Who Owns the Progressive Future?

October 24, 2008 at 7:05 am (Conseravative Party, democracy, labour party, left, politics, voltairespriest)

The debates detailed below are laid on by the Guardian and Soundings journal. Go along, they could be quite interesting, especially given that some of the personalities on the panels have been controversial figures in the recent past.

Who owns the progressive future?
Soundings/Comment is Free autumn debates

Kings Place, York Way, London N1  (5 minutes walk from Kings Cross tube)

As the economic crisis unfolds conditions now exist for a new kind of social and democratic settlement. There is an opportunity for a politics that will regulate the financial markets, redistribute wealth, and create institutions of social cohesion, ecological sustainability and economic stability. Whatever the political outcome of this crisis, it will define the kind of society and economy we have over the next two or three decades. Can we create a new popular politics of social justice and restore economic stability? Join the discussion.

DEBATE DETAILS

After New Labour
7pm Monday 3 November

With Jon Cruddas MP, Harriet Harman MP, Jeremy Gilbert, Chuka Umunna. Chair Madeleine Bunting

Who owns the progressive future?
7pm Monday 1 December

With Aditya Chakrabortty, Beatrix Campbell, Caroline Lucas, Ken Livingstone. Chair John Harris
Guardian readers and guardian.co.uk users can obtain tickets at the special rate of £5.25 (50% discount on the standard price of £11.50) by calling the Kings Place box office on 0844 264 0321 and quoting “Guardian reader offer”. Or book online:

http://www.kingsplace.co.uk/

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Look Over There!

October 22, 2008 at 10:26 pm (blogging, blogosphere, voltairespriest)

Looks like we’re all a bit busy in the real world at the moment, though normal service will be resumed shortly (amongst other things, I have a request from persons who will remain anonymous for Jim to write a new piece about jazz “legend” Mezz Mezzrow). In the meantime, one thing you might want to look at and comment on is Stroppy’s post about the right to die. I’ve always found it refreshing when left-wing bloggers occasionally admit that they don’t have the perfect prescribed solution to an issue. The discussion there is one which I found very interesting, and I hope you will too.

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Just one more thing, ma’am: who loves Brum, baby?

October 19, 2008 at 5:32 pm (comedy, Jim D, trivia, TV, United States)

For the past couple of months I’ve been spending a lot of time studying the listings for daytime TV and considering watching it. My intention was to catch up on the adventures of Lieutenant Columbo, who – last time time I was in this position – was the only thing worth watching during the day.

But I could never track down where Columbo was showing. So I am still not an expert on the Lieutenant’s cases and adventures. I am aware of some alleged background stories, but fear they may be urban myths. For instance, here’re some questions that readers may be able to answer for me:

1/ Is it true that Columbo’s character was really based upon Porfiry in Dostoevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’, plus a bit of GK Chesterton’s Father Brown?

2/ Is it true that the first choice for the actor of Columbo wasn’t Peter Falk, but…Bing Crosby?!?

3/ Did the character of Columbo (as opposed to the actor Peter Falk), have a glass eye?

4/ What’s the explanation for the fact that Columbo (who never shows the slightest interest in cars) drives an extremely rare French Peugeot, of which only a few hundred were ever imported into the US?

5/ How is it that Lieutenant Columbo and Lieutenant Kojak, both (presumably) on the same salary, dress so differently – Columbo so badly and Kojak so well?

6/ Is it true that ageing Hollywood star Ray Milland blackmailed his way into the part of a Columbo villain in the desperate hope of reviving his career?

I will return to Columbo in due course. For the time being. I leave you with a little-known plug that Telly Savalas (aka Lieutenant Kojak) gave to my home town:

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Contemporary British Fascism

October 18, 2008 at 5:02 pm (anti-fascism, fascism, immigration, Max Dunbar, Racism, reaction, thuggery)

Our people need to be steered back with a sensible and careful approach, one devoid of hate. If the public hated like we do, Black and Asian ghettos would not exist.

This is now why we must tread carefully and play our enemies at their own game. If people all over the country agree with us (and majority do ) then why are we not in power? Its because they are scared and not sure were not the monsters the media say we are. Having marches and fighting and calling for eveyone to be sent back,is not going to convince them we are right.

In fact, you will see a black Britain before that.”

