Monday, September 5, 2016

An Alternative Left Facebook Page

I don’t identify as Alt Left myself, but this Alt Left Facebook Page seems quite interesting, and free from some of the strange stuff I have seen on the Alt Left:
Alternative Left,
I think there is now a sensible Alt Left that has managed to divorce itself from the more extreme original movement.

It would be nice to have some Old Left (which can also be called the “Realist Left”) Facebook pages or social media forums too.

I am now tempted to try and set up an Old Left Facebook page, or something like this.

As I have said before, my prediction is that many Millennials will abandon their SJW cults and regressive left nonsense in the coming years, but they will need some new left-wing politics to fall back on.

Lots of sensible Alt Left and Old Left points of view should be available for these people when the time comes, so that they are not lost to the right or far right.

So what is the Old Left / Realist Left political program? I would still distance an Old Left position from the sensible Alt Left, but there would probably be a lot of overlap, despite differences. E.g., in some respects, some Alt Left people seem much more hostile to the cultural left and socially conservative than even I am, for example. But respectful debate should be the order of the day here, not mutual hostility.

An Old Left politics I propose is as follows:
(1) it is vehemently anti-neoliberal and anti-globalisation. It completely rejects neoclassical economics. An Old Left / Realist Left politics supports full employment, Keynesian macroeconomic policies and management of our economies, a high-wage economy, industrial policy, managed trade in the national interest, a humane welfare state, perhaps even a return to some nationalised industries (this can be a legitimate topic for debate), and an end to offshoring of our manufacturing and service jobs to the Third World. An end to neoliberal vandalism and the sale of our national assets to foreigners.

An Old Left would support left heterodox Post Keynesian economics and MMT, not Marxism or feeble and intellectually flawed neoclassical Keynesianism.

(2) an Old Left / Real Left also vehemently rejects libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism, and all ideological free market capitalism as poisonous and toxic ideologies.

(3) at the same time, the Old Left / Real Left politics vehemently rejects cultural leftism: this includes French Poststructuralism, Postmodernism, and all their ridiculous and pernicious ideas, such as truth relativism, cultural relativism, moral relativism, and divisive and extreme identity politics.

Of course, reasonable and sensible civil, legal and equity women’s rights and gay rights are fine, but not cultural leftist identity politics or endless cults of victimology.

In particular, the Old Left should be critical of Third Wave Feminism. End the witch hunting which inevitably accompanies cultural leftism. Abandon the extreme social constructivism and the “blank slate” view of human beings, because it is simply not true: e.g., there are only two natural genders in genetically normal human beings, male and female, and encouraging this type of thing is neither healthy nor desirable. End the bizarre cultural leftist conspiracy theories that blame all our problems on the capitalist, white-male patriarchy and universal “institutional racism.”

(4) the Old Left should defend free speech and freedom of expression from cultural leftist and politically correct witch hunts, restrictions and hate speech laws. Free speech is sacred in a free society, and you will achieve nothing by demanding that governments silence people whose opinions you don’t like – except to dismantle more of our freedoms and set yourself up for having your own free speech taken away, especially if right-wing governments start imposing their own restrictions on free speech.

(5) the Old Left would be anti-imperialist and largely non-interventionist on foreign policy, but not isolationist. Anyone proposing any intervention in the Third World would require a brutally strong burden of proof and anything proposed must be legal under international law.

(6) an Old Left politics should be strongly pro-nuclear family, and be able to address the serious issue of social breakdown, divorce and single parent families, with humane policies free from right-wing viciousness or free market economics.

(7) an Old Left politics will end open borders and mass immigration, and end the bizarre cult of “diversity,” which seems to think that multiculturalism is some great good in and of itself (which it most certainly is not). The Old Left recognises that most people have a normal and natural wish to preserve their nations as homelands for their national culture and their people. Low-level immigration and reasonable refugee quotas are fine, as long as minorities actually do remain a minority of the population, and people who wish to stay assimilate and do not bring hostile and incompatible cultures.

(8) an Old Left politics opposes regressive and illiberal Islamism and Islamisation of our societies, and will promote the strong assimilation of immigrants who are here in the West, and abandon failed multiculturalism.

(9) an Old Left politics should be comfortable with healthy and sensible forms of cultural and civil nationalism.
But at the same time there is room for disagreement and open debate on individual issues, and also on issues I have not mentioned, instead of the intolerant witch hunting that characterises the modern left.

