Bastani- the latest from the Novara capo di tutti capi

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Battlescarred
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Jan 27 2018 09:43
Bastani- the latest from the Novara capo di tutti capi

Aaron Bastani
"A section of the left, what I call the ‘fuck you dad left’, think it’s progressive that police officers are outsourced, have lower wages or are precarious. Let’s get that straight: it isn’t "

And

"The 'fuck you dad' left would jettison an emerging social democratic hegemony on the economy to have a culture war we'd currently lose. We can only win that culture war if we engage with people, where they are, and persuade them. Thats a lot harder than choosing a left 'scene' over a left movement granted - but its something we have to do. It means having conversations with people we disagree with".

"Astonished at how many *still* don’t get cheering on protest whatever it’s demands and whatever the political context. Any breakdown in Iranian regime *could* make Syria look like theme park. Yet many Brits still cheer on regime change"

"Saudi’s and Israel would aid separatists in Baluchistan/Khuzistan, Iranian Kurdistan too. Any power struggle would see a straight military junta replacing current polyarchy and distribution of power. More suffering, more unrest, more refugees, ISIS spreads. Think!"
From the guy who brought you "What is Libertarian Communism? On this week's show Aaron Bastani and James Butler discuss libertarian communism. What does it mean and how should we relate to it? "

I imagine the ‘fuck you dad left’,phrase is one he's going to use in his imminent book, yet another stage in his attempt to furtherr his career in a forthcoming Labour regime

Battlescarred
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Jan 27 2018 09:56

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/media/2017/09/luxury-communism-now-rise-pro-corbyn-media

wojtek
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Jan 27 2018 15:30

If he believed any different, he wouldn't be where he is. Same as you and i.

I don't see the point of critiquing/beefing with 'influential' people other than for kicks. If your stuff is tight then they'll be irrelevant, if they weren't to begin with, soon enough.

Battlescarred
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Jan 27 2018 16:08

This misses the point entirely.

wojtek
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Jan 27 2018 17:38

You're very welcome haha. yolo

zugzwang
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Jan 27 2018 18:50
Quote:
Aaron Bastani
"A section of the left, what I call the ‘fuck you dad left’, think it’s progressive that police officers are outsourced, have lower wages or are precarious. Let’s get that straight: it isn’t "

Don't see what's "progressive" in police officers beating striking workers or siding with employers against workers as they historically have. I guess he didn't get the memo police aren't the working class's friends.

bastarx
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Jan 28 2018 06:59
zugzwang wrote:
Quote:
Aaron Bastani
"A section of the left, what I call the ‘fuck you dad left’, think it’s progressive that police officers are outsourced, have lower wages or are precarious. Let’s get that straight: it isn’t "

Don't see what's "progressive" in police officers beating striking workers or siding with employers against workers as they historically have. I guess he didn't get the memo police aren't the working class's friends.

Is any of that actually happening to those poor oppressed cops?

My understanding is that the state usually makes sure cops are looked after pretty well even when other public sector workers are getting shafted.

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jura
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Jan 28 2018 08:14

Wasn't the payrise cap for police and prison wardens recently abolished (as opposed to caps for other public sector workers)?

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jef costello
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Jan 28 2018 08:48

It was very funny in France when Sarkozy was President, the cops went for everyone who protested against cuts. And then got upset when they got cut, funniest of all they started talking about strikes, marches and demonstrations. They just took it instead.

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Rob Ray
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Jan 28 2018 12:43

His sterling defence of a new green card system and hard migration limit on their Brexit podcast (which would apparently undermine racism in Britain) was similarly eyebrow-raising. At one point he jokingly suggested that in his passionate defence of the superiority of the British constitutional system to formal written ones (while talking about how Lexit was definitely going to be a real thing) he might be channeling Edmund Burke. Mm.

He seems to be in an accelerating process of jettisoning all non-Labour views from his oeuvre, presumably so when he goes for the MP/senior apparatchik job he can answer media quote-miners with "yeah but here's a quote showing definitively that I changed my mind ages ago, youthful indiscretions etc etc." It's not terribly surprising given his political trajectory for the last while tbh.

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rat
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Jan 28 2018 20:58

Good post by Rob Ray.
The Novara Media Editorial Team also currently contains an erstwhile anarchist who seems to know which side his bread is buttered.
As this lot are probably the next bunch of wankers who we could feasibly see take up positions in the Labour Party or in significant media roles — what do we do about them?
Maybe nothing? Maybe a relentless critique of social democracy? Maybe a smart smack in the gob next time we spot one of them?

