Then and Now: The Thatcherite Legacy of Totalitarian Plutocracy (2012), by Sean Gabb

Share this

Then and Now: The Thatcherite Legacy
of Totalitarian Plutocracy
by Sean Gabb
Posted on the Libertarian Alliance Blog,
17th April 2012

Since Mrs Thatcher came in with her fraudulent promise of a national revival, British “prosperity” has been achieved as follows:

The banks, enabled by the political wing of the ruling class, create huge amounts of money. Some of this is lent to politicians to secure their client base, some of it to the well-connected to spend on themselves or their business ventures. Those who have first spending of the money are able to appropriate resources from everyone else in ways that look like ordinary purchase, and not the theft that they really are.

This process enables and requires a bloated financial services sector. This is further enlarged when inflation and heavy taxes push the rest of us to hope for any return at all on our savings by putting it in the hands of coke-fuelled gamblers.

Productive activity is taxed and regulated into decline. This has the effect of destroying economically secure and politically engaged middle and working classes that would otherwise protest at the looting. Because, at however basic a level, industrial workers have daily experience of applied science and of the underlying rationality of things, the decline of industry turns people back into superstitious sheep, addicted to astrology and in awe of lying statistics. The working classes are further immiserised by state-sponsored mass immigration. This reduces wage levels, and promotes deskilling, and makes the kind of solidarity of dissent last seen in the miners strike impossible, and justifies a police state to deal with any remaining dissent.

The result is an overclass of very rich people, who splash money round in places like London, and who legitimise their wealth by hiring intellectuals to argue that it has been acquired through the “free enterprise system.” Go outside these enclaves, and you see growing impoverishment, disguised for the moment by debt.

I can just remember the 1960s, when most ordinary people had secure employment and could look forward to real increases in their standard of living.

Saying this doesn’t mean that I approve of nationalised industries and overmighty trade unions. However, when I compare the liberal social democracy that ended c1980 with the increasingly totalitarian plutocracy that is the real legacy of Margaret Thatcher, I know which I prefer.