However, there do need to be core principles, as follows:
(1) rejection of neoliberalism, globalisation, neoclassical economics, libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism, and all ideological free market capitalism. Support for left heterodox Post Keynesian economics and MMT.

(2) rejection of the extreme aspects of cultural leftism, namely, French Poststructuralism, Postmodernism, truth relativism, cultural relativism, moral relativism, SJWism, the cult of diversity, and divisive and extreme identity politics.

(3) rejection of open borders and mass immigration.
If you don’t reject these things, you ain’t Old Left or Alt Left. This is not the movement for you.

I’m on Twitter:
Lord Keynes @Lord_Keynes2


  1. LK

    i think you should open facebook page indeed maybe at first it will not be really popular but slowly with higher dissapointment from SJW multiculturism and pc culture as you said people will look for alternatives and a facebook group will be there to welcome them.

  2. Looks like no real Brexit:

    "Prime minister declines to guarantee points-based system"

    1. There never was going to be a 'real' Brexit (I said before that I was going to spoil my ballot and I did as I never saw a real choice.
      The myth that 'leaving' was ever going to stop immigration was blown apart shortly after

    2. Points based systems are just one design of immigration system. The other is the straightforward visa mechanism we already use for the rest of the world.

      Don't confuse the rejection of a points based system with the rejection of immigration controls entirely - which is what the naughty MSM is trying to imply.

    3. In any case, given the way the Tory base is opposed mass immigration and EU open borders, no effective end to these would be suicidal for the Tories.

    4. The point I am making Neil isn't the type of system used is that I don't see any change coming. They will back down and we will be in the single market which will require free movement of EU citizens.
      It likely will be suicidal for the Tories but see below there is no real opposition currently. But what is there to step in? Things get bad enough we know the answer to that and it isn't pretty.
      If you think the refugee situation is bad now due to wars wait until climate change really kicks in (happening now quicker than expected) building walls isn't going to stop desperate people.

    5. Evidence suggests 40-50% of 2015 asylum seekers were economic migrants, not genuine refugees or climate refuges.

      The only solution to Third World poverty is independent economic development there, not the West taking millions and millions of people, which will only put the far right in power.

    6. I quite agree with you there. It's why I don't argue for throwing up walls/borders as it won't work as it's treating a symptom not the cause.
      The economy is not separate from the enviroment.
      The only way to sort it is to push for equality in those countries which means massive help but as you may have noted this bunch of incompetents want to cut foreign 'aid'. Help on climate change/economy to them is an imperative even just as self protection, climate change is driving even more poverty (crop failures etc) and is only going to get worse.

    7. Should add as a Green yes we do argue for open borders but only really when you have equality between countries (the original EU states were pretty equal so not an issue) once they added in the Eastern states it was no goer. There is a BUT though the argument for us is that it is open borders if you are rich enough and that just isn't fair or right.

    8. "Should add as a Green yes we do argue for open borders but only really when you have equality between countries"

      Still doesn't work. As the UK demonstrates. You have the brain drain to London and the regions devastated. It's hard enough getting the balance right within a currency zone never mind between them.

      The arguments for open borders are the arguments for World Government. So why are the Greens standing for national government if they don't believe in the concept.

  3. "An Old Left / Realist Left politics supports full employment, "

    Which necessarily requires a Job Guarantee system. You can't have full employment without it, and neither can you have an effective value anchor for your currency.

    A Realist Left also backs floating rate currency areas as giving maximum policy space to a national government. But that requires radically altering the way the central bank works - since it is currently neoliberal in design. Otherwise you are flying an advanced 21st century fighter aircraft as though you are riding a 19th century bicycle.

    1. (1) I do support a Job Guarantee system, also to break harmful effects of long term welfare dependence.

      (2) floating exchange rate subject to control within limits, to prevent things like the Dutch disease, is probably fine for advanced capitalist economies. Even Bill Mitchel supports discretionary capital controls, however.

      There is room for polite disagreement and debate on fine details, though.

    2. the only thing i cant agree is floating currency since in fact its causing balance of payment constraint and stagflation because the devaluation of the currency by itself not making the country competitve enough.

      the superior system will be international clearing union like the one keynes suggested

    3. Daniel Marmur@September 5, 2016 at 4:27 AM

      Fair points. Again, plenty of room for polite disagreement and debate on fine details between people who are political brothers in arms !! -- not enemies.

      We have enough enemies as it is.

