Why I’m still not voting

Corbyn, rather than being the saviour of the working class in Britain, demonstrates the futility of even the best of intentions when operating within logic and limits of capitalist democracy.

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 5, 2017

Alright, I'll admit it: I have a soft spot for Jeremy Corbyn. I feel like he's the left-wing grandfather I never had. I like his elbow patches, his allotment, his cycling about and making jam. As the old platitude goes, I could imagine having a beer with him.

He's a politician, but he probably is authentic in his beliefs. And, at least in my lifetime, he's the first politician with socialist principles to have a legitimate shot at achieving the highest level of state power.

Ultimately, though, I still won’t be voting for him.

The Enemy Within: the PLP

“What?! You want another five years of the Tories? Don’t you care about [insert issue here]? How could you not vote Corbyn?

Well, firstly, because, unless you live in Islington North, you can’t vote Corbyn. You can vote for your local Labour MP who, in all likelihood, probably one of the three-quarters of MPs who tried to get rid of Corbyn with their no confidence vote. We’re being asked to vote for the same MPs who, when they stood in the 2015 general election, ran on a platform where they promised to work within George Osbourne’s spending plans and refused to reverse the cuts that had already been made.

It’s also worth remembering that some of these people - people like Tom Watson and Hilary Benn - have been MPs since Labour were last in power: they were there for the introduction of ‘managed markets’ and ‘Private Finance Initiatives’ into the NHS, or when the Labour government contracted ATOS to do Work Capability Assessments, or when they introduced the proto-Bedroom Tax in the form of the Local Housing Allowance to ‘incentivise’ private tenants to move into cheaper accommodation.

Are we supposed to believe these same MPs have had a change of heart and will pursue Corbyn’s social democratic policies?

The fact is, the PLP will continue to sabotage Corbyn at every turn (by resigning from important posts, publicly criticising him and his progressive policies; in fact, continuing everything they’ve been doing up to now).
And Corbyn will be forced to compromise. In fact, he already has: first, he decided not to call a whip on the November 2015 Syria airstrikes vote thus ensuring the result would be in favour. Second, he refused to call on Labour councils to resist budget cuts, which has resulted in councils shedding services and attacking pay, in some cases, such as Durham and Derby Teaching Assistants by as much as 25%.

Yet these are exactly the types of principled stands on which Corbyn established his credentials as an activist MP.

Now, obviously Corbyn didn’t do these things because he secretly loves war and budget cuts; he was trying to maintain party unity of his party. But his party is, ultimately, a capitalist party which not only aspires to manage a capitalist state but where one in six peers have financial interests in private healthcare and numerous councillors and MPs have links to property developers.

So do I think Corbyn is basically the same as the Tories? No, of course not. But do I think the Labour Right are basically the same as the Tories? Yeah, pretty much. And, in most cases, that’s who we’re being asked to vote for in this election.

The Enemy Without: Capital

Most worryingly for Corbyn (and his supporters) is that all these compromises with the Parliamentary Labour Party are while pressures on him are relatively mild. Should Corbyn win the election, Corbyn's social democratic policies would undoubtedly see a backlash from big business in the form of capital flight and non-cooperation if not outright sabotage.

We only have to look at the economic effects since Brexit to see what market jitters can do to an economy: devalued currency, price rises on imports (and, therefore, price rises in shops and supermarkets), banks and companies talking about moving operations abroad, outflows of capital, etc etc.

And this is due only to the uncertainty of moving from one kind of conservative neoliberalism to another. Imagine what would happen if the shift was to the kind of social democracy Corbyn is advocating! In fact, it would probably look a little like what happened to the Labour governments of the 1960s and 1970s, which ended in them taking a loan from the IMF along with a package of cuts and controls.

Right-wing economists aren't wrong about capital flight or businesses shedding jobs when wages are raised because that’s exactly how bosses react when their profits are squeezed. That is how bosses wage their half of the class war.

So whether through through raw economic forces or through the concerted activity of capital in the political realm, brakes will be put on Corbyn's reforms. He'll have very little choice but to compromise on his program or face all the consequences that come with a slowing or stagnating economy. Corbyn's beliefs – no matter how authentic they may be – will quickly come up against the reality of managing British capitalism.

Getting out of the election cycle

But I get it: Corbyn's a breath of fresh air. He talks the talk and, no doubt, he wants to walk the walk. And, to be honest, if people want to vote Labour, that’s fine. It’s not a crime against the class or whatever.

But as an American who's relocated to Britain in the past decade, I can remember my friends getting really excited about Obama back in 2007. Needless to say, my American friends no longer have such a rosy view of Obama.

Fast forward ten years and a lot my friends here in Britain have those same levels of excitement about Corbyn; a man whose program is far to the left of Obama and would be significantly more difficult to implement.

The history of left-wing politicians is one of moving rightward in government. Whether Syriza implementing EU austerity measures, the Irish Green Party overseeing an onshore Shell refinery project they had previously opposed, the Italian Communist Party’s ‘historical compromise’ with the right-wing Mafia-aligned Christian Democrats (and countless other examples), the reality of governing a capitalist state ensures that even honest social goals are compromised when wielding state power becomes a reality.

None of this should be taken to mean that I’m just ‘waiting for the revolution’ (I’m not) or don't want to improve our conditions in the here and now (I do). But it’s not by voting that we improve our conditions; it’s through struggle.

It was through sustained levels of class struggle in post-war Britain ensured the working class could extract concessions from capital on both the workplace and state levels. It’s through rebuilding that collective strength - in the workplace, in community organisations, or elsewhere - that we can do so again.

So while it might be nice to have a drink with Jezza, seeing him elevated to the position of prime minister is not the way we'll see social democracy re-established as the framework of British politics. Rather, we'd need to to bring back the levels of class power that existed in the decades after the Second World War. And we won't achieve that by voting.

Thanks to Ed for his edits and suggestions.

Comments

Mike Harman

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on June 5, 2017

There's a couple more things I'd probably have added to this:

The election campaigning on 10,000 extra police officers, trying to attack the Conservatives from the right on law and order.

The fact this line is being pushed by people on the left of the Labour Party like Paul Mason, who was calling for paramilitary police units like the GIGN to be created yesterday on twitter. So it's not even a reluctant stance/compromise but pretty enthusiastic ramping up of state violence.

