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Three New Reads – November

Is Britain’s forthcoming general election the most critical since 1945? Or just since 1979? While the Johnny Walker wisdom runs high on that, we can all agree – saving those who on principle shun the electoral process (as have I on lesser occasions) – this is a big’un.

Then there’s Bolivia’s coup. And yesterday, as if you needed reminding, brought the fifty-sixth anniversary of an event the world watched in disbelief as the President of the United States of America slumped mortally wounded at the Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas.

My three reads for November.

*

As the most crucial UK election in living memory looms, it wouldn’t do at all not to kick off with that. John Rees, former SWP leading light and StWC luminary – I’ll hold neither against him, not for current purposes – penned his thoughts for Counterfire. Here’s the penultimate paragraph:

Policy without power is just so much hot air. And power is not, for the most part, founded in elections or in parliament.

No argument from me on that score. Noting that the realpolitik of traditional Labour voters has them considering not just policy but the likelihood of its coming to pass, Rees turns to Labour’s “woeful” response to the high court ruling on CWU’s right to campaign for a strike vote:

You can see the wheels turning in the minds of labour strategists: we can’t have an illegal strike in the middle of an election. Yet this is exactly the kind of question of class and power which is decisive for the consciousness and combativeness of working people.

… the ability of the Labour movement to face down such an all-out attack on basic trade union rights … could instil the confidence that election of a Labour government requires.

Instinctively, even unconsciously, working people will see that the labour movement incapable of defending its most basic rights today is hardly going to be a labour movement which will suddenly deliver a four day week in a dozen years time.

The class power to deliver on Labour’s promises does not lie only, or mainly, in the electoral field. It lies in the mass power of protest, demonstration, and strike action. Every working person with any familiarity of labour history knows this to be a fact.

And what does he conclude? That it matters not who wins this election? Far from it. Though free of what Marx called parliamentary cretinism – the fanciful belief that a ruling class would ever allow socialism through this route – he does not draw the sectarian conclusions others do.

Rees the revolutionary wants Labour the reformists to win, and sees timidity as perilous even on its own narrow terms. Noting its ability to mobilise door knockers, he offers this:

The mass turnout for canvassing is truly remarkable. Nothing like it has been seen in the election for generations, if ever.

Labour should turn this into a central fact of its campaign … which encourages the public to join … an army that is marching to victory, that organises voters into active supporters.

I hear Marshal McLuhan and the medium is the message – but that’s another thing I won’t hold against him. Smart thinking, Mr Rees.

*

My next read takes a microscope to the Bolivia ouster. Writing in The Nation, Jeeshan Aleem walks us calmly through the events – socio-economic, juridical, electoral – before and after the moment Evo Morales heeded his top general’s “suggestion” and jumped on a plane for Mexico.

This head-spinning sequence of events has produced an intricate social scientific puzzle: There are multiple factors that alone could be sufficient for explaining why Morales left La Paz. In interviews with dozens of Bolivians across the country and more than a half dozen political experts who focus on Bolivia, I found that the question of how and why Morales stepped down is far from settled.

In particular, whether to characterize his departure as a coup has become a lightning rod, because defining it as such has huge implications for validating the movement that rose up against him, and the legitimacy of the current interim government.

… many factors contributed to Morales’s ouster. But ultimately, the military intervention, however gentle or brief, makes it impossible to avoid analyzing this as a coup.

I like this kind of writing. Whatever its author’s politics, and however restrained its conclusions, there’s much to be said for its empirical, get-out-there-and-talk-to-people approach.

I wouldn’t advise making this your sole read on the ouster but, alongside broader perspectives – perspectives that ignore neither the continent’s déjà vu merry-go-round of violence, nor the dark shadow cast by that rogue state to the north – this is a useful aid to understanding.

*

My third read was on OffGuardian a year ago, fifty-fifth anniversary of the day JFK was gunned down. Late to the gig as ever, I happened upon it on the fifty-sixth. But its approach to the event and infamies behind it persuaded me to include it all the same.

I can’t be the only one who missed it first time round.

Author Graeme MacQueen writes of a talk in November 1998 by Vincent Salandria, one of the earliest critics of official accounts. Says Salandria:

I began to sift … the myriad facts regarding the assassination which our government and the US media offered us. What I did was to examine the data in a different fashion from the approach adopted by our news media. I chose to assess how an innocent civilian-controlled US government would have reacted to those data. (Emphasis added.)

Salandria continued:

only a guilty government seeking to serve the … assassins would consistently resort to accepting one improbable conclusion after another while rejecting [more] probable conclusions

It’s an elegant approach with wider applicability than the events of November 1963. MacQueen takes just two aspects, the grassy knoll and ‘magic bullet’, again quoting Salandria:

Let us assume … all of the eyewitnesses who had concluded that shots were fired from the grassy knoll were dead wrong. But an innocent government could not and would not at that time have concluded that these good citizens were wrong [nor] immediately rushed to declare a far-fetched single assassin theory as fact.

Of the thesis that a single bullet passed through Kennedy to wound Governor Connally, a feat necessitating a mid flight change of direction, Salandria noted tersely that:

our Cold War government in the context of the assassination had declared a moratorium on the science of physics.

