Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Oliver Kamm Exposes His Thatcherism And Stupidity

It is unfortunately a rare occurence that one of the cheerleaders of the Anglo-American ruling class global project exposes what they really think about economics and domestic issues. One of these occasions has just come about with a startlingly stupid post by Oliver Kamm on Guardian CIF. Kamm, better known as one of the Atlanticist Hawks of the Eustonite/Harry's Place variety (kept amusing watch on here) wrote his article in response to the latest book of Oliver James on "Selfish Capitalism". James, a popular psychologist, blames increasing mental illness and stress related conditions in the Anglo-American/Turbo-capitalist economies on the particular strain of capitalist ideology which has become dominant there over the last 20-30 years. He has expounded this view in two recent books. This is not the place to assess James' ideas (which do seem to suffer from some over-simplification in parts), nor his seemingly rather naive suggested solution of "unselfish capitalism" that he - perhaps through rose tinted glasses - sees in Scandinavian and other continental countries.

However, the response of Kamm is very revealing. Kamm's attack is not primarily on detail or accuracy, but on the very fact that someone could fail to see what a veritable utopia we are living in, and how grateful we should be that Margaret Thatcher defeated "producer interests" (for which read workers and their unions!) Like his Neo-con friends Kamm airbrushes socialism and social democracy out of history along with worker's self organisation and suggests all the benefits of current British Society are the products of some ill defined capitalism "tempered" by concerned liberals like himself. Kamm approvingly quotes his partners in crime, the SDP-er turned Tory Daniel Finkelstein and rapidly rightward tracking ex-left Nick Cohen

Another interesting thing is the class interest here displayed. It is revealed in the comments, and by his wikipedia entry that, aside from his feeble attempts at journalism and political commentary Kamm works in the financial sector himself - the parasitic sector of the economy before which Thatcher, Blair and now Brown have prostrated themselves. You see, in Kamm-world, the views/interests of producers (i.e workers, manufacturing industry, even public service workers who help to service and reproduce the labour force) are now irrelevant, the only people governments should now listen to are people like Kamm and the giants that tower above him atop the corporate behemoths. (Like our latter day Moloch, Murdoch) Wealth is now created (in Kamm world)not by labour and production, but by exotic financial instruments and manipulation, by the operations of latter day snake-oil merchants and the predictive ability of latter day soothsayers.

Kamm's "argument" receives a well deserved lashing and demolition in the comments on the online version of his article - the loathing that people feel for him due to his imperialist apologetics drawing critics to consider his pathetic foray into the fields of economics and psychology and find him seriously wanting.

Kamm more regularly spouts, like Finkelstein, in Murdoch's Times. The mental universe of the Murdoch Empire must be somewhere he feels quite at home.

This is all a good reminder of the place at which New Labour have arrived - where amongst their few remaining friends and apologists are Times Columnists and hedge fund founders who think Thatcher did us all a great service by crushing working class organisation and morale and back the foreign policy of George W. Bush 100%.

The only way that people like Kamm can be described as "Left" is that they are the residue, the slime, that is left behind when everyone who has a shred of decency has left the pool of public supporters of the ruling clique and given up trying to defend its role as vassal of Neo-Con foreign policy and aggressive exporter of neo-liberal economics.

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At 8:55 pm, Blogger Jim Jay said...

Apologies for the off topic comment - I couldn't find your contact details - feel free to delete this message (preferably after you've read)

First just to let you know that the carnival of socialism is back up and running and you might like to consider hosting an edition - check out the site for more details

Second, the idea of a green home blog hub seems to be taking off a little - what do you think - I've fleshed the idea out a little more here at resolution number three

It's all in the planning stage at the moment so it's a good time to jump on board!

At 10:28 pm, Anonymous a very public sociologist said...

It's as if Kamm has read The Bonfire of the Vanities, and has taken the whole 'masters of the universe' guff to heart.


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