Friday, December 30, 2016

The Negative Aspects To State Spending

State spending in Ireland supports many small firms. These are firms that are so inefficient that they would face extinction in the absence of enormous state spending. Many, if not most, of these firms are low waged and non-unionised. Their conditions of work tend to be bad too. 

This means that much of the surplus value generated by more efficient firms is transferred, through the imposition of taxation, from these firms to these less competitive ones. The outcome is less capital available by the more profitable firms for capital growth. This hinders the growth and concentration of industrial capital. It correspondingly constrains the growth and concentration of the industrial working class.

Not unconnected with this, state spending artificially maintains many of the villages, and even towns, in rural Ireland. In the absence of state spending many of theses villages and small towns would cease to exist. 

In short state spending hinders class polarisation in the Irish republic. This hinders capital growth and concentration and the corresponding growth and concentration of the working class. This, in turn, hinders the politicisation of the working class.

The Irish state promotes backward capital and thereby artificially sustains a backward (petty) bourgeois class to the detriment of the working class and the class struggle. Consequently increased state spending cannot serve the class interests of the working class. Ironically much of the Irish Left promote spending by the capitalist state as the way forward.

Take Car

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Anti-Water Charges Campaign

The AAA-PBP alliance argues that Irish water should be funded from progressive taxation with the emphasis on those earning over €100,000. Clearly  the latter sum is not, by today's standards, an enormous sum. This effectively means that the middle and working class are to fund the national water system. 

Progressive taxation is a bourgeois tax that is enforced to sustain the capitalist state. It is not a tax that exclusively hits capitalists. Progressive taxation is a cross-class tax. Consequently there is nothing radical when AAA-PBP promote this fiscal form as part of a solution to water funding. However it has the appearance of radicalism.  It is a policy designed to deceive the working class.

The AAA-PBP alliance, in effect, claim that the Irish (capitalist) state is the benefactor of the working class (if in the right hands). The inference, then, is that water maintenance serves the interests of workers when only under (capitalist) state control. But the alliance fails to point out that the state is capitalist. Consequently that state will privatise or statify water assets should it ultimately serve the interests of capitalism. Therefore the alliance's call for the continued statification of water is unjustifiable from a proletarian perspective.

Neither direct water charges nor progressive taxation are solutions to the problem of water. Both are bourgeois fiscal forms. Both hit the working class in different ways. But substantively they have the same character. Progressive taxation is a more deceptive fiscal form.

The only solution is direct ownership, control and regulation of water resources by the working class. This means the establishment of directly democratic workers councils --communism. 

The AAA-PBP  position actively seeks to contain the struggle over water within the parameters of capitalism thereby preventing the working class from becoming class conscious and taking political power into its own hands.

The Right2Water campaign, as it stands, is a cross- class alliance that serves the interests of capitalism at the expense of the working class. This is explains why there is a substantial number of deputies supporting the abolition of water charges.

The alliance argues that the justification for the abolition of water charges is the "democratic mandate" within  the Dáil (parliament) to abolish these charges. But Dáil mandates have existed since the establishment of the Irish state. These mandates have been, largely speaking, anti-working class, ones that much of the Irish Left would have refused to support. The Thatcher and Blair governments, in Britain, had parliamentary mandates. Yet much of the Left opposed these mandates. There is no obligation, morally or politically, for the working class to support "democratic" mandates. This is because bourgeois democratic mandates are not necessarily morally or politically justifiable.

The argument that the Irish  state can take surplus value from the capitalist class to solve the problems of the working class is both illogical and impossible. Surplus value deductions, by squeezing profits, undermine the capitalist econonic system. It is a programme that falsely suggests that capitalism is not obsolescent and can serve the class interests of workers. Because of its inherently class nature the state is objectively unable to serve proletarian interests.

The lack of radicalism of the Right2Water movement has now been concretely demonstrated by the political activity of the two major bourgeois political parties along with its (Indpts) satellites. By their suspension of water charges they have resolutely undermined the Right2Water campaign. With a stroke of the pen the FG/FF alliance has destroyed that movement. The latter now can no longer mobilise much of the the populace in the way that it did.  This was possible because the raison d'etre for the campaign was based  simply on the specific form of taxation, a bourgeois issue, rather than the issue of power and its nature. 