That Corbyn is almost entirely isolated in the PLP on immigration policy, only really Diane Abbott has been unequivocally pro-freedom of movement that I've seen. Even major Corbyn allies like Clive Lewis are to the right on this.

On top of that, rather than seeing Corbyn supporters criticise these stances, a lot of people are just repeating the talking points (because they think it'll hurt Theresa May in the election).

Jacques Roux

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jacques Roux on June 5, 2017

But it’s not by voting that we improve our conditions; it’s through struggle ...
It’s through rebuilding that collective strength - in the workplace, in community organisations, or elsewhere - that we can do so again.

Would that struggle be marginally easier with a Labour government?

Or even symbolically easier if people are not simply focussed on getting a Labour government into power? I.e. they have seen the Labour alternative (nothing much changed) and are ready to move on from it to a possibility they perhaps had not entertained before? (most likely because that possibility is more or less invisible).

Mike Harman

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on June 6, 2017

Would that struggle be marginally easier with a Labour government?

Or even symbolically easier if people are not simply focussed on getting a Labour government into power? I.e. they have seen the Labour alternative (nothing much changed) and are ready to move on from it to a possibility they perhaps had not entertained before? (most likely because that possibility is more or less invisible).

While 2017 is obviously not equivalent to 1997, and Corbyn is very different from Blair, Labour introduced university tuition fees, presided over the opening of a prison ship, introduced PFI, massive attacks on postal workers and firefighters (called firefighters 'terrorists' in 2003 when a strike was looming around the time the Iraq war was about to start), wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, opened Yarls Wood immigration detention centre.
https://twitter.com/i/moments/814409132514091012 has more examples, old and new. There's a reason so much anti-cuts rhetoric is framed around 'Tory cuts' because the same people really didn't mind that much when Labour was doing massive restructuring.

A lot of people who were politicised during the 2011 student protests would have been just 14-16+ during the 2010 general election, barely old enough to remember 1997 at all and pre-teens in 2003. So for at least some people backing Corbyn they've not had a lot of experience of Labour in power nationally, or only when Blair/Brown were personally very unpopular and people were already talking about bringing Labour back to the 'left'.

On the one hand, people getting demoralised might lessen their enthusiasm for the Labour Party, but it doesn't necessarily lead to getting involved with workplace or community organising - it might just burn people out altogether. A lot of people are peddling false promises about what the election means, and this isn't just about voting Labour, there are people out canvassing for their shitty local Labour MPs in the hope that Corbyn gets in.

Part of what I like about this article, and many of the other discussions around this is that people are really trying to avoid "they're both the same", "don't vote", and "I told you so", which are too easily dismissed as lazy 'anarchist' takes vs. pointing to the very real contradictions and limitations of electoralism.

Also, regardless of the result, assuming Corbyn stays as leader after Friday and there's no successful centrist coup, if people are really backing him, it's likely to lead to more electoral activity rather than less:

- there are a tonne of Labour councillors on the right wing of the party. If Momentum are serious about transforming the Labour party they'll start putting up left wing candidates for council wards in the local elections. People are already joining constituency labour parties in some areas.

- any discussion about deselection of rabidly anti-Corbyn MPs has been cut short by the snap election. You'd expect Momentum activists to start trying to replace them for 2022, as well as candidates for by-elections etc. Given there are only about 10 MPs you could consider Corbynist, and well over 100 who are actively hostile, that's a lot of work for them to do. This is likely to be the case whether there's a win or a loss (assuming Corbyn stays on in either case), since much of the narrative around the election campaign was that the multiple leadership challenges and personal attacks on Corbyn from Labour MPs are the reason Labour's polling was so bad until the campaign started.

What's not presented here, either in the piece or the comments, is what can be done outside of the election cycle. Brighton Solfed continue to be very excellent with 'Brighton Hospitality', it's harder for people outside major cities/towns to get involved with anything decent though - when the only poles of attraction locally are Momentum or Peoples Assembly etc.

sarda

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by sarda on June 6, 2017

Sadly a vote for Corbyn is a belief by many to be a vote for Socialism where the Capitalist got its enemy where it wants to be, under control. It is an enemy no longer hates by the Capitalist but has learned to play with it as a toy villain. Bringing Corbyn down is like hitting two birds in one shot because it also comes down with him the name "Socialism". I don't know how much setback the socialists can still afford, I don't know if they have learned something from the Reagan era.

Ed

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ed on June 6, 2017

Cross-posted with Mike, above.

Jacques Roux

But it’s not by voting that we improve our conditions; it’s through struggle ...
It’s through rebuilding that collective strength - in the workplace, in community organisations, or elsewhere - that we can do so again.

Would that struggle be marginally easier with a Labour government?

Or even symbolically easier if people are not simply focussed on getting a Labour government into power? I.e. they have seen the Labour alternative (nothing much changed) and are ready to move on from it to a possibility they perhaps had not entertained before? (most likely because that possibility is more or less invisible).

I think there's no reason to think this would be the case. I mean, sure, people might think 'oh gosh, even a left-wing Labour government couldn't sort society out; we need something more radical' or they might just as easily think 'socialism doesn't work, look at all the problems it's caused us; we need order, national stability, someone to sort out this something for nothing culture'.

Would struggle be easier? I don't know: Labour are promising 10,000 more police, 3,000 more prison officers, 500 more border guards and an increase in defence spending. Labour Left personalities like Paul Mason are celebrating the military patrolling British streets.

Moreover, would unions be willing to mobilise against a government which was giving them a seat at the table? Would the left mobilise against any regressive measures a left-wing government was taking? Or would we hear lots of 'well, at least it's not the Tories'?

I mean, did struggle get easier when Syriza got into power? Did the struggle against Shell in Ireland get easier once the Green Party got into power? Or, for that matter, was the struggle to save the Heygate Estate easier coz it's a Labour council? Or the Durham and Derby TA's strikes against 25% pay cuts?

Tbh, I'm not even saying that struggle definitely wouldn't be easier under a Corbyn government. I'm sure there are historical examples when it's happened and, who knows, it could happen again. But there are just as many (if not more) examples of the opposite being the case. The logic seems all off to me: it's like saying if you want to write a novel you need to get a fancy pen and the nicest paper and a nice desk in a plush study. Sure, it might help, but if you're not writing then you're no nearer your goal than when you started.