    4. Is it the floating currency that is causing the stagflation or just the overall lack of demand due to global indebtedness? I see a floating currency as the best tool to concentrate on domestic policy first and foremost, international trade should always be an afterthought.

      If a country relies on international trade for survival they have far greater issues than monetary policy and I don't see how a fixed exchange rate will be of benefit.

    5. I just want to add that I may have got stagnation confused with what is happening in the world at the moment, I'm not an economist and am not up to date with all the terms. Carry on.

    6. "In fact its causing balance of payment constraint "

      There is no such thing as a balance of payments constraint. Either people want to sell stuff to you, or they end up not making and selling the stuff in the first place.

      In a world short of demand export-led policies require vendor financing, which happens by discounting the importers currency - draining circulation and making space for their own products.

      That's how China works for example.

    7. Is it possible for a country to have demand for imports for which they cannot pay?

    8. Demand is desire plus the means to pay - which end-to-end internationally means that the person selling has to be able to receive the money they want to receive, and the person buying has to be able to use the money they want to spend.

      The finance system matches those desires and creates international demand.

      If it can't, then 'no deal' and the transaction never happens.

      Just like the unemployed can never get hired because they don't have the right sort of money to create the demand that would get them hired.

    9. ok lets rephrase it if your government want to create enough demand in order create full employment while the demand for imports is higher than the demand for your exports what will happen in this case?

    10. If demand for imports is higher than demand for exports in local currency terms then that means foreigners are saving the difference in the local currency. Otherwise demand for imports *cannot* be higher than demand for exports in local currency terms.

      That's the bit people struggle with. If the right sort of money and the foreign saver isn't there, then the deal simply doesn't happen and there is a reduction in import demand automatically. That's what a floating exchange rate guarantees, because there is no convertibility into anything other than itself.

      The problem is the artificial accounting border around the physical country, when in fact there is no such border for a currency. Most can be held anywhere by anybody. So there is no material difference between somebody holding Sterling in Birmingham, England than somebody holding Sterling in Birmingham, Alabama. Both are saving, and both are contributing to a paradox of thrift by doing so.

    11. ok i understand that you dont get my question because techincally you are right and i am not speaking about technical account right here and no a country never have a constraint in a sense that its cant pay things in its own currency its always solvent in its own currency dont get me wrong on that.

      let me again rephrase my question

      can there be a situation where you cant achieve full employment with fiscal stimulus without encountaring a situation of continius and growing depreciation of your currency? (aka ever growing inflation).

      because when the demand for imports is higher than the demand for exports part of your fiscal stimulus will absorbed not by the local economy but by imports,and in turn since imports are more attractive than exports (in this hypothetical economy) it will create a situation where there will be an ever continuing depreciation of your currency (in case you are trying to achieve full employment by fiscal stimulus) because your exports are relatively unattractive compare to imports from another country and devlaution will not change much to attractivness of your exports because your exports are relatively demand inelastic while your imports relatively demand elastic.

      now can this situation happen yes or no?

    12. With depreciation of your currency demand for imports will fall because the exchange rate falls. As import demand falls, domestic demand rises which will halt fiscal stimulus. I can't see continued depreciation happening under a well managed floating exchange currency.

    13. Its only if both demand for exports and demand for imports are relatievly demand elastic but if for example your main export is basic food and agriculture even if the price of imports will increase and the price of your exports will decrease it will not attract much buyers for your products

    14. I don't follow, are you saying no other country will buy another countries cheaper goods?

    15. Maybe they will but even if uou will sell lets say bread for cheaper prices there is no that much chance you will sell wnough to compensate for higher import prices.

    16. But if imports are too expensive, the domestic economy grows to fill the demand there is for those imported goods that are now too expensive. If a country relies on imports to function and not starve then it isn't trade they need but charity, in which case without aid they are screwed no matter what.

    17. to fill it takes time and when we are speaking about time its can take 15-20 or even 30 years.

      and thats why international clearing union is required in order to lift poor countries from poverty.

    18. On this one, Daniel is right, while Neil and the other Anonymous (I'll get a name soon) are wrong. The balance of payment constraint is the biggest single constraint on economic growth, particularly in developing countries. As an economy grows, demand for imports will rise due to increased demand for consumption goods, as well as increased use of intermediate goods. If exports do not rise to compensate for the increased demand for imports, then either the country must borrow on the global capital market to finance a trade deficit, which in turn leads to the repayment of debt and repatriation of profits from FDI, merely delaying the balance-of-payment crisis, or the country must go without the imports, which will lead to either slower growth, higher inflation, or both. Devaluation, while it may be effective in developed countries, is usually ineffective in developing countries due to issues Daniel identified with the elasticities of imports and exports. Devaluation in developing countries will usually lead to a recession, inflation, or both.

