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Realist Left

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The Realist Left is a left-wing political movement that aims to recover the social democratic agenda of the Centre Left in the post-war period, while rejecting the emphasis of the Cultural Left, which has become mainstream in Western countries since the 1960s, on identity politics, political correctness and postmodern theory of microaggression. The Realist Left is liberal socialist and liberal nationalist, and it recovers from the post-war period full employment as its primary cause.

Definition[edit]

The Realist Left is liberal socialist and liberal nationalist, and it recovers from the post-war period full employment as its flagship cause. It works to uphold the principle that access to work decent and decently paid work is a human right of all individuals (except those who cannot and those that should not work, i.e. the young, the old and the frail), as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Charter and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights:

"Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. … Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection."

— Article 23, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.[1]

"The United Nations shall promote higher standards of living, full employment and conditions of economic and social progress and development"

— Article 55, United Nations Charter, 1945.[2]

"The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right. The steps to be taken by a State Party to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include technical and vocational guidance and training programmes, policies and techniques to achieve steady economic, social and cultural development and full and productive employment under conditions safeguarding fundamental political and economic freedoms to the individual. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favorable conditions of work which ensure, in particular remuneration which provides all workers, as a minimum, with a decent living for themselves and their families in accordance with the provisions of the present covenant."

— International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966.[3]

History[edit]

In 1998, Richard Rorty issued a dire alert to the Western Left:[4]

“Many writers on socioeconomic policy have warned that the old industrialized democracies are heading into a Weimar-like period, one in which populist movements are likely to overturn constitutional governments. Edward Luttwak, for example, has suggested that fascism may be the American future. The point of his book The Endangered American Dream is that members of labor unions, and unorganized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers — themselves desperately afraid of being downsized — are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else.

At that point, something will crack. The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for — someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots. A scenario like that of Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here may then be played out. For once a strongman takes office, nobody can predict what will happen. In 1932, most of the predictions made about what would happen if Hindenburg named Hitler chancellor were wildly overoptimistic.

One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. The words “nigger” and “kike” will once again be heard in the workplace. All the sadism which the academic Left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet."

In the eyes of a number of political analysts in the mainstream media, Rorty's prediction came to effect in the last United States' presidential election.[5][6][7][8] Mark Blyth noted that, further, far from being a US phenomenon, Trump's victory was preceded by the victory of Brexit in the UK and succeeded by large political gains for Marine Le Pen's party in the French presidential election. He called this new political zeitgeist Global Trumpism.[9]

Quotes[edit]

“Public relief is a sacred debt. Society owes maintenance to the unfortunate, either by procuring them work, or by providing the means of existence to those who are unable to labor."

— Article 21, Constitution of France, 1793.[10]

"The question should be put thus: Is competition a means of ASSURING work to the poor? To put a question of this kind, means to solve it. What does competition mean to workingmen? It is the distribution of work to the highest bidder. A contractor needs a laborer: three apply. "How much do you ask for your work?" "Three francs, I have a wife and children." "Good, and you?" "Two and a half francs, I have no children, but a wife." "So much the better, and you?" "Two francs will do for me; I am single." "You shall have the work." With this the affair is settled, the bargain is closed. What will become now of the other two proletarians? They will starve, it is to be hoped. But what if they become thieves? Never mind, why have we our police? Or murderers? Well, for them we have the gallows. And the fortunate one of the three; even his victory is only temporary. Let a fourth laborer appear, strong enough to fast one out of every two days; the desire to cut down the wages will be exerted to its fullest extent. A new pariah, perhaps a new recruit for the galleys. …

Who would be blind enough not to see that under the reign of free competition the continuous decline of wages necessarily becomes a general law with no exception whatsoever? Has population limits which it may never overstep? Are we allowed to say to industry, which is subjected to the daily whims of individual egotism, to industry, which is an ocean full of wreckage: "Thus far shalt thou go and no farther." The population increases steadily; command the mothers of the poor to be sterile and blaspheme God who made them fruitful; for if you do not command it, the space will be too small for all strugglers. A machine is invented; demand it to be broken and fling an anathema against science! Because if you do not do it, one thousand workmen, whom the new machine displaces in the workshops, will knock at the door of the next one and will force down the wages of their fellow­ workers. A systematic lowering of wages resulting in the elimination of a certain number of laborers is the inevitable effect of free competition."