Point is, to get good at writing you need to start writing. To get good at struggling you need to start struggling.

Steven.

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on June 6, 2017

Yeah Jacques like Ed says, I don't think there is any evidence things would be easier under a Labour government.

I mean even now the Labour Party has a lot of power, as they run lots of councils. And those disputes in Durham and Derby are examples I was going to point to. The workers who have taken large amounts of strike action in those two councils haven't had things any easier being under a Labour administration.

Having worked for a a council employer which has alternated between Labour and the Tories, there has been no difference.

If Corbyn did pull off a miracle and win, which seems very unlikely, then rather than make the task of the workers' movement easier, I think what would happen is all the organisations of the workers' movement will devote their energy to rallying round to "support Corbyn" against the inevitable attacks from the media, the opposition and the vast majority of the PLP who hate him and everything he stands for. Certainly within the unions there will be a mood of not wanting to rock the boat for "our man", and make him look bad with strikes etc which would be manna from heaven for the likes of the Daily Mail who would be banging on about the return of the bad old days of the 70s etc.

And while some Labour supporters will be disillusioned with him in power, and probably turn more to anti-parliamentary socialism as a result, this will probably be a tiny minority compared with potentially hundreds of thousands who will be put off by "socialism" as they will see it, failing, and turn to the right or far right (for example see during the last Labour government when the BNP ended up getting nearly a million votes)

GuayabaG

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by GuayabaG on June 6, 2017

Here are some reasons to vote:

1. It will take you ten minutes

2. It will, if Labour wins, result in the alleviation of much suffering that would otherwise take place, in terms of the persecution of benefits claimants, people dying in hospital corridors, poverty wage levels and so on.

3. It may well be facilitating the end of the 40-year rightward swing in UK public political discourse.

4. It takes TEN MINUTES.

Of course Corbyn will have to compromise. He's had to already. He will compromise more. That doesn't mean a Labour over Tory government won't create a material difference to the lives of many people. I'll add another factor for me: this is about giving the right wing of Labour a kicking too, not just the Tories. The right of Labour claimed the public had no interest in even vaguely left wing ideas. Already they look like a bunch of plonkers. I want them to look like the absolute worthless cunts they are, and so open up a space for more public discussion of left wing ideas.

GuayabaG

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by GuayabaG on June 6, 2017

Having worked for a a council employer which has alternated between Labour and the Tories, there has been no difference.

Firstly, many Labour councils are under the right wing of Labour, including the one where I live. But this is about giving the right wing of Labour a kicking too. And yes, you might have to do that by voting for a right wing Labour MP. Life fucking sucks doesn't it? Suck it up. There's a really strange moment in British politics here where some of our enemies (the right of Labour) made a huge error in changing their leadership selection process, being too detached from their own party base to realise their members were more left wing than the unions. We need to double down on that error and make them fucking pay.

Also, I've worked for both Tory and Labour councils, and guess what, the Tory one was much nicer to work for. More money, you see...

Steven.

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on June 6, 2017

GuayabaG

2. It will, if Labour wins, result in the alleviation of much suffering that would otherwise take place, in terms of the persecution of benefits claimants, people dying in hospital corridors, poverty wage levels and so on.

On this, the sanctions regime and the work capability assessments for the disabled were introduced by Labour. Labour were also the ones who started privatising the NHS.

As for poverty wage levels, there were poverty wage levels under Labour. Where I work, in local government where the majority of the workforce are low paid, part-time women, the Labour government imposed pay restraint three years, cutting pay in real terms. And even under the coalition and Conservative governments, Labour ran the local government employers' association, which implemented the Tory pay cap policy with absolutely no qualms, despite occasional strike ballots and campaigning against them.

That's not to mention all the Labour councils which privatised huge swathes of services, turning tens of thousands of well paying jobs into minimum wage poverty jobs (like the majority of social care, cleaning, school meals etc)

I'll add another factor for me: this is about giving the right wing of Labour a kicking too, not just the Tories.

I must admit I do not understand your logic here at all. You think voting for people is a good way of giving those exact same people a "kicking"?

Khawaga

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on June 6, 2017

2. It will, if Labour wins, result in the alleviation of much suffering that would otherwise take place, in terms of the persecution of benefits claimants, people dying in hospital corridors, poverty wage levels and so on.

3. It may well be facilitating the end of the 40-year rightward swing in UK public political discourse.

Do you have any shred of proof for this? Fact is, even if Corbyn wins, he will have an uphill battle against the PLP who is gung ho about austerity. Sure, it would be great if what you write will occur, but by voting for labour you may get the same shit as before. Vote labour if you think it matters, but don't be surprised if you regret it down the line.

Ed

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ed on June 6, 2017

Khawaga

Fact is, even if Corbyn wins, he will have an uphill battle against the PLP who is gung ho about austerity.

Not only that but a paradox for the Labour Left is that the more seats Labour win, the more outnumbered they get within the PLP. So with the Labour Right strengthening their hand within the PLP, they will still be able to sabotage any progressive policies they don't like. In fact, they'll be in a better position to do so than they were before (and as all their 'concern' about Corbyn's electability was just window-dressing for obstructing the Labour Left, you can bet they'll definitely do it as well)..

FWIW, while I think the Tories will win, I'd still like Corbyn to do well.. kind of as a litmus test for how much currency left-wing/social democratic ideas generally still have in the UK but also coz I just fucking hate the Tories and the Labour Right :)

GuayabaG

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by GuayabaG on June 6, 2017

Yes, I know the right wing of Labour are shit. Yes, I'm seriously suggesting you give them a kicking by voting for them. A grim situation, but that's where we are. For the first time in my lifetime a major party has a left wing manifesto (however moderate it may be), and this will echo through the decades to come as the test of whether the UK public preferred this, or the turbo-neo-liberal status quo. It will colour every discussion you have with anyone outside the radical political bubble for years to come. However weird it may be, and whichever unsavoury twat you have to vote for personally, this will be used as a test of whether the UK public was finally sick of Thatcherism. Since this whole test was set up by a stupid error by the Labour right, such a public test may not come again in our lifetimes. See it as this test, if you like, rather than a parliamentary vote.