– Comment on far right forum ‘Stormfront’

One of the great things about our country is that we’re the only nation in Europe without a successful fascist party. On the continent neo-Nazi organisations have the support of entire provinces and take part in coalition governments. A few years ago a fascist came second in the French election. Here it’s a different story: the British National Party has spent most of its existence in the political wasteland. Under its leader John Tyndall the party achieved a single council seat in almost two decades. With this pathetic record it was no surprise when Tyndall was kicked off his throne in favour of the educated, media-savvy Nick Griffin.

The problem was that, while much of Europe had experienced fascist government, British identity was and is defined by anti-fascism. Winning the war against Hitler really was our finest hour and so a party of self-proclaimed Neo-Nazis was never going to do well. Photos of Tyndall mincing around in Nazi uniforms didn’t help at all. Although a racist and fascist party, the BNP had to lose its racist and fascist image if it was ever to break into the mainstream. How?

The answer was migration. As we’re continually reminded by politicians, journalists and pub bores, it’s not racist to want limits on immigration. Immigrants were the perfect target. They had no representation and couldn’t talk back. They were the ultimate Enemy Within: plague-carrying, terrorist-sympathising hordes flooding into our country, destroying our identity and jumping our housing queues. If immigrants found jobs they were undercutting the job market for British workers: if they didn’t work they were sucking millions in benefits from the sweat of the British taxpayer.

Mainstream politics imitated the discourse of the far right. David Blunkett claimed that children of asylum seekers were ‘swamping’ Britain’s schools; Tory leader William Hague said that Britain was turning into a ‘foreign land’; Gordon Brown delivered a rallying cry of ‘British jobs for British workers’. Tabloids went nuts and the Big Lie that immigrants were turning Britain into a multicultural pressure cooker was repeated by vast numbers of people from slum dwellers to educated liberals. As Nigel Copsey reports: ‘One poll found that Britons believed that their country was host to some 23 per cent of the world’s asylum seekers when the true figure was put at a mere 1.98 per cent.’ Nick Griffin was jubilant: ‘This asylum seeker issue legitimises us.’

After his takeover Griffin set about repositioning the BNP as a centre-right party focused on immigration and community cohesion. Protocols of the Elders of Zion were out: devolution and reducing council tax were in. BNP leaflets were slick, professional and adopted the soothing language of the post-democratic world. Campaigns were tailored to the issues of a particular area. The BNP denied any accusations of racism: rather, they were simply raising concerns about migration in a country where anyone who questioned political correctness was denounced as a Neo-Nazi. In an article on the BNP’s website, titled ‘Is the BNP Racist?’ we get this:

The British National Party believes in telling the truth, even if it is sometimes uncomfortable to hear or offensive to those who would rather bury their heads in the sand than face real problems in our society. But while we often pass quite critical comment on the impact of immigration, multi-culturalism and alien religions on the indigenous people of our lands, we have no animosity towards immigrants, their descendants or the followers of non-native religions. Nor do we intend to encourage others to feel such animosity, or believe that anything we have to say is likely to ‘stir up hatred’ against anyone.

This new, modernising approach worked to some extent. Although the party hasn’t emulated the success of the European far right, BNP candidates have picked up numerous council seats since 2000. There is even a fascist politician, Richard Barnbrook, serving in the London Assembly. The question posed by Nigel Copsey in Contemporary British Fascism is: has the BNP truly changed or is it still the party of thugs, criminals and totalitarian fantasists?

The investigative blogger Unity at the Ministry of Truth exposed BNP councillor Simon Smith as the Stormfront forum user ‘Steve Freedom’. He put together a long post of Smith’s comments on the far right website with the introduction:

This is Simon writing in what he thinks is a safe zone, amongst people who share his prurient views and appalling values and under an alias that precludes him being easily identified.

What follows is a torrent of racism, misogyny, anti-semitism, holocaust denial, 9/11 denial, contempt for democracy, disdain for the working class and bizarre white nationalist mythology. It’s probably one of the best pieces of investigative blogging around – the best of the medium. It should be read by anyone considering voting for the party.

For the BNP are still the racist scum they always were. Of course, racist parties appeal to racist voters and in a democracy people get the parties they deserve. But Griffin’s strategy has been to exploit the backlash against the Big Lie of ‘political correctness’; to turn the language of discrimination against anti-racists and anti-fascists; to make racism respectable. In his words:

Of course, we must teach the truth to the hardcore…when it comes to influencing the public, forget about racial differences, genetics, Zionism, historical revisionism and so on… we must at all times present [the electorate] with an image of moderate reasonableness.

