capitalism, keynes, socialism

by Nathan Coombs

In reaction to the global economic crisis, in his cover story for the current issue of Prospect magazine Geoff Mulgan tantalisingly holds out the promise of what life would look like ‘After Capitalism’[i]. The only problem is that his hodgepodge of possible routes beyond capitalism – foremost the vague vision of “servant capitalism” – not only do not transcend capitalism, are not only being articulated by those with the greatest stake in promulgating capitalism (he even cites David Cameron as playing a part), but are even aspects of capitalism with us today: the same aspects to have played their part in inducing the global crisis that supposedly marks the beginning of a new epoch.

Amongst his suggestions of routes beyond capitalism he includes Keynesian investment in green industries, the pluralisation of company governance and the introduction of “personal welfare counts” (previously called the welfare state?) It does not take a whole lot of nous to work out that this is hardly a portrait of a world ‘after capitalism,’ but simply an extrapolation of contemporary trends within capitalism: precisely those trends that have historically prevented the possibility of any ‘after’. Continue reading “capitalism, keynes, socialism”

formula 1 millionaires seek state bailout

by David Broder

The Honda Formula 1 team may be set to receive a bailout from Lord Mandelson’s £2.3 billion fund for the car industry in a further example of state intervention to shore up the super-rich.

The team is currently owned by Honda, the world’s sixth-largest car manufacturer. Although the marque’s sales have suffered much less from the recession than its rival Toyota, in November it announced plans to sell off its Formula 1 team, which finished 9th out of 10  in the 2008 constructors’ championship on a budget of £180 million.  A 63% fall in Honda’s quarterly profits has also prompted the shutting-down of its Swindon road car factory.

Honda claim that closing the team entirely would cost it more than keeping it going, but wants to wash its hands of the operation. Therefore any state bailout would essentially amount to using taxpayers’ money to save an unprofitable part of Honda’s business which it wants to junk. Continue reading “formula 1 millionaires seek state bailout”