Bastani- the latest from the Novara capo di tutti capi

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Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
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Dec 14 2019 19:38

Full circle for the man who made his name castigating the tendency of media pundits to get everything wrong about elections followed by a brazen "oh of course this is why the other pundits were wrong" U-turn/memory hole.

December 11th

"28 seat majority for Tories. I think that’s optimistic & unlikely. Make no mistake Labour, with their get out the vote campaign on day & youth turnout, can win this."

December 14th

"No, we aren’t going to talk about rejoining the EU before we’ve even left, we are going to talk about class - finally.

Places Labour generally failed to defend from 35 years of economic stagnation no longer vote for them by default."

wojtek
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May 30 2020 16:13

Is ACAB still bad?

zugzwang
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May 30 2020 20:07
wojtek wrote:
Is ACAB still bad?

He doesn't seem all that inspired by US protests and is posting about the need for more "socialist" MPs

https://twitter.com/AaronBastani/status/1266730889620398087

wojtek
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May 30 2020 22:57

I had more the other presenter in mind who once disagreed with the slogan and its utility.

wojtek
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Jun 1 2020 23:07

Michael Walker thinks strategically a diversity of tactics should be rejected and the oppressed need to be non-violent in the face of state violence to reach a critical mass of supporters. The state *wants* a violent reaction, hence agent provocateurs.

He said 'moral leadership' is needed, that MLK provided that for black people in the past and such a figure as landlord liberal Killer Mike can do so today.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5neYJqmYksM

wojtek
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Jun 2 2020 15:40

At least he is consistant in thinking people (workers, black people) ought to be subserviant.

Black liberal, your time is up

rat's picture
rat
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Oct 29 2020 21:30

Novara Media seem a bit hot under the collar tonight.

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Noah Fence
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Oct 30 2020 18:37
rat wrote:
Novara Media seem a bit hot under the collar tonight.

What have the liberal luvvies got to say for themselves then?

rat's picture
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Oct 31 2020 07:48

It's just their latest video after Corbyn was suspended. Mainly Bastani ranting.

Freedom Press seem a bit fed up too:

https://freedomnews.org.uk/against-anarcho-smugness/

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
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Oct 31 2020 09:18
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A writer at the Freedom Press news site seems a bit fed up too.

Fixed it for you. Freedom hosts writers, it doesn't collectively sign off on every article.

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rat
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Oct 31 2020 09:33

Thanks for that Rob Ray.
That does make much better sense now.

R Totale's picture
R Totale
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Oct 31 2020 10:28

I have a fair bit of sympathy for that Freedom article. I mean, does anyone really want to argue with "My contention is that we in the British anarchist movement are way overdue such a period of radical reassessment. Capitalism is in crisis, fascism is in the ascendency and yet we have never been more politically irrelevant. Now is not the time for smugness or schadenfreude."?

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Oct 31 2020 11:58

I’d say that whining about a few unnamed people in a bookshop and some unidentified posts on Urban75 is not the radical reassessment that we need.

Spikymike
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Oct 31 2020 12:07

Anarchists may have no reason to 'crow over all this' but then what kind of anarchist thinks the Corbynista defeat involves ''... the defeat of the first mass movement for socialism.'' ?

R Totale's picture
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Oct 31 2020 16:40

Yeah, there is something to that I suppose. Also, I bet you that there must be a few trots who've been wanking themselves silly with excitement these last few days over the possibility that Corbyn may have to end up joining TUSC or something.

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Oct 31 2020 17:51
Spikymike wrote:
what kind of anarchist thinks the Corbynista defeat involves ''... the defeat of the first mass movement for socialism.'' ?

Leftists?

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Nov 1 2020 06:56
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Not only are such responses politically moribund but they are also premised on a fundamental misunderstanding. As comrades in Plan C pointed out way back in 2017, the mass of hope that was invested in Corbynism wasn’t so much a sign of people’s political naivety, as it was an index of their complete desperation:

“Anti-capitalist social movements and Left organisations have been in crisis for a decade or more; old strategies and tactics don’t work any more; governments and corporations are seemingly immune to anything and everything that we throw at them. The turn to the Labour Party is an act of desperation: we don’t know how else we can change anything! Our crisis of faith in our own ability to transform the world means we turn instead to a saviour who can do it for us. The revolutionary project is reconceptualised as a strategy for gaining state power – or more precisely public office.”

I agree the brief reversal of popularity for the Labour party under Corbyn was a product of growing desperation but I don't get why naivety and desperation are being treated as distinct and oppositional positions, surely this desperation was born at least in part by naivety?

I also agree that there is a culture of smugness around anarchist/communist circles that is pretty self isolating and largely useless, but a couple of people who hang around a bookshop and Urban 75 seem like small fries, and this is probably the worst hill to try and stand your ground on the issue, since as infuriating as the Itoldyouso crowd are, they were completely correct here. Corbyn is possibly the best example we've ever had of the inability of an established and entrenched political party to be a vehicle for social change even when its built up a large populist base of support and a solid core in the highest levels of leadership.

