Politics by Nick Clegg

This text argues that the coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats was a positive thing for the people of the UK. It contends that compromise between the political extremes is always healthy. Further, it suggests that liberalism is an ideology which can stand next to conservatism as well as it can work with socialism.

On a human level, this book is a genuine irritant. The core idea is that the reader should empathise with Nick Clegg and his family. This may be an unwelcome thought for those profoundly affected by austerity or betrayed over the costs of being a student. However, it is the arrogance of the former Deputy Prime Minister which is ultimately of importance.

Clegg attacks Marx for being opposed to freedom, rationality and individualism. When engaging in philosophy, Clegg does not bother to engage with the target of his critique. Regardless of what later Marxists have done in practice, Marx was not hostile to the best Enlightenment values. Instead, Marx wanted freedom to be rolled out to groups excluded from it. In The German Ideology Marx and Engels wrote about how people could be liberated from social arrangements which were inimical to individual freedom:

“In all expropriations up to now, a mass of individuals remained subservient to a single instrument of production; in the appropriation by the proletarians, a mass of instruments of production must be made subject to each individual, and property to all. Modern universal intercourse can be controlled by individuals, therefore, only when controlled by all. “


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