Alan examines the possibility of a world slump in the next few decades.
Below is reproduced an email recently sent to a few 'opinion formers' to draw attention to my new book Magnificent Vision: The Right to Work. The book cover bears a picture of an advocate of the right to work, the great Tom Paine, a Thetford man. Bearing in mind also the great Horatio Nelson, Norfolk has good reason to be proud.
BE WARNED OF THE DANGER OF A WORLD SLUMP. Super speculator Warren Buffet says he never has the faintest idea of what the stock market is going to do in the next six months, or the year. But it is fairly safe to say that the coming downturn is unlikely to be disastrous (fingers crossed). The same cannot be said, however, about the world slump which will occur in a few decades from now. If history is a guide, a catastrophic world slump is then virtually certain; such long-wave troughs seem to be inherent in capitalism. Mass unemployment could lead to a world war - possibly the obliteration of civilisation
THE PURPOSE OF THIS MESSAGE is to persuade you to read a Synopsis of my new book Magnificent Vision which explains what's to be done, suggesting a solution where other analyses provide no convincing remedy. You will find the Synopsis on my website www.f-u-r-i.co.uk by clicking on 'Magnificent Vision'. Do please read the Synopsis. Take a printout for easy reading. It is tremendously interesting and tremendously important.
THERE IS URGENCY even though such a catastrophic world slump is likely to be two or three decades away. That is because of the many years of preparation needed. The solution requires institution worldwide of a legal right to work. It is assiduously argued that the only sure answer is the complete abolition of involuntary unemployment. An appropriate slogan is: make unemployment history.
It can be done and the book explains how. Pie-in the sky? It is not so difficult when it is seen as imperative.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO BUY THE BOOK as its content is mostly covered by the website. But book sales will encourage the project and the matter is more comfortably read in book form.
FAVOURABLE REVIEWS are annexed to the Synopsis on the website. The review from The Spokesman concludes as follows: "Whitford's campaign is certainly a just and worthy one deserving of our support. In his book he presents the case with his own idiosyncratic verve and enthusiasm which, coupled with his broad sweep of historical knowledge, makes for an interesting and provoking read". The review from The Political Quarterly is ironically headed "a modest proposal", suggesting comparison with Jonathan Swift - which is too flattering.
HERE I STICK MY NECK OUT by inviting comparison with the impressive War of the World by Niall Fergusson, more deeply versed in history than me and a better writer. Professor Fergusson blamed the bloodshed of the twentieth century on ethnic confluence, economic volatility and empires on the wane. My quarrel with this is that 'economic volatility' should be amended to read 'economic insecurity'.
THIS LEADS TO THE NEW VIEW OF HISTORY presented in my book. It involves the concept of Submergency, a phenomenon by which historians systematically underrate the influence of unemployment, leading to prejudice and an unwise view of the future. For example, Professor Fergusson questions the association of Weimar unemployment with the rise of the Nazis, whereas my book makes it as clear as crystal that unemployment was overwhelmingly the cause. To suggest otherwise is plain daft, just as it is plain daft to deny outright the likelihood of a catastrophic world slump in the future.
APOLOGIES for the length of the Synopsis (8,000 words) but it is a modest investment of time for such an important subject (saving the world from itself). A useful adjunct to the book itself, the Synopsis enables the totality of the argument to be readily grasped by the bright people receiving this message. Most of the book is easy reading - a straightforward account of the association of unemployment with violence, with the likelihood of a world war in mind.
THE BLOOD AND GUTS JUSTIFICATION of a legal right to work is only part of the story. The legal right to work is amply justified by the breathtaking array of social benefits which the book lists. The book ends by quoting the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu: "We must evolve a society in which everybody has a place under the sun". That is what the book seeks: no outsiders, everyone with a respected part to play. It can be done and the book explains how. Tom Paine says we have it in our power to make the worlde again; William Blake inspires us to build a New Jerusalem. Here, dear reader, is a truly magnificent vision.
PS The aforementioned review in the Political Quarterly was written by fellow Stoke Ferry resident, Professor James Cornford (son of the English poet killed in the Spanish Civil War).