    19. I would say the biggest constraints on developing countries is corruption and how they run their domestic economy.

    20. [The Second] Anonymous September 7, 2016 at 7:29 AM: The balance of payment constraint is the biggest single constraint on economic growth, particularly in developing countries.

      That's like saying the fact that I haven't won a lottery - gotten free money - is the biggest constraint against my being rich. No kidding. Is that an argument for quitting my job and concentrating on begging better? But confused by enough irrelevant complications, serious grown ups can and do advocate similar ideas on an (inter)national scale.

      Daniel Marmur: can there be a situation where you can't achieve full employment with fiscal stimulus without encountering a situation of continuous and growing depreciation of your currency? (aka ever growing inflation).

      Quite right that currency depreciation is the/a "natural" trade effect of expansion. Abba Lerner agreed; his analysis was basically a "worst case analysis". He also pointed out that arguing against "fiscal stimulus" (= not strangling yourself) this way is arguing against prosperity from any source whatsoever. Lerner's reply to this argument, (which is thus an argument against prosperity) - see his books, esp Economics of Employment was: "SO WHAT?". Neil & the first Anonymous are right.

      For the "AKA" equation of depreciation with "ever growing inflation" is wrong, wrong, wrong. They aren't the same thing. They will only roughly equate if the country is a basket case to begin with. As Anonymous September 7, 2016 at 6:21 AM says, "If a country relies on imports to function and not starve then it isn't trade they need but charity".

      Basket case countries are far fewer and less populous than those which have been convinced to follow "I am a basket case" logic by such specious mainstream arguments, whose errors have been exposed by MMT / FF for decades.

      Daniel Marmur: and thats why international clearing union is required in order to lift poor countries from poverty.

      Like the biggest poor country in the world, where millions starved etc in the 20th century? (sarcasm)China was so lucky to have in international clearing union welfare agency to make it rich, rather than following the foolish path of self-development.(/sarcasm). In the real world, relying on the kindness of strangers - thinking it is necessary when it is not - is a very, very foolish and dangerous idea - but sadly widespread and destructive.

  4. (1) Daniel Hannan doesn't speak for anybody but himself: he is a fringe libertarian Tory, who does not represent the UK government.

    (2) May's statements may be more for public diplomatic and international consumption than actual government policy.

    1. Sure but look at what section of the Tories are now in charge. It is all going to end badly.
      When I looked at the groups driving the out vote I saw no choice but to spoil my ballot as I could only see things getting worse while we have now a climate emergency (see latest NASA data).
      Ordoliberalism or Neoliberalism take your pick was it really.
      Labour are a complete shambles currently & no one else on the left are getting heard.

    2. "When I looked at the groups driving the out vote I saw no choice but to spoil my ballot "

      So therefore you lost the chance to vote against the anti-democratic EU, open borders and mass immigration?

    3. No I didn't because that wasn't the question asked.
      It was should we remain a member or leave EU.

      Note how vague that is, did it ask whether we should be in the single market with free movement etc? You might say that's implied, this is politics no such implication can be made.

      Cameron was very careful making it a non binding advisory referendum.

      The only way out of this I can see is a GE fought on where parties stand on the issue but with the mess of Labour currently they will be annilated and we will be left with a very hard right Tory Govt (Leadsome as environment secretary seriously?) Not a country I want to live in.
      I am afraid that is the political reality AFAICS, don't believe me come out and campaign sometime it is depressing where i am in a Tory area but I will keep on doing it.

    4. Geez, a left party can be rebuilt.

      So maybe Labour needs to be badly beaten first, to get the message on immigration.

      As for the political policies of the Tory government, they can be reversed.

      Excessive depression and moaning will never get anything done.

    5. "I am afraid that is the political reality AFAICS"

      Andy, I think you've got the depression goggles on. Take them off!

      It's difficult to know where May is driving this because she doesn't make her intentions clear, but I doubt she will sacrifice anything to the EU single market.

      The EU market looked like a good bet to the Foreign Office in the 1960s because that is where the growth was. That is completely exhausted and the EU is a basket case playing a chase to the bottom as Mark Blyth has rightly pointed out. It ain't going to end well.