Nigel Copsey and Unity have shown that this image is just that, and nothing more.

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Hot Air and Brickbats

October 18, 2008 at 10:26 am (AWL, CPGB, Iran, israel, left, political groups, sectarianism, voltairespriest)

Last Sunday’s AWLCMP debate about Israel and Iran was certainly one of those events where one can say forever after that “I was there”. Not that one would necessarily want to do so in polite company because it would be rather like admitting publicly to having attended a pro wrestling or UFC cage fighting match. Nevertheless it was quite a spectacle. I suppose  therefore it’s as well to write something about it because all of the testimony I’ve seen about it thus far has come from the two real protagonists in the room, the AWL and CPGB.

What was noteworthy about the two main platform speakers (Sean Matgamna of the AWL and Moshe Machover of the CMP) was that neither one actually got into the issue which sparked the extraordinary sectarian mud-wrestling in the weeks leading up to the debate, namely Sean’s article about a hypothetical Israeli pre-emptive strike on Iran and what stance the left should take towards it. I will freely state at this point that I thought the article was awful, and that it certainly left me with the impression of a growing squeamishness on the part of the AWL towards opposing belligerent and ideologically driven western actions in the Middle East region. However, it does not actually call for, nor “excuse” such an Israeli attack, and much of the hyperbole thrown at the AWL by various other groups about this is simply straw-manning. But back to the debate.

If you really have nothing better to do, you can hear the debate via this link on the AWL site, or watch it here on CPGB TV. What should strike you first is that the CPGB had no platform speaker, an interesting tactic given that they evidently think they, and not Machover or the “CMP” were the ones supposedly debating the AWL. Certainly both groups had submitted lists of “priority speakers”, leading to the bizarre situation of there being not one floor speaker between opening speeches and summations whose choice was not pre-determined. Indeed, real speeches from the floor were not taken until after the summations, lending the whole thing even more of a contrived air than it already had.

After Sean had delivered what largely struck me as the AWL’s line on Zionism and the state of Israel and Moshe had responded in kind, those “priority speakers” began. It was really this section which set the tone for the evening, which can fairly well be equated to watching a fight. For hours on end. Reflecting yet again how weird and quirky they can be, the CPGB had clearly gone into the room (above a pub, lest we forget) determined to make drinking one of the big issues of the day, as is reflected in Mark Fisher’s rather odd write-up of the event in the latest Weekly Worker (AWL version of events here). He’s certainly not a secret lemonade drinker, and I daresay the R Whites Customer of the Year award is on its way, comrade. This was certainly reflected in a speech from Ben Lewis, whose contribution could perhaps rather adroitly be described (to borrow Paul Hampton’s description of Lewis himself), as being one “for whom truth is an incidental convenience, much like the broken clock which tells the right time”. It was a trult vile, petty and sectarian rant, which contained (amonst other things) outright untruths about people who write on this site. Lewis pretty well admitted as much on the latter when I spoke to him about it after the meeting. Make of that what you will.

The other CPGB contributions were in a similarly goading vein, and certainly in my view bear a large part of the responsibility for the generally acrimonious atmosphere which led Steve Freeman, in the chair, at one point to despairingly offer to call the meeting to a halt should people prefer to resolve the debate via a “punch up” downstairs. That having been said, full marks for comedy to Peter Manson for a speech which reduced the room to giggles when he proclaimed that the Weekly Worker would never tell a lie whilst he was its editor. Either way that group’s whole interventionlooked to me like it was designed to do nothing more than provoke hostility, an impression further reinforced by the fact that they did not have to defend their own politics on the topic of the meeting at all, having not put them forward from the platform in the first place. Naturally, Fischer’s account of the meeting, whilst bewailing the hostility directed at the CPGB, neglects to mention what built up to it.

The trouble is, the AWL fell for it. Paul Hampton’s belligerent contribution is mentioned by Fischer, but the truth is that many of the AWL floor speakers were not dissimilar in tone or content. Whatever one thinks of the AWL’s politics, they are usually nimble and sure-footed performers in set-piece debates. But on this occasion the overall impression that came across was one of blind rage – which did not serve them well given that response was, to me, clearly the one which the CPGB had come looking for. It didn’t look good, comrades. Indeed, as I’ve mentioned briefly in comments on my pre-debate thread, I ran into a young woman outside the meeting, who would have made a thoroughly sensible contribution were it not for the fact that she was worried about the reaction she would get. Comrades, you must share the responsibility with the CPGB for such perceptions.