It is ironical to hear a deputy from PBP say on the RTE news that the intervention by FF/FG on the water issue constitutes a breakthrough. This is to suggest that these two political parties bear a progressive character.  The deputy's comment is a further indication of the purely bourgeois character of the anti-water charges campaign. The latter  was one enormous illusion presented as radical by the leadership of the Right2Water movement. The AAA-PBP alliance is exploiting poverty, pauperization and the exploitation of labour power to advance its power base within the decadent dynamics of capitalism. This can only obstruct any opportunities that exist for workers to emancipate themselves from the shackles of capitalism.

The water problem, the health problem and homelessness can only be solved by workers setting up a system of factory/ office committees and workers' councils. Under such directly democratic workers' forms the Irish state can be both confronted and destroyed. This is the path to the establishment of authentic com unitarianism. 

The promotion of statism by the AAA-PBP alliance is a bourgeois strategy that is hostile to proletarian interests. It is ironically a programme that the SWP and the Socialist Party were formally opposed to, in its extreme form, with respect to the extinct Soviet Union. They have now taken a 360 degree rotation -- a revolution. But not the revolution that communists advocate.

Superstitious belief in the Irish legislature and the state, itself, is generally reactionary. What may serve as a tactic has been converted into a strategy by the #AAA-PBP alliance. Bourgeois democracy is an obsolescent institutional form. It is not the way towards emancipation.

There is no royal road to class emancipation. Anti-property tax and water charges campaigns  are cross-class alliances that cannot challenge capitalism. They bear a superficial character that is incapable of challenging the existing  social system. 

It is the contradictory nature of the process of production that is at the heart of the problem. The fiscal sphere is not. It is merely concerned with how surplus value, already generated by production through exploitation, is to be distributed. Changes as to how this distribution is undertaken are not of fundamental significance. This is because the production of surplus value has already been realised. Exploitation has already been effected. 

The only way to deal with the issue of the  water system is to seize it. This means working class ownership, control and regulation of the water system. Under these conditions taxes can never be an issue. This is because they would not exist. 

The task of the working class cannot be concerned with reforming the fiscal system. Its task is the elimination of all taxation. Taxation is a capitalist  form. It  is not a form by which the class needs of the working class are met. Progressive taxation, in particular, is a bourgeois form. It is not a form by which the class needs of the working class are realised. Consequently the call by the AAA-PBP alliance for funding of water through progressive taxation is not a solution to the problem. 

Neither is borrowing by the state a solution to the water problem. This is because borrowing is undertaken at the expense of the working class. 

A social revolution is necessary if the problems of the working class are to be solved. This entails the seizure of power by the workers through the establishment of a federation of workers' councils that replaces the state. A community without a state.

Take Care
Paddy Hackett

Friday, March 4, 2016

People Before Profit Alliance

The People Before Profit Alliance seeks the total abolition of water charges. To fund the provision of clean and safe water it supports the cost of this service being imposed on the capitalist class and sections of the middle class. The logic behind the position  means that the total cost of all state spending should be, largely speaking, imposed on the capitalist class and sections of the middle class too.

Under these conditions the capitalist class would be left with no alternative but to withdraw its assets from the Irish economy. This would lead to the effective disappearance of the Irish economy. Consequently the income of the working class would collapse while unemployment would become widespread. Apocalyptic conditions would prevail.

Neither can the leadership of the right2water campaign  support any abolition of water charges made by a future capitalist government. This is because it's abolition will result in the charge being largely imposed in a veiled form on the working and lower middle class (under general taxation or whatever). Should such support be forthcoming from the right2water leadership it will  clearly expose its reactionary character. The abolition, suspension or modification of the water charges by a bourgeois government cannot be justifiably claimed to  be a victory for the leadership of the Right2Water campaign.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Irish General Election 2016

The General Election Results

The Irish General Election results are showing that there has been no radical change in Irish politics. The general election results are evidence  of the political and ideological stagnation within the working class. The evidence produced by the elections shows that the Irish working class is politically and ideologically stagnant.
Despite its disastrous record leading up to and including the world 2008 financial crisis Fianna Fáil has electorally won back  much of the working class and lower middle class.  The increase in support for Sinn Fein is merely support for another bourgeois party by the working class and other social strata. It is ironical that the Socialist Party has been describing the Sinn Fein party as an “anti-establishment” party. There is nothing “anti-establishment” about Sinn Fein. Indeed it has been going out of its way to demonstrate how pro-establishment it is. Increased support for the mix bag of Independents is largely support for other bourgeois political elements.

