Margaret Thatcher

What's left of her philosophy?


There's a party going on in Brixton. The news this morning of Margaret Thatcher's death has been met with dancing in the streets. Some Brits are mourning and honoring a leader who ruled with "iron" strength and unparalleled conviction, while others, namely, the British working class, are celebrating without shame the passing of a leader who scavenged "success" at the cost of their plight.

She will be remembered – by both friends and foes – for her role in the Gulf War, the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union, and for her passion for privatized industry and uninhibited free enterprise.

Meanwhile, the turbulence and instability that followed in the wake of the 2008 crash has only intensified. Amidst this ongoing confusion, some cling to the old – to the otiose hope that a high-risk, deregulated market-oriented system is the "medicine" we need – while others recognize that Thatcherism, and other avatars of the old paradigm, are now settling into the dustbin of history.

With Thatcher's passing, we can recognize the currents of history unfolding as they do, where philosophies and paradigms ebb and flow, disintegrate and transform … and we can rest assured that the philosophy that Reagan and Thatcher espoused is now moribund, and in the process of giving way to something totally new. In austerity stricken Europe especially, people may finally be ready to reconsider the collectivist zeitgeist which Reagan and Thatcher opposed unflinchingly and even violently in the name of "democracy, freedom and human rights". And what's certain, is that "sham" democracy, and "freedoms" covered in blood, will be tolerated no more.