This is an interesting word, a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory.  The word is often exclusively  associated with principally  a left wing view of the political and economic system.  Every system has its ideology, lets take for example Capitalism or as the more modern expression has it Free Market Capitalism.  The basic tenet of this is that government should keep out of the whole arrear of the commercial life, the buying and selling, the manufacturing, the extraction industries, the importing and exporting of our daily bread.  Of course when examined in detail there  never was  a time when the business life of the country operated entirely free of government.  Take for example Value Added Tax imposed on the production and distribution of most goods and services, except for basic food stuffs.  This has become an almost invisible tax which raises probably more revenue than the very much debated income tax.

Economics and politics are indissolubly linked, the relationship changes from time to time, more regulation or less: but whether dictatorship, monarchy or even for the lucky few social democracy, these two are opposite sides of the same coin.  In’ Prosperity Without Growth’ by Tim Jackson, he puts our present austerity gripped economic position:

Society is faced with a profound dilemma.  To resist growth is to risk economic and social collapse.  To pursue it relentlessly is to endanger the ecosystems on which we depend for long term survival.

The philosopher, Michael Sandel expresses elegantly the problem we all face:

A new politics of the common good isn’t only about finding more scrupulous politicians.  It ale requires a more demanding idea of what it means to be a citizen, and it requires a more robust public discourse- one that engages more directly with moral and even spiritual questions.

June 2009.

It is an exciting time, big changes are afoot.  Once more into the breach dear friends

Democracy is not for cissies.