There were several bloggers present at the meeting, and I would imagine that Dave Osler’s look and muttered “fuckin’ ‘ell” as we passed on the stairs rather sums up what most of their reactions to the hideous but perversely fascinating spectacle will have been. I finally gave up during the final section (actual contributions from the floor, after the summations) and went downstairs for a break. There I got chatting with Messers Eric Lee and Dave Hirsh, which was probably the most sensible piece of political debate I saw all night.

All in all, the meeting was ultimately pointless, albeit oddly entertaining for a jaded character such as myself. Really the debate need never have happened, and indeed could hardly be called a “debate” as such. If this is the left in discussion about politics then we really are finished. I hope very much that future debate on the Middle East does not look like that.

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The depths of Dubai-ity

October 17, 2008 at 2:40 pm (capitalism, Human rights, islamism, Jim D, Middle East, Racism, Slavery, workers)

I’m afraid I can’t summon up much sympathy for Vince Acors or Michelle Palmer, the British couple sentenced to three months in prison for having drunken sex on a Dubai beach. This isn’t because I have any objection to drunken sex, and it’s certainly not out of any misplaced ‘respect for local social mores’ – the corrupt, reactionary and racist sheikhdom and its hypocritical ‘mores’ have no right to claim the ‘respect’ of anyone.

No: it’s just that every Brit I’ve ever met who has visited Dubai through choice, in whatever capacity, has invariably been an asshole, an airhead, or (usually) both. This disgusting place embodies all that is worst about modern turbo-capitalism, combined with a semi-feudal Islamic code that, for instance, makes public displays of affection illegal. The Brit ex-pats and tourists who have descended upon the place for a millionaire lifestyle on the (relatively) cheap, deserve all they get when they fall foul of the barbaric laws that are usually reserved for those at the bottom of the pile in this authoritarian and racist state.

The people who really deserve our sympathy are the mass of migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Ethiopia and elsewhere, lured into a life of squalor and super-exploitation by the ruling class of the United Arab Emirates and corrupt employment agents in their countries of origin:

“Like the rest of the Gulf region, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are being built by expat workers. They are strictly segregated, and a hierarchy worthy of previous centuries prevails.

“At the top, floating around in their black or white robes, are the locals with their oil money. Immaculate and pampered, they own everything. Outside the ‘free zones’, where the rules are looser, no one can start a business in the UAE without a partner from the emirates, who often does nothing apart from lending his name. No one can get a work permit without a local sponsor.

“Under the locals come the western foreigners, the experts and advisers, making double the salaries they make back home, all tax free. Beneath them are the Arabs – Lebanese and Palestinians, Egyptians and Syrians. What unites these groups is a mixture of pretention and racism…

“Down at the base of the pyramid are the labourers, waiters, hotel employees and unskilled workers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, the Phillippines and beyond. They move deferentially around the huge malls, cafes, bars and restaurants, bowing down and calling people sir and madam. In the middle of the day, during the hottest hours, you can see them sleeping in public gardens or under trees, or on the marble floors of the Dubai Mosque, on benches or pieces of cardboard on side streets. These are the victims of the racism that is not only flourishing in the UAE but is increasingly being exported to the rest of the Middle East. Sometimes it reminds you of the American south in the 1930s.” 

Read the rest of Ghaith Abdul-Ahad’s report here.

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Not in My Name: A Compendium of Modern Hypocrisy

October 12, 2008 at 3:11 pm (anti-fascism, anti-semitism, environment, fascism, Feminism, Human rights, Iran, iraq, iraq war, Islam, islamism, israel, left, LGBT, Max Dunbar, modernism, palestine, politics, puritan, Racism, religion, secularism, SWP)

The hypocrisy of the enlightened, of the hip, of those who – externally at least – hold admirable, humanitarian values, but behind closed doors, when push comes to shove, prove to be far darker beings. Nick Cohen examined the increasing darkness among this number in his brilliant book What’s Left? Having written for the Guardian and the Big Issue respectively, we too have come to realise that it often those who shout loudest about what lovely people they are who have the worst secrets.

Cohen’s book was about the political left but also about human nature: ‘children afraid of the night/Who have never been happy or good.’ Hypocrisy is part of being human. We all indulge in it to some extent. But it’s instructive to focus on those who preach moral purity while snapping their moral compass in half.

