Noel Murphy introducing Independent Workers Union 2012 conference

The IWU is certainly the best of the bunch, in terms of Irish trade unions and the one that is most clearly attempting to articulate an economic-political alternative.

However, I disagree with Noel’s point that Keynesian policies could ameliorate the situation for workers.  In fact, they would make things worse.  And any attempt to pursue them would therefore disorient workers, because you’d be telling them this was a solution, or at least a partial solution, and yet things would worsen.

This is very much what happened in the mid-late 1970s when Keynesian policies were used as a way to try to overcome the economic problems at the end of the long postwar boom.  The implementation of such policies created stagflation – something which wasn’t possible according to Keynesian theory.  The result was not that not only did Keynesian theory become discredited, and replaced by neo-liberalism, but left economics in general got widely discredited because so much of left economics was rally just left-Keynesianism.

In a future post, I’ll deal with why trying to breath new life into Keynesian policies is not only a complete dead-end for serious leftists but also thoroughly disorienting for workers.  In the meantime, this piece, which is kind of capitalism101, gives some pointers.

Phil

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Posted on April 3, 2012, in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Economy and workers' resistance, Independent Workers Union, Irish politics today, Political education and theory, six counties, Trade unions, twenty-six counties. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off.

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