 The modest support for the Left is of no real significance. Indeed much of this Left has been becoming increasingly more moderate. Much of their political interventions are little or no different from that of much of the Labour Party of  yore. As it sniffs the power it will move further to the right. This Left is largely opportunist and will cut its cloth to increase its popularity.

Given this, overall, there has been no significant shift to the Left. The politics and ideology of the Irish working class is as it was in the days before the 2008 financial crisis. Essentially taking place is a reconfiguration or recalibration  of bourgeois politics in Ireland to meet the present class needs of the bourgeoisie. The effect of this  is to block off the working class from becoming more politicised thereby posing an increasing challenge to the existing system.

Any modest gains made by the Left, given its opportunism, will further encourage it to focus on electoralism to the detriment of more radical activism. Emerging from the new political situation will be a tendency by this Left to fetishise electoralism. There is now a strong possibility of the Left joining together to form a new party. Such a new party may even unite with relatively  “radical” elements within the existing Labour Party.  Such a party will descend into a crass opportunism  in the style of the present Labour  party. This will bring us back to where we started.

Ultimately the source of the problem is the existing character of the working class movement. It is a stubbornly politically stagnant working class. It is a class scurrying about since the 2008 world financial crisis seeking out diverse political elements that it mistakenly thinks will prevent it from loosing “ its benefits” of one sort or another. Consequently it will go to bed with any political element that, it believes, can protect its  “welfare”  –even with former terrorists. It lacks a class morality. It fails to understand that under capitalism the coalition government was compelled to cut back on the living standards of the working class and the lower middle class. The only other solution is a communist revolution. Despite their claims neither Sinn Fein nor the Left can solve the problems of the working class from within capitalism.

 The southern Irish working class has not shifted in a leftward direction. Instead it is still essentially politically and ideologically stagnant. It was the world financial crisis that generated the shake up in Irish politics –not the working class nor parties such as Sinn Fein, the Socialist Party nor the SWP. Indeed it was the crisis that rendered them more popular. This is the power of capitalism. Needed, more than ever, is a principled communist movement.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Did Steve Keen Get It Right?

Review of Steve Keen

Steve Keen, the author of Debunking Economics, argues that  economic crises are caused by excessive private debt. He claims that the financial sector plays a key role in creating this debt. The banks, he argues, are not simple intermediaries between lender and borrow. When they lend they increase debt and thereby credit and money. He claims that austerity imposed by the state is not the solution. For him the latter intensifies the problem. For Keen when private debt is contracting cutting back on public debt through austerity simply magnifies the problem. On this basis, if anything, the state needs to expand its intervention under such conditions. Keen fails to understand that the problem is due to lack of total profitability or surplus value. It is then a problem located in the process that generates surplus value (profit). The problem is not created in the circulation process. Consequently the problem is not due to the diminution of private borrowing. The latter is merely a symptom of the problem. Hence Increased state borrowing cannot solve the problem. Indeed increased state borrowing merely sustains weak private capitalists in business. This prevents the crisis from forcing out weak capital as a means towards restoring profitability. Keen never informs us as to what, itself, is the cause of debt. This is because capital is the source of debt and thereby its regulator –the law of value.  The financial system, including the banks, is thereby the product of value relations. Keen fails to view social categories historically.

Keen, instead, falsely bases the existence of the crisis free stage of the economic cycle on subjective factors: psychology and memory. He makes the false assumption that memory of the previous debt ridden crisis makes investors and others risk adverse. This is hardly a justifiable assumption as a basis for offering an understanding of the economic cycle. It makes the false assumption that subjective factors standing outside the economic cycle are the cause that leads to crises. It also, in a sense, implies that the fading of memory explains the shift away from being risk adverse leading to the burgeoning of debt. Consequently the cycle of remembering and forgetting is the basis for the debt and economic cycles. Now psychology is the ultimate basis for economic behaviour. This is no better a basis than the utilitarianism, that Keen criticises, as the basis of neo-classical economics. Keen is forced to promote a fictitious account of the existence of economic recovery because of his repudiation of the process of capitalist production as the core location of crises. Because he has rejected a materialist account of the capitalist economy based in the production process he must resort to idealistic assumptions. But these are no more than mere myths.

