[Marxism] Is it too late for Corbyn?
gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 2 16:17:08 MDT 2019
There are only two arenas of politics that I am following closely and they
are the UK and the USA. I am in absolute mourning about Australian politics
and have forbidden all discussion about it from those around me. Otherwise
my reading continues, of course. I am currently working on Franz
Rosenzweig's *Star of Redemption*. There is enough material there to carry
me into my 90s.
But it is UK that is consuming most of my energies especially via twitter.
Lou in one of his posts remarks that if he were in the UK he would probably
(?) (or was it maybe (?)) be linked in some way to the pro-Corbyn push. He
will comment on this I am sure, if he gets the time.
I will be upfront myself and say that, if I were in the UK at the moment, I
would be in the Labour Party and supporting Corbyn. A year or so ago I
would have been in the Socialist Workers Party until they expelled me over
their inexcusable handling of the rape case. What I am saying here in the
babble, though, is that there are no easy options for a Leftist in the UK.
But it is the same elsewhere, of course.
So one supports Corbyn, and what does that mean one is supporting? At
best, it meas that one seeks a return to the Keynesian compromise - some
redistribution and state direction of the economy. In other words a roll
back of the right wing libertarian-ism that gripped the UK from circa 1979
onward. All perfectly moderate and rational and with the clear purpose of
saving capitalism from the capitalists..
But, as always, in politics it is the trajectory stupid. And huge swathes
of the political class will not accept a left wing trajectory, however
mild. I am using "political class" to cover members of parliament, party
apparatchiks (of all parties), the mainstream media and sections of
capital. Still the political class are up against a huge Labour Party
membership, a doggedly committed leader in Corbyn and above all a
deterioration in the hegemonic core of neoliberalism. In the General
Election two years ago that membership fought the political class to a hard
won draw on an anti austerity ie punitive neoliberalism ticket.
I have not mentioned the elephant in the living room - BREXIT. It is
distorting everything. I suspect the Corbynites want it to go away so they
can campaign against austerity. . To be honest, I wish it would go away
too. But it will not go away. Upfront I have no love for the EU. How could
one after what they did to Greece? But on balance faced with the racism
that is the motor engine of Brexit, I am an apologetic remainer with a very
small "r". I would plump for the "soft" Brexit that Corbyn has tried to
deliver - basically remaining as close to the EU as Norway. But the forces
of polarization have pushed a soft Brexit, seemingly, out of the range of
There are so many other factors that I have not mentioned - the notorious
campaign around "antisemitism in the Labour Party" that the Corbynites have
bungled by retreat after retreat, the whole nature of the rise of Johnson
and what that represents in UK and world politics, the climate catastrophe,
the re-emergence of the "Irish Problem", the impact of Trump & Bannonism
But this post is getting long enough. If it sparks interest I will
participate of course in any thread. But let me finish by returning to
the lead question. Can Corbyn ride out the storm and beat the bounce in the
polls that Johnson has secured and win an election that will be fought on
racism with the Tory Party seeking to use the "pauperised rabble" or the
"deplorables" against the progressive middle class?
My answer is a prayerful "yes" with the proviso that he deepen his attack
on the forces that have given us austerity. Corbyn must seek to take
advantage of the hegemonic crisis that has gripped the ruling class by
constructing an anti-capitalist hegemony. The irony is that, despite all
the gloom, I cling to the belief that such a project has never been more
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