Do ideas matter?

In his latest article for Centre Right, Steve Baker asks “Do ideas matter?”

The Labour Party apparently thinks so: I have lost count of the number of times they have denounced the Government as “ideological”. We have even been called “pre-Keynesian neo-liberal ideologues” in the course of a speech.

Famously, Mrs Thatcher banged on the table a copy of Hayek’s Constitution of Liberty with the words “This is what we believe!” It’s rather ironic that Hayek’s postscript to that book was titled, “Why I Am Not a Conservative”.

When I reflect on these dark years of New Labour, I see as complete an implementation of the ideas of Gramsci, Foucault and Althusser as one of sound mind could dread. “Pre-Keynesian neo-liberal ideologues”?  It’s a bit rich, coming from hypocritical neo-Marxist demagogues.

The idea of the Big Society has a rich, pragmatic heritage. For me, it is about altruistic individuals in positive relationships. Some of those relationships will be charitable, some personal and some commercial. All are social, because society is the cooperative action of individuals, not the coercive power of the State.

As usual, the whole article is well worth reading.

1 Comment

  • DavidNcl says:

    I see – in the conservastive party – as complete an implementation of the ideas of Gramsci, Foucault and Althusser as one of sound mind could dread.

    Fixed it for ya!

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