- Capitalism and Alternatives -

More on the Sun.

Posted by: Farinata ( L'inferno ) on April 09, 1999 at 12:33:33:

In Reply to: wings posted by Gee on April 09, 1999 at 11:58:44:

: : Under no circumstances can the Sun be called a left-wing paper;

: Its certainly collectivist ("we brits" and all that tribal stuff)

Not really; jingoism/nationalism and collectivism are not the same thing at all; see any number of posts in this DR on why the Nazis weren't socialist.

The Sun has, for much of its recent history, trumpeted the ideals of Thatcherite Britain; ideas pretty similar to the American Dream, in a different wrapper; the ideals of becoming an owner of capital and aspiring to greater personal wealth (the paper is known for its frequent "special draws" and so forth.

It is a newspaper aimed at the C1 social class; the skilled artisans and manual workers, rather than the upper-middle classes (AB1); as such, its stance is calculated to appeal to the attitudes of those classes; xenophobic, money and gossip-obsessed, small-minded and prone to portraying itself as "the voice of the common man" or "the voice of reason". As such, it is the ideal mouthpiece for Rupert Murdoch to dictate his thoughts to the working class; it enjoys a disproportionate power in the UK due to astute assessment of the political climate.

The Sun is also well-known for contradicting itself over the course of a few days (most recently over the Serbian affair; on one day, it declared that "Britain and The Sun...were going to sort out Slobba, whatever it takes"; a couple of days later it declared that The Sun was utterly opposed to the use of ground forces, as it had been all along.)

Similarly, it is given to lambasting the activities of "fat cats"; but not the activites of Murdoch himself; probably the fattest cat in the UK today.

As such, the Sun's general outlook is not "collectivist"; it is opportunist; if it thinks generating patriotic propaganda will sell more papers, it will declare itself behind the government and Britain. The dominant message behind the Sun, though, is that of individual aspiration; the acquiring of personal wealth and property without thought for anyone else. That's anti-collectivist; it has frequently been known to attack collective bodies like unions and non-governmental groups as "shady committees" and "secret groups out to destroy Britain".

: : the Labour Party is currently right-wing in the UK.

: The typical 'left of centre mixed up economy' style government prevalent in Europe and keenly mimiced by Bill Clinton. It amuses me that people would call the labor party right wing (

Really? Tony Blair has repeatedly voiced his praise for right-wing policies like Thatcher's and Reagan's economic policies; the Home Secretary, Jack Straw is possibly even more draconian and reactionary than his Tory predecessor (Michael Howard). The Left in the UK is currently made up of the Liberal Democrats, a few of the Labour Party who refuse to do what Tony wants and a vast number of small and effectively unheard groups.

: also read the post by Joel on the meaninglessness of 'wings', its interesting), unless they mean 'right' in the collectivist fascist sense, and it certainly appears to be that, mildly.

Fascism is never collectivism; a collective is a voluntary grouping of people and fascism is a far-right ideology that has nothing to do with voluntary anything. The nearest thing to "collectivist fascism" would be the authoritarian centralism practiced by the former Eastern Bloc; and that wasn't really collectivist either, since it depended on one small group imposing its beliefs upon a populace.


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