Paul Mason’s new book

So familiar is the author with the lingua of Marx and the works of obscure Soviet economists that I began to wonder whether he wasted his formative years as an active member of one of the 57 varieties of Trotskyite sects.

Says Chris Mullin in a review.

Err, yes:

A former member of the Trotskyist Workers’ Power group, he responded to an interviewer from the London Evening Standard in 2011: “It’s on Wikipedia that I was, so it must be true. It’s fair to say I was a Leftie activist. What my politics are now are very complicated.”

The politics may be complicated but the economics isn’t. Mason’s simply ignorant of the subject.

He continually confuses “markets” and “capitalism” for example.

7 thoughts on “Paul Mason’s new book”

  1. “What my politics are now are very complicated”

    Always a bad sign, especially with would-be revolutionaries. At best, it means they feel they’ve been Peter Principled. At worst, “you won’t understand, just trust me with all your money and freedom”.

    ‘Item two: public ownership of monopolies including the provision of water, energy, housing, transport, healthcare, telecoms, infrastructure and education “providing services at cost price”.’

    So the only point in the plan that is even vaguely specific is based on nonsense. Most of these are monopolies because the govt has repeatedly legislated to make it so. There’s either nothing to do, or the remedy is the poison.

  2. Who regards such turgid leftist shite as worth publishing? Mason’s dreck won’t even sell as remainder stock and yet still it is printed. Bottler Brown’s autobiography will be a best seller compared to it.

    He wants to go back to nationalised industries(on an even bigger scale). Because they worked so well the first time around? To paraphrase that mouthy proto-leftist twat Ruskin -Mason is throwing a bucket of dust in the publics face.

  3. “Providing services at cost price”

    And at least twice the cost of services provided under market conditions, with a tenth of the functionality, when, where and to whom they feel like supplying it.

  4. MyBurningEars – Not arguing with that, though there seems to be a lot of experimenting to see how much of each industry that applies to. National Rail vs TOCs, local utility boards, etc.

    Not my point – maybe they’re all natural monopolies, or maybe there are other reasons these services need to be closely controlled by govt, lump them in with defence and justice. Take your pick.

    But given how regulated they already are, I don’t see what practical effect nationalisation is meant to achieve in Mason’s plan. What room is left to have *any* effect. What isn’t already covered by OfWat, OfSted, etc?

    Well, apart from making it easier for idiots to fiddle with outcomes (prices, grades) until they break something, rather than understanding the inputs and systems that produce them.

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