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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism

Moral Maze 30 Jan 13: How should we make a moral calculation between the needs of the majority and the suffering and losses of the minority?

Host (David Aaronovitch): Is your essential view that those who are against progress, against development, are essentially the haves who resent or don't want the putting of riches... over the have-nots?

Martin Durkin: Broadly speaking, yes. The green debate on this - its mainly green argument, and you find that it comes from, for the most part, people with, who are very well off by global standards.

When you look at their arguments against consumption, you find it's usually mass consumption that upsets them. They haven't got any objections to posh cheese shops or vintners, or places that sell nice Italian tiles. It's Ikea and Tesco and places like that really upsets them. Places that produce things efficiently for the masses.

This is a very peculiar kind of anti-Capitalism... I call it posh anti-Capitalism. Right-wing anti-Capitalism. In the olden days, when I was on the Left... anti-Capitalism, we used to complain about capitalism because it would cause the immiseration of the masses. But of course it didn't. Actually the masses did rather well out of mass production, which is hwy they didn't buy our silly magazines. And instead, anti-Capitalism today, this sort of posh lot, seem - their gripe seems to be about the success of Capitalism...

The problem is, on the subject of NIMBYism, that NIMBYism has created the green belts and crowd us all into towns and cities created enormous suffering. It is against the good life... Town and Country Planning Act, which excludes, which means that 90% of Britons live on only 10% of the land in Britain.
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