Five minutes with Phillip Blond: “We’re looking at a complete collapse of standard left and right ideologies”

Traditional political and economic models have been challenged by their inability to predict the financial crisis and their failure to bring about a return to prosperity. In an interview with EUROPP’s Managing Editor Stuart Brown, Phillip Blond discusses the collapse of left-wing and right-wing ideologies, the new majorities that may take their place, and why despite the EU’s failings, becoming the leading power in Europe still offers Britain its best route to leading events on the world stage.
You’ve previously stated that the financial crisis has illustrated the bankruptcy of left-wing and right-wing political ideologies. Why have traditional ideologies failed?
I think it’s very clear that we’re looking at a complete collapse of standard left and right ideologies across many countries in Europe. We’re in a situation where the left, in order to achieve its end – chiefly greater equity and a stake for the poor in society – only has the state as its means of delivery. But the state is failing.
It’s clear that the welfare state, as a model, isn’t going to secure equality or the universality of outcomes. This is because the state is misdesigned: it’s centralised, it’s standardised, and it can only conceive of universality as one model, with the same thing delivered in the same way to everybody regardless of their need. This means that the real needs of those at the bottom are never met . . .


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