There’s the hypocrisy of the liberal-creative male who professes sensitivity and intellectualism, but who is predatory and misogynist in his attitudes to women. The hypocrisy of the gap-year traveller who comes back from the Chinese dictatorship raving about the spirituality of the natives and like human rights is just a Western idea, you know? These are two types you will encounter often, particularly in your student years and your twenties.

In retrospect, the recent rise of Islamic fundamentalism was a godsend to these men. No more paying lip service to liberal ideals to get laid. No more pretence. Here was a chance to support racist, gynophobic, anti-gay fanatical maniacs, to cheer on murder and oppression, to feel the vicarious thrill of ‘contextualising’ woman-hatred and genocide and the rhetoric of the apocalypse, and still keep your moral superiority. What amazing luck! What delicious liberation! We are all Hezbollah now!

Yes, there has always been a creepy servility to power inside the hearts of darkness of the status-quo left. Take the Middle East. A huge amount of intellectual energy goes into the defence of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, whose regime executes trade unionists and for whom holocaust denial is official policy. I’ll never understand why so much time and effort goes into playing this lunatic down. Oh, when he says Israel ‘must be wiped from the page of time’ he’s talking about the occupation, or he’s criticising Israel’s tax system. Or something. Never mind that stuff about ‘filthy Zionist microbes’. It’s a mistranslation. And the nukes? Nothing to see there. All that plutonium is just to power the Revolutionary Guards’ digital TVs. Not that we’re in favour of civil nuclear programmes. Erm…

On the other side of the coin, we have the most liberal, tolerant and multicultural society in the Middle East – the state of Israel. Its paramedics risk their lives to treat Palestinian children; it welcomes immigrants from Yemen to Latin America; its Supreme Court gives relentless scrutiny to decisions made by the government and action taken by the military. Yet this Amsterdam-style paradise is a pariah state on the pseudo-left map. It is compared routinely to apartheid South Africa and its soldiers to jackbooted Nazis. Its enemies are deified, its journalists are subject to discriminatory boycotts and its very right to exist is challenged daily.

These are issues which are debated constantly in the blogosphere but in their book Not in My Name: A Compendium of Modern Hypocrisy, Julie Burchill and Chas Newkey-Burden bring a fresh perspective to the contortions of contemporary thought. Rational politics only explains so much and the arguments of the age have been crying out for Burchill’s more visceral analysis. She has the talent to reduce an apparently intellectual stance down to its base drives. Is it really beyond belief that the inadequate, frustrated, callow misogynists of the Western intelligensia looked upon the sexual apartheids of the Muslim world and thought: ‘At last! A society where the bitches know their place!’

It isn’t all good – articles such as ‘Fat Girl Feminists’ are very time-specific and are only going to chime with people who follow fashion as obsessively as Julie Burchill. The authors also misunderstand the old saw that hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue: it means that hypocrisy is an admission that we would like to be moral but can’t; it’s the Libertine’s Prayer: ‘Lord, make me chaste… but not yet.’

Yet the book is worth reading for its political essays. You may not agree with Newkey-Burden’s take on the Grand March: that ‘millions of people took advantage of Britain’s freedom and democracy, marching through the streets to ask that the government deprive Iraqi people of those very values’. Loads of people marched because they were afraid civilians would die. The doctrinaire pacifist may be a moron but is not a hypocrite. However, as Newkey-Burden says:

I’ve never met a single pro-war person who failed to accept the consequences of their argument. Similarly, I’ve never met a single antiwar person who did accept the consequences of theirs.

Here are some examples of modern hypocrisy that the authors somehow left out.

1) Prolier than thou anti-smoking activists who claimed that the smoking ban was necessary to protect bar staff, when available evidence suggested that smokers were overwhelmingly represented among bar staff, that they were more concerned about pay and union recognition and that bar staff did not want this ‘protection’, such as it was

2) Northern sentimentalist comedians like Peter/Vernon Kay/Jason Manford who get rich with tired and cliched routines about wedding discos and Bolton families that bear no relation to the reality of what growing up in the North is like; and then fuck off to London and a C4 panel show as soon as the opportunity presents itself

3) Celebrity-haters – people with mortgages and dull nine-to-five jobs who moan about the excesses of hedonistic celebrities. These people are like prisoners on life sentence complaining about the immorality of those who escape from jail. Give them a million pounds and a record deal and they’d be falling out of a limo in Camden too.