Though as for "Mass movement for socialism" unless things are very different in London it wasn't a mass movement for Corbyn never mind socialism. Momentum were essentially just another of Labour's many caucuses, one that was made up exclusively of long time Labour members (some lapsed, others spending months or years as paper members) and a handful of Trots from a couple of entryist organisations.

The Labour vote went up under Corbyn in 2017 as did the membership but, most of those were rejoiners or were just taken under the wings of the party branches, because Corbyn had zero interest in challenging the fundamental structure of the party. If you wanted to actively support Corbyn and his policy ideas, you had to go out of your way to join a momentum group and most of what they did was just campaign for labour candidates anyway, including the anti Corbyn ones.

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Nov 1 2020 09:30

I think also the anarchist triumphalism needs to be seen in the context of Corbynista triumphalism.

Over the last five years we’ve been repeatedly told that we’re irrelevant (fair enough), wrong (not so) and that if we were serious about creating social change we would get on board the Labour bandwagon.

During that time most of us have been pretty quiet tbh and have not suggested that an anarchist utopia is on the horizon. Whereas the Corbynistas have been very loud and have suggested that socialism is within their reach.

Personally I don’t see Corbyn’s defeat as a victory for us. I think a lot of working class people will now see anything left of centre as unworkable and a waste of time.

And we will need to be welcoming (and not dickheads) to the comrades we lost (many of whom I have huge affection for) who are now licking their wounds.

wojtek
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Nov 1 2020 20:13

History is a circle
https://www.marxists.org/archive/foot-paul/1982/3letters/letter2.htm

wojtek
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Nov 4 2020 11:48

Waiting for the Novara intelligentsia to give in-depth coverage to the IWGB victory/any grassroots trade unionism rather than LP gossip... closest I've seen is AB lionise McCluskey as a 'w/c scouser' on twitter.

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Nov 4 2020 14:37

I mean, not wanting to be Billy Buzzkill, but that's a bit of a weak criticism, if you really want to read Novara coverage of IWGB stuff then there's this from Lydia Hughes. Granted, that's about a month old by now, but since then they've also published stuff like "voices from the care sector", Jane McAlevey's strike school thing, and one about renters' unions the other day. That probably holds up pretty solidly in comparison to Freedom or libcom newswire's coverage of similar issues over the same period. On the other hand, if you're just looking at Bastani's twitter page, then that's not really a problem I can help with, beyond reminding you that no-one really has to look at Bastani's twitter page.

wojtek
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Nov 4 2020 16:29

I mostly watch their video content. My point is that electoralism takes precedence.

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Rob Ray
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Nov 4 2020 21:44
R Totale wrote:
That probably holds up pretty solidly in comparison to Freedom or libcom newswire's coverage of similar issues over the same period.

Lining Novara, which has paid staff and a serious income aimed ata broad audience, up against Freedom and libcom, neither of which have this and which regularly ask people to write things (usually to no avail, as people seem to have endless time to complain about the things we've written/not written but none to fix the problem themselves) because there's very limited energy or time for our volunteers to write is a bit of a weird comparison to make tbh.

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Nov 4 2020 22:31

I reckon Novara would cover the IWGB stuff if a young ambitious wannabe pitched it and did all the work. They have nothing to lose by chucking out as much content across the left as possible. Like the very good prison abolition podcast they did - why not? It’s all clicks and Bastani can gently mock it on one of the bigger vehicles to reassure the more cautious members of the audience.

Clearly they won’t prioritise this stuff, but they’ve not made a political decision to exclude all mention of it.

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Nov 4 2020 23:30
Rob Ray wrote:
R Totale wrote:
That probably holds up pretty solidly in comparison to Freedom or libcom newswire's coverage of similar issues over the same period.

Lining Novara, which has paid staff and a serious income aimed ata broad audience, up against Freedom and libcom, neither of which have this and which regularly ask people to write things (usually to no avail, as people seem to have endless time to complain about the things we've written/not written but none to fix the problem themselves) because there's very limited energy or time for our volunteers to write is a bit of a weird comparison to make tbh.

I can't speak for R but that comment read less as a criticism of freedom and libcom and more as a mild defense of at least part of the Novara groups content by saying its about as good as them. Which given its cashflow and greater resources is still a bit damning with faint praise.

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Nov 5 2020 12:45

Has Novara been reading this thread? https://novaramedia.com/2020/11/04/hasta-la-victoria-university-of-londo...

Anyway, yeah, point taken, but surely we're all required by statute to get at least one mostly unconstructive moan about the UK anarchist movement not being as good as it should be in per year? I suppose I just think it's always worth being aware of when we're in glass houses when we criticise Novara/social democrats for some stuff.