mandag den 25. august 2014

Don't Worry, be Happy!

- entry in BBC's “Have your say” on Sundag May 9th at about eleven o'clock EST

Here in the otherwise isolated (European) Continent some of us are watching the alarm in Britain with equal measures of bewilderment and bemusement.

Imagine another European country holding an election and having its pundits declaring a national crisis because a majority Government cannot be formed immediately on the back of 36.1% of the vote and predicting that markets and the world as you know it will be in complete turmoil lest there be a coalition formed before Monday morning.

I think I'll have to phone my aunt in Britain on Monday and ask her if the Sun has come up or everything has gone pitch black over there !

Perhaps I'm being a little paranoid but a part of me cannot help but think that all the commotion has been started to put pressure on the LibDem leader Nick Clegg to drop the demand for a referendum on electoral reform -?

I would warn him against even considering that. You guys have been offered and accepted some fine Committee or other a few times before and what has come of it? Nothing - as soon as the bigger party could cut their promises and run they have done so, be it Labour or the Conservatives. Don't agree to anything less than a written agreement on a referendum, its date and its choices.

You in the LibDem leadership will be accused of putting party before country ... Yeah, and that has never applied to neither Labour nor the Tories, right? Moreover, it really is in the national interest to finally have an electoral system that is fair, reflects people's actual voting and responds to the fact that nowadays Britain has at least a three-party system. Britain will have no stability until that happens.

As for a possible short-term mood swing against Mr Clegg, he should stick to his guns and not lose his bottle and say no to Cabinet posts in a Tory-led government either to put more pressure on the Tories or in return for a coalition with a Labour and nationalists with a four-year term agreement and said referendum.

The short-term anger will evaporate, not matter how much it is fuelled by the Tory press. As a former Tory Prime Minister, Harold MacMillan, said:

"A week is a long time in politics!"

Regards, Claus Piculell, MA, Denmark

onsdag den 23. juli 2014

Facts revisiting Rogoff & Reinhart

Do folks out there remember when a graduate student together with his teachers found serious flaws in the results from the famous neoliberal economists Rogoff and Reinhart about the very negative effect of a public debt over 90% on growth of GDP?

Well, here is the central table summing up all the miscalculations from "Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff", by Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash & Robert Pollin, published April 15, 2013 as working paper 322 from Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

lørdag den 8. marts 2014

European Liberal Socialism

So I finally got around to translating the "tentative Manifesto" on Liberal Socialism into English and forming a Facebook group to discuss the possibility for such an endavour - or several variants of it - on European level.

Although it is called "the tentative Manifesto" and does draw on much classical political philosophy, the document and its more concrete programmatic documents that I am going to translate faster than the Manifesto (which admittedly isn't saying much!), the manifesto does not pretend to have all the answers or the one and only interpretation of the concept of liberal socialism.

It is safe to say, however, that liberal socialism draws on the classical, real and rebellious liberalism that in the French and American revolutions was against established (noble and royal) power, privileges and pecuniary piles inherited without merit.

This original liberalism held high such principles as personal liberty, the right to the produce of one's own labour (which is a direct quote from "Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith who repeated it at least 50 times), the freedom of speech, equality for all before the law, democracy with equally participating citizens, and many other principles that should never taken for granted - just look at the history of the last Century with Nazism, Fascism and Revolutionary Socialism.

Such a left-liberal or social-liberal approach allied itself with utopian socialist workers and had the sympathy of many of the ordinary peasants and serfs that provided cheap food for the city revolutionaries, sometimes with a few country folk joining them, but mostly keeping a sympathetic neutrality.

Unfortunately, 'liberalistics' have given liberal a bad name!

Liberalistic thoughts are mostly what one may call Market Fundamentalism with an almost exclusive emphasis on the Market, even as better as popular decision-making than (liberal) democracy, and other economic constructs allegedly knowing and planning for the long-term, while forgetting e.g. the almost all the political liberalism that was after all the father of liberal democracy and other hugely important steps forward.

Liberal socialism dows not only reinstall social liberalism as a very important legacy, but aims at drawing it and the European societies several solid notches to the left by uniting true rebellious liberalism with democratic socialism and allowing for the more sensible points of conservatism, viz. that the Earth is not owned by any one generation but should be cared for and passed along in preferably a better shape to the next generation as well learning from conservatism that change, including the fundamental change Liberal Socialism entails, should move at a pace so that ordinary people feel safe and included.

You can read much more on the independent website:

The Facebook group trying to create a European debate about Liberal Socialism is here:
European Liberal Socialism