that such persons should surrender current political memberships, loyalties, or commitments in supporting National Democracy, but only that they should place their trust in a higher priority to be realised in an undefined future, and strive, as circumstances permit, towards such an end. The purpose of including a call on those already elected to positions of responsibility is to recognise the value of applying their political expertise in the light of changing conditions for the reform of governmental democracy. Majority interests, as discussed above, may be more precisely defined as the upwardly aspiring new middle majority to which all may identify as the median ideal of society for justice and freedom.
The movement would initially comprise the formation of study and discussion groups, based within specific electoral boundaries, and guided by and responsible to a central office. The first step would be an open appeal to the public for members (as this document is), leading to the formation of a committee under the direction of a Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer, empowered to open a bank account in enabling the costs for the management of the association.
In contributing to the authority of the movement as a knowledgeable and responsible organisation in ensuring its success within the Civil Service and other governmental departments, as well as amongst business leaders and the broader general public, the following books are presented in fully outlining the principles of social or productive capitalism in giving rise to the imperative for National Democracy, as essential study and discussion documents for all participating applicants:-
The Crisis of Democracy in the advanced industrial economies ISBN 978-1-911593-30-0; Social Capitalism in theory & practice:
Volume I Emergence of The New Majority ISBN 978-9-9556055-3-6;
Volume II The People’s Capitalism ISBN 978-0-9556055-4-3;
Volume III Prosperity in a Stable World ISBN 978-0-9556055-5-0;
Egalitarianism of The Free Society and the end of class conflict ISBN 978-0-9556055-2-9;
The Future of Politics with the demise of the left/right confrontational system ISBN 978-1-906791-46-9;
Advancing Technological Civilisation and the threats to its existence ISBN 978-1-911593-82-9;
The Democratic Imperative the reality of power relationships in the nation state ISBN 978-1-909421-14-1;
The Death of Socialism the irrelevance of the traditional left and the call for a progressive politics of universal humanity ISBN 978-1-906791-16-2.
The above books are available from all good bookshops and bookselling websites, or from the publisher, Arena Books at firstname.lastname@example.org .Books by other authors wishing to add to the arguments already presented would be welcomed by the projected association. This is because from an intellectual perspective, National Democrats should change themselves into lions in more effectively confronting opposition when this may occur.
Those interested in joining the National Democratic movement, as either active or passive members, are invited to contact James Farrell at email@example.com
In order to reach the critical mass in numbers of potential supporters necessary to establish the projected association, you are urged to send copies of this email to all those within your interest reach, especially in the spheres of industry, government administration, or the trades union movement.