Posts Tagged ‘Identity’

Identity and the report of the National Equality Panel

January 27, 2010 1 comment

"We have been the dreamers, we have been the sufferers, now we are the builders. We enter this campaign at this general election, not merely to get rid of the Tory majority. We want the complete political extinction of the Tory Party."

One of the most stirring moments of my young life was studying GCSE history and reading about Nye Bevan and the phrase, “From the cradle to the grave”, describing the post-war settlement of free education, free healthcare, social housing, unemployment benefits and a pension for people once they were too old to work. The universalism of not leaving one person out still moves me in ways I can’t describe.

The National Equality Panel, set up by Harriet Harman, reported today and its summary (.pdf) and full report (.pdf) each make for interesting reading as regards the declining equality within the UK. While it would not be fair to say that the rich have got richer and the poor, poorer, the truth is that the rich are getting richer much faster and institutionalising their wealth so that it lays the basis for future inequality.

Several conclusions are outlined by the N.E.P., and they point out that far from a social settlement in which at every level exist redistributive mechanisms to re-balance society and make it fairer, inequality now reigns and increases at every stage, from the cradle to the grave. A sad indictment of what successive governments have done, and what potential future Labour governments don’t really propose to correct.

HarpyMarx and Lenin of the Tomb have each put their spoke in already, I thought I would merely add what I thought to be one of the most incisive sections of the report’s summary.

Differences in outcomes within each social group, however the population is classified, are usually only a little narrower than those across the population as a whole, and are much greater than those between groups. The inequality growth of the last forty years is mostly attributable to growing gaps within groups rather than between them. By implication, achieving a more equal society than we have now would require not only narrowing gaps between the average outcomes for particular groups, as defined for instance in equalities legislation. It would also require gaps to be narrowed between the more and less advantaged within each social group.

None the less, there remain deep-seated and systematic differences in economic outcomes between social groups across all of the dimensions we have examined – including between men and women, between different ethnic groups, between social class groups, and between those living in disadvantaged and other areas. Some of the widest gaps in outcomes between groups narrowed in the last decade, particularly between women and men and, although the data are not completely robust, the same seems true of those between the most disadvantaged ethnic groups and others. But, despite the elimination and even reversal of the qualification differences that often explain relative levels of employment and pay, significant unexplained differences in labour market outcomes remain. Such differences suggest that people are not receiving equal treatment in some way, and that the opportunities open to some are constrained in a way that they are not for others.

Fourth, economic advantage reinforces itself across the life cycle. While there is nothing deterministic in what we have described, the evidence we have looked at shows the long arm of people’s origins in shaping their life chances, stretching through life stages, literally from cradle to grave.

This is a disturbing report. The BBC article on the subject seems to be playing up the continuing ‘deep seated and systemic’ gender pay gap, rather than the increase in inequality as a whole, despite the declining gap between men and women. The acknowledgment that this is decreasing, along with, generally and at first glance, the gap between ethnicities, is an important point.

It shows that the crusading of Harriet Harman et al is having a good effect in terms of improving the life chances of the various minorities in the UK. This is to be supported, for sure. But what it also demonstrates is that fighting for this on its own, without meaningful attempts to redistribute wealth to workers, is not sufficient to battle against rising inequality as a whole. There are also questions of political tactics.

Fighting against minorities being forced to bear disproportionately worse ‘outcomes’, without the overwhelming sense that we are targeting all forms of deprivation, regardless of identity, seems to me an agenda likely to attract the most aspirant (within the confines of the current system, thus, I don’t think it would be going too far to say, already well-to-do) elements of each minority, rather than being universally appealing. There’s also the danger of stoking up resentment from the ‘majority’, with the feeling that they are being passed over.

It’s important to explicitly combat racism and social exclusion by defending the particular targeted identity, but when it comes to building a wider social movement addressing broader political questions, I think it makes for a stronger coalition to stress the things that unite all workers. The relationship of all workers to the State, and the social settlement owed, and to their employers, form this uniting core.

To fight for these things, it is not necessary to declare the concept of alternative identities as antithetical to working class universalism, but the primacy of that universalism when deciding how to proceed is important. If we take the case of people who stress their Britishness first as an analogy, the danger of not creating an explicitly proletarian narrative is revealed. The analytical category assumed by an identity such as Britishness is the primacy of the nation, with no inherent recognition of the contradictions that break down the analytical category.

