The State Has Many Teats
September 29, 2009
Suggestions for the proposed series of Classic Sentences from the Guardian have started to roll in:
A consensus in the making: that a progressive future is the zeitgeist; that neoliberal neo-imperialism is death.
The above is from the mind of Bea Campbell, whose contortions entertained us not so long ago. In a typically opaque and mysterious piece, Ms Campbell announces many things, flatly and as fact, including a belief that families and civil society are,
Riven by power, patriarchy, conflict and the unequal distribution of resources and respect.
The neoliberal hegemony… has brought the world to the brink.
I’m not entirely sure what the “neoliberal hegemony” is - or “neoliberal neo-imperialism” - and it’s perhaps worth noting that of the 497 words in Ms Campbell’s article, 17 are “isms” of one kind or another. Nor is it particularly obvious that these things have indeed “brought the world to the brink.” (Unlike, say, the totalitarian social model that for years entranced dear Bea, and which she rhetorically fellated during her time at the Morning Star Communist newspaper.) Likewise, it isn’t clear how one might ensure that “respect” is distributed in an egalitarian fashion. Perhaps the same approach could be applied to other inequities in life – fashion sense, talent or the possession of pleasing features. Sadly, Ms Campbell doesn’t linger on details of how these things might work, how they would be paid for, or how a respect-enforcing state might be stopped if things should go awry. She is, however, clearer in her enthusiasm for the state and its “progressive” expansion:
There are models of emancipating governance: a new constitutionalism is emerging that demands a dynamic dialogue between civil society and state. This new constitutionalism is driven by environmentalist and egalitarian duties: all policymaking must enlist the public, not as an audience but as participants, and it must be assessed for its impact on relations between humans and the Earth and each other.
Some readers may wonder whether they wish to be enlisted by an egalitarian state. Others may want some time to absorb the notion of an “emancipating governance” based on greater state control.