Articles from Prospect Magazine
The New Reckoning: Capitalism, States and Citizens
by David Marquand
Polity Press, 1997
David Marquand is an engaging and stylish political thinker, who moves adventurously across academic frontiers and straddles the worlds of scholarship and politics. His main interest is in what may be called the "government of Britain" question; the failure, as he sees it, of Britain to develop into a properly democratic state. His method is one of persuasive argument, conveyed most felicitously in essay form, where thought is not unduly trammelled by the demands of rigour or specificity. His style is that of the seminar rather than the pulpit. He does not try to bludgeon the reader into submission and is too sceptical to admit to "final" beliefs
Essay: Brink Back Keynes
| Thursday, May 01, 1997
Perhaps it is time to revive Keynesian policy. The fact that monetary policy in the US and Britain does, in practice, take into account unemployment and growth as well as inflation is taken as a sign that some secret Keynesian demand management is at work. From this point of view, the odd men out are what Anatole Kaletsky calls the "sado-monetarist" central bankers and finance ministers of continental Europe who are wedded to price stability and the Maastricht criteria. I believe that Keynesian policy does have a role to play in improving the performance and stability of economies. But this belief does not warrant either historical or theoretical amnesia; nor should it blind us to the practical difficulties, particularly on the fiscalContinue reading...
Diary: Russian Lessons
| Tuesday, October 01, 1996
Thursday 27 June
I am in St Petersburg both as a tourist and as a British observer of the second round of the Russian presidential elections. The excuse for tourism is that the House of Lords Bridge Club has been invited to play a match against the South African consulate. I fly to St Petersburg with my wife, Augusta and our younger son William (19). Our elder son, Edward (22), joins us from Moscow where he is working. Our leader is Richard Gisborough, who has organised the expedition. On arrival at St Petersburg airport we board a coach with a poster stuck on the front window with the words "House of Lords" written on it. A band strikes up God Save the Queen. I smile radiantly and am about to raise my hand to acknowledge the reception,
There is widespread agreement that the welfare state needs to be drastically reformed, certainly slimmed down. Designed in the 1940s to protect weakened capitalist economies against the assault of revolutionary socialism, it is now under assault itself. Governments all over Europe are busy chipping away at entitlements and benefits built up since the war. Yet even minor cuts in welfare spending face huge political cost as Alain Juppe is discovering in France. The reason is that most people in Europe have come to rely on tax-financed welfare of one kind or other, and governments have failed to discover a political formula which might wean them from this dependence. Only in the US, whose welfare state is underdeveloped by EuropeanContinue reading...