As for the shit Labour did last time, it's all true. But the Tories have made people suffer worse. Does that count for nothing? It also seems likely that the next Labour government will be less right wing than the last one. There will be a difference in suffering level.

And remember, the establishment don't give a flying fuck whether you vote or not. The only people who care about maintaining principles through abstention are you, and it's some debate going on in your heads that has no reality for people outside your heads. Whether or not hospitals get better funding does have a reality.

Ten minutes my friends.

Ed

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ed on June 6, 2017

GuayabaG

The only people who care about maintaining principles through abstention are you

I don't think anyone here has mentioned anything about "maintaining principles". It's all been very concrete examples about how Labour have been just as bad as the Tories. I, for one, don't give a shit if someone votes Labour or not but I have to admit all the moralising I see from pro-Corbyn types is getting to me ('you care about your principles more than people dying coz their benefits have been cut off' etc etc).

As for this thing about ten minutes: I mean, sure, it would take me ten minutes to go and vote but it also won't make a blind bit of difference. I live in a Labour safe-seat (Labour got double the votes the nearest party, the Tories, did). If I want to have an effect on the election, it means going to some marginal in Kent or wherever to help campaign. And that obviously takes significantly more than ten minutes.

GuayabaG

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by GuayabaG on June 6, 2017

The current iteration of Labour is not quite as bad as the Tories. I think it would be a very odd political analysis that said there would be no difference to people's lives over the next five years whoever won. I mean, it would be a terrible analysis.

You can't vote in socialism, clearly, but you can vote for slightly better conditions under capitalism. If your expectations are low enough, you won't be disappointed. Voting for the lesser evil sucks, but it's not as bad as actually getting the worse evil.

Noah Fence

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on June 6, 2017

This assumption, for that's all it is, that conditions would be marginally better under Labour is a lazy and arrogant one. It's pumped out without any evidence to back it up and as has been shown here, there is at least as much possibility it could make things worse.

ten minutes

Wtf has that got to do with anything? I could have three wanks in that time which would certainly improve conditions for one member of the working class. What's a vote gonna do? How about if you live in Newham, should you take ten minutes out of your schedule to vote for the piece of Labour shit that's so keen to turf working class people out of the borough?
Come of it already, we shouldn't even need this conversation yet half the anarchist movement is being sucked down this malignant plug hole. Take a look at North East Anarchists FB page for example, it's like a Corbyn marketing campaign. There's an almost religious zeal in the efforts to persuade, guilt trip and browbeat people into anointing our new saviour. I've even been told that if I don't take this chance to improve the lives of the working class then I'm no anarchist. Sweet fucking Jesus!!!
Any degree of belief in any party or particular MP by anarchists leaves me incredulous,
Let's just get the election, and the inevitable 'I told you so' out of the way and try to forget until next time, coz we all know it will happen next time, right? I mean let's face it, there were enough cheerleaders with Milliband and there is a huge gap in people's memories about the excitement when Blair was campaigning. Try and find a single person that admits to it now though, no fucking chance, just label him a Tory and take the heat off the war mongering, neo liberal on steroids Labour Goverment that we all endured. Things can only get better, indeed.

petey

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by petey on June 6, 2017

Noah Fence

ten minutes

Wtf has that got to do with anything? I could have three wanks in that time

that's remarkable

Khawaga

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on June 6, 2017

And remember, the establishment don't give a flying fuck whether you vote or not.

Exactly because parliamentary politics is a fucking scam. They don't give a flying fuck and neither do I.

And this argument that the past Labour was, the Tories worse, ergo the new Labour will be better is just a huge fucking syllogistic fallacy.

Noah Fence

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on June 6, 2017

petey

Noah Fence

ten minutes

Wtf has that got to do with anything? I could have three wanks in that time

that's remarkable

Well ok, maybe not quite accurate, but it's a maxim of mine that you should never let the truth get in the way of a good post!

Chilli Sauce

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 6, 2017

Jacques Roux

But it’s not by voting that we improve our conditions; it’s through struggle ...
It’s through rebuilding that collective strength - in the workplace, in community organisations, or elsewhere - that we can do so again.

Would that struggle be marginally easier with a Labour government?

Or even symbolically easier if people are not simply focussed on getting a Labour government into power? I.e. they have seen the Labour alternative (nothing much changed) and are ready to move on from it to a possibility they perhaps had not entertained before? (most likely because that possibility is more or less invisible).

Lots of great responses on this thread already, but I'll add this: I'm always wary of pyschologizing class dynamics. In that same way that I don't buy into the immiseration theory of class anger, social dynamics are way too complicated to really make a prediction one way or the other how a left-leaning government will affect people's willingness to act outside outside of the electoral realm.

My gut tells me that since the role of electoral democracy is to channel and mediate popular anger, hoping that a left victory will spur on extra-parliamentary action is misplaced.

In any case, I don't think an argument can be made strongly enough one way (that the presence of left-wing government will bolster confidence) or the other (that the failure of a left-wing government will radicalise the class) to consider voting to be of tactical value either way.

Noah Fence

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on June 6, 2017

Shee-it! Com Chom is at it as well! Still, he got trolled by Ali G so I guess it ain't so surprising.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/10/labour-partys-future-lies-with-momentum-says-noam-chomsky

Ed

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ed on June 6, 2017

GuayabaG

I think it would be a very odd political analysis that said there would be no difference to people's lives over the next five years whoever won. I mean, it would be a terrible analysis.

Well, with all due respect, you're not offering much in the way of analysis either. So, the article above has pointed out that:

[*] Three-quarters of MPs support austerity
[*] Three-quarters of MPs are keen to sabotage Corbyn and everything he stands for
[*] Current senior Labour MPs were around when Labour govt was privatising the NHS and hiring ATOS for Work Capability Assessments
[*] Where Labour is currently in power they are kicking council tenants out of their homes and cutting public sector workers' pay
[*] Where left-wing governments have gotten into power they have sold out their principles due to circumstances beyond their control, whether Labour in the 1970s or Syriza about a week ago (because nobody is the boss of capital)

So I think now it's your turn to say how Corbyn would get passed all of these issues to implement his programme. Otherwise, I think it's a little rich to be throwing around accusations of 'terrible analyses'..