      The action is in Asia, and Britain has very good contacts in the Far East. A little worn admittedly, but can be brought back into service quite quickly.

      It makes no political sense to tie the UK to a mined out basket case.

      PS. When are the Greens going to get real and open merger talks with Labour?

  5. "It's difficult to know where May is driving this because she doesn't make her intentions clear, but I doubt she will sacrifice anything to the EU single market."
    I think it will come down to passporting rights for the City and whether the EU will play hardball over that issue what the City wants it tends to get, with the Tory party membership in terminal decline (they are coy about it but numbers I hear might surprise, less than 100k by 1 estimate, and I know the local conservative club are really struggling to keep afloat). So who donates the dosh has the final say.

    "PS. When are the Greens going to get real and open merger talks with Labour"

    Well I was at a panel at conference Sat night and Lucas is up for an alliance & so was Lisa Nandy (Neil Lawson of Compass is the 1 pushing it). It seems the obvious way forward and I do know cases of it starting to happen, easier for us anyway as local parties are sovereign. The problem is a lot of local Lab parties (Brighton a good example as the Momentum crowd found out when they voted their people onto the committee the NEC suspended the whole party).
    You don't have to merge eg the Co-op party only affiliated and have own conference etc.

    1. The EU is in terminal decline. It won't last 5 years in its current form. Possibly as early as next year more movements for separation may appear.

    2. Indeed, I was part of Green Leaves (was one of the arguments we were making) But then that also goes for all 'Western' re Neoliberal/Ordoliberal states.

      I was a bit annoyed with my own party (we are actually quite euroskeptic as we don't do centralisation) saying the EU isn't 'perfect' downplaying the issues with it (knowing exactly the problems) but they were right that Westminster isn't any better.

  6. A little more of what is supported, positive, pragmatic, values.

  7. I'd be interested in building a "Realist Left" mega blog, similar to what dailykos and redstate are like, where individuals can post their own 'diaries', they can be recommended to the recommended section, and there's the frontpage (which can also consist of diaries put to the frontpage). Also there can be other sections, like a "Book section" where we can link to such classics like "The Accumulation of Capital" by Robinson, "John Maynard Keynes" by Hyman Minksy, or "The General Theory" by JM Keynes. Some other sections too perhaps.

    It'd take a bit of time to code though, but I think well worth it.

    I think another point of emphasis is being "pro-family", given how anti-family neoliberal economics and the Religious right has been, alongside how actively anti-nuclear family the Regressive Left has been.

    1. "I'd be interested in building a "Realist Left" mega blog..

      I'd love to see such a blog. We need to build a movement, memes, YouTube channels, etc. A new, realistic left vision, which actually does reflect the real concerns of working class people again, without ignoring middle class too.

    2. Here we go:

      I'll start filling it out.

    3. This blog shall serve as the (temporary) headquarters for our plans to take over the world... I mean.. spread this movement. :)

  8. Thanks for the shout-out on the alternative left Facebook page. Look forward to seeing old Left on Facebook. It's desperately needed.

  9. Employment guarantees are so old paradigm. Only after the new paradigm's necessity is cognited on (Grace as in monetary Gifting and Grace as in granting of beingness) will a semblance of actual stability return and austerity and xenophobia lose their pernicious grip on the mind of Mankind.

  10. We may not always see eye to eye, LK, but this Yankee finds all these planks agreeable. This part in particular...

    "(6) an Old Left politics should be strongly pro-nuclear family, and be able to address the serious issue of social breakdown, divorce and single parent families, with humane policies free from right-wing viciousness or free market economics." gospel.

  11. It seems you object to the concept of "institutional" or "systemic" racism. I'm all for frank and open discussions of terminology, but I think it's less helpful to object to a phrase without suggesting a replacement.

    So what, would you suggest as a better term for the phenomenon at work here:

    I mean, to my eyes, "systemic racism" does seem to fit in a pretty straightforward way, but I'm always interested in hearing the sorts of phrases other people can generate.

    1. there is good part in your article

      Poor whites and people of other ethnicity are also subjected to this system of social control. Because if poor whites or others get out of line, they will be given the worst possible treatment, they will be treated just like poor blacks.

      thats the point they are so so obssesed with race so they cant even see how much its about economic class issue its not about persecution of black people but persecution of poor people.

      but because they are so into their identity politics they are too blind to see the real truth here.