Concepts like ‘national good’ and ‘national sacrifice’ adjust quite readily to corporatism or capitalist retrenchment, whereas the concept of a proletarian identity carries with it an inherent critique of capitalism, undermining the nominal equality of citizens assumed by ideas like ‘Britishness’ and giving the lie to those who speak in the name of the nation, by demonstrating the fundamental irreconcilable that runs through it; the opposition between employer and employed, between ruler and ruled, each of which is contained by any given nation.

Basically, as the decrease in relative inequality shows, capitalism can be reconciled to equality between male and female, between Asian and Caucasian and so on. It cannot be reconciled to socialism. This is another lens through which to view the points I have been trying to stress in my two articles entitled Identity and Revolution.

Identity and revolution, part 2

January 27, 2010 6 comments

Yesterday I discussed the attempt to replace class analysis with ‘identities’, and the roots of this development in both the unprecedented post-war economic boom and the defeat of working class resistance when the boom came to an end, provoking capitalist crisis and retrenchment.*

Fast forward to the present day. Plenty of post-marxist intellectuals are still playing the same game. I want to look briefly at Goran Therborn and more in-depth at Slavoj Zizek as they provide useful models by which to gauge the ideological routes of thought of identity-favouring theories.

They display the tendency to seek for ‘other’ (i.e. non-class related) forms of resistance to capitalism. In this article, we’ll look at their preference for casting slum-dwellers in this mould. Neither examine this group using the materialist analysis of Marx, however; instead they prefer other categories of analysis (though Therborn and Zizek differ from one another too).

As I’ve outlined before, Therborn proposes that the ‘dialectic of modernity’ – that is, the opposition between labour and capital is decreasing to the point where it can no longer be considered a useful analytical tool. In his book From Marxism to Post-Marxism, he establishes other criteria and axes by which to measure society.

He views the growth of the slum-dwelling population as an ‘urban proletariat in the pre-Marxist sense of informal labourers’, ascribing to them an identity that stands outside the Marxist concept of class as determined by one’s position in the relations of production.

Zizek’s view of modern class struggle is that in four ways is the new popular alliance against capitalism being created by capitalism itself. Through the ecological destruction of the planet**; the ‘inadequacy of private property’ as a basis for dealing with knowledge (resulting in paradoxes like the modern copyrighting of ancient cures – perhaps we might characterize this as the final enclosure of the commons, consonant with total globalization); the harvesting of human biogenetics with the emerging potential to change ‘human nature’, and ‘new forms of apartheid’.

The last is of particular relevance here. Several of my recent articles have dealt with the problems of rectifying relative inequality, e.g. that black people bear proportionally more poverty than whites, without a clear class narrative, of universally empowering working class people regardless of identity. I contend that the concept of apartheid used by Zizek is a form of this problematic style of identity politics, and does so at what Badiou is probably correct in defining as an ‘evental horizon’ of modern class struggle. Zizek explains:

“While the [classical Marxist working class] is defined in the precise terms of economic ‘exploitation’ (the appropriation of surplus values generated by the situation of having to sell one’s own labor-power as a commodity on the market), the defining feature of the slum-dwellers is socio-political, it concerns their (non-) integration into the legal space of citizenship, with (most of) its incumbent rights” (In Defense of Lost Causes, 2008, p425)

This socio-political feature is a way to focus on the slum-dwellers as the excluded, something synonymous with their status as ethnic minorities, as lesser citizens and the victims of prejudice in their home countries. The bait-and-switch technique by which we move to focus on this is by dismissing the working class of the favelas, ghettos, slums and barrios as ‘informal labourers’.

Implicit to the quotation below, is Zizek’s recognition of the Marxist distinction between the working class as a class-in-itself, an objective reality, and a class-for-itself, the subjective understanding of that objective reality and its use as a guide to action.

Yet instead of casting the slum-dwellers as merely a disorganised part of the global proletariat, for Zizek, because of their status as informal labourers, the slum-dwellers are Rancière’s ‘part of no part’, which Zizek elsewhere contrasts with the classical Marxist conception of the proletariat. He proffers instead the identity of the lumpenproletariat. The slum-dwelling lumpens are:

“The free floating element which can be used by any stratum or class…the radicalizing ‘carnivalesque’ element of the workers’ struggle, pushing them from compromising moderate strategies to an open confrontation.” (ibid, p286)

But surely makes more sense to point out that the objective reality of the slum-dwellers position as working class remains, what needs to be built is a subjective consensus to push the slum-dwellers into open class struggle?