The problem with Keen is that he views the problem in reverse. By privileging debt as opposed to production he reverses the problem thereby taking surface appearances as the source of the problem. For him result is cause. But the  problem is not excessive debt but the opposite: over-investment of capital  with respect to the degree of exploitation obtaining. It is this that is responsible for excessive debt. Capital is over-produced in relation to profitability.

 In contrast for  Keen over-accumulation of capital is driven and facilitated by excessive accumulation of debt. Credit not production is cause. He fails to understand the opposite to be the case. The over-accumulation of debt is a product of the over-accumulation of capital.  Because there is an ultimate limit to the overproduction of capital there is a limit to the scale of possible debt. As capital accelerates to such a degree that it turns into over-accumulation credit consequently contracts. It is over-accumulation that causes both excessive debt and the consequent credit contraction. Under these circumstances the ratio of debt to GDP spirals out of control. But this ratio is merely an index that over-production of capital has occurred.

The contraction of credit manifests itself on financial markets through the emergence of wild speculation. Eventually there is a credit crunch. Credit thereby becomes less available to make investments and to meet debt obligations. This is a chain like reaction.

The state steps in to compensate for private credit contraction through what is known today as quantitative easing. This prevents the contraction from sufficiently deepening to make a robust recovery a reality. Consequently the conditions for a real  recovery never assert themselves. This then leads to  further problems. To realise real recovery the crisis needs to deepen sufficiently to restore profitability. This is because the general rate of profit is the source of the problem –not debt. This means that many weaker capitalists are eliminated. It also entails the pauperisation of much of the working class. It is the restoration of profitability through the destruction and devaluation of capital that creates the conditions for recovery. But under certain very adverse conditions war may be a necessary condition too. This was the case in the period leading up to the Second World War. And the Great Depression, then, was obviously not caused by excessive debt accumulation.  Under these conditions the fall in the general rate of profit is arrested and restored to a higher rate.

However this does not provide  a permanent solution to the capitalist economic crisis. The contradictions ultimately reassert themselves. Ultimately the only solution is the elimination of the existence of social relations in the form of value relations. This is achieved through the realisation of communism by social revolution.

Keen maintains that the problem is caused by the excessively high ratio of debt to GDP. Debt here is a multiple of the GDP. This, he claims, becomes increasingly unsustainable eventually leading to a steep fall in asset prices. Under these circumstances Ponzi finance is the first to collapse. This initiates a domino effect that runs right through the financial system. For Keen modern capitalism is powered by debt. The debt cycle drives the economic cycle.

The possibility of the existence of credit relations originates in money’s function as means of payment. The possibility of credit is a product of the inner nature of the capitalist mode of production itself.  The limits of the valorisation of capital determines the limits of credit and debt. Not the reverse as Keen holds. The more profitable capital is, the more credit becomes available. The quantity of capital and the scale of its valorisation dictate the degree to which  credit and debt can expand. Capital constrains credit expansion. Otherwise it's expansion would proceed ad infinitum. Then growth would prove an endless process. But the more disproportionate the volume of credit in relation to industrial capital the greater the intensity of the contradictions that manifest themselves. The rate of credit expansion is forced to contract. Credit turns into its opposite. This contraction entails a fall in demand and a corresponding contraction of the economy. Excessive accumulated debt is the appearance of the crisis not its cause.

The  underlying cause is the inadequate valorisation of capital. It's inadequate expansion. Credit expansion and debt is capital’s attempt to overcome its immanent limits or barriers. Because it cannot overcome its limits a crisis is generated. The crisis is the solution to the problem. But it is merely a provisional solution. Revolution is the authentic solution.

The state engages in an austerity programme of cuts in state spending. This adds to the painful nature of the crisis. It entails further hardships both for elements within the capitalist class, itself, and the working class. The state fears the deepening of the crisis for political reasons. Consequently instead of the crisis deepening itself to the degree necessary for a full recovery the state steps in to try to moderate the crisis. But this intervention fails to solve the problems of capitalism. It merely distorts the form by which the laws of capitalism manifest themselves.

The reproduction process of capital consists of the production process and the circulation process. It is a contradictory unity. The circulation process involves circulation time. It is a necessary form of the expanded reproduction of capital. In contrast to the production process it cannot produce value. It forms a barrier to the production process. Circulation is a contradiction. It both facilitates and hinders the valorisation process. Circulation time is always a barrier to the creation and realisation of value. Consequently the necessary tendency of capital is not only to shorten circulation time but  to reduce it to nothing wherever possible i.e. to  bring about circulation without circulation time.
Capital endeavours to overcome this barrier through credit. Valorised capital finds its realisation in capital’s circulation process.

