Uber finds its defender at The Financial Times. Almost Marx comments on the Political Melodrama!

‘Uber’ is NOT ‘a ride-hailing service‘! It is a Neo-Liberal scheme, to avoid the power of municipalities and states to regulate taxi services, in the public interest! TINA, as Mrs. Thatcher used to opine, is the position of this newspaper! In sum, The Wisdom of the Market, that Hayekian self-serving cover for greed, at the expense of others unworthy of the protections the state can provide, remains in its pride of place!  Where else but the Financial Times would the case be argued, in defense of the new political order of collapsed Neo-Liberalism, by the back door? The transportation of citizens from place to place, in a political environment ruled by the dog eat dog of Hayek’s ersatz Utopianism!

Should the critical reader look to the ‘allegations’ by the TfL? The blocking, by Greyball software, of the regulators monitoring of ‘Uber’ qualifies as tatmount to lawlessness, except to Free Market apologists!

But TfL changed its stance this week, saying Uber would not be issued with a new operating licence once its current one expired on September 30. It listed a series of criticisms, alleging a laissez-faire attitude to passenger safety and the use of Greyball software to block regulators from seeing the app in the city. Uber has confirmed it intends to challenge the ruling.

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan states the glaring obvious:

“All companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect — particularly when it comes to the safety of customers,” said London mayor Sadiq Khan, backing TfL’s decision. “Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.”

Here is the Free Market argument presented by the FT, and its mouthpiece Tony Travers, of the prestigious London School of Economics, not just a bit of garnish by ‘reporters’ Aliya Ram, Madhumita Murgia and Tanya Powley :

“There’s no question this is a titanic battle of our time,” says Tony Travers, a professor of local government at the London School of Economics. “It’s a clash between the modern and ancient worlds.”

It is NOT a clash between ‘the modern world’, meaning  an utterly collapsed Neo-Liberal model, based on the almighty Market , vs the ancient world of state intervention acting for the public good. In the civic/ethical/political spheres that have been touched by the long reach of Free Market Utopianism catastrophe follows!

More of the same Party Line:

Others say that TfL’s decision shows a blinkered view of innovation and a reluctance to adapt to the future.

But what of the drivers for ‘Uber’ who are the very victims of that ‘TINA’ shouted by Thatcher and her political epigones? Where do these citizens find a reliable source of income to support themselves and their families? Not a question that Hayek and his epigones at The Financial Times can answer. Except to provide more Free Market solutions – call it more of the same, the legacy of failure. The blunt instrument that is the favorite tool, to attack the wisdom of Left-wing Social Democrats, while the abysmal failure of the Free Market produced the economic desperation that makes ‘Uber’ such an ‘enticing solution‘.

The ‘as if ‘ here is that the FT and its Free Market allies care about the flourishing of its fellow citizens, who are not wealthy, and don’t share the Conservative belief that the ‘lower orders’ cannot be redeemed!  Redeemed is the proper word, as The Free Market belief system, is in fact an ersatz Theology. With its Saints, Sinners, its Purgatory, Heaven and Hell and even its God and Lucifer: the question is where is its Milton?

Almost Marx


About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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