Jeremy Corbyn has already helped Leftists around the world forget their uncritical support of SYRIZA
The international Left went from strength to strength this summer culminating in the election of socialist Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, according to several Leftists with apparently no memory of the last few months.
“It’s so exciting,” said Jonathan, a university student in London, completely forgetting several grueling and disillusioning months of austerity negotiations in Greece. “Nothing like this has ever happened before!”
Jonathan said he had an interesting summer, including shaving his head, buying a motorcycle and signing up for a course in Marxist economics, though he declined to give any reason why.
He insisted that this exciting new development in the Labour Party would give rise to all sorts of neighbourhood and workplace organizing, though he said his primary activity for the time being would be “growing out my beard”. This was particularly urgent as he was certain that a “Cor-beard” would soon be the latest fad and he wanted to get a head start.
When asked explicitly about SYRIZA in Greece, Jonathan said, “Look, the system makes any reform almost impossible, and under the circumstances they did the best they could and we really shouldn’t jump to any conclusions”. After a lengthy pause he added, “Fuck those guys”.
Many others adherents of the international Left could be seen celebrating throughout London after Corbyn’s election, including Ralph, a decades-long member of the Socialist Workers Party, an organization which still seems to exist for some reason.
“I have no illusions about the Labour Party or any party reforming capitalism”, Ralph declared, “but now that we finally have the right man in power, people will really be inspired to fight for Socialism From Below!” When asked the difference between Socialism From Below and Socialism From Above, he could not come up with an answer and simply responded “Don’t be pessimistic, there will be so many opportunities”, insisting that this very phrase was a central tenet of Marxism going back to Gramsci, probably.
A similar enthusiasm gripped Leftists in Scotland a few weeks earlier with the launch of RISE, the electoral alliance for Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism, previously nicknamed “Scottish Syriza”.
Nicole, a Glasgow resident and supporter of RISE, insisted that the alliance had nothing to do with Syriza or the Respect Party, for that matter. “Why would you even ask me that?” she added.
When asked about whether Jeremy Corbyn’s election would be positive for the cause of socialism in Scotland or would be an obstacle for RISE, she responded “Jeremy Corbyn? Do you know him? Can you get me his autograph?”
Leftists from around the world sent letters of congratulations to Corbyn, including from SYRIZA in Greece, though all of the Leftists we spoke to insisted that this was irrelevant to the transformation currently underway in the Labour Party.