All fascinating stuff. But what interests MacQueen – and me – is the generalisability of Vincent Salandria’s method: how an innocent government would have reacted to those data.

So how would it? MacQueen draws parallels with 9/11 and the NIST Report but we’re spoiled for choice. How would an honest Washington have responded to alleged chemical attacks at Douma last year? Or to those events leading to the death of Jeffrey Epstein this summer?

You get the idea, I’m sure. You’re smart too.

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bevin
bevin
Nov 26, 2019 10:23 PM
bevin
bevin
Nov 25, 2019 2:50 PM

A question that is almost never, in my experience, asked of people like Rees is what would have happened in the Labour Party if the ‘left’ had not withdrawn from it or watched as it was purged, thus reducing the Party to a coterie of careerists, functionaries on loan from the Trade Unions (themselves busy being ineffective in the face of anti-union onslaughts] and Gaitskellite friends of Imperialism.
Those who talk about the Labour party always having been hopeless tend to be recruited from the ranks of those who never joined it, took part in its life, attended ward meetings, canvassed for council elections, went to Conferences, regional and National of the party, its youth wing or womens sections, dragged the CLP into anti-war alliances, marched from Aldermaston or to Grosvenor Square under the party banner,. And fought, fought and fought again to preserve Clause IV (4) and put its principles into practice.
When the International Socialists left the party to form the SWP what exactly, apart from wrecking many CLPs and handing over power to the proto Blairites, was achieved? For socialists, I mean. For the capitalist class the expulsions, followed by withdrawals followed by the collapse of CLPs as forums for working class and socialist ideas and action, were all very helpful.
As to what happened when comrades left the local parties to become part of professional revolutionary cadres raising enough money to keep the ‘leadership’ fed and housed? Well, most of those who left Labour soon after withdrew from political activity altogether, and the right wing, left in undisturbed control of the party apparatus set out to expel the last remnants of a generational turn towards marxist ideas to make way for the Ian Austins, Hodges and Jess Phillips crawling out of the ideological gutters.
And now, predictably enough, it is the last political act of those who played the pied piper and led a generation into the wilderness of semi-trotskyism, to jeer at those who stayed in the party and fought a long losing battle against Blairism, imperialism and corruption. A losing battle that is now dangerously close to becoming a famous victory. And a reproach to all those dilettantes and cowards who have spent thirty years preaching the doctrine that the electoral representative process which the ruling class plays like an old fiddle to justify its violence and greed, doesn’t matter.

Barovsky
Barovsky
Nov 25, 2019 4:16 PM
Reply to  bevin

You don’t mention the Labour Party’s Bans & Conscriptions, in place since the 1940s that prevented Labour Party members working with others on the left and of course, prevented lefties from joining the Party. Yeah, the SWP, piggy-backing as usual, pure opportunism but it doesn’t explain the imperialist nature of the Labour Party, literally dince its inception.

I think a little dose of William Morris is in order:

“There — it sickens one to have to wade through this grimy sea of opportunism. What a spectacle of shuffling, lies, vacillation and imbecility does this Game Political offer to us? I cannot conclude without an earnest appeal to those Socialists, of whatever section, who may be drawn towards the vortex of Parliamentarism, to think better of it while there is yet time.

“If we ally ourselves to any of the presen[t] parties they will only use us as a cat’s-paw; and on the other hand, if by any chance a Socialist slips through into Parliament, he will do so at the expense of leaving his principles behind him; he will certainly not be returned as a Socialist, but as something else; what else is hard to say. As I have written before in these columns, Parliament is going just the way we would have it go. Our masters are feeling very uncomfortable under the awkward burden of GOVERNMENT, and do not know what to do, since their sole aim is to govern from above. Do not let us help them by taking part in their game. Whatever concessions may be necessary to the progress of the Revolution can be wrung out of them at least as easily by extra-Parliamentary pressure, which can be exercised without losing one particle of those principles which are the treasure and hope of Revolutionary Socialists.” — William Morris, the Commonweal, Volume 1, Number 10, November 1885, p. 93.[1]

Barovsky
Barovsky
Nov 25, 2019 4:20 PM
Reply to  Barovsky

Sorry, Proscriptions

bevin
bevin
Nov 25, 2019 4:40 PM
Reply to  Barovsky

Good old Morris.
So far as the proscriptions are concerned, there had been a long struggle against them, a long struggle that the left was close to winning in the sixties. The right held power only in those CLPs which were closed to new members , mostly in places like Glasgow and the west midlands. The CLPs were, for the most part far to the left and moving further left. And it was the CLPs that did all the hard work.
The Unions were, as always a drag and provided many bases for right wing reactionaries. And then there was the influence of NATO and the US. But the left was ascendant. My suggestion was that the sects diverted tens of thousands from joining the Labour party and dragged thousands out of it. It did this in many ways not the least of which was providing the right with perfect excuses for its proscriptions against parties within the party.
As to Imperialism it was and is-see Mason Paul- a temptation for opportunists and racists, though it is much diminished now. It is something that there was constant argument about in the sixties- which greatly cramped the ambitions of the right, dominating the PLP , to throw full support to the US in Vietnam. That was a great victory and in stark contrast to the failure in 2001 to resist those who ended up sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.
One might add that it was because of its neutering-a joint enterprise of the Blairite/Kinnockites on the one hand and the abstentionists on the left- that Labour governments went along with the neo-liberal extremism of the EU which has made Brexit necessary.

