“No one left behind”

Progressive politics, the only form of non-repressive politics, must be based on sound ethical foundations. That is one reason why the effort to articulate such foundations and show how they work both for individuals and communities is important.

Economic systems and solutions must be built on these same ethical foundations – that is where Marxism and many other forms of socialism went wrong because the economics came first, in the belief that economic relations are the determinants of everything else. Well, they may be, indeed they are in the world we have come to accept, but ONLY IF WE LET THEM. And the irony of this wrong approach is that politics becomes a question of which economic policies produce the greatest short term gain, rather than being about the kind of society we live in.

At a time of such political upheaval and revolt against the political establishment as we are now seeing it is high time that we reexamined the basis of that society. What kind of community do we want to create and live in and bequeath to future generations?

But the world, and my country, cannot wait for the outcome and general acceptance of what will always appear to many as abstruse intellectual ramblings. We live in a world of soundbites and we need a good one, quickly, now. We can unpack it later. What would you suggest? Here’s mine, not original but I think it works:


2 thoughts on ““No one left behind””

  1. My concern about “No One Left Behind” is the implication of the ideal of everyone moving forward in some sort of progress (Whiggish history??) towards an achievable Utopia. I suspect that if we are to re-examine the fundamentals of what it is to live in a good society, we might have to row back on some of the things generally considered desirable at present; this will also be necessary, in any case, in respect of the impact of climate change.
    “No One Left Behind” implies everyone being able to have at least some share in the continuous growth of capitalist societies. But if the world cannot sustain continuous growth, then we have to look at a more equitable sharing of what we already have.

    1. David
      Thanks for the useful comment. I hadn’t thought of the line as having the implication of continuous growth, but I see where you are coming from and absolutely agree that it shouldn’t. Nor do I believe in shared progress towards a utopia, on the contrary I think blueprints for what the future should look like have historically proved to be both wrong and very dangerous. The intention was simply that the development of society, whatever form it takes and that need not imply continuous economic growth, should not leave some lagging far behind as has (always?) been the case in the past. Equality is of course a false goal but some sense of connectedness, solidarity is needed to imply that individual gain should carry responsibility and certainly should not be at the expense of others. This “slogan” is a snippet from a current attempt to articulate a coherent alternative to neoliberalism but I am eager to hear better ones!

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