Actually from these areas particularly, we have plenty of evidence of that consensus being constructed through the basic drive to solidarity born of capitalist exploitation and attempts to monopolize democratic government. Zizek himself cites a key one; the move of the Venezeulan slum-dwellers to support Hugo Chavez during the coup against him. Yet support did not spring out of the earth spontaneously, which one would not necessarily appreciate from Zizek’s writings.

In Venezuela as in the mountains above La Paz, Bolivia, the primary means of political organisation is first and foremost economic. If we take Bolivia, where the ethnic make-up of the poorest areas can be uniformly Aymara, Quechua or Guarani and so on, it’s the Federation of Working Class Street Sellers and other unions, the demand for the ayllu economy and the soviet-like Fajave which makes up the backbone of Evo Morales’ support network. These were fashioned long-term, out of struggle for the basic needs of the individual and the collective.

The point is simple: the methods of resistance undertaken in the more politically advanced slums differ little from forms of organisation that have been known in Europe since the industrial revolution.

They unite on the basis of common exploitation and class. Revolutionaries will naturally emerge from the struggles undertaken by these organisations – the role of Western socialists is to lend a hand in widening and deepening the appeal of such organisations, and connecting them with the international labour movement. It is to facilitate, to expedite, the development of a class-in-itself towards a class-for-itself.

The contention that what exists is ‘only’ a pre-Marxist proletariat (presumably Therborn is referencing the Roman proletarii and capitecensi, who, on a simplistic level, were essentially insecure wage labourers also) is nonsense. Informal labour may be the order of the day, as Zizek and Therborn contend, but this is a basic trick of any employer, because the uncertainty undermines opportunities for labour organization and speeds capital accumulation. Hence the increasing casualization of labour in the developed economies.

Similarly, apatheid may be widely practiced against indigenous peoples, who are pushed to the edges of society in all senses – to face deprivation of economic participation and rights, social prejudice and loss of citizenship and concomitant political rights (Paul Mason, Live Working or Die Fighting, 2008, pp210-214). Yet opposition to this is coterminous with opposition to wider forms of economic exploitation, which can affect relatively well-off tech workers in Argentina, compelled to take over their factory, just as it can the ethnic minorities of Bolivia.

The withdrawal of the State, or its half-hearted presence, in many of these ghetto areas does not represent a change in the objective position of the residents, as Zizek contends, if such a thing is even true – it may not be, as many states have history of intervening with indiscriminate violence in such arenas. Thus was sparked the 2003 Bolivian uprising, in protest at the police shooting of eight people from the slums above La Paz.

I see no reason why, even if accusations of state withdrawal are true, it should promote the socio-political to primary category of analysis, other than that it neatly fits with the schematic Zizek draws about the slum-dwellers being the part of no-part, the lumpenproletariat that by its very exclusion can radicalize the proletariat, whose position inside the capitalist system is contradictory – as they must at once resist and prop it up.

Except the proletarian position is exactly the role of these slum dwellers also. They sell their labour power in exchange for a wage, and everything else about their lives, the organization of the economy and so on is decided elsewhere. This is precisely the condition of the working class elsewhere, the relative levels of poverty and pay notwithstanding.

Only the universal and global aspect to the working class offers any hope of widening a particular struggle from a local issue, that might win gains eventually clawed back by disenchantment or violence, into one that crosses borders and awakens acknowledgment around the world.

Undermining that universality is the hope of the reactionary Right. Whether it involves sophisticated dog-whistle politics about how the “rights” of minorities serve only to work to the disadvantage of the majority, or whether it’s a clear appeal to naked ethnic and racial prejudice, the reactionary Right must either acquire support from the working class by dividing it against itself, or it must fail in its agenda. We serve that agenda if we advocate a one-sided approach to what Zizek calls the ‘socio-political’ exclusions visited on minorities.

It’s easy to recognize that these exclusions are wrong, it’s easy to call for their correction, and it’s very easy to attack anyone who shows a hint of reserve as racist. It is not easy to actually correct the exclusions, and less easy still to carry with you precisely the working class that is the backbone of the Left. It’s impossible to carry the working class without appealing directly to the paramount struggle which undermines all identities – that of the working class against the capitalist class – and linking the fight for inclusion to the other struggles.