— Louis Blanc, Organisation of Work, 1840.[11]

"Taxes raise prices by increasing the cost of production. This, in turn, reduces supply. But land is not something made by human production. Taxes on rent, therefore, cannot check supply. Though taxing land makes landowners pay more, it gives them no power to obtain more. For there is no way this can reduce the supply of land. On the contrary, it forces those who hold land on speculation to sell or rent for what they can get. A land tax increases competition among owners. This lowers the price of land."

– Henry George, "Progress and Poverty", Vol 8, Ch 3, 1879.[12]

"Let the working man and the employer make free agreements, and in particular let them agree freely as to the wages; nevertheless, there underlies a dictate of natural justice more imperious and ancient than any bargain between man and man, namely, that wages ought not to be insufficient to support a frugal and well-behaved wage-earner. If through necessity or fear of a worse evil the workman accept harder conditions because an employer or contractor will afford him no better, he is made the victim of force and injustice."

— Pope Leo XIII, Rerum novarum, 1891.[13]

"Marx had accepted the solution of the Utopians in essentials, but had recognised their means and proofs as inadequate. He therefore undertook a revision of them, and this with the zeal, the critical acuteness, and love of truth of a scientific genius. … But, as Marx approaches a point when that final aim enters seriously into the question, he becomes uncertain and unreliable. … It thus appears that this great scientific spirit was, in the end, a slave to a doctrine. …

To me that which is generally called the ultimate aim of socialism is nothing, but the movement is everything. … it is certainly indispensable for revolutionary socialism to take as its ultimate aim the nationalisation of all the means of production, but not for practical political socialism which places near aims in front of distant ones. … an ultimate aim is here regarded as being dispensable for practical objects, … as I also have professed but little interest for ultimate aims."

— Eduard Bernstein, "Evolutionary Socialism", 'Conclusion Ultimate Aim and Tendency – Kant against Cant', 1899.[14]

Manifesto[edit]

The Realist Left group on Facebook has put forward a Manifesto, which says the Realist Left is:

  • for economic reform, not cultural revolution
  • against oppression, not 'microaggression'
  • for economic justice, not 'social justice'
  • against rent-seeking, not profit-seeking
  • for jobs, not welfare
  • against privilege, not merit
  • for guaranteed employment, not guaranteed income
  • against corporatocracy, not markets
  • for redistributing wealth, not income
  • against laissez faire, not capitalism
  • for socialism, not Marxism
  • against exploitation, not employment
  • for a welfare society, not the welfare state
  • for public policy, not statism
  • against neoliberalism, not classical liberalism
  • for solidarity, not collectivism
  • against discrimination, not distinction
  • for free speech, not 'safe spaces'
  • against pollution, not climate change
  • for liberal and economic nationalism, not ethnic or racial
  • against mass immigration, not skilled migration
  • for international agreements, not globalism
  • against imperialism, not Western civilisation
  • for human rights, not moral supremacism
  • against zionism, not Jews
  • for cultural pluralism, not moral relativism
  • against islamofascism, not Islam
  • for secularism, not irreligion
  • against christofascism, not Christianity
  • for equalism, not feminism
  • against political correctness, not politeness
  • for drug decriminalisation, not drug commoditisation
  • for commercial integration, not free trade
  • for the taxation of land, not of income
  • for parenting rights, not unrestricted abortion
  • for humanism, not transhumanism

The Realist Left is pragmatic, not dogmatic.

The Realist Left is guided by principle, not ideology.

The Realist Left is, of course, realist, not idealist.

