Nationalisation is a right-wing policy

Today the Financial Times reported that:

The overwhelming majority of Germans would welcome the nationalisation of large segments of the economy, including its energy, transport and financial infrastructure, according to a new opinion poll that underlines the strength of popular opposition to free-market liberalism in Europe’s largest economy.

Perhaps there will be unreconstructed lefties like me cheering at the news.

Well, not really ‘unreconstructed lefties like me’, given that nationalisation is a truly bogus leftwing policy. What does it achieve? Instead of organisations being directly in the hands of capitalists who prefer profit to people, they are put in the hands of the state. But in what sense is the state anymore leftwing than business? It is true that, under a leftwing government they may be put to socially progressive purposes, but when can we expect to see a leftwing government again? Who would be a candidate? The current German government? The current UK government? Any current government?

And once they pass into the hands of a rightwing government, what can we expect of them then? Only that they become instruments of a pro-capitalist economic and social policies, starting with starving them of resources and holding down state workers’ pay as a way of controlling private sector wages.

No, the leftwing solution is not nationalisation but socialisation – direct control over economic organisations by their workers and managers, based on unqualified legal title and unqualified democratic control.

More of RJ Robinson at

Leave a Reply