[Marxism] Paul Mason on Corbyn and Brexit

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Wed Jul 3 12:34:57 MDT 2019

"There were always numerous fractions lined up within Corbynism: the unions
needed a party less addicted to privatisation and anti-union laws; welfare
recipients were sick of the bullying state; anti-capitalists and
environmentalists wanted radical action; plus there was the old, Stalinist
wing of the movement, with its perennial obsessions: opposition to Trident,
Nato and the EU.

"And that’s where the bigger problem begins. All these groups could be
contained within a project of anti-austerity and democratisation. Not all
of them can be contained within an internationalist response to Brexit.
And, as we are now finding out, not all of them are committed to democracy
as a means of sorting out differences….

"The crisis of Corbynism has begun because its economic nationalist wing
has claimed the exclusive right to dictate policy and strategy to the rest
of us. In a pre-networked era that might have worked — but it won’t now….

"So the task for Corbyn is clear: to come out fighting against a no-deal
Brexit, with a narrative based on values that reconnect his leadership to
progressive Britain. That means a struggle in parliament to bring down the
Johnson administration, and an election pledge to stop Brexit and rebuild
Britain instead. Without this change, Labour’s chances of forming a
majority government go from slim to zero, no matter how disastrously
Johnson performs."

There is another issue that Mason doesn't deal with in this article, but
it's connected. That is Corbyn's flirtation with the pro-Assad left. For
instance, his having had Chris Williamson in his shadow cabinet. The
anti-Semitism charges against Williamson seem bogus, but he is a supporter
of the Assadists. Corbyn's links with these ideas seem to derive from what
Mason calls "the old Stalinist wing". However, there's a lot of the newer
left that also has that position.  That, however, is not something that
seems to be at the core of British politics. Brexit is.

The entire article is well worth reading.

*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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