Credit emerges from the reproduction process to overcome this barrier. In other words the capitalist  secures credit to facilitate the fluent continuity of the circulation of capital. The banks are an institutional form by which this is achieved. However money capital cannot directly valorise itself. It is only capital (self expanding value) in the form of the process of production that achieves this. It is therefore imperative that money capital  functions within the circulation of capital as soon as and as little as possible. In this way the scale of valorisation is maximised. But there is no guarantee that this is always achieved. This is because of the separation of sale and purchase –the source of the possibility of crises.

Capital can only create surplus value within the production process. Each phase of production must be followed by a phase of circulation which continually  interrupts the continuity of production. Thus the conditions of production arising out of the nature of  capital contradict each other. The contradiction is superseded and overcome in only two ways: by the division of capital and through credit.

Circulation time is a barrier to the creation and realisation of value. Consequently the necessary tendency of capital is not only to shorten circulation time but to reduce it  to nothing wherever possible i.e. to bring about circulation without circulation time.

 In this context the function of money is bound up with unproductive expenditure. Insofar as money is value it is a cost of circulation to capitalist production. Money in the form of capital, money capital, cannot produce value. Hence capital strives to economise on money positing it as a merely formal moment.

The entire credit system together with the over-trading and over-speculation connected with it rests on the necessity of valorisation expanding and leaping over the barrier of circulation and the sphere of exchange. Credit is an inherent form of the capitalist mode of production. However it cannot create surplus value. It is confined to the non-valorising circulation process.  Credit helps to keep the acts of buying and selling further apart in time and thereby forms the basis for speculation. It  arises out of the difficulty of employing capital profitably. Credit and debt exists within the framework of the drive for valorisation. Overproduction and the credit system are means by which capital  seeks to break through its own barriers and to produce over and above its own limits.

As capital expands it causes credit and debt to grow. In the absence of such credit  the economy would not grow. Its rate of expansion cannot be  subjectively regulated. This is why the state’s relentless attempts to manage money never eliminate crisis, stagnation and even war. The drive to valorise capital cannot exist in the absence of credit and thereby debt. This is why valorisation historically creates credit and debt.

Credit is derived from the existence of money in the form of  means of payment. But the production process creates money and money capital. The circulation time is shortened by credit thereby rendering the valorisation of capital increasingly  independent of the circulation process. The greater this independence the greater the disconnection between the production process and the real market. The real market becomes increasingly independent from the  valorisation needs of the production process itself. It is this independence that provides the condition for the emergence of Ponzi finance. Consequently there are increasingly less constraints on the degree to which production grows. Production becomes increasingly production for production’s sake. But this state of affairs cannot be indefinitely sustained. Capital cannot transcend its immanent limits.

 Credit becomes increasingly speculative acquiring a Ponzi character. As  Keen puts it the ratio of debt to GDP spirals out of control. This is just another way of saying that capital fails to valorise on a scale sufficient to justify the volume and rate of debt  expansion. In other words the production of surplus value fails to grow at a volume or rate commensurate with the volume of debt. This means that the base (let us say the GDP) on which this massive volume of debt rests is too small to sustain it. Eventually this debt becomes increasingly chimerical and thereby, in a sense,  increasingly meaningless. This is because it is ultimately disconnected from its source –the production process.  The credit system collapses and production consequently contracts. Investment slows down even coming to a virtual halt. Keen by suggesting that austerity intensifies the problem does not understand the unproductive nature of much of state spending.  As unproductive it is a form of expenditure that contributes nothing to the creation of surplus value and thereby growth. In fact it largely constitutes a deduction from total profit.

For Keen it is not a  question of diminishing profitability being the central problem.  It is debt becoming increasingly excessive and assuming a Ponzi character. Ponzi finance becomes unsustainable because of falling asset prices. But it is not falling asset prices that is the cause of the problem. It is the growing difficulties with valorisation. In this way Keen fetishises debt positing its cycle as the driver of valorisation.

Crisis is the forcible establishment of unity between elements that have become independent. Although it appears in the process of circulation the crisis is an interruption in the process of reproduction as a whole.

