A comment in the post below has just reminded me that the single most convincing outline of an alternative 'what-to-do-about-the-banks' policy was provided by Richard Murphy, back in October but no one, absolutely no one as far as I can see, ever took up the idea and ran with it. &, on the net, last October might as well be neolithic times, as we've all got the attention span of goldfish. So go read it now and see what you think.
It's not a strategy for socialism tomorrow. But it is a strategy for structural reform, for breaking the hold of Big Finance on our economy. It is, to use that well worn phrase, a 'modernization' strategy of the Left. (Remember when the Left used to think it knew how to surf the wave of the future? Ah, such memories....)
Now, think about it, what is the Left without a vision of a future? It is a group of people who fight, and quite often lose, defensive battles. Battles to stop things changing for the worse rather than battles to make things change for the better. & I've had a lifetime of it and I'm feeling really, really sick at the prospect of doing it over again when the cuts come after the election.
So let's have Richard's network banking; let's have Boffy's and Chris' self managed organisations (which are more productive anyway); let's have an industrial programme of arms conversion; let's have a Greening of the economy; let's have a different way of looking at public service value In short: let's have some reason to live through the economic pain. Let's have a future.
It is true that the Tories and their allies are trying to log roll the country into the default assumption that cuts must come, and must come quickly and severely after the election whoever wins it. No doubt all those Keynesians are right to say we should wait till the upswing to cut, but the gilt markets might turn at any point and give us very little choice. & whilst I agree with Duncan's newly discovered Texan Post Keynesian that it's about income and wealth equality in the long run, I detect no enthusiasm for an equality of national decline.
It ain't enough for the Left to say 'it-was-the-rich-wot-broke-it-so-they-should-fix-it'. We need a programme. A new AES.