[Marxism] Thoughts on lessons from the UK GE
gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 28 20:11:16 MST 2020
I am only just now coming out of the depression occasioned by the UK GE
result. The cruelest blow of all was the phenomenon of the increase in the
working class Tory voter. The "Red Wall" collapsed and we now have working
class Tory MPs demanding to be feted at the Durham Miners festival. The
scabs want to be loved.
I listened to the brilliant minds of James Butler & Richard Seymour in the
Novara Media program *After the Defeat.* Richard speculated that something
like Freud's death wish was at work. How else to account for the akrasia
that seized millions of the victims of capital?
But I have avoided the psycholoigal speculations & begun trying to think
what happened through the master-slave motif, Tamas' great article on *The
Truth about Class* and this line from the Manifesto
"man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of
life, and his relations with his kind."
I am basically working with these three questions-
- The slave has lost the life and death struggle with the master. What
does s/he do?
- How does the residue of caste consciousness in the UK that Tamas
refers to play out
- What does sober man do when he realizes what his real conditions are?
The slave seeks above all to survive. S/he does this by trying to entrap
the master in a web of mutual obligations that will soften the defeat.
Caste has made way for class, but class seeks to re-invent itself as Caste.
The bourgeois wants to be noble. This drive was satirized brilliantly in
Visconti's great film *The Leopard*. But the slave too is active. Serf
consciousness is chosen as a better alternative to working class
consciousness. Here the boss become Padre & Padrone and dispenses favours.
Hence the drive in the working class to act loyal and dependable to the
master in return for patronage.
What about the actions of the sober man? Well again, sobriety brings the
hang over and the temptation is to do everything to avoid the realisation
of what our true relations are. The compulsion is resisted and successfully
so in many cases.
But nothing is for ever. One week the serf is faced down in the mud as the
Master passes. The next moment s/he is shitting in the master's library and
burning the books.
It is just such a cruel ugly rupture that is coming IMHO.
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