Barovsky
Barovsky
Nov 25, 2019 5:57 PM
Reply to  bevin

As to Imperialism it was and is-see Mason Paul- a temptation for opportunists and racists, though it is much diminished now. It is something that there was constant argument about in the sixties- which greatly cramped the ambitions of the right, dominating the PLP , to throw full support to the US in Vietnam. That was a great victory and in stark contrast to the failure in 2001 to resist those who ended up sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Labour Party is and was an imperialist party, an intrinsic component of the ruling political class. Successive Labour governments ‘administered’ the colonies as zealously as their Tory counterparts.

1945 was ‘socialism’ for the British workers, paid for, in part by our overseas colonies. Nigeria comes to mind as a prie example. Successive Labour governments participated in the Cold War with enthusiasm. The sooner we dispel people of the myth of Labour Party, the better.

bevin
bevin
Nov 25, 2019 7:37 PM
Reply to  Barovsky

You appear to believe that because, during the high noon of the British Empire and in the long decline into dependency on the US, the Labour Party was inclined to imperialist policies, it must always be so inclined.
I disagree I believe that policies change as conditions change. The argument that British workers benefited from the exploitation of the empire was never in my view true but it was certainly plausible, especially in a climate of suffocating racism. But such arguments are no longer even minimally plausible- it is clear that imperialism only works for the benefit of the few and that for most people there are no dividends to be had from imperialism except the masochistic delight of being beaten by it.
The point is that the Imperialist idea, that once held sway, no longer does. It is a tradition no longer sustained by any kind of socio-economic reality. And that is why it is reasonable to believe that the party of Leonard Woolf, Clement Attlee and John “Ground Nuts” Strachey has become a very different thing. As a matter of fact if you take a glimpse at the photographs of delegates to a CLP or a Party Conference half a century ago, or a century ago, you will see that the Empire question has changed greatly. I recollect when there was only one dark skinned person, out of about a hundred on the GMC of our constituency, and he was a distinguished professor of Eurasian origin. Now I suppose in the same constituency people with origins in every corner of the old Empire are part of the meetings and at the heart of debates. And that is just one indication of how reality has changed.
As to the Cold War, like hanging onto Malaysia etc, these attitudes were largely responses to the US insistence on the UK following its economic policies, paying off war loans and using the sterling balances built up from imperial trade relationships to do so. Doubtless you would disagree and put it all down to the ‘original sin’ of being soft on imperialism. I am less sanguine about the power of ideas to dictate to reality and regulate history.

Barovsky
Barovsky
Nov 25, 2019 8:19 PM
Reply to  bevin

But such arguments are no longer even minimally plausible- it is clear that imperialism only works for the benefit of the few and that for most people there are no dividends to be had from imperialism except the masochistic delight of being beaten by it.

I disagree. Well over one-third of the British population benefit directly from the UK’s imperialist role as a major nexus of transnational capital, surely it’s our role as an imperialist power that singles the UK out. Yes, subsidiary to the US Empire, but still an empire.

What has changed is the nature of imperial power, transformed by the creation of vast, transnationally-owned corporations. Our empire is now invisible, but an empire nonetheless.

bevin
bevin
Nov 25, 2019 11:55 PM
Reply to  Barovsky

And that empire, of which the UK is a part, in a precipitate decline, while the UK is powerless even to modify the suicidal course steered by the US. At the same time it is bound by imperial decree not only to sit and watch its manufacturing industrial base disappear and its population de-skilled into hewers of wood and drawers of water but to specialise in acting as a financial centre for a dollar system which looks increasingly fragile.
This course was set in 1945 when instead of pursuing its own national interests, the UK subordinated its interests to those of the US for a mess of pottage in the form of a loan which was too small at the time for its purpose, but which prevented the UK from doing the obvious thing which was to work with the Soviet Union to translate the Resistance movements in Greece, Italy and France into the basis for a revival of Europe as a socialist bloc.
We are now in a similar position: the sensible option for the UK is to break away from its subordination to the US, to buck the imperial system and to ally itself with eurasia and the increasingly important bloc of countries rejecting US imperialism. That is the logic of the anti-NATO policy and the distancing from Israel and Zionism.
Elsewhere I put forward the idea that the Communist Party of GB might have been right about maintaining the coalition government after 1945. Had it done so the coalition would have had to deal with the US loans and to push back against US disapproval of nationalisation , the Health Service andother reforms-almost all of which had been accepted in principle after Beveridge, and were so wildly popular that no party dared do, what the Tories in opposition were able to do, vote against them and sabotage them.
And the debate about imperialism would not have taken place in an atmosphere in which the need to pump foreign exchange out of tin, rubber and other exports in the colonies and the impossibility of maintaining preferential trade agreements with the sterling bloc led to expensive armies being sent abroad to protect British investments.
Throughout the post war period there was a growing body of opinion within the Labour party opposed to the policy of following Washington, it was that body of opinion, supporters of the Nenni socialists in Italy and the Greek communists, as well as critics of the empire-the Bevanites as they were called for a time- which by 1960 was close to being the dominant faction in Labour, despite the proscriptions expulsions etc. And largely because the US alliance had proved to be nothing more than following orders and bad orders at that. Orders coloured by the McCarthyite fanatics who dominated US foreign policy and still do.
After Suez, there was a significant realisation among Tories that only Labour could offer a dignified independent alternative to life as a poodle nation. Everything was moving towards the left and a Clause IV government. The mood among young people was communistic and class conscious. Vast numbers were mobilised against participation in the Vietnam war, conscription was dead. Everyone was wearing a CND badge.
It was at this point that, much to the comfort of the beleaguered right wing of the Party and the Unions, that a series of splits led to the voluntary exclusion of the most militant, thoughtful and energetic elements from the Labour party.

