Being ‘Pro-Business’

by Elias Blum

There’s nothing wrong, in itself, with being ‘pro-business’. When businesses produce useful goods and deliver useful services they thereby contribute to the common-weal. When they pay their staff well and treat them with decency, pay their taxes honestly, and gladly shoulder their social and environmental burdens, then businesses are certainly to be encouraged. In that sense, no-one with any sense would be anti-business.

What folks like me are against – and what any party which is not simply a vehicle for the oligarchy should be against – is a model of business (and a model of business-state relations sustained by the policy decisions of the government) characterised by corrupt crony capitalism, low-wages, unethical business practices, short-termism, unproductive commodity speculation, asset-stripping, tax-dodging, deregulation, undermining of workers’ rights, disregard of social and environmental externalities, etc.

What we are also against is using the term ‘pro-business’ as a cover for harmful austerity policies, the privatisation of public assets, the willful neglect of public services, the dismantling of social safety nets, and the selfish disavowal of any concept of mutual care, common responsibility, and shared prosperity.