Last month, The Economist ran a long feature article on “millennial socialism”. It was mainly about the USA but the Leninist sect now controlling the Labour Party over here were a focus as well.
The emphasis was on new (and nor so new) proposals to make income, wealth and power more equal and there was a nice quote from James Harrington, a 17th century English political philosopher who seems to have had more influence in the fledgling United States than he did here. He wrote: “where there is inequality of estates, there must be inequality of power.”
The trouble is, though, even if you do manage to make estates (wealth) more equal, will the grateful recipients feel obliged to exercise their new power for the common weal, or will they just want to spend it on foreign holidays – assuming that the (probably inevitable) exchange controls will allow them to.
Put another way, who’s going to want to spend a whole evening at the draughty civic hall arguing the toss about whether community facilities should be denied to the undeserving rich, when there's football / Corrie / University Bake-off / Celebrity Stripper Darts / etc, on the tele? The answer is, the sort of folk who do now – the politically committed.
Anyway, enough of speculation about the brave new world we might be having to endure shortly, what I really wanted to say was that reading the millennial socialism article brought the legendary John Huckle to mind and his magisterial satire, Bedford 2045, that was first published in Huckle J. and Martin A. 2001. Environments in a Changing World (London: Prentice Hall.
There's an (all too brief) extract on this blog but you really should try to read the whole thing (it’s still in print) to get a feel for the horrors that might be coming – if we’re not careful.