RealPeter
RealPeter
Nov 25, 2019 1:11 PM

A quibble: the article is written with a number of first-person (I/me) comments, but I can’t see a byline. Who is the author?

Like RobG, I live in France and can’t vote in the British general election. My impression is that Corbyn has not dealt robustly enough with the MSM smears (especially of anti-semitism) or with the Blairite PLP, and is now not being clear on Brexit. Seen from here, he comes across as a well-meaning ditherer. Many working-class leavers will be reluctant to vote Labour, so unfortunately I can’t see Labour winning the election – the Brexit Party is likely to take votes from them in Labour-held seats in the north of England and cost them any chance of a parliamentary majority. On the other hand, I don’t know how much influence non-Brexit issues such as the NHS are going to have on low-income voters.

As a leftwing leaver (I voted Frexit in this year’s EU elections), I find it depressing that if that’s what you want then you can only vote for a rightwing party or stay at home.

One thing is sure – if Labour did win, it would be blamed on Russian meddling, as will Brexit if BoJo actually goes through with it. (What are the odds on that?)

bevin
bevin
Nov 25, 2019 4:42 PM
Reply to  RealPeter

Philip Roddis- the Steel City scribbler.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Nov 26, 2019 12:16 AM
Reply to  bevin

Very neat handwriting.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Nov 26, 2019 12:15 AM
Reply to  RealPeter

Seen from [France], [Corbyn] comes across as a well-meaning ditherer.

It’ what he comes across as after he’s got the power of PM over a bunch of PLP sewer rats, consisting mainly of two broad factions–newly or already established pseudo radicals on the one hand and yesterday’s recalcitrant Brown Blairites on the other, each every bit as ruthlessly conniving and self-serving as the other–that the view of Corbyn from anywhere will be worth anything more than a tin of the proverbial shit.

milosevic
milosevic
Nov 25, 2019 10:58 AM

John Rees, former SWP leading light and StWC luminary – I’ll hold neither against him, not for current purposes

here’s an extended account of the exploits of John Rees and his former organization:

https://madammiaow.blogspot.com/2013/02/swp-sex-implosion-its-dehumanisation-in.html

John
John
Nov 25, 2019 5:28 AM

Just going to point out that the so called stop the war coalition supported the wars on Syria and Libya and wanted to “intervene” (because the words wage war was too much for an anti war group) in Hong Kong and Venezuela amongst other places

Guy
Guy
Nov 25, 2019 12:23 AM

Just glad to know I’m not the only one.It gets kinda lonely sometimes.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Nov 25, 2019 5:33 AM
Reply to  Guy

Yep, know how you feel Guy.
I’ve given up even mentioning things like the OPCW whistle blowers or Julian Assange or Palestine or anything to most people I know (not that many too start with anyways).
They don’t want to know, and even if you point them to evidence debunking the mainstream presstitutes Crap, they won’t even look at it.
It’s too difficult to read a 5 or 6 minute long article apparently. Hope the weather in Canada is not too…. frigid?

Guy
Guy
Nov 26, 2019 10:04 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

You are quite correct ,the majority just don’t want to know .I guess that is where the saying “ignorance is bliss” comes from .
Temp is actually hovering around 0 C during the day but the big chill is coming ,as it usually does in December until late Feb. We are used to it and winter can be quite enjoyable .
Cheers.

bevin
bevin
Nov 24, 2019 11:16 PM

“How would an honest Washington have responded to alleged chemical attacks at Douma last year? ”
By firing those of its employees who faked the attacks, murdered the victims and fiddled the investigations.

RobG
RobG
Nov 24, 2019 10:43 PM

Interesting that you’ve woken up to the fact that we are ruled by complete psychopaths.

Corbyn is not perfect, but he is not a psychopath.

I really get bored with the commentators on here who have their head up their arse.

Get used to it (a-holes). Corbyn is going to be the next PM.

That’s when things will start to get interesting…

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood
Nov 25, 2019 1:06 AM
Reply to  RobG

I’ve taken a screen-shot of that prediction, with the time-stamp, and will come back and challenge you about it on 13th December.

