The latest demands from the IPPR give Labour the perfect opportunity to push the envelope further left
As the economist Milton Friedman once said: “Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.” It was an insight Friedman and his co-thinkers deployed with great success to seed the ideological beginnings of neoliberalism.
Laissez-faire economics lay discredited after the Great Depression and the resulting rise in extremism, and then the success of wartime planning and the rise of the left. But Friedman and his allies refused to give up, meeting in the picturesque Swiss village of Mont Pèlerin in 1947 to prepare an intellectual fightback. When crisis did indeed come, three decades later, the ideological foundations for what became known as Thatcherism and Reaganism had already been constructed.
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