Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

State Capitalism in Brownite Britain

Owen Hatherley, fresh from writing an book review for the New Statesman on Stalinist culture, has just penned a timely article about culture under New Labour, epitomised by its draconian new Community Payback scheme. While Stalinist Russia exploited prisoners via mass forced labour in GULAGS, New Labour try to equally enforce obedience and citizenship of the poor through building new prisons and publicly shaming those sentenced to community work. To try and placate the rising anger of 'Hard Working British Families' in the midst of the crisis, the Brownite bureaucrats have begun 'Show Trials' too, of a 'gang of four' criminal bankers, but these have been tokenistic pathetic affairs up to now... Yet Brown still resists the full shift to taking over the banks and building up state capitalism in Britain on a major scale, despite the scale of the crisis of neoliberal models of capitalism. We are still waiting, also, and for some inexplicable reason, for a 'cult of the personality' to really get going around Gordon Brown...and it looks like we may be in for a bit of a further wait as all his apparent brilliance and genius for economic macro-management is currently going down the pan. In the apt words of one of Brown's cabinet ministers last month, 'The banks are fucked, we're fucked, the country's fucked.' Quite. Welcome to Brown's Britain.

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