[Marxism] as things stand in the UK

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 7 18:01:43 MDT 2016


I continue to feel a bit weird about posting into the vacuum of cyber space
on the British Labour Party's leadership contest.  Though, while young
Proyect's List is stubbornly silent about what I am writing, my venture
into the Twitter-sphere has met with some feed back.  I tentatively put my
toe into the water and tweeted - Yes!. Some liked and some re-tweeted one
of my tweets. (What a sentence😜).  Can't quite believe it.

In the wonderful world of twitter, I follow Aaron Bastani of Novara Media,
Richard Seymour and several others.

Bastani is definitely interesting.  His doctorate appears to have been on
"connective campaigning" as opposed to collective campaigning. Among the
writers he cited was Sidney Tarrow - the author of -
*Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics.*

I managed to locate a summary of the book and I will pursue it further*.* I
particularly liked Tarrow's claim that power moves through *structure*,
*contention*, *meaning* and *emotion*. There is so much in that. The Corbyn
campaign may be weak on *structure* (I have no idea) but certainly there is
a lot of *contention* and *emotion*.

In the arena of *meaning*, there has been an interesting tweet from Bastani
of an article by a Nick Timothy - the Conservative PM's speech writer.
Timothy says basically that the Labour Party's problem is not that Corbyn
is the leader, but  that it is trapped in neoliberal group think. I feel
that is very close to an accurate depiction of the *meaning* of the Corbyn
campaign. Corbyn is necessary because the people long for relief from
neoliberalism.

The Blairite political strategist, John McTernan, tweeted that Timothy was
trying to support Corbyn in order to weaken Labour. I tweeted to the effect
that he was avoiding the meaning of Timothy's analysis, namely, that the
Parliamentary Labour Party was trapped in neoliberal group think.

At one stroke we had the attraction and the weakness of twitter.  I an
ageing, obscure Lefty from Brisbane could engage a figure of power like
John McTernan in the UK. But of course mine's was a mere heckle -barely a
buzz from a gadfly.

The twitter-sphere does not do analysis. I did not have the space to point
out that McTernan was doing "fast thinking" (See Kahneman) enshrined in the
saying "Corbyn is unelectable". The whole Blairite way of being is tied to
the belief that one must track right to capture the swinging voter and
thereby get into "power".

But what the Blairites are now trying to do is to step into the same river
> twice and ignore that new waters have closed around us (See Heraclitus
> Fragments 41 & 42). The days of being suave and smart and sucking up to
> Rupert Murdoch are over. The masses want an end to neoliberalism and the
> issue is how that end is to be achieved. Will it be through the dark
> sadistic ecstasies of neo-fascism or we will set about re-embedding society
> within its spiritual infrastructure of compassion, love and solidarity?


My friend, the late Roy Bhaskar, spent his last years trying to  bring
about the latter alternative.  For me, the *meaning* of  a victory for
Corbyn is that we have taken a small step along the road to achieving what
Bhaskar strove for.

comradely

Gary



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