[Marxism] Colin Leys on Brexit

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Dec 16 16:39:51 MST 2019

The prescient conclusion to his article:

But the obstacles in the way of success were so great, and the team 
around Corbyn was so small, that it was hard to be confident that *they 
could win an election*, form a convincing government, and set in motion 
significant steps towards socialism. In addition to the opposition of 
global capital and the steadily rising costs of adapting the country’s 
infrastructure to global warming, changed economic conditions resulting 
from Brexit could derail the most carefully planned advance towards 
social democracy, let alone towards socialism.

Yet the circumstances were so volatile that it was not possible even to 
be pessimistic with any degree of confidence. The quality and commitment 
of many of those most actively involved in the Corbyn project was 
impressive. The Conservatives might prove unable to change course and 
respond convincingly to the public’s disenchantment with neoliberalism, 
and Labour MPs might finally stop wishing they could elect another 
people (as Brecht famously put it) and start trying to relate to the one 
that actually existed.53 The party might manage to resolve its policy 
dilemmas, mobilize a wider cadre of socialists (or at least social 
democrats), win an election, and take some decisive first steps into the 
post-neoliberal era. Or 2017 could prove to have been the project’s high 
point: not the beginning of a transition to socialism but rather an 
early moment – if a historic one – in what is, after all, likely to be a 
much more protracted transition than most of Corbyn’s supporters 
ardently hope for.

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