No….no, of course, I haven’t, and won’t, but nevertheless, it’s a bold prediction.

RobG
RobG
Nov 25, 2019 10:07 AM
Reply to  Mike Ellwood

I stand by my prediction (and feel free to call me an a-hole on 13th December!).

John
John
Nov 25, 2019 5:31 AM
Reply to  RobG

Corbyn is weak spineless twat who has flip flopped and won’t even support workers unions in court! He refused to kick out blairite trouble makers and sat and took it up the arse with no lube from the media and never once fired back in a meaningful way! He’s a political lightweight and everything he has promised CANT be done under capitalism and under the EU an EU he’s spent the last 40 years railing against that he now magically doesn’t want to talk about much anymore! You think the conservatives are sheep and idiots when you fake socialists are no better (I bet you do say stuff like taxes and the nhs are socialism)

RobG
RobG
Nov 25, 2019 10:05 AM
Reply to  John

I’m no fan of Corbyn, and I’m not a member of the Labour Party, and I have no connection to this election campaign (I live in France). My point of view is that Corbyn is all that we’ve got at the moment, to roll back four decades of neoliberal madness.

You have valid criticisms of Corbyn. However, I don’t know any politician who could have survived what Corbyn has been through over the last four years (not least the vast majority of the PLP doing everything they can to stab him in the back). I don’t think history will judge Corbyn as being ‘weak and spineless’.

George Mc
George Mc
Nov 26, 2019 8:06 AM
Reply to  RobG

It has been sobering indeed to watch the whole Corbyn phenomenon. The first Labour leader in four decades with a right to be called “Labour” – and treated like the devil himself. Recently the vile Laura Kuenssberg (female counterpart to the weasel Blair?) made a comment about how the battle between the parties is now over how much the government “should interfere in the economy” thus showing clearly how the BBC is now just a cheerleader for neoliberalism. I have no doubt that, should Corbyn be elected, the campaign against him will skyrocket to psychotic proportions. And the depressingly common sentiment, “I’m left wing but I couldn’t vote for Corbyn. I just don’t like him” only goes to show how ridiculously unaware many people are of how much they are being manipulated. Such is the legacy of four decades of vicious neoliberal brain rot.

Perhaps Corbyn’s apparent weaknesses have been necessary under the conditions. Who knows what murderous manoeuvres go on behind the scenes. But as far as I’m concerned, Corbyn is the last gasp chance for “social democracy”. But I fear that that ship sailed long ago. It may be true that, as Neil Young once sang, “We’re finally on our own”.

Frank
Frank
Nov 26, 2019 7:40 AM
Reply to  John

I can still hear the ‘principled’ Corbyn, intoning in his reedy way, characteristically devoid of any principle whatsoever, that ‘It now appears that Russia was indeed responsible for the attacks in Salisbury’ etc etc

He’s an invertebrate. Either irredeemably gullible or part of the corrupt UK establishment.

BigB
BigB
Nov 24, 2019 8:46 PM

Mr Rees makes some interesting observations. Following Marx; Trotsky and Red Rosa – the best state capitalism can be is a vanguard to a more revolutionary/evolutionary kind of politics. There is no Parliamentary instrumental ethic to anything. It is a life-blind dead dead end. Then he commits to the greatest cardinal error of all: betraying his own revolutionary politics. He commits to the least worst candidate. One tries to maintain a degree of compassion for the deep, deep nescience of the herd: but a revolutionary thinker should know better. Cretin: can there be any other descriptor more apt?

The vote is not a vote: it is a legitimation of a whole ruling value system of beliefs and normative anti-life ethics that are dominated by the hegemony of capitalist accumulation. An accumulation and valorisation system that McMurtry has defined as the ‘money multiplier cancer’ – the root of the root of all pathologies. However we vote: finance capitalism gets in. Those who think that Labour are somehow immune to this – even as a least worst scenario – are the most deluded of all.

Along with finance capitalism comes the paraphernalia of war, dominance and control; Trident; NATO; the EU Defence Union; and nuclear energy …lots of nuclear energy (see previous comment on previous forum). State capitalism – do not dare call it socialism – and capitalist imperialism: the old British partnership. We talk of one but never mention the other: that is the bargain. And we turn a Copenhagen Syndrome blind eye to foreign policy. What foreign policy?

It is hard to be anti-capitalist in a carnally capitalist country. One which already has the greatest environmental footprint per capita of all. And wants to extend it exponentially. Shall we have a value-ethics dialogue about that? Or perhaps just socially ouster anyone who dares mention it?

It is not that I have an impossible value-ethics: it is just that voters have an especially low or non-existent morality. This discussion should have started at least two years ago: when I walked away from the Labour party because Jeremy Corbyn supported the White Helmets. Which was no aberration: as he supports the charity regime change Jo Cox Foundation to this day: which is a ‘philanthrocapitalist’ dark money front. It is not exactly taking the moral high ground to take the stance that we should not legitimate leaders who support Jihadi terrorists – as was well known, even at the time. It only becomes a moral principle when it is in opposition of all other Labour supporters. Everyone got that email. Everyone should have walked. There is no value-ethical equivocation or relativism applicable here. End of.