Khawaga

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on June 6, 2017

A Corbyn-led Labour government is an unknown, sure. But the activity of past Labour in power reveals clearly that it is not a party that care an iota about the working class. At least our arguments are based on something that the Labour party did, not what it may, perhaps, if dragged kicking and screaming, will do. Of course, if Corbyn's policies were to be carried out, it would be a lesser evil. But the greater evil is the PLP and they are also the greater force in Labour. I really don't understand why so many anarchos fall for parliamentary politics every four years. You lot should read up on what Adorno means with pseudo-individualization.

adri

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by adri on June 6, 2017

Noah Fence

Shee-it! Com Chom is at it as well! Still, he got trolled by Ali G so I guess it ain't so surprising.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/10/labour-partys-future-lies-with-momentum-says-noam-chomsky

I mentioned that in another thread. Chomsky stands by the lesser evil thing. It shouldn't be surprising since he also told people to 'hold their nose and vote Clinton.' He (and whoever John Halle is) wrote up an entire piece about it.

https://chomsky.info/an-eight-point-brief-for-lev-lesser-evil-voting/

And Com Chom taking Ali G seriously, if he even did, is no measure of his gullibility; if anything it shows he's a scholarly person who likely doesn't share Ali G's sense of humor.

Craftwork

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Craftwork on June 6, 2017

This article has had a flood of Corbynist responses on FB:

https://www.facebook.com/libcom.org/posts/10155134676146023

Chilli Sauce

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 7, 2017

Craftwork

This article has had a flood of Corbynist responses on FB:

https://www.facebook.com/libcom.org/posts/10155134676146023

F*ck me!

I really like how the main argument seems to be that no one said Corbyn was a saviour and then people turn around and say that people will "die" if Corbyn's not elected - which makes him a saviour by definition!

Noah Fence

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on June 7, 2017

zugzwang

Noah Fence

Shee-it! Com Chom is at it as well! Still, he got trolled by Ali G so I guess it ain't so surprising.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/10/labour-partys-future-lies-with-momentum-says-noam-chomsky

I mentioned that in another thread. Chomsky stands by the lesser evil thing. It shouldn't be surprising since he also told people to 'hold their nose and vote Clinton.' He (and whoever John Halle is) wrote up an entire piece about it.

https://chomsky.info/an-eight-point-brief-for-lev-lesser-evil-voting/

And Com Chom taking Ali G seriously, if he even did, is no measure of his gullibility; if anything it shows he's a scholarly person who likely doesn't share Ali G's sense of humor.

Erm, the Ali G comment was a joke, as is the idea of voting for a capitalist for anarchists.
You're right though, for all his assets, he does seem a bit of a humourless git.

adri

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by adri on June 7, 2017

Noah Fence

zugzwang

Noah Fence

Shee-it! Com Chom is at it as well! Still, he got trolled by Ali G so I guess it ain't so surprising.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/10/labour-partys-future-lies-with-momentum-says-noam-chomsky

I mentioned that in another thread. Chomsky stands by the lesser evil thing. It shouldn't be surprising since he also told people to 'hold their nose and vote Clinton.' He (and whoever John Halle is) wrote up an entire piece about it.

https://chomsky.info/an-eight-point-brief-for-lev-lesser-evil-voting/

And Com Chom taking Ali G seriously, if he even did, is no measure of his gullibility; if anything it shows he's a scholarly person who likely doesn't share Ali G's sense of humor.

Erm, the Ali G comment was a joke, as is the idea of voting for a capitalist for anarchists.
You're right though, for all his assets, he does seem a bit of a humourless git.

Well, he agreed to do this, so he's not totally without a sense humor.

Anti War

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Anti War on June 7, 2017

The debates in Parliament which led to voting rights for most British adults took place exactly 100 years ago.

For those interested, here is a list of quotes from these debates - and from Sylvia Pankhurst. These quotes show that a major reason why the ruling class gave us voting rights, was to counter any revolutionary tendencies inspired by the Russian Revolution.

'Voting as Counter-Revolution – how the politicians who gave us the vote saw things 100 years ago'

Noah Fence

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on June 7, 2017

An ICT friend just wrote this as a response to some of the crazy shit we've both been bumping into...

http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2017-06-07/anarcho-corbynism-and-support-for-labour

Iktomi

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Iktomi on June 7, 2017

Didn't Chomsky say that voters in SWING states should hold their noses and vote Clinton in order to keep out the greater republican threat? And that voters in safe blue states can vote how they want?

Craftwork

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Craftwork on June 7, 2017

Noah Fence

An ICT friend just wrote this as a response to some of the crazy shit we've both been bumping into...

http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2017-06-07/anarcho-corbynism-and-support-for-labour

Yes, key point here:

In one sense, the desire to play some sort of a role within the movements which attract significant working class support and channel the very real discontent which the trajectory of the capitalist crisis is brewing is one we can identify with. However, that participation, that intervention, can only be within precise limits which concede nothing to the snares and illusions hiding behind sugared phrases and “old men bearing gifts”.

For revolutionaries, withdrawal into isolated theoretical work (if that) is no solution. The point however, is not to commit political suicide, kneeling before the five-minute fashions and the momentarily popular, but to find ways to intervene as revolutionaries, defending revolutionary perspectives, on the difficult terrain which is presented to us by capitalism's trajectory. This may not yield immediate numerically significant victories but it can spread awareness that revolutionary organisation exists and sow a seed which may sprout when the next capitalist crash smashes against the conditions which maintain passivity and the safety nets of welfare and the ability to sleep walk through life are definitively jettisoned by a profit desperate capitalism.
[....]
We cannot say when the dam will burst and the tables will be overturned, but we know there is only mounting crisis in store for us under capitalism and that the pre-constructed revolutionary organisation, fruit of patient intervention, has an essential role as a solid political reference point for a class driven by desperation into a fight back. A class dominated by illusions and misconceptions carefully grafted onto them by a ruling class. Amongst these misconceptions is the snare of democracy under capitalism, the parliamentary road to socialism, confidence in trade unions and the Labour Party which the NE anarchists and any others who have abandoned the abstentionist position to vote for the class enemy are fortifying.

Given an intense level of class struggle, we can get our message through to the class in general. But the precondition is we have a significant organisation built up in the preceding period.

adri

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by adri on June 7, 2017

Iktomi

Didn't Chomsky say that voters in SWING states should hold their noses and vote Clinton in order to keep out the greater republican threat? And that voters in safe blue states can vote how they want?

