Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hoover Institution: Uncommon Knowledge: Peter Robinson Interviewing Charles Moore: The Legacy of Margaret Thatcher

The situation that Margaret Thatcher inherited from Socialist Labor Party in Britain in 1979, is not much different from the situation that Ronald Reagan inherited from the Democratic Party in America economically in 1981. There were some differences politically, but both economies were in bad shape. High unemployment, low economic and job growth, both Thatcher and Reagan inheriting economic messes in 1979 and 81 respectively.

There were political differences, back in the 1970s. The UK Labor Party, was more of a Marxist Socialist Party, that believed in state ownership of the economy. At least to certain extents and there were British industries, that were owned by the U.K. Government. The U.S. Democratic Party, is made up of Liberal and Progressives and have Democratic Socialists. Progressive Democrats in the Party that believe in democratic socialism. Which is different from Marxism, but both parties have their big government supporters as it relates to economics and they were both in charge back then. But both countries were down and weren’t doing very well and were both looking for a change politically and both got it, with Thatcher and Reagan.

So in Britain, what Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher did and what the new Labor Party under Tony Blair continued in the late 1990s, but added their own touch to it, was bring more economic freedom to Britain. Privatized more British industries, cut taxes and cut spending and freed a lot of Brits to live their own lives. One thing I respect about the British Conservative Party, that unlike the Republican Party, is that they are a real Conservative Party. Not a Neoconservative Party. They truly believe in conserving individual freedom, not subtracting from it, or trying to tell people how to live their lives. The British Conservatives, didn’t bring in conservative economics, with authoritarian policies on Social Issues. They wanted to expand British freedom and give more Brits the ability to chart their own course in life, and not being dependent on the state for their lively hood.

That Thatcher Revolution, worked so well in Britain, that when Tony Blair was running and eventually elected Prime Minster in 1997 with the Labor Party, he did not run on Marxism. He didn’t try to convince Brits that capitalism doesn’t work and they need to go back to nationalizing British industries and return to the 1970s. What he did was to run on a different type of capitalism, that would expect Brits who were physically and mentally capable of working full-time, would be expected to be self-sufficient in life. And that even if you were unemployed and uneducated, that you would still be expected to work and be self-sufficient. And that the state will help you get the skills you need to be self-sufficient if you need it. Thats the legacy of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.