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Red Tory: How the Left and Right Have Broken Britain and How We Can Fix It Paperback – May 1, 2010
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About the Author
Phillip Blond is an academic, writer and journalist. He was senior lecturer in theology and philosophy at the University of Cumbria, and was head of the new Progressive Conservatism project at the thinktank Demos. He writes for the International Herald Tribune, Guardian, Independent and Prospect and is frequently on the radio.
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Basically, like the Right, they uphold family, traditional values but also seek true social justice.
The only real power today is in the State and the Market, but Red Tories say both ought to be subservient to the community.
So, like the Right, it seeks to decentralize the Sate; but like the Left, it tries to counter the tyranny of the Market.
Instead of a welfare state or a market state it promotes strengthening local communities with local economies.
It draws on an old conservative tradition with the goal of an egalitarian distribution of private property with participatory economics; shared assets and modernized mutualism coupled with genuinely free markets.
Red Tories are against monopoly capitalism but believe in a true free market; capitalism with a small 'c'.
They think the market should be subservient to the communities needs.
Red Tories prescription is to `recapitalise the poor' and share the capitalist means of wealth production so there's "no proletariat upon the one side, and no monopolising capitalist upon the other," as Belloc says in The Servile State, which inspires much of what Blond has to say.
Blond clearly lays out his program with down to earth practical solutions using real world examples.
He is an Anglican theologian and the Red Tory movement is causing quite a bit of excitement in the Christian communities.
Although Blond aims much of this book specifically at the UK, it is coupled with American politics as well, so he talks about Thatcher/Regean, Bush/Blair.
Also included is a very erudite chapter on the economic collapse, its deep rooted causes, and a real paradigm shift for evaluating what needs to be done.
I never do reviews, but this book is the future of politics. No kidding, highly recommended!
Many American Anglophiles do not realize what a Clockwork Orange landscape much of modern Britain has become. After a survey of his "shattered society," Phillip Blond then argues for an older and radical conservatism in this manifesto packed with striking formulations and insights that inspire the dispirited American reader.
The wholesale collapse of British culture and the disappearance of its civil society over the last two generations is due to a fearful combination, Blond argues: that of a failed welfare state on the one hand and a failed "market state" on the other, both of them hollowed out by an implicit libertarianism. (Echoes of Chesterton and Belloc here.) The result is an extreme degree of social isolation and disconnectedness with neighbors and community. (Remember "Bowling Alone"?)
His vision is that of a renewed civil society, a remoralized market and a recapitalized poor--notions that are wholly absent from what passes for "conservative" (and much "liberal") thought today. By harnessing our forgotten powers of mutualism and association, Blond believes that a politics of virtue can be rebuilt from the ground up--largely free both from statism and from the monopoly capitalism which has made the market unfreer than ever.
Unlike most philosophers, Blond is in the extraordinary position of watching his ideas become reality, as in the case of the UK's recently passed Localism Bill.
Moreover, David Brooks' enthusiastic NY Times column about Blond's Red Toryism last year sparked a flurry of interest that now has a US version of his ResPublica thinktank, called ResPublica America, in the works and launching in the fall 2011. A radical--and necessary--vision.