Yes, but nobody seems to agree with the Chomster here (I'm on the fence myself). It's all in the piece I linked to above.

Iktomi

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Iktomi on June 7, 2017

Yes, but nobody seems to agree with the Chomster here (I'm on the fence myself). It's all in the piece I linked to above.

Seems straightforward to me. The consequences of not voting tactically is the accelerating imiseration of the working class, destruction of the environment, threat of nuclear war, etc. Voting is certainly not a replacement for organizing and given the choice I would of course choose the latter. No doubt electoralism is a dead end for revolutionary goals. But for the goal of survival of the working class and environment I choose to hold my nose and vote the lesser evil.

Noah Fence

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on June 7, 2017

I'm on the fence myself

I wondered who that was, now get the fuck off of me!

Khawaga

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on June 7, 2017

The consequences of not voting tactically is the accelerating imiseration of the working class, destruction of the environment, threat of nuclear war, etc.

I'd say the consequence of voting has given us "the accelerating imiseration of the working class, destruction of the environment, threat of nuclear war, etc." That has actually happened; Labour reversing all of these things, well, that's just wishful thinking (although, of course, I wish they would do it).

Iktomi

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Iktomi on June 7, 2017

Sorry I'm not familiar enough with U.K. Politics to comment. I was talking more about the US and Trump v Clinton. Along with the great article zugzwang linked to. But I think the article can be generalized to voting anywhere.

Noah Fence

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on June 7, 2017

Yet again we have "lesser evil" being bandied about as though it's a given without any qualification at all. So where's the evidence? History? A party transformed under a new leader or simply the good guy factor? Well, obviously not so I guess it's a myopic speculation or desperate delusion.

Khawaga

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on June 7, 2017

My point exactly, Noah.

Iktomi

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Iktomi on June 7, 2017

https://chomsky.info/an-eight-point-brief-for-lev-lesser-evil-voting/

Rather than rewrite all of the points made in this piece may I ask you to read it and then respond to it? It's pretty short.

I think it's interesting that you put "lesser evil" in quotes. As if it were a fictional concept. That I think is the real delusion.
"This includes the recognition that far right victories not only impose terrible suffering on the most vulnerable segments of society but also function as a powerful weapon in the hands of the establishment center, which, now in opposition can posture as the 'reasonable' alternative."

Noah Fence

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on June 7, 2017

Firstly, we're talking about Labour here, not Trump but even if we use Trump as a (rather spurious)parallel, I'm far from convinced. I know very little about US politics but it seems obvious to me that Trump's rannygazoo will either tail off or he'll be out on his ear. Let's not forget what drives real policy, capital and capital isn't gonna be blown that far off course in the long run. Take his recent withdrawal from the climate change agreement for example, the investment and research in green energy isn't going to stop overnight, that's a big ship to turn around, especially unilaterally, Trumps bluster and bombast is, at least in the short to medium term, exactly that, loud but instubstantial Still, as I say, I'm no expert and I stand ready to be corrected but back to UK and I still insist that there are no indications that Labour are the lesser evil. The only evidence we have that has any weight at all is history and as has been shown many times, the history of the Labour Party is equally steeped with the stench of anti working class criminality as the Conservative Party. Indeed, the most recent Labour government went on a brutal neo-liberal rampage that made Thatcher look like a fucking girl guide.
Sorry comrade, but you're gonna have to do a whole lot better than that to convince me.

adri

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by adri on June 7, 2017

Noah Fence

I'm on the fence myself

I wondered who that was, now get the fuck off of me!

Well spotted.

Noah Fence

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on June 7, 2017

I've just noticed "far right victories". Are you saying May and co are of the far right? Ah, come on, that's ridiculous. If she is, then so are the majority of the Labour Party, ffs, there's not much more than a fag paper between them.

Chilli Sauce

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 7, 2017

A rannygazoo? A randy kazoo? Noah, are you secretly a 1940s cartoon villain?

Chilli Sauce

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 7, 2017

zugzwang

Noah Fence

I'm on the fence myself

I wondered who that was, now get the fuck off of me!

Well spotted.

Man, knowing all that Noah can get up in just 10 minutes, I would get the fuck away from that fence ZZ.

adri

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by adri on June 8, 2017

Noah Fence

... Let's not forget what drives real policy, capital and capital isn't gonna be blown that far off course in the long run. Take his recent withdrawal from the climate change agreement for example, the investment and research in green energy isn't going to stop overnight, that's a big ship to turn around, especially unilaterally, Trumps bluster and bombast is, at least in the short to medium term is exactly that, loud but instubstantial Still, as I say, I'm no expert and I stand ready to be corrected but back to UK and I still insist that there are no indications that Labour are the lesser evil. ...

Well, no expert myself, but the president has executive powers, can sign executive orders/memoranda, can veto legislation, can pardon people or commute sentences - and with congress being controlled by Republicans, he can successfully pursue such campaign rhetoric as further slashing taxes for the rich, cutting what little social spending there is and further distributing income upward, etc. It might be inevitable that we eventually turn to green alternatives, but what about the meantime under Trump? The first version of his travel ban had its effects while it was in effect (are we to just rely on the sanity of other parts of government?) - the unwelcome reception, protests etc., to it as well I'm sure was a part in getting it taken down (it's a pity there's this whole 'Resist Trump' but less of a 'resist capital,' or even support for reforms that could help the the poor and most vulnerable). The conception of him being a puppet of capital, while mostly correct, is not entirely so I don't believe.

Noah Fence

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on June 7, 2017

Chilli Sauce

A rannygazoo? A randy kazoo? Noah, are you secretly a 1940s cartoon villain?

I've plenty more treats in my archaic language vault, time to sleep now but I'll leave you with 'oddsbodykins'!

Iktomi

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Iktomi on June 8, 2017

I know very little about US politics but it seems obvious to me that Trump's rannygazoo will either tail off or he'll be out on his ear.

Trump himself? Certainly. The rightward shift in politics that he and others represent shows no signs of letting up however.