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Serge Forward
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Jan 28 2018 22:20

Jack Straw, David Blunkett, etc. of the future innit.

zugzwang
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Jan 29 2018 04:15
bastarx wrote:
zugzwang wrote:
Quote:
Aaron Bastani
"A section of the left, what I call the ‘fuck you dad left’, think it’s progressive that police officers are outsourced, have lower wages or are precarious. Let’s get that straight: it isn’t "

Don't see what's "progressive" in police officers beating striking workers or siding with employers against workers as they historically have. I guess he didn't get the memo police aren't the working class's friends.

Is any of that actually happening to those poor oppressed cops?

My understanding is that the state usually makes sure cops are looked after pretty well even when other public sector workers are getting shafted.

Well it's a fantastic idea that private/public employers would ever do without their police, armies, pinkertons, militias, spies and so on. The most recent I heard about protesting police (which sounds funny) is in Brazil, so I guess it happens (but I'm not read up on this stuff). But even then they had someone loyal under them, if not the handful of protesting police.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/19/brazil-police-storm-congress-over-proposal-to-raise-retirement-age

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Shorty
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Jan 29 2018 12:15
Battlescarred wrote:
"The 'fuck you dad' left would jettison an emerging social democratic hegemony on the economy to have a culture war we'd currently lose. We can only win that culture war if we engage with people, where they are, and persuade them. Thats a lot harder than choosing a left 'scene' over a left movement granted - but its something we have to do. It means having conversations with people we disagree with".

Eh, if you change out 'social democratic' and ignore the lack of hegemony, this could have been said on here any time since libcom started. It's ok when other anarchists say it, right?

I think 'fuck you dad' is funny, I remember seeing this graffiti in social centres and housing projects in Berlin over ten years ago.
Bit of comedic self insight.

Mike Harman
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Jan 29 2018 12:39
Shorty wrote:
Eh, if you change out 'social democratic' and ignore the lack of hegemony, this could have been said on here any time since libcom started.

It's a specific line of argument, most explicitly put forward by Paul Mason (who recently started writing for Novara - has already been appearing on panels and interviews with them) that the Labour Party should focus only on 'opposing neoliberalism' (meaning increasing social funding and infrastructure investment, 'national investment bank' and similar), while maintaining the UK's military, police and border regimes intact, with only the mildest critique, if any. The idea being that such an approach will gain support from the CBI and other establishment groups who aren't happy with the current Tory leadership - so might support, or at least not actively sabotage as much, a Corbyn government as long as they don't mess with the repressive functions of the state too much.

So 'we engage with people, where they are, and persuade them' is an appeal to public opinion (pro-Trident, anti-immigration, pro-police), an approach to online and media discourse, rather than for workplace or community organising. In other words it's talking about positioning and triangulation, rather than methodology. Specifically, it's a way of defending Labour's calls for more police funding, where a police abolitionist framework is conveniently dismissed as simply wanting lower-paid, less-well-trained police and a well funded police force is expected to have more capacity for 'reform'.

This comes at a time where there has been some recent anti-police campaigns with the demonstrations for Edson da Costa and Rashan Charles in London towards the end of last year.

Dannny
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Jan 29 2018 13:26
rat wrote:
Good post by Rob Ray.
The Novara Media Editorial Team also currently contains an erstwhile anarchist who seems to know which side his bread is buttered.
As this lot are probably the next bunch of wankers who we could feasibly see take up positions in the Labour Party or in significant media roles — what do we do about them?
Maybe nothing? Maybe a relentless critique of social democracy? Maybe a smart smack in the gob next time we spot one of them?

Is that a joke? Either way a daft thing to put on a public forum.

Dannny
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Jan 29 2018 14:23

Does anyone think the lamentable trajectory of the Novara project might be used for more general reflections on the turn of events since 2010-11?
It seems like quite a lot of people were introduced to or seemed receptive in one way or another to anarchist ideas around this time. Subsequent to the 'turn' to statist approaches there are any number of examples of individuals or organisations in the UK and beyond whose ideological drift and caving in on basic questions seems to vindicate the classic anarchist position. However, rather than making that position more visible and giving libertarians increased confidence, there seems to be more confusion than before, with 'anarchists' coming up with all kinds of justifications for involving themselves in statist projects... Is that a fair assessment and if so could we have made a better effort to avoid it?

Mike Harman
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Jan 29 2018 15:06

Social democracy doesn't have anything to offer in terms of social change, but it has a lot to offer people who'd like to make a living either as politicians or journalists, at least since there's been a collapse in the Progress wing of Labour since 2008. What shouldn't have surprised me but nevertheless has is the rapid jettisoning of positions even with the merest whiff of proximity to power, would have expected that to happen after an election win.

