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New Left Project

I came across something called the New Left Project yesterday, which published a couple of articles under the title “Political Philosophy and the Left”.

The first of the articles was mostly about the old issue of equality of opportunity versus equality of outcome, suggesting that equality of opportunity was not enough. This one has been argued over for as long as I can remember. Why is anyone even concerned about equality of outcome when there is less equality of opportunity now than since the end of the Second World War?

This can be spelled out plainly. There are those who own land, who receive rent for no effort on their part. There are those who do not, who must pay rent and work for wages. That is the simple divide, which those on the left generally ignore. Until the system of land tenure changes, the divide will remain, and all talk of equality of opportunity, let alone equality of outcome, is pointless. It is like trying to polish a turd.

The big issue for the Left is to develop a coherent philosophy of political economy now that Marxism has been discredited as a body of thought. The task is urgent because the principal source of ideas at the moment is libertarian and anarcho-capitalist. Without a coherent philosophical base to argue from, it is very difficult to deconstruct libertarianism, which is why it is running unchecked. The defects of libertarianism lie in its understanding of property rights, the nature and functions of the state and the  relationship between them. Current left political philosophy is not up to the task of addressing these issues.

New Left Project – Political Philosophy and the Left