Since then Labour supporters have been in bad faith: compounded many times over. If we have a politics that denies actual physical events: and invents a narrative ideology that insulates from actual event reality – what have we? Marx had several names for this: character masking or false consciousness. Bourgeois bad faith or absent morality false consciousness. Take your pick.

I do not necessarily set out to be rude: but after a forty odd year slide into the darkest recesses of the political unconsciousness – it is hard not to be. This is the most important election ever: and we are nowhere near having a credible alternative to green finance capitalism ruining our country. And voting is not innocent: it gives legal-rational legitimation to a metastatic ‘money multiplier cancer’ that can only be described as evil. Voting – with the subsequent deeper shifting into ckaracter masking and false consciousness – changes collective cognitions to normalise evil and dominative ecogenocide. It cuts us off from rationality; empathy; compassion; and solidarity. It turns universal life-ground value ethics into self-reflexive self-obsession: which blindsights us to the global consequences of our greed.

Capitalism hides behind the mechanics of reductive materialism, positivism, objective differentiation, and identity. If we cannot correlate the link between ramping up energy consumption in the UK with the electrification of transport; 3X new giga-factories for ‘end-to-end’ (UK internal supply chains) production for EVs; 3X recyclable steel plants; 4X metal reprocessing plants; and new (unspecified) plastics manufacturing …and the coup in Bolivia: Evo can. If we cannot draw a line of flight between our green eternal growth addiction and the lithium we need for 100% EV production by 2030 …what use are we to politics. Not much.

It is a deep sadness for me that Labour supporters have accepted the GND without demur. It is a green capitalist finance front which Labour shill for. It represents the ‘longest suicide note’ in history and seals humanities pact with green finance capitalism …without a word – let alone a debate. They are laughing at you. You who consider yourself woke will validate perhaps the greatest evil of all – potentially signing our own death warrant. There is no finality to the vote if we then work as hard as possible to undo the worst effects of the GND: but then why vote for it in the first place?

We cannot have those factories: we don’t even need the fucking blood stained cars …stained already with the blood of our Bolivian brothers and sisters. Some fucking solidarity that? We need to ensure that the GND NEVER gets fully implemented. Or Bolivia will just be the first in a long line of green e-tech mineral coups and proxy wars. So we can have a pseudo-million unionised green jobs; drive EVs, and have bourgeois bad faith state capitalist green imperialsm extending the frontiers of our resource rape and theft to the ends of the Earth. And to the end of the Earth.

Barovsky
Barovsky
Nov 24, 2019 9:40 PM
Reply to  BigB

So, don’t vote, is that what you’re saying? Given that there’s no left in this country, all you appear to be left with, is a rant. Total idealism. You wish for something that simply doesn’t exist. So 5 years of Bojo. Good on yer!

John
John
Nov 25, 2019 5:33 AM
Reply to  Barovsky

Go on barovsky what’s your tip then?

Barovsky
Barovsky
Nov 25, 2019 10:06 AM
Reply to  John

I don’t have one, I wish I did but we’re paying the price of a bankrupt left, devoid of ideas and running on empty, so all we’re left with is Corbyn and an aberration if I ever saw one. So my ‘tip’? well either don’t vote or vote Labour, what else is there? And if by some miracle we actually get a Labour govt, it will be on us to exert the max pressure on Labour. The problem with this is that we have a divided ‘left’, that spends more time fighting amongst itself than it does fighting capitalism and in my experience (70 yrs), it’s always been like this!

BigB
BigB
Nov 25, 2019 12:13 PM
Reply to  Barovsky

My tip is that we put the country under new management: ours. Which does not necessarily entail anarchy – because, by and large, we are too immature for anarchy. All this ‘Social Contract’ and ‘General Will’ theory is clearly not working out. It never did. It never will. The Trotter School of “This time, next year, we’ll be millionaires” is pure fantasy. The ‘money multiplier cancer’ will consume the host – that host being all life on Earth – soon enough. Giving it legal-rational legitimacy to do so is an undiagnosed psychosis. It is not going to work out well if we obsequiously obey.

The work to find a credible alternative cannot be reduced to the eve of the election. Plenty of people have been working on the alternative for decades. The thing is to bring that to the national consciousness. There is no alternative if there is only a fragmentary evolutionary resistance. It would require a massive shift of emphasis from the metastatic growth cancer to degrowth and the Great Simplification. It is not as if actually extant politics is not rife with opportunity. There should have been a mass exodus prior to Blair, the Iraq war, the Afghan war …or perhaps when Corbyn backed regime change and the White Helmets?

This is why there is no mass resistance: and why we are complicit in all we co-constitute and legitimate. And essentially: how democracy has been captured and tokenised against us. Need I remind you that irrespective of ones views – the last protest vote we made has still not been implemented. That is what democracy means in this country – nothing at all. Nothing but an instrumental means of mass obedience and pacification.

The Parliamentary anti-democracy means validating all the iniquity and inequality in society. Durkheim called it social ‘anomie’ …and it is making us all ill. Only we do not see it: as we become adjusted to it. Which makes normalcy a socio-pathocracy. If we are to accept state capitalisms contingent ‘socialisations’ on offer: we have to examine that as a Polanyian ‘double movement’. The state gives only that which protects its core ethics of accumulation. To which we agree – iniquity and inequality inclusively.