In Bolivia, the Movement Towards Change may yet fail, as may the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela. Neither have struck at the power-base of their opponents, private property and its economy, and neither have fully realised the promise, offered to their supporters by the factory occupations and the temporary action committees, of a democratic, planned economy. If they focus on identity, they surely will fail. In Bolivia particularly, those tactics could open a space  where the ‘white’ governors might appeal to their ‘white’ provinces for military support to resist Morales, exploiting nervousness and prejudice which might otherwise be allayed.

My solution is not that we return to the ‘monolithic’ politics of the Parti Communiste Français circa 1960, as this would invite the disaster that the main organ for socialist politics once again becomes detached and isolated from whole new layers of the working class, but nor (to return us to our immediate focus) can we concentrate on identity without looking at class, as Harriet Harman and New Labour attempt to do. I am suggesting that while advocacy for minority groups is important, it must march in lock-step with a wider, nuanced class narrative.

This is to the benefit of minorities; every socialist revolution has been accompanied by massive changes to the social order. Whether it was the defence of the black Haitian Revolution by the masses of a racist Parisian society, or the introduction of women’s rights across Europe just as the continent was convulsing in the throes of revolution, an assault on the class system is an assault on all oppression. Even at a lower ebb, class struggle challenges preconceived notions of identity; thus the miners’ strike and women for example.

Importantly, however, fighting to challenge prejudice and exclusion must be adapted as a tactical weapon governed strategically by a class agenda, rather than the other way around, since it is not our goal to fight for the right of certain individuals from any given minority to be elevated to the same status as the elites of our society in proportion to their numbers in our society. It is our goal to overthrow elites full stop. Read more…

Identity and revolution, part 1

January 25, 2010 17 comments

Concepts like postmarxism and identity politics, their proponents and their relationship to political struggles from the 1980s to the present day are mainstays of any explicitly socialist blog seeking to gain a greater understanding where we’re at and what is to be done.

At one extreme there are the membership-based socialist parties which largely propose the continuation of things we revolutionaries and socialists have been doing since time began. At the other extreme there are the high-falutin’ philosophers like Negri or Critchley.

Everyone who reads that sort of stuff will be familiar with the anecdote about Negri, walking past workers on strike and complaining that they were behind the times, that their sort of activity was outdated and actually held back the socialist agenda.

I say this by way of explaining that the philosophers often try very hard to convey that their work is new, is surpassing outdated formulae and practices – though mostly it passes unread by the vast majority of activists, and littles comes of it before the next totem-destroying book arrives fresh from the academy. In the case of Laclau and Mouffe, as has been discussed on this blog, ‘identity’ was the Big Idea.

With the working class looking rather unreliable as the means to overthrow capitalism, something else was needed. Interestingly, while most of us tend to look to the 1980s as the big decade for the ascendancy of this style of politics, it wasn’t the first time it had been tried. In fact it goes all the way back to the 1960s, as I was surprised to discover. The following was written in 1966 by Tom Haydn of the American SDS:

“[T]raditional Left expectation of irreconcilable and clashing class interests has been defied…It appears that the American elite has discovered a long term way to cushion the contradictions of our society. [We must] oppose American barbarism with new structures and opposing identities. These are created by people whose need to understand their society and govern their own existence has somehow not been cancelled by the psychological damage they have received.”

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, one of the leaders of the Mai 1968 student movement, has said something similar in his book, Obsolete Communism:

“The student, at least, in the modern system of higher education, still preserves a considerable degree of personal freedom, if he chooses to exercise it. He does not have to earn his own living, his studies do not occupy all his time and he has no foreman at his back. He rarely has a wife and children to feed. He can, if he so chooses, take extreme political positions without any personal danger…the ensuing struggle is especially threatening to the authorities as the student population keeps going up by leaps and bounds.”

With the failure of the student movement of the 1960s, other identities were floated, so that by the 1980s a veritable coalition of excluded groups could gather plenty of people. Whether single mothers, or women generally, ethnic minorities or homosexuals, the idea was that since these groups were most persecuted, they had most to gain by a change and thus the greatest revolutionary potential, though the term revolution was also changed, moving away from grabbing state power and executing the counter-revolutionaries to something more sociable.

