From the redistribution of wealth to the redistribution of power

By Pavlos Geroulanos *

The difficulty confronted by the broad Democratic Wing of the political spectrum in fulfilling its promise of a just society has reconciled us with the idea that politics can be confined to managing a day-to-day reality in which social inequalities are growing at the expense of the majority and to the detriment of any effort for us to collectively grapple with our common future.

The utopia of a Just Society was based on a series of erroneous assumptions.

The overarching assumption was that the redistribution of wealth through taxing the rich and creating a strong social state that boosted lower income brackets was enough to make our society just.

The system worked for a protracted period in the post-war era and ensured social peace and balanced economic development in many countries around the world, including Greece.

Then globalisation came along with the opening of national markets - which were bound by domestic rules - bringing about the unhindered movement of wealth.

That revealed the inadequacy of the type of state on which we had based the model of a Just Society. Unable to keep up with the speed of markets, the central state lost the power to guard collective progress.

In the process, the trustworthiness of the state was lost along with the prospects for forming a broad democratic, progressive political party.

The central state instead of adjusting relied on capital for services it had pledged (at least to lower income brackets).

The more the state depended on capital for its survival, the more accountability and democracy were compromised.

It is no coincidence that the debate about political parties today revolves around which interests support what party and what...

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