Then we also have to accept the global consequences of our inclusive legitimation on self-absorbed grounds. Using Labours own LabourGND data: we are the Few. We are the most globally greedy on a per capita global consumption/pollution rate. 93% of us are in the global bourgeoisie. If the Many lived like us: the ecosystems would collapse. So what of the real Many?

What becomes of them when we ramp up our energy and material resource consumption: which is already the greatest on the planet? This election is being fought as a pantomime personality contest in a bourgeois bubble episteme (self-validating structure) outside of any real world issues. State capitalism’s version of ‘socialism’ is completely contingent on the economy doing well. Which demands a no analogue level of planetary exploitation and green imperialism for which the consequences are presently unknowable. But they are not too hard to extrapolate: particularly if you are indigenous, are resource cursed by having the ‘e-tech’ minerals we want, or if you are a child miner in the artisan mine. If you are a species within the web of interbeing: if we cannot turn you into a biodiversity offset or ‘Banking Nature’ derivative (documentary available on this site) – then you are probably already consigned to extinction. That’s state capitalism’s green ‘socialism’.

Real socialism and real ecology is decades of hard work: forming international solidarity with Evo and not backing a coup against him with our profligate aggregate demands for industrial ‘socialist’ mores; forming real socialism without the ‘capitalist money murder multiplier’ – or NATO; etc. We do not need those things to socialise or ecologically harmonise. That they come as part of the package makes it all lies.

Boris v Jeremy is such a simplistic reduction as to be ‘one dimensional’ …as Marcuse callled it. And Jeremy’s £82.9bn (plus £58bn for WASPI) against Boris’ £2.9bn is purely how the capitalists want us to assess the situation and vote accordingly. It is the invisible cost to life on Earth that should be our primary and only concern. Which is priceless. And our primary focus should be on what we really have to do to be in solidarity with our indigenous brothers and sisters; and our globally enpauperised comrades. They are the Many: we are the Few. It is about time we started acting more responsibly and not exploiting the entire world to extend our already amoral consumption and pollution. Which we then call ‘socialism’. Socialism for whom?

That requires a whole new politics we will have to build from the ground ourselves. And it will not be easy. Sticking an ‘X’ on a ballot is an abdication of the self-honesty and self-responsibility we need to honour the principles of life. It will take years to build a life-coherent alternative to the ‘money multiplier murder’ sequence that will be legitimated whoever we vote for. Leaving it to the last minute then offloading responsibility for the terrible choices we now face is perhaps not the way to approach this? We need a credible life-ground alternative to this out-of-control psychosis. Which ultimately means we become the life-ground itself – the spiritual counter-hegemony to capitalist psychosis is life itself. Call it dhyana, Zen, yoga, Jesus, God, Gaia, in truth it has no name. It is the life-ground of all value and it is us. If and when we stop distorting our consciousness out of shape to make voting for psychosis seem ‘normal’. It is nothing like normal if we look at the global consequences of what state capitalism’s version of ‘socialism’ entail – ‘normal’ is in fact unconscionable. When enough of us recognise this: the country will be under new management …because we co-constitute the state. The state is anti-life or pro-life depending on our co-constituent value-ethical choices. Choose life.

Barovsky
Barovsky
Nov 25, 2019 12:46 PM
Reply to  BigB

You’re just confirming what I’ve already stated. Yes, of course we need to break with Parliamentary ‘democracy’. Yes, of course the system is broken. I’m not a fan of Corbyn, he’s a Party man but you say in your first sentence:

My tip is that we put the country under new management: ours.

This is just wishful thinking. Exactly how? You might as well say, ‘we need a revolution’, and yes we do but none of the groundwork has been done. We’re still living in 1945 as far as the ‘left’ is concerned. Your nine paras are pure idealism. You talk about what has to be done but without even an inkling of how!

It’s very depressing to have listened to this argument for at least 6 decades with nothing changing one iota except that is, going backwards.

BigB
BigB
Nov 25, 2019 6:51 PM
Reply to  Barovsky

Let’s keep voting then and see what happens? The ecological and economic collapse we are manifesting is tangible: even if the cruelty we are perpetrating on all life is deliberately hidden. The ‘hate the billionaires’ of Corbyn’s propaganda is nothing other than a crude *Volksgemeinschaft* – creating an ingroup mentality made cohesive by emnification of the scapegoated outgroup. This is the crudest form of mass psychology: but it seems to be working well.

Only addicts repeat destructive behaviour sets over and over. They do not even form the expectation of a different result: they are addicts. They want the same result. What is so different here? We reconstitute the state in the hope of reforming our ressentiment for the scapegoated ‘billionaires’. There is a serious amount of ignorance involved in this. We keep getting the same result: which is our own voluntary servitude and psychosexual infantalisation by authoritarianism. No wonder we cannot see the fascism we are swimming in.

