Letter: Engineers of reform
Tuesday 14 December 1999
Well, Professor Callinicos, look around and compare society now with what it was even 50 years ago. The "re-engineering" forces have ensured a far fairer division of the economic cake so that a large majority of the population in the western democracies now enjoy a standard of living that our grandfathers could only dream about. This dual force - capitalism providing the wealth, socialist forces "from below" ensuring a gradual "re-engineering" of society - is a force for good.
Professor Callinicos asserts that "change will come democratically through mass movements from below". Precisely. What he seems unaware of is the radical changes that such democratic pressures have already achieved. One has only to think of the abolition of the slave trade, the parliamentary Reform Bills, the clean air acts, the education bills, the suffragettes, the various pressures brought to bear by the trades unions and the Green movement etc to realise that he is right. But these mass movements cannot effect change except by bringing pressure to bear on democratically accountable governments who, whether he likes it or not, are the engineers of social change.
No doubt poverty has increased in the Third World but this is due to several factors, not least being the massive population growth caused by improved medical facilities with which no amount of redistributive policies or economic growth can compete.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
- 2 36-year-old skeleton of dead baby found inside Indian woman
- 3 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 4 Homer Simpson has taken the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he has
- 5 The 13 obscure UK laws you didn’t know you were breaking
Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love voted Greatest Guitar Riff of all time
Doctor Who lesbian kiss sparks Ofcom complaints over 'weird lesbian-lizard perv trip'
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Homer Simpson has taken the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he has
Beyonce MTV VMAs feminist performance: Twitter reacts to singer's 'double standard'
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Air strikes? Talk of God? Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script after James Foley beheading
- < Previous
- Next >