A Good Society: Building a New Settlement

Compass Members

Since the advent of Thatcherism, our politics has been dominated by a right wing settlement that prioritises individualism and materialism over collective wellbeing. The moments of crisis and change that have punctuated recent history – the financial crash of 2008 and the pandemic in 2020, to name a couple – have presented opportunities to challenge the existing social, economic and political order. Sadly, these opportunities have all too often either gone to waste or played into the hands of right wing actors who have seized upon these crises to further their own agenda.

But all is not lost – promoting values of respect, inclusion, and kindness, while prioritising communal well-being over blind economic growth, offers a foundation for progress. A Good Society: Building a New Settlement explores how we can build a society that enables us to model and actively promote these practices. The report explores examples of previous political and social settlements, the principles and ideas that underpinned them and, crucially, what we can learn from these cases.

The New Settlement is a project from Compass that hopes to address the growing need for a new politics to build a new society. It will help to describe a post neoliberal world and the nature of a deeper democracy, political economy and state that will underpin it, along with the movement and alliances, across party, in civil society and purposeful business, that will shape it and bring it into being.

This is the second of a series of publication produced by Compass members around the New Settlement project. Three groups of members have used their experiences and insight to create papers on each of the main pillars of the project. These are based around the good society, a new economy and a new democracy. These papers will underpin the project and set out an enticing vision of the changes we want to see, and how to get there.

Read the report

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