The Left has a communication problem

The left should be in the ascendancy following a crisis of capitalism, but it is not. The right is resurgent across the globe as the G20’s call for austerity shows. The right is leading for a number of reasons but just one of the problems for the left is that the narratives and explanations it offers tend to be more complicated than those offered by the right.

When David Cameron describes the UK’s debt as an overdraft it doesn’t matter that he’s wrong, it is easy to understand. When a Government’s finances are compared to a households it is intelligible to all whereas thinking about the public sector deficit as a mirror image of a private sector surplus seems counter-intuitive.

In this animation radical sociologist David Harvey presents an honest left wing analysis of the crisis in an accessible and genuinely entertaining way. Presenting information in an easily understandable way is something the right has done for years, it is time the left caught up.


3 thoughts on “The Left has a communication problem

  1. Can be a problem when you communicate inaccurately though.

    For example: no discussion of asset-inflation (e.g. in domestic housing market) combined with non-inflation in consumer goods due to Chinese exports, plus the connected but different factors about international borrowing and lending between Western developed nations and China, and how that cuts deep due to domestic individual Chinese saving patterns.

    Global imbalances had a lot to do with the crash, and it’s not all easy stories about credit card debt and crazy Wall Street innovation. Pretty pictures don’t change that – nor do they change the stupidity of a necessarily vacuous statement like “everyone should joing an anti-capitalist group right now” (oh really, and call for what exactly?) followed-up by zero policy proposals.

    The left’s problem isn’t just poor communication, it’s intellectual bankruptcy and economic ignorance as well.

    1. “The left’s problem isn’t just poor communication, it’s intellectual bankruptcy and economic ignorance as well.”


      True to some extent, but I’ve got some problems with what you’ve said yourself too.

      I’m at work at the mo, guess I’ll have to come back to you later with a more in depth response.

      I trust you know I’m not some vulgar anti-capitalist and those criticisms weren’t directed at me per se because I agree there’s a lot of people in my left wing boat who aren’t particularly helpful.

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