Yanis Varoufakis offers an unsparing analysis of the delusional aspirations of the Tory political elites who control our destinies (Trickle-down Truss is carrying on the dirty work of Thatcher, Blair and Osborne, 1 October). The “doom loop” analysis says it all. Thatcherite ideological baggage is being dusted down by Liz Truss and co and presented as a solution to deep-seated problems of the governance and accountability of British state and enterprise. He might also have mentioned the dysfunctional first-past-the-post electoral system that sustains it all.
Reliance on “trickle-down” economics will only deliver further tragic setbacks. There will be benefits for the wealthier classes, but a further collapse of state-funded institutions and loss of real incomes will leave the rest of society poorer. It guarantees the continuing systemic failure of the British economy. The ideologies of the Tory party are bankrupt and ruinous for the vast majority of our citizens. Time to learn from our failures and move on.
Principal, Centre for International Economics
• Your editorial (30 September) describes the Tory “belief in the benefits of the free market” as “faith-based politics”. This is an alarming feature of our late-capitalist economy, whose nature is crisis-ridden. We are held hostage to what the veteran social scientist David Harvey calls “the madness of economic reason”, whereby it is essential for all owners of capital to exploit people and planet in pursuit of unlimited accumulation and profit into “bad infinity”.
It is the common interest of the capitalist class to maintain flows of capital. At moments of deep crisis, in what Yanis Varoufakis terms “the vicious financial cycle” of “the doom loop”, governments resort to “state-maintained wealth appropriation” to save the profit-driven system. But this is unsustainable when the ruling class is running insanely rampant.
This is an enigma of capital that Labour, once in power, presumably will confront. Unfortunately, reformism/redistribution, although necessary, will simply reproduce capitalist relations of production if our norms of production and distribution remain operative. This is preferable to a Tory hardening of the state in a protofascist manner, but an alternative government has to be transformational in vision and practice. It is imperative to realise a visionary political project “draw[ing] its poetry from the future”, as Karl Marx said, and not only the past.
• I wonder if it has ever occurred to the Tory party that significantly raising the minimum wage, benefits and pensions would put more money in people’s pockets than reducing taxes. More disposable income for those with little would result in more money being spent. This in turn would increase demand and thus promote growth. It would also help reduce the number of people dependent on food banks and increase government revenue via taxation.
• I didn’t get a place at Oxford to study PPE. I didn’t get into grammar school. I finally made it into higher education at Manchester Polytechnic when I was 30. But even I could see that the mini-budget was illogical and more damaging to the poor than any other political policy of my lifetime. To quote my then primary-age son, some people are very clever but not very intelligent.
Oldham, Greater Manchester
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