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The Establishment: And How They Get Away with It The Establishment: And How They Get Away with It by Owen Jones
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The Establishment Quotes Showing 1-27 of 27
“A victory is scored when your opponents are forced to debate issues they would rather leave ignored”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“One day, this Establishment will fall. It will not do so on its own terms or of its own accord, but because it has been removed by a movement with a credible alternative that inspires. For those of us who want a different sort of society, it is surely time to get our act together.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And How They Get Away with It
“The modern Establishment relies on a mantra of 'There Is No Alternative': potential opposition is guarded against by enforcing disbelief in the idea that there is any other viable way of running society.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And How They Get Away with It
“As well as a shared mentality, the Establishment is cemented by financial links and a 'revolving door' culture: that is, powerful individuals gliding between the political, corporate and media worlds - or who manage to inhabit these various worlds at the same time. The terms of political debate are in large part dictated by a media controlled by a small number of exceptionally rich owners, while think tanks and political parties are funded by wealthy individuals and corporate interests.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And How They Get Away with It
“But as the late socialist politician Tony Benn would often put it, social change is a combination of two things: ‘the burning flame of anger at injustice, and the burning flame of hope for a better world’.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“The Establishment is amassing wealth and aggressively annexing power in a way that has no precedent in modern times. After all, there is nothing to stop it.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And How They Get Away with It
“The objective is to change the system and the behaviour it encourages, rather than replacing 'bad' people with 'good' people.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And How They Get Away with It
“Under the modern Establishment, the function of the state has been reconfigured. Now, it exists to support private interests, including sectors - like the City - which have nothing but contempt for the state.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And How They Get Away with It
“I would like Britain - and indeed other countries - to be run in the interests of people's needs and aspirations, rather than on the basis of profit for a small elite; for democracy to be democratically managed by working people; for democracy to be extended as far as possible, including in the workplace and the economy.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And How They Get Away with It
“most people are in favour of higher taxes on the rich and against running public services and utilities for profit, for example, and trust in key institutions is at an extremely low ebb. But promoting a sense of ‘there is no alternative’ – or so the unofficial slogan of the Establishment goes – has proved a tremendous ideological victory, fostering widespread acceptance and resignation, and sapping a will to resist.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“The Establishment is also shielded by the deflection of popular anger directed at those at the bottom of society, rather than those at the top. Low-paid workers are encouraged by the media and politicians to envy the supposedly luxurious conditions of benefit-claiming unemployed people, rather than resent their employers for paying them insufficient wages. Private-sector workers with no pensions are encouraged to envy public-sector workers whose pensions are still intact. Those who cannot get council housing – because governments have refused to build it – or get secure jobs – because politicians of all stripes have allowed them to be stripped from the economy – are encouraged to envy immigrants supposedly getting what is rightfully theirs.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“It is a matter of bitter irony that the biggest global wave of nationalizations happened in the age of neo-liberal free markets. As Blanchflower puts it: ‘The private sector failed and had to be rescued by the public sector, and there was no alternative.’ This was socialism for the rich on an epic scale. It was not free-market dogma that came to the rescue of these banks: it was the state.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“Tax avoidance was just one symptom of a broader dramatic shift in favour of big business that accompanied the rise of Britain’s Establishment. The transfer of public assets to the private sector; the reduction of corporate taxes; the entry of corporate lobbyists into the heart of power; untrammelled globalization; and the defeat of the traditional trade-union enemy – all fuelled a deep sense of entitlement and triumphalism, as well as an ever more unequal distribution of wealth.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“The Establishment is amassing wealth and aggressively annexing power in a way that has no precedent in modern times. After all, there is nothing to stop it. There”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“the whole Iraq episode ‘permanently undermined the credibility and authority of the British state’.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“Benefit fraud – costing an annual £1.2 billion, or 0.7 per cent of social security spending – is treated as a despicable crime, while tax avoidance – worth an estimated £25 billion a year – is even facilitated by the state, with accountancy firms that promote such tax avoidance seconded to government to draw up tax laws.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change,’ as Milton Friedman put it. ‘When the crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas lying around’ and ‘the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable’.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“As a report by the High Pay Centre in 2013 showed, at the turn of the millennium, the average FTSE 100 chief executive was paid forty times more than an ordinary worker; by 2011 it had surged to 185 times higher – even though share prices were lower.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“Yet there is a logical flaw at the heart of Establishment thinking. It may abhor the state - but it is completely dependent on the state to flourish.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And How They Get Away with It
“You can argue whether it's right or wrong,' says Halfon about the scrapping of Connexions, 'and yes I believe we should be balancing the economy, but nevertheless the think-tank people never consider how it actually impacts on the front, although they do create an intellectual framework.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And How They Get Away with It
“He recalls sympathetically the words of The Observer after Britain’s disastrous military intervention over the Suez Canal in 1956: ‘We had not realized that our government was capable of such folly and such crookedness.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“MPs have become corporate politicians, envious of the hyper-wealthy elite they helped to create, frustrated at missing out on the spoils of their own policies. It is hardly stretching a point to say that many MPs now see their role not as a vocation, a duty or a service – but, rather, as just another upper-middle-class career option that is not being remunerated as well as other comparable professions.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“And so the nature of modern capitalism is exposed: a publicly subsidized racket, where the real ‘scroungers’ are to be found not at the bottom of society, but at the top. The great fire sale of state assets includes even an institution once described by a Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, as the ‘closest the English have to a religion’ – namely, the NHS.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“Today’s Establishment is made up – as it has always been – of powerful groups that need to protect their position in a democracy in which almost the entire adult population has the right to vote. The Establishment represents an attempt on behalf of these groups to ‘manage’ democracy, to make sure that it does not threaten their own interests. In this respect, it might be seen as”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“Paul Staines puts it approvingly: ‘We’ve had nearly a century of universal suffrage now, and what happens is capital finds ways to protect itself from – you know – the voters.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“The Establishment represents the institutional and intellectual means by which a wealthy elite defends its interests in a democracy. This was, after all, once far more straightforward to do. Before 1918, there were still property qualifications that prevented many working-class people from voting; and before Parliament extended the suffrage under pressure from below in 1832, 1867 and 1884, only the very privileged could vote. Because those without property were denied the right to vote, the political system was the plaything of the elite, existing simply to serve its interests.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it
“Yet there is a logical flaw at the heart of Establishment thinking. It may abhor the state – but it is completely dependent on the state to flourish. Bailed-out banks; state-funded infrastructure; the state’s protection of property; research and development; a workforce educated at great public expense; the topping up of wages too low to live on; numerous subsidies – all are examples of what could be described as a ‘socialism for the rich’ that marks today’s Establishment.”
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it