Markets and Morality
Ten years ago today, George Monbiot wrote an article for the Guardian titled 'In this age of diamond saucepans, only a recession makes sense'. Columnists don't write their own headlines, but when he reproduced it on his own website, Monbiot gave it an even less ambiguous title: 'Bring on the recession'. Three weeks earlier, Lehman ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
The movie Good Bye Lenin! tells the story of a woman from East Berlin, Christiane Kerner, who falls into a coma just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and wakes up again just before Reunification. She thus misses out on all the crucial historical events that take place in the meantime, and is completely ... Continue reading
On Uber, reactions speak louder than words. Set aside for a moment the issue of Uber’s compliance with the Transport for London (TfL) rules, and whether revoking their licence was justified or proportionate. The celebratory tone of the supposed “labour movement” to news that 40,000 contractors will see their main source of income effectively banned ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Socialism is popular in Britain, especially among the young. Survey after survey after survey confirms it. More precisely, socialism is popular in the abstract. It is popular as a nebulous ideal. But nothing gets a socialist’s hackles up as much as the mention of an actual (historical or contemporary) example of socialism in action. Mention the ... Continue reading
I recently visited a foodbank at the invitation of the Trussell Trust, the admirable charity which runs the UK’s largest network of emergency centres providing food to people in crisis. The jump in the use of foodbanks is partly a warning sign of problems (especially delays in the payment of benefits) that are not being picked ... Continue reading
Society and Culture
I spent Germany’s election weekend in its financial capital, and found a country that is exceptionally comfortable in its own skin. At a time when Spain is fighting to maintain its territorial integrity, while Britain’s social divisions are laid bare by Brexit and Emmanuel Macron attempts to challenge France’s decades-old inertia, the Federal Republic is ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
The IEA’s video clip ‘Has ‘real socialism’ ever been tried?’, released three months ago, seems to have struck a chord. So far, it has been watched 37,900 times on Facebook, plus 5,300 times on YouTube, and who knows how many times on Twitter and on our own website. Had this video been released a couple ... Continue reading
Energy and Environment
Archbishop Justin Welby recently wrote an article in the Financial Times on the back of a report by left-of-centre think tank IPPR, to which he had put his name. The article was widely reported as an attack on capitalism. In fact, it is rather difficult to say what his policy prescriptions were. He called for more housing ... Continue reading
Markets and Morality
Continued from Part 2   This next book deals directly with this problem. It was a formative book for me personally because it answered a question I had long entertained but never answered. The question is this. Why was the free society overthrown so quickly and with such decisiveness and in such a short time, ... Continue reading