De-industrialisation and socialism

Originally posted on Michael Roberts Blog:

Last week I spoke on a panel that debated De-industrialisation and socialism.  The panel was organised by Spring, a Manchester-based group in England that has become a forum for the discussion of developments in capitalism and their implications for the prospects for socialism (http://www.manchesterspring.org.uk/).

The main theme for this panel discussion was the evident fact that the industrial sector (manufacturing, mining, energy etc) has declined sharply as share of the output and employment in the mature capitalist economies during the 20th century.  The question for debate  was: does this mean that the working class has also declined and is no longer the main force of change in capitalism; and also that a socialist or post-capitalist society will be a world without industry or employment of industrial workers?

The first point I made in the discussion was that the world is not de-industrialising.  Globally, there were…

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Scotland: yes or no?

Originally posted on Michael Roberts Blog:

With two weeks to go, the latest polls suggest that the upcoming referendum vote on independence for Scotland could be close, although the average of all polls still suggests that Scots will vote no to independence. It’s going to be a big turnout though.

In this post, I want to try to analyse the arguments for and against independence mainly from the point of view of whether an independent capitalist Scotland would be better for the Scottish working class in economic terms, and for that matter the rest of the British working class, than remaining in the Union with the rest of the UK.

Principles

But first let’s start with the principles. A united world in a fair and equal federation or commonwealth of states would be the most beneficial to the majority. It would mean sharing resources, culture and ideas to the benefit of all through a democratic process…

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