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Khawaga
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Jan 29 2018 19:32
Mike Harman wrote:
Social democracy doesn't have anything to offer in terms of social change, but it has a lot to offer people who'd like to make a living either as politicians or journalists, at least since there's been a collapse in the Progress wing of Labour since 2008.

Now while, I think you are correct in your assessment, there are plenty of people who've turned towards social democratic reform, but do not have a desire to be a journo or politician. It may simply also be the case that people want to see some change and think that with the lack of anarchist projects getting anything done, it is better to settle for at least something. While I can't really speak to the UK situation, I have quite a few friends in North America who've softened up on electoralism. This has also something to do with the general political confusion that reigns and with the rise of the (alt) right; it is seen as more important to combat them through the ballot box and electing more friendlies/less shitty people in power. In Canada, there was the "anyone but Harper" line of agitation that got Trudeau (who is but a liberal Trump) elected.

Mike Harman
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Jan 29 2018 20:52

When you say softened up though, are they just hopeful about someone half-decent getting in or are they actually expending energy on electoralism? Either way that's a more interesting point.

With the UK situation, I think there had not been a pressing need for a consistent critique of electoral politics for at least two decades. With Blair vs. Major or Brown vs. Cameron it was pretty obvious to anyone in vaguely left wing circles that there was 'no difference' between them.

This meant that the Trot groups mostly tried to erect new political parties to run against Labour (and the extent of soft-anarchist involvement might have been voting Green or something) - both of which are pretty marginal political projects - so actual communists and anarchists could mostly ignore these completely. Equally projects to 'move the Labour Party to the left' were written off with scorn. So Corbyn actually getting elected surprised a lot of people and some of the older boilerplate critiques did not apply to that situation.

With Theresa May at the very right of the Tory party, and Corbyn at the very left, it does not really make sense to say "they're all the same" - so you get into what the constraints would be - all the other Labour MPs, the local councils, the state as opposed to the government), capital itself, or examples from other countries like Syriza. That's a much less obvious thing to get across.

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Khawaga
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Jan 29 2018 21:05
Mike Harman wrote:
When you say softened up though, are they just hopeful about someone half-decent getting in or are they actually expending energy on electoralism? Either way that's a more interesting point.

It's been both, though more of the hopeful kind than actual electioneering (among people I know at least).

Ghost Whistler
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Feb 2 2018 11:11
Rob Ray wrote:
His sterling defence of a new green card system and hard migration limit on their Brexit podcast (which would apparently undermine racism in Britain) was similarly eyebrow-raising. At one point he jokingly suggested that in his passionate defence of the superiority of the British constitutional system to formal written ones (while talking about how Lexit was definitely going to be a real thing) he might be channeling Edmund Burke. Mm.

He seems to be in an accelerating process of jettisoning all non-Labour views from his oeuvre, presumably so when he goes for the MP/senior apparatchik job he can answer media quote-miners with "yeah but here's a quote showing definitively that I changed my mind ages ago, youthful indiscretions etc etc." It's not terribly surprising given his political trajectory for the last while tbh.

Do you have a link to that particular podcast?

I know he changed his mind on brexit during the campaign going from leave to stay (iirc).

Personally I just find them insufferably arrogant and very much n their own cosy little bubble.

Reading Paul Mason argue that we should get on the streets if May quits - but only insofar as to press for another election - was disappointing.

I doubt any working class types really pay them much heed.

jolasmo
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Feb 12 2018 16:00

EDIT: Generally agree that these types aren't worth wasting brain space on, but felt no list of Bastani's most cringe inducing tweets would be complete without the above absolute gem.

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Rob Ray
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Feb 12 2018 17:01

Think it was this one

http://novaramedia.com/2018/01/12/lexit-2019/

jolasmo
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Feb 14 2018 18:36

Also this from literally just now:

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Steven.
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Feb 14 2018 18:55
jolasmo wrote:
Also this from literally just now:

That is typically awful for contemporary Bastani.

However I think it's a pretty good example of the change in perspective people go through when they move from a radical perspective to a social democratic politician's one. When you cease to view the working class as something you are part of, whose task is to liberate itself and each other, and instead view it as a mass you can direct for your own ends (which you probably see as being "for their own good").

I mean I'm sure that Bastani wouldn't have wanted to join the Army himself, nor would he have wanted to force his uni mates to do likewise. But now I guess we are just an amorphous mass, who can be whipped into shape to serve a mythical future Labour administration…

By the way to the person above suggesting violence, sorry but that is completely stupid and embarrassing thing to suggest. Yes, this is someone who has quickly abandoned any of the radical principles he briefly at least claimed to hold, in return for a couple of brief segments on Sky News and some selfies with Corbyn, but violence is in no way justified. If I were you I would remove that comment.