Feel free to add more in the comments.

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Save Tribune!

October 12, 2008 at 9:18 am (labour party, left, socialism, Uncategorized, unions, voltairespriest)

Tribune, one of the most venerable organs of the Labour movement, is to close at the end of this month. There have been all sorts of shenanigans apparently going on with regard to its funding, including rumoured machinations by certain figures with my own and Mr Denham’s union, TGWU-Unite. Either way, the subsidies upon which Tribune relied to survive have essentially gone, and as a result a piece of living history will shortly disappear unless something is done about it. In my view that would be a great shame.

It is certainly the case that Tribune in recent years has not exactly been the most riveting read. Its soft-left politics have often verged on simple Brownism, especially during the Blair premiership. I can remember some bizarre call upon Brown to “Go to it Gordon!” when he’d won some back-room manoeuvre against Blair, which almost gave the impression that New Labour’s second main architect was some kind of closeted Tony Benn who was now ready to present himself to the world. Of course, no such thing happened. But then it is possible to understand this, given it came from a paper which had basically seen its Parliamentary supporters melt into the Kinnockite leadership of the party in the 1980s.

It hadn’t been selling well of late: indeed I can think of only one shop in the West Midlands where I even saw it on a regular basis. The Morning Star, The Socialist and Socialist Worker are far more familiar sights to the public in this region. It would certainly need a re-vamp and a reconsideration of its overall political position if it were to continue. But, even for reasons of pure nostalgia, I for one certainly hope it does.

(hat-tip: Red Maria)

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We’re Leaving on The Three O’Clock to Euston

October 11, 2008 at 9:21 am (Iran, israel, left, trotskyism, voltairespriest)

nullThere had been some concerns that we wouldn’t make it. But I can now confirm that Mr Denham and I will both be hopping on a train and attending tomorrow’s Bunfight at the OK Corral between Sean Matgamna and Moshe Machover. It sounded too deliciously entertaining to miss, and has therefore tempted us away from our usual Sunday routine of mulling over the news and bemoaning the state of the left at the local boozer. That, and the fact that the meeting’s being held in a pub helps.

Although mind you, in all seriousness I do think it’s actually an interesting and important debtate. Contrary to what Stroppy and Dave (both of whom are likely to attend) have written on the subject, I don’t see debates like this as a diversion from the class struggle or such like. I think that debates about stances like this one (for those of you who don’t know, Sean is defending his – in my view bizarre – stance on a hypothetical Israeli war on Iran) are actually important in terms of clarifying what we as socialists and progressives think about world political questions. If those debates become heated then in my view it’s not sectarianism or aggression to do so, but actually a sign that the participants are passionate about their politics. And there’s nowt wrong with that.

Mr Denham, don’t forget the popcorn!

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The (lack of) memory of the class

October 10, 2008 at 9:15 pm (AWL, blogosphere, capitalism, capitalist crisis, Jim D, Marxism, SWP)

According to leading historian, theoretician and intellekshull Mr Lenny “Seymour” Fuckineedjit

 
There has been nothing like this in the whole history of capitalism.”

And as for his newspaper, Socialist Worker’s front-page headline: “Capitalism Isn’t Working”…well, yes it is, actually. And it will continue to do so throughout this crisis until the left comes up with a coherent alternative and a strategy for implementing it.

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Aren’t periodic crises in the very nature of capitalism, Lenny? Are you seriously trying to tell us that nothing like this has happened before? Have’nt you heard of the 1930’s? And anyway, as well as the objective factor of capitalist crisis, what is required is the subjective factor: an adequate, coherent, working class movement capable of organising to overthrow capitalism as a conscious act:
.
“One of the great lessons of the 20th century is that there is no such thing as an insoluble crisis for capitalism. Given time, given the chance to hold on tight, given the lack of  a politically coherent alternative to itself, it recovers. Economic devastations, immensely tragic for vast numbes of people and even for individual capitalists can, paradoxically, clear the way for capitalist revival. The manic-depressive system climbs out of the trough and begins a rise to peaks from which it will, in time, plunge down. The cycle goes on.
.
“Capitalism will not jump into history’s abyss; it has to be knocked on the head and resolutely pushed!” – Editorial, Solidarity & Workers Liberty # 139, 25 September, 2008
.
Oh yes, Lenny; there has been something like this before:
.

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