"One of these candidates, Trump, denies the existence of global warming, calls for increasing use of fossil fuels, dismantling of environmental regulations and refuses assistance to India and other developing nations as called for in the Paris agreement, the combination of which could, in four years, take us to a catastrophic tipping point. Trump has also pledged to deport 11 million Mexican immigrants, offered to provide for the defense of supporters who have assaulted African American protestors at his rallies, stated his “openness to using nuclear weapons”, supports a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and regards “the police in this country as absolutely mistreated and misunderstood” while having “done an unbelievable job of keeping law and order.” Trump has also pledged to increase military spending while cutting taxes on the rich, hence shredding what remains of the social welfare “safety net” despite pretenses."

Would you rather have a BNP dominated parliament or a labor one? But honestly I'm not here to convince you of my moral superiority. Just to question the pragmatism of your position. Also, I know fuckall about the U.K.

Noah Fence

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on June 8, 2017

Would you rather have a BNP dominated parliament or a labor one?

I can't answer that because deciding between what particular authority our freedom is crushed by is not my strong point. Cop outs to one side though, we're not talking about that here. I've challenged two things here, firstly, that voting for a capitalist government is incongruous and harmful inside of anarchist thought and strategy and secondly, that the assumption that Labour are the lesser of two evils. Neither you or anybody else have provided any convincing argument to the contrary, at least nobody has even begun to convince me on either point.

ajjohnstone

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ajjohnstone on June 8, 2017

In Swansea West, Battersea and Corbyn's own constituency, you have the option of voting for the SPGB. :)

Noah Fence

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on June 8, 2017

ajjohnstone

In Swansea West, Battersea and Corbyn's own constituency, you have the option of voting for the SPGB. :)

Next time I'm living in one of those constituencies I promise I'll give it a go, today though, I'm too busy to vote, even for the leader of the Tooting Popular Front, Robert Lindsay, who happens to be my Green candidate. Yes, too busy - I've got some very important paint I've got to watch dry.

Auld-bod

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auld-bod on June 8, 2017

Roll up! Roll Up!
For one day only, the political circus is in your area!
Remember people died so you can enjoy these clowns.
Stand in line and kiss the ass of your choice!

Oh thingamajigs! I’ve only gone and spoiled my ticket!

ajjohnstone

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ajjohnstone on June 8, 2017

leader of the Tooting Popular Front, wolfie smith
Coincidental, i been citing him today on our party discussion forum ..."Power to the people"

Scallywag

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Scallywag on June 8, 2017

For an article that never even said don't vote, people sure are cracking up about it:

http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/the-anarchist-revolt-against-the-ideology-of-not-voting-is-finally-taking-shape-in-2017/

http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/anarchists-it-is-our-duty-to-vote-in-elections/

They also aren't even bothering to take on the arguments, its just repeats of the same platitude that anarchists should take 10 mins to vote for the lesser evil and that if we don't then we don't care about people.

epk

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by epk on June 8, 2017

Voting is a rite of consecration between subject (or rather, citizen) and the state.

Those who vote feel less estranged from the government; are much more likely to believe the politicians have a mandate to rule and to act; are less likely to feel their wishes and interests don't count; are less likely to do something about it; and are more likely to believe they should invest efforts into getting other people to join these Capitalist political parties and try to effect reforms from within.

A boycott or abstinence from voting should not be an individual act, however, it's not "you and your conscience" or anything like that. If there was a demonstration or a strike during election day which would be targeted at the winning party, _any_ winning party - clearly underlying a pole of resistance to all government policy and its very power and legitimacy, I think it would be a much better idea to encourage people to participate in that than in voting in parliamentary elections.

(Also, even Corbyn's specific politics are horrible. WTF are you people talking about? He's pro-Capitalism, pro-State, pro-NATO, pro-Israel...)

Serge Forward

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Serge Forward on June 8, 2017

Just been down t'polling station and.....

...spoilt my ballot (again) with a catchy communist slogan ;)

jef costello

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on June 8, 2017

It's really quite sad how many posts on my feed are about voting for Labour. I have healthcare professionals who somehow think Labour is going to do less damage than last time.

Anti War

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Anti War on June 8, 2017

Sylvia Pankhurst said all that needed to be said even before the first Labour Government was elected:

'The social patriotic parties of reform, like the British Labour Party, are everywhere aiding the capitalists to maintain the capitalist system, ... are everywhere working against the Communist revolution, and they are more dangerous to it than the aggressive capitalists because the reforms they seek to introduce may keep the capitalist regime going for some time to come.

When the social patriotic reformists come into power, they fight to stave off the workers' revolution with as strong a determination as that displayed by the capitalists, and more effectively, because they understand the methods and tactics and something of the idealism of the working class. …

We must not dissipate our energy in adding to the strength of the Labour Party; its rise to power is inevitable. We must concentrate on making a Communist movement that will vanquish it. The Labour Party will soon be forming a Government; the revolutionary opposition must make ready to attack it.' – Workers' Dreadnought, February 1920.

Serge Forward

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Serge Forward on June 8, 2017

Anti War

Sylvia Pankhurst said all that needed to be said even before the first Labour Government was elected:

'The social patriotic parties of reform, like the British Labour Party, are everywhere aiding the capitalists to maintain the capitalist system, ... are everywhere working against the Communist revolution, and they are more dangerous to it than the aggressive capitalists because the reforms they seek to introduce may keep the capitalist regime going for some time to come.

When the social patriotic reformists come into power, they fight to stave off the workers' revolution with as strong a determination as that displayed by the capitalists, and more effectively, because they understand the methods and tactics and something of the idealism of the working class. …

We must not dissipate our energy in adding to the strength of the Labour Party; its rise to power is inevitable. We must concentrate on making a Communist movement that will vanquish it. The Labour Party will soon be forming a Government; the revolutionary opposition must make ready to attack it.' – Workers' Dreadnought, February 1920.

And Pankhurst was absolutely right...

But that was said after revolutions in Russia and Germany, with mass social upheaval and class conscious workers with nothing to lose and everything to gain. None of that is on the cards at this moment in history and quoting Pankhurst is just words without at least a semi viable movement.

I understand people voting Corbyn in the current climate, especially with the class as de-politicised as it is, even though I don't agree with voting in elections. But quotes like Pankhurst’s in the context of today become almost platitudes and consequently useless, apart from serving as a reminder of how comparatively powerless we are now.

