Arena Books fulfils the much-needed function of producing titles on the theory and practice of Social Capitalism, and related issues stemming from a radical re-think of our place in the world today. Although this thinking may conveniently be boxed into the category of “left of centre,”; in view of the need to float entirely new ideas in conjunction with the breakdown of the old left/right barriers in the world of contemporary politics, we would prefer to eschew the stale old labels of “left“and “right.”
In this way we aim our appeal at all thinking people of good intent irrespective of political affiliation. In the advanced industrial world, we now live in a political environment where parties of the right may demonstrably claim to promote the interests of the poorer or less privileged members of our community no less effectively than those of the left.
If we are moving into an age of political social conscience which transcends the limitations and pragmatism of mere party structures, then so be it. If the right is to promote a radical social programme (as judged objectively) whilst the left fudges the issues of justice and equity through compromising with financial-industrial forces it is unable to confront in any practical sense, then this demonstrates that those with their hands on the levers of economic power are better placed to promote the needs of the under-privileged, if indeed such power-wielders are at the same time men and women of genuine social conscience and intent.
In the four following seminal works, the political scientist and industrial publicist, Robert Corfe, has set out to describe the transformation of society and the changing sociology of work over the past 60 years, and he demonstrates the bankruptcy of Old Socialism in view of these changes: Egalitarianism of The Free Society and the end of class conflict; Emergence of The New Majority; The People’s Capitalism, and, Prosperity in a Stable World. Whilst standing by the practical aims originally formulated in the first half of the 19th century, he is able to construct a Social Capitalism which is very different in its aspect, attitudes, and mode of action from the radical politics of a former era.
Since he repudiates totally the concept of class-based politics as destructive and a hindrance to progress, his ideas and concept of Social Capitalism could easily be accepted as both attractive and valid by those on either end of the political spectrum. It is the promotion of class-based struggle which sticks in the gullet of today’s majority – irrespective of its social origins or present status in the community.
His guiding light throughout the four books is the call for people power within the framework of a well-informed and responsible society. The idea of class war is repudiated, not only on the grounds that it is antipathetic to the feelings of those in advanced industrial societies in promoting unnecessary division; but more significantly, because the consciousness of the majority in our global village – irrespective of status – is fixed on the greater threats of international capital, environmental problems, war, etc., which do not easily lend themselves to class-based politics. It is shown how these threats enforce a kind of social equality, which points towards the need for a Social Capitalism (acceptable across the political spectrum), and this calls for a struggle against an economic system rather than against specific population sectors.
The above four books represent an opening salvo against the political apathy of the present time in an attempt to create a constructive and relevant politics for the future which will once again succeed in engaging the minds of the thinking majority. Unless the imagination of people is captured through promoting positive political ideas, as opposed to appealing to negative voting, there can be no real democracy.
Arena Books invites interested academics and others to contribute to the debate with complementary proposals for building a library of non-partisan Social Capitalist philosophy. We are also interested in publishing a wide range of other socio-political texts which help to throw light on problems facing peoples in Britain and throughout the world. A detailed description of our publishing arrangements for authors will be found in the link headed New Authors Welcome.