Actually, reading over the pronouncements of such leaders with the benefit of hindsight, the corruption of the student struggle – once the palpable threat of general strike and a genuine political threat to capitalism had been suppressed, as it was in France – should have been easy to foretell. Cohn-Bendit again:

“Factory work, trade union ‘militancy’, verbose party programmes, and the sad, colourless life of their elders are subjects only for [the young workers’] sarcasm and contempt. The same sort of disdain is the reason why so many students have taken a radical stand…”

“In our case we exploited student insecurity and disgust with life in an alienated world where human relationships are so much merchandise to be used, bought and sold in the marketplace.”

At the last, when the movement was defeated, what remained was simply a protest against the specific values then dominant through the liberal democratic form which western capitalism takes. The defeat of the movement is not simultaneous with the defeat of the Nanterre students, nor the failure of the French General Strike. As the situation across Western Europe suggests, the 1970s saw escalating battles between the ruling and ruled. It was a long defeat.

By the end of it, however, modern liberal democracy had been largely anaesthetized to the effects of the social revolution – elements of which, particularly individualism and an alienation-countering way to ‘fulfillment’, were incorporated enthusiastically into a resurgent capitalism. This is illustrated by Slavoj Zizek to great effect in his book Violence (pp18-19) when discussing the two faces of the highest modern businessmen:

“Liberal communists do not want to be just machines for generating profits. They want their lives to have a deeper meaning. They are against old-fashioned religion, but for spirituality, for non-confessional meditation…Their preferred motto is social responsibility and gratitude…After all, what is the point of their success, if not to help people? It is only this caring that makes business worthwhile.”

That capitalism could assimilate this rebellion was a consequence of a wrong political strategy, but it also an acknowledgment that identity politics cannot be revolutionary on its own. Not to say that the entire movement of the 1960s is easily dismissed. It is not. E.P. Thompson in his Open Letter to Leszek Kolakowski derided the “posters of Che Guevara, juxtaposed against mini-skirts, ‘Mao tunics’, and military leather jackets” that “decorated the most modish swinging boutiques in the King’s Road or Royal Leamington Spa” but he also defended the movement:

“And yet there are other, and more hopeful, ways of seeing that experience: the challenge to Gaullism, the great strikes in the French motor industry, the first large cracks in the massive, ritualized traditionalism both of French academic institutions and of the routinized politics and routinized ideology of the PCF. […] What was remarkable in the German youth movement was not its impulsive form and its lack of bearings, but that these children of Hitler’s legionairies had taken to the streets, and in this affirmative way, at all.”

Rather what I am giving is just a warning against, for example, dealing with inequality in the identity-focussed, individualist manner that Harriet Harman recent did, without its class-based content.

In the1960s, the creation of a popular counter-culture only vaguely associated with the serious and revolutionary demands of a large section of the population, and even of the student movement, was simply the waves that denoted the earthquake. Yet the earthquake passed, eventually, and the waves were all that remained. On one of those waves came the seeds of identity particularism fruited by the trees of Haydn, Cohn-Bendit, Rudi Dutschke and the others – and they took root all over the place in the context of a working class in retreat.

So the identities of the excluded, rather than becoming better integrated into the wider socialist programme – the leadership of which had failed to take proper account of them – instead became a political regression, a means to replace class and explain the defeat. Which brought things full circle to Tom Haydn, who, as outlined above, imagined the particularism of students precisely in response to the long-term quiescence of the working class (and, I would add, his failure to see how that quiescence could be integrated with Marxist theory).

From there it is only a short-hop to some types of post-marxism, which I shall engage with in Part 2 as regards Goran Therborn and the conclusions of Slavoj Zizek’s books, In Defense of Lost Causes and First as Tragedy.

New Labour and the ‘Good Society’

January 23, 2010 18 comments

Harriet Harman in a speech to Compass ironically titled “the Good Society” dwelt on the subject of how equality needs to be examined and addressed through the State. As she is the Minister for Equality, this won’t come as a galloping shock to most people, but what was particularly surprising was how little meat she managed to get away with attaching to the New Labour rhetoric and its usual attempt to be both self-congratulatory and critical of the Conservatives.

“Equality,” declared Harman, “must, of course, mean the absence of discrimination on grounds of race, gender, faith, sexual orientation, disability and age”. Yet, she continued, “we also know that overarching and interwoven with these strands is the persistent inequality of social class.” All the usual prostituted buzzwords follow; aspiration, opportunity, values, commitment, fairness and so on.