Reddebrek

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Reddebrek on June 8, 2017

Well, firstly, because, unless you live in Islington North, you can’t vote Corbyn. You can vote for your local Labour MP who, in all likelihood, probably one of the three-quarters of MPs who tried to get rid of Corbyn with their no confidence vote.

Just thought I'd add to this, the two constituencies in my area, Grimsby and Cleethorpes. The Grimsby constituency has an incumbent, Melanie Onn, she was part of the no confidence vote and walk out by the shadow cabinet that triggered the second leadership election. She also personally requested pro Corbyn members of the party be suspended.

In Cleethorpes the Labour candidate is Peter Keith, a man closely associated with the Labour right, manipulation of meetings, supporting cuts and also pushing for the suspension of pro Corbyn members. So while its possible to vote for the Labour party, it is impossible to cast a vote for Corbyn in this area, if you wanted too.

Noah Fence

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on June 8, 2017

I've noticed the soft left socdems actually hallelujahing over the promise of more cops on the streets. I thought that was the privelidge of what used to be, when I were a lad, the bowler hat and tightly furled umbrella brigade. The world's gone mad I tell you!!!

S. Artesian

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by S. Artesian on July 15, 2017

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

Noah Fence

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on June 9, 2017

Well, he is a very nice man...

Spikymike

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Spikymike on June 9, 2017

Just wanted to say that whilst I'm in general agreement with the thrust of Chilli's blog and others that have posted statements against support for Corbyn and the UK Labour Party that I'd caution against referring to Corbyn's 'socialist principles' as these quoted 'social-democratic' policies amount to little more than a commitment to a slightly different mix of state and private ownership and/or control of capital. This 'social-democracy' is but a pale reflection of it's historic European origins and in today's more globally integrated capitalist economy full bloodied national state capitalist economies are surely a thing of the past, but such a limited mix is still possible (as evident elsewhere) and up for debate between capitalist politicians in the context of a deepening economic and social crisis. Such policies as most here would understand them are neither socialist nor in anyway anti-capitalist.

cantdocartwheels

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by cantdocartwheels on June 10, 2017

ain't that the problem with this type of article though, i mean by basing your argument around social democracy and by not actually spelling out what socialism or communism is you run the risk of condemning yourselves to irrelevancy. After all considering that the radical left and anarcho milieu at present is at a pretty low ebb in uk even compared with say 2009-11, trying to out anti-austerity a labour left electoral surge seems unlikely to have any effect atm Obviosuly knowing the authors i know that they're solid and its not theyre intention at all but if you just talk anti-auterity not you know socialism then eventually you end up sort of fighting for the left of centre ground so to speak.

Other problem i'd have is the ''social democracy i impossible because of capital flight'' argument. It is I admit worth talking about capital flight, but to claim reforms are impossible is pretty historically inaccurate and we wouldn't have free healthcare if that were true. Its also worth mentioning that its the sort of argument that can just as easily be used against militant trade unionism or even environmentalism as social democratic reforms, so i'd be wary of over emphasising it,

That said its not a bad article overall, its free from some of the moralising of some similar, Didn't convince me not to vote labour this time round though. As i've said elsewhere on here, when your wife can't vote because she's an EU migrant and the tories basically want to kick you out of the country a principled abstentionism just didn't have the appeal of previous years for me. .

Chilli Sauce

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 10, 2017

Hey Cantdo, good to see you round these parts.

I'd say, quickly, that I don't think either of us as the authors, subscribe to the idea that capital flight makes or has made social democracy impossible.

It's more that without the organization and power to demand social democratic reforms and then fight against the backlash, social democracy will be impossible. Corbyn as individual - or even Corbynism as a movement - doesn't have the ability to counteract the sort of response his even fairly moderate reforms would garner.

That was part of the idea in those final three paragraphs, but maybe it didn't come across?

Ed

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ed on June 12, 2017

So, looking back since the election, I think one weakness in this piece is that it doesn't discuss Brexit and how that would effect any attempts at Corbyn instating social democracy.

Just as stream of consciousness: I think a lot of the assumptions on the left/centre-left have been basically 'May is being a dick and she's fucking up any prospect of a decent Brexit with her hard Brexit stance'. To a certain extent this is true (she's being a dick, she's angling for a hard Brexit) but I think the underlying assumption for a lot of Corbynistas is that a) Corbyn would do it better, and b) the EU would be more willing to work with Corbyn to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Now, I'm not sure how much of that is true. It's hard to say one way or the other obviously (and I'd be interested in other people's thoughts on this) but given that the EU is essentially a neo-liberal institution that was happy to ravage Greece, and comments by people in Europe (Macron called it Brexit "a crime", for instance), the idea that the EU would be happy for Britain to leave and then set up its own prosperous social democratic Scandinavian utopia seems really unlikely to me. As Bronwyn Curtis from the Society of Business Economists said “it comes down to money. The UK is the country that initiated the ‘divorce’ and Europe will want to make the UK pay the highest price possible.” I think that's probably right, especially considering you'd get other countries (like Italy, with their anti-EU Five Star Movement one of the biggest parties) to start thinking they could leave as well. It's a matter of survival for the EU.

So what would this mean for Corbyn? How would he deliver on his promises to roll back austerity when the economy looks like it could nosedive again (and even further) in the next few years? I'm no economist but he seems hemmed in on all sides: he has to deliver social democracy and Brexit with a PLP who are almost unanimous Remainers that hate him and his politics, an EU that wants to see Brexit fail, inheriting Donald fucking Trump as his main geo-political ally, capital already ready to fly depending on how Brexit goes before we even start talking about social democracy and redistributing wealth!

Or is this all just bollocks?

Anti War

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Anti War on June 14, 2017

In reply to 'Serge Forward' on Sylvia Pankhurst, I agree we need to do so much more than recycle platitudes from a more revolutionary period.

But it is only by looking at contemporary events through the prism of the past upheavals that actually created institutions like elections, the Labour Party and the welfare state that we can understand present events.

History may not give us the answers as to what to do in the present but it can, at least, show us what not do: e.g. vote Labour.

The quotes compiled in this article, 'Voting as Counter-Revolution – how the politicians who gave us the vote saw things 100 years ago', certainly helped me understand the world better than dozens of articles now being churned out by all those former radicals turned Corbynistas!