See also[edit]

Authors and References[edit]

  • Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1759[15]
  • Louis Blanc, Organisation of Work, 1840[11]
  • John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy, 1848[16]
  • Henry George, Progress and Poverty, 1879[12]
  • Ernest Renan, What is a Nation?, 1882[17]
  • Pope Leo XIII, Rerum novarum, 1891[13]
  • Eduard Bernstein, Evolutionary Socialism, 1899[14]
  • Lizzie Magie, The Landlord's Game, 1903[18]
  • Benedetto Croce, Economic and Ethic, 1908[19]
  • David Lloyd George, People's Budget, 1909[20]
  • Leonard Hobhouse, Liberalism, 1911[21]
  • Hillaire Belloc, The Servile State, 1912[22]
  • Franz Oppenheimer, The State, 1914[23]
  • G.K. Chesterton, Utopia of Usurers, 1917[24]
  • John Dewey, The Public and its Problems, 1927[25]
  • Carlo Rosselli, Liberal Socialism, 1930[26]
  • Pope Pius XI, Quadragesimo anno, 1931[27]
  • R. H. Tawney, Equality, 1931
  • Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, 1932
  • Oszkár Jászi, Proposed Roads to Peace, 1932
  • Michal Kalecki, A Theory of the Business Cycle, 1933
  • John Maynard Keynes, General Theory Of Employment , Interest And Money, 1935[28]
  • Oskar Lange, On the Economic Theory of Socialism, 1936[29]
  • Nicholas Kaldor, A Model of the Trade Cycle, 1940
  • Abba P. Lerner, Functional Finance and the Federal Debt, 1943[30]
  • William Beveridge, Full Employment in a Free Society, 1944
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Second Bill of Rights, 1944
  • Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, 1944
  • John Dedman, Full Employment in Australia, 1945
  • George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1949
  • Alberto Pasqualini, The Essence of Laborism, 1950
  • H. C. Coombs, Economic Development and Financial Stability, 1955
  • Joan Robinson, The Accumulation of Capital, 1956
  • Ludwig Erhard, Prosperity Through Competition, 1958
  • John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society, 1958
  • Piero Sraffa, Producing Commodities with Commodities, 1960
  • Pope John XXIII, Mater et magistra, 1961
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967
  • Pope Paul VI, Populorum progressio, 1967
  • Axel Leijonhufvud, On Keynesian Economics and the Economics of Keynes, 1968
  • John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, 1971
  • Paul Davidson, Money and the Real World, 1972
  • Jan Kregel, The Theory of Capital, 1976
  • Ted Kennedy, The Dream Will Never Die, 1980
  • Pope John Paul II, Laborem exercens, 1981
  • Willy Brandt, Left and Free, 1982
  • Mario Cuomo, Tale of Two Cities, 1984
  • Peter Navarro, The Policy Game, 1984
  • Hyman P. Minsky, Stabilizing an Unstable Economy, 1986
  • Robert Dimand, The Origins of the Keynesian Revolution, 1988
  • Philip Harvey, Securing the Right to Employment, 1989
  • Maria Cristina Marcuzzo, Ricardo and the Gold Standard, 1990
  • William Vickrey, Full Employment without Increased Inflation, 1992
  • Robert Skidelsky, The World After Communism, 1995
  • Geoff Harcourt, Capitalism, Socialism and Post-Keynesianism, 1995
  • Warren Mosler, Full Employment and Price Stability, 1997
  • L. Randall Wray, Government as Employer of Last Resort, 1997
  • Richard Rorty, Achieving Our Country, 1998
  • Stephanie Kelton, The Hierarchy of Money, 1998
  • Mathew Forstater, Functional Finance and Full Employment, 1999
  • James K. Galbraith, Created Unequal, 2000
  • Peter A. Diamond, Towards an Optimal Social Security Design, 2001
  • Ha-Joon Chang, Kicking Away the Ladder, 2002
  • Joseph Stiglitz, Globalization and Its Discontents, 2003
  • Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Full Employment and Price Stability, 2004
  • Jeffrey Sachs, The End of Poverty, 2005
  • William Black, Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, 2005
  • Ellen Brown, Web of Debt, 2007
  • Bill Mitchell, Full Employment Abandoned, 2008
  • Eric Tymoigne, Central Banking, Asset Prices & Financial Fragility, 2009
  • Scott T. Fullwiler, Modern Monetary Theory, 2010
  • Abhijit Banerjee, Poor Economics, 2011
  • Esther Duflo, Poor Economics, 2011
  • Mariana Mazzucato, Entrepreneurial State, 2013
  • Miles Corak, Income Inequality and Intergenerational Mobility, 2013
  • Pope Francis, Evangelii gaudium, 2013
  • Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira, New Developmentalism, 2014
  • Raj Chetty, Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, 2015
  • Mark Blyth, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea, 2015
  • Robert Reich, Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few, 2015