There’s nothing radical about this idea, and certainly nothing radical about the basis on which Harman’s National Equality Panel was set up “to document the relationship between inequalities in people’s economic outcomes – such as earnings, income and wealth – and their characteristics and circumstances such as gender, age, ethnicity or class.”

Quite the opposite of radical, Harman seems to conflate the issue of equality with the issue of identity. This looks at the question the wrong way around, as straightforward income inequality is ultimately caused by low pay. Low pay, in its turn, is not caused by the poor education that might result from growing up in a poor family. It exists independently, and even a nation of rocket scientists will still pay Tesco GAs poorly.

Why certain individuals are ‘unequal’ can be mapped using gender, age, race, social class and so on, but this does not challenge the fact the inequality is a prerequisite of capitalism. It does not change that at all points in time, some people must occupy the worst-paid rung of the economy, some people the best, whatever their respective backgrounds and circumstances. Even if the races were equal in their share of poverty,this still doesn’t mean it’s okay for someone to be earning the minimum wage.

For Harman, it’s mostly a matter of equal opportunities, of state intervention at specific points to improve equal economic outcomes. This matters less to me when at some level it’s dealing with equally bad economic outcomes.

This type of policy may end up with people on all levels of income making up a roughly representative sample of the workforce, rather than lesser incomes having higher proportions of immigrants, non-white races, older people and disabled people than the general workforce, but I doubt it.

Such an acceleration of minorities will provoke an ideological backlash that will elect a hostile Tory government. For Harman’s conception of inequality doesn’t acknowledge the idea of class power, the concept that the people at the top have a vested interest in continuing to accumulate the wealth and structural power that helps to sustain and extend the imbalance that exists. These interests have never been reticent at exploiting prejudices and the view that some parts of the whole, e.g. ethnic minorities, are doing better at the expense of other parts.

Harman’s ideas simply press for helping certain parts of the lower rungs. I support this, as race, gender etc shouldn’t be determinants of one’s future position in society – but this is not all that needs doing, if we’re to combat the class agenda laid out above.

Unless this agenda is supplemented with a full-fledged attempt to redress actual inequality also, rather than just relative inequalities, to unite the working class regardless of gender, race, age, disability, creed or ‘social class’, it will be stymied.

Addressing actual inequality, also known as redistributive politics, would see funds flow into the poorest parts of the country, massive schemes for socialized housing and community facilities. It would see power flow from the State, whatever its agenda, to people – e.g. through taking the chains off the organised labour movement, and allowing people to come to an understanding with one another. This is itself a class project, the opposite class project to the gathering of all the reins of power into the hands of a few already-powerful and wealthy people.

The class power bestowed on the working class could then be used to overwhelm the opposition and challenge all forms of inequality. This is not what Harman has in mind, of course. The best Harman could cite as a New Labour policy aim was Clause 1 of the Equality Bill:

“[I]n every important action these public authorities take, and in every important decision they make, they will have to ask themselves – “will this help tackle the inequalities in our society which are rooted in income and wealth?”  This will apply to Government departments.  It will apply to the decisions of Ministers, as well as to local government and to Regional Development Agencies.”

Which is all very noble, I’m sure, but it rather escapes the harmful effect many of New Labour’s more direct policies have; the employer-friendly Work Trial scheme, the continuing attempt to squeeze even valid claimants off ESA, the effects of privatising council housing stock on rent costs, housing standards and numbers of Houses in Multiple Occupancy, bailing out the banks (plus bonuses) and landing the cost on the working class and so on. The proof in the pudding is that inequality under New Labour is the worst since records began in 1961 (h/t).

But this is not just a case of New Labour talking Left and acting Right.

Through the idea of equality, as defined by Harriet Harman and her New Labour colleagues, the Labour leadership are trying to find a pressure valve, through which to vent and re-direct the ambitions and passions of Labour members away from “outdated” issues like trades union rights, that could directly achieve, and encourage workers themselves to achieve, better terms and conditions from employers and ultimately a better deal from the State. Unfortunately far too many, including the Guardian, get taken in.

Instead the issue of equality is to be addressed in bureaucratic fashion through the arms of the managerialist state. I do not believe this to be sufficient.


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