The principal objective of the UK tax system, in which the poor pay a higher proportion of tax than the rich, is not to improve the collective well-being of society, but to funnel cash – largely through tax cuts – to the corporate elite. This isn’t free-market capitalism in the formal sense, but socialism for the rich – a form of state capitalism – no different in principle to the old statist economies of the former Soviet Union.
Western liberal democracies may emphasise the separation of church and state, but in practice their attempts to control the population are similar to the pre-Enlightenment days where human nature was seen as unchanging, private property ‘natural’, and the power of Kings a fixed, grand purpose designed and ordained by God. Much like the industrial revolution resulted in a grand transfer of power from feudal landlords to corporate grandees, it is unlikely that the establishment will be able to control the forces which Corbynism has unleashed.
One of the great mysteries of modern economics is how little attention is paid to the role of land in economic activity. In particular, taxing land ownership as opposed to taxing the economic activity that takes place on it. Flick open an economics textbook, and you’ll find the idea of taxing land ownership based on its unimproved values – basically, the ‘raw’ land itself – seems unthinkable. Which is strange because the forefathers of modern economic theory, dating back to Adam Smith himself, had a very different attitude to land taxation.