  • Thomas Frank, Listen, Liberal, 2016
  1. "Universal Declaration of Human Rights". www.un.org. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  2. "Charter of the United Nations". www.un.org. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  3. "OHCHR | International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights". www.ohchr.org. Retrieved 2017-12-12. horizontal tab character in |title= at position 10 (help)
  4. Rorty, Richard (1998). Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-century America. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674003118. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  5. "The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism". Truthdig: Expert Reporting, Current News, Provocative Columnists. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  6. Senior, Jennifer (2016-11-20). "Richard Rorty's 1998 Book Suggested Election 2016 Was Coming". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  7. "Richard Rorty's prescient warnings for the American left". Vox. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  8. Helmore, Edward (2016-11-19). "'Something will crack': supposed prophecy of Donald Trump goes viral". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  9. Blyth, Mark (2016-11-15). "Global Trumpism". Foreign Affairs. ISSN 0015-7120. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  10. "1793: French Republic Constitution of 1793 - Online Library of Liberty". oll.libertyfund.org. Retrieved 2017-12-12. line feed character in |title= at position 43 (help)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Blanc, Louis (1911). Organization of Work. University Press. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  12. 12.0 12.1 George, Henry (2006-10-01). Progress and Poverty. Cosimo, Inc. ISBN 9781596059511. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Rerum Novarum (May 15, 1891) | LEO XIII". w2.vatican.va. Retrieved 2017-12-12. line feed character in |title= at position 6 (help)
  14. 14.0 14.1 Bernstein, Eduard (2011-09-10). Evolutionary Socialism. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 9781466322615. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  15. Smith, Adam (2002). Adam Smith: The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521598477. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  16. Mill, John Stuart (2004). Principles of Political Economy. Prometheus Books. ISBN 9781591021513. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  17. Renan, Ernest. What is a Nation?. Tamilnation.org. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  18. "The Landlord's Game". Wikipedia. 2017-12-08.
  19. Croce, Benedetto; Ainslie, Douglas (1913). Philosophy of the practical : economic and ethic. Robarts - University of Toronto. London : Macmillan and Co. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  20. "People's Budget". Wikipedia. 2017-10-05.
  21. Hobhouse, L. T. (1964-12-31). Liberalism. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195365481. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  22. Belloc, Hilaire (2007-11-01). The Servile State. Cosimo, Inc. ISBN 9781602068674. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  23. Oppenheimer, Franz (1975). The State. Black Rose Books. ISBN 9780919618596. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  24. Chesterton, Gilbert Keith (1987-10-01). The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton: The Outline of Sanity, the Appetite of Tyranny, the Crimes of England, Lord Kitchener, Utopia of Usurers, Ho. Ignatius Press. ISBN 9780898701715. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  25. Dewey, John; Rogers, Melvin L. (2012). The Public and Its Problems: An Essay in Political Inquiry. Penn State Press. ISBN 0271055693. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  26. "Liberal Socialism". Princeton University Press. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  27. "Quadragesimo Anno (May 15, 1931) | PIUS XI". w2.vatican.va. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  28. Keynes, John Maynard (2016-04). General Theory Of Employment , Interest And Money. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. ISBN 9788126905911. Check date values in: |date= (help) Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  29. Lange, Oskar; Taylor, Fred Manville (1970). On the economic theory of socialism. A. M. Kelley. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  30. Lerner, Abba P. (1943). "Functional Finance and the Federal Debt". Social Research. 10 (1): 38–51.

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