The End of Thatcherism.

The UK was as divided in its reaction to the death of Margaret Thatcher, as it was by her policies when she was in office. James Parker reflects on whether Thatcherism, (like its primary proponent) has now passed on.

Thatcherism was the most contradictory vision because it believed that individualism is only to be used to compete against others for control and resources. At the same time Thatcherism was right about going beyond a collective that blindly conforms to a uniform and standardised rule and depending on a state that holds the individual back.

However even though Thatcherism was right about conformity it wasn’t truly possible within a nation state adapting to the unstoppable power of globalization, happening beyond any political party. This led to a heartless approach and suppressed anything that had a humanitarian focus, in doing so it created serious imbalances that we all face today.

Thatcherism was just a superficial ‘ism’ that pointed to a process that was global and couldn’t be stopped. An international humanitarian movement wasn’t ready to manifest and go above and beyond globalization but now it is!

We need to begin unification among those that are helping society as a whole, rather than just about competing for self interest and to make profit. This sense of inter-connectedness has been aided by a technological revolution, with exponential levels of information sharing across borders and cultures. The internet has opened up greater international cooperation and interconnection between ethical groups across the world, groups that truly care and simply want to work for the right reasons.

Globalization that created Thatcherism within the British industrial society must now die as it is outdated and we must begin a new international progressive politics that can actually face these urgent global and geo-political realities to truly survive as a species.

It seems we are moving beyond the era where self-seeking individualism and neo-liberal economics are seen as the accepted norms. It appears that we are getting closer to a worldview that is about the ‘the Earth, stupid’ rather than, to paraphrase Bill Clinton, ‘the economy, stupid’.

New qualities are the new successes in the 21st Century, where more and more people are moving beyond consumerism and status anxiety that defined the era of Thatcherism.

A new global democracy must empower each creative, unique and diverse individual to work together and truly help solve our collective and global problems. We need to evolve the old systems of control that led to the capitalism/communism dichotomy and into a more free flowing system, utilizing a better balance of cooperation and free enterprise.

This approach has proven to be far more effective, not just because it is a good thing to do but because it is the wisest thing to do, whether it is for one’s own success or for the benefit of the whole community.

James Parker is a London based Political and Legal Analyst who specialises in international relations. He is a Trustee and Political Liaison Coordinator for the Simultaneous Policy UK (Simpol UK). He also helps with, and is a member of

Image courtesy of


More from this author