Keen essentially shares the same conception as neo-classical economics, Austrian economics and the various forms of Keynesian economics. None of them see the contradiction in the capitalist mode of production as the source of the problem. Instead they see the product of capitalism, credit and debt etc, as the cause of capitalism. They see circulation as the problem. This is why they believe that it can be  seriously modified or changed by the state in one way or another such as budget deficits, quantitative easing etc. But ultimately the laws of capitalism cannot be managed. Ultimately they must manifest themselves even if in a distorted way. Capitalism, not debt, is the problem. It must be abolished and replaced by communism.

Friday, February 5, 2016


Bentham confined his discussion to the current society under which he lived. He never advanced the need for the replacement that system with communism. He did not base his ethics on the need for revolution. Revolution involves the existence of actors in the form of collective forces (classes). They are not grounded in players in the form of individuals. His ethics was reductionist and not holistic. A worker or a capitalist implies class. It is class that determines the nature of the individual. These are social not individual forms. Consequently to privilege the individual is to abstract from class. It is a Robinsonian view. It is social forms that determine the role of the individual --not the reverse. The transformation of social forms changes the character of the individual --not the reverse. The specific social relations of production are the drivers --not the individual. Benthamism, on the other hand, offers the individual as the driver which is why society is presented as constituted from the sum of individuals.

Should workers realise communism through social revolution they realise this project not as individuals but as workers --in the form of the working class --a social form. Nor is class consciousness the sum of the individual consciousnesses of workers. The latter is a contradiction. Class consciousness is exclusively a form of social (public) consciousness. The basic historical forms are class forms and social relations. Individuals cannot exist outside the social relations that connect them together. Individuals cannot exist independently of social relations or social forms. Bentham believed that individuals exist independently of social forms.

Under capitalism social relations of production are reified. It is this reification that imposes inherent limits on the working class. In other words the relations between producers, in the form of workers, assumes the form of relations between things. It is this reification that must be abolished if workers are to be emancipated.

Under reification it is not possible for workers to achieve "the greatest happiness of the greatest number." The latter is an ethical illusion presented by the ideology of utilitarianism. The latter misrepresents the character of capitalism. It suggests that capitalism is a natural, thereby eternal, system. Much of the radical Left misleadingly prescribe the greatest happiness principle under capitalism. They fail to acknowledge the limits of capitalism. This the ethical basis for its claim that the interest of the working class is achievable under capitalism.

Much of the radical Left is imprisoned by the Enlightenment tradition. In other words it has not transcended the limits of the Great French Revolution. This is partly because the programme of The Great French Revolution has not been realised by the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie were so threatened by the modern working class that it feared it's own Enlightenment programme.

Much of the radical left seeks to complete the programme of the Enlightenment programme. It fails to comprehend that this programme is no longer realisable under capitalism. It is now an unrealisable Utopian programme -- an idealistic programme. Only under communism can the needs of the working class be met.

Utilitarianism, because of its individualist reductionism, precludes the necessity for social revolution. It is inherently anti-revolution. Since its slogan of "the greatest happiness of the greatest number" is based on the individual utilitarianism precludes the role of social forms. Without social forms (as opposed to the individual) as driver revolution is impossible. Social revolution necessarily implies social forms as actors.

Clearly utilitarianism is an ideology that distorts the character of society thereby misrepresenting the way forward. It is a consequentialist ethics that denies the working class its historic role.

Utilitarianism And The Radical Left

In general the Left in Ireland is utilitarian in their moral and political philosophy. It is forever making demands for this and that. Generally its demands are not concerned with the need for the emancipation of the working class together with the need to eliminate alienation. This is because it does not seek the elimination of capitalism. Instead it seeks the Utilitarian increase in pleasure and reduction in pain. The greater happiness principle of Jeremy Bentham. The latter believed that “the greater happiness of the greatest number” was achievable within capitalism. This is essentially the position of much of the radical Left. This Left is not even reformist. Reformists claim that it is possible to incrementally turn capitalism into socialism by means of reforms. This Left’s call for socialism is at most aspirational. It does not dialectically tie it in with its Utilitarian Action Programmes. It's political philosophy is a vulgar version of Utilitarianism. It is not even aware of the Utilitarian moral assumptions underlying its political outlook.

Utilitarianism is a reductionist moral philosophy. For it the unit of society is the individual. Consequently it ignores class division and advocates cross class policies as does much of the Irish Left. It's active leadership of the anti-property tax and anti-water rates campaigns are an example of this. It's support for electoralism is another. The latter means the support of the atomisation of the working class though elections under representative democracy.