Our behaviour is a performative powerlessness and obsequiousness only we can break free from. Which liberate the authoritarian too. I too have watched this country slip into a hidden-in-plain-view fascism …now an ecofascism. Our lives are a green imperialism on all life. You even admit this above: which seems like serious cognitive dissonance to me. You cannot surely be advocating a vote for imperialism? That seems morally relativist and confused.

We can only choose the best moral and ethical values we can: and apply them universally. I take responsibility for my choices as a Zen Buddhist: and vow to walk as lightly on the Earth as I can. I cannot take responsibility for the rest of the country who want to extend their privilege as a green imperialist violence over all life. I can only oppose it. And if the hegemonic ‘money multiplier murder’ sequence is the ruling life-dominating value sequence: all I can do is point this out and advocate a more peaceful, gentler Way. If the majoritarian attitude is to ignore that: that is really not my fault. It sickens me to see how cruel and perverted ordinary people have become. It really fucks me off when they pretend they are socialists and have universal ethics. The level of self-deceit involved in this is almost totalitarian.

For the last time: we are not the Many …we are the Few. I do not know you: you seem decent enough …but how can anyone validate the extension of the most polluting of all global lifestyles – which comes straight from LabourGND – as a further exponential extermination of all life – including our own?

Normalcy is pure fucking insanity: the cohesion of the herd being accelerated by Otherisation and divisive emnification reveals its ecofascist ‘blood and soil’ nature. Quite literally: how dare we demand more? Because we are too fucking lazy to develop a true policy of peace and naturalness – which is a lifetime commitment I made a lifetime ago.

BigB
BigB
Nov 25, 2019 7:02 PM
Reply to  BigB

BTW: putting pressure on a poor ‘best-of-the-worst’ Labour government is even more naive than my naive idealism. Power moved ‘offshore’ before I was born: around about the time you were born. You understand Labour perfectly: but still validate a pure systemic evil. You and I can’t change the world: but we can keep it going just the way it is …which we both seem to agree is unconscionable. Withdrawing our obedience is the only resistance we have left in this depoliticised world. The vote is but a token. It will not change anything. The best we can all prepare to pick up the pieces when the inevitable collapse of this ruling value system happens. Which to all intents and purposes: won’t be too long now.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Nov 27, 2019 11:33 AM
Reply to  BigB

The best we can all prepare to pick up the pieces when the inevitable collapse of this ruling value system happens.

Even this far down this sub-thread you keep on picking up the downvotes. There will be no one “picki[ng] up the pieces” unless it is to try to re-build the same “ruling value system” that made them love that system. The system cannot be propagandized; it is not some sort of conditioning; it is the loved creation not of some external force but of each and every individual who themselves reinvents it anew and thereafter venerates it as the eternal way. Put another way, (99% of the Wall Street Revolutionaries and 99% of the other 1%) plus (99% of the current Green activists, under whatever banner they choose and 99% of the other 1% and 99% of their downvoters) plus (99.99% of all remaining homo sapiens) are 99.9999% totally irremediable, unredeemable kunts. The only thing left is for the Election Commission to send out notice that their deposits have been forfeited and their ballots have been counted as deliberately spoiled.Here is an acid test. Anyone who nominates any of the hominids when asked to identify the most visible hero of the occasion is

Answer
one of the 99.9999% totally irremediable, unredeemable kunts.

Barovsky
Barovsky
Nov 25, 2019 10:58 AM
Reply to  John

PS: I swore I’d never, ever vote Labour ever again but is it different this time? Is it a ‘one-of’ deal? I think it’s more a question of voting against Bojo rather than voting for Labour.

If someone else here as an alternative to offer I’d be more than willing to consider it. I’ve written one piece on this issue her: https://investigatingimperialism.wordpress.com/2019/11/19/is-corbyn-a-socialist-and-does-it-no-longer-matter-if-he-isnt/

Barovsky
Barovsky
Nov 25, 2019 3:48 PM
Reply to  Barovsky

Interesting, the ‘youth’ vote, over 2 million in a few weeks!

See: https://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/youth-surge-2-million-register-to-vote-in-under-two-months/

And, for a breakdown. Most important, 81% of new registers now done online.

https://www.gov.uk/performance/register-to-vote

John
John
Nov 25, 2019 5:33 AM
Reply to  BigB

Trotsky and his followers are scumbags and liars and love a good CIA coup

milosevic
milosevic
Nov 25, 2019 10:48 AM
Reply to  John

f*** off, troll.

Leon Trotsky — Anti-Imperialist Struggle Is Key to Liberation

In Brazil there now reigns a semifascist regime that every revolutionary can only view with hatred. Let us assume, however, that on the morrow England enters into a military conflict with Brazil. I ask you on whose side of the conflict will the working class be? I will answer for myself personally—in this case I will be on the side of “fascist” Brazil against “democratic” Great Britain. Why? Because in the conflict between them it will not be a question of democracy or fascism. If England should be victorious, she will put another fascist in Rio de Janeiro and will place double chains on Brazil. If Brazil on the contrary should be victorious, it will give a mighty impulse to national and democratic consciousness of the country and will lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship. The defeat of England will at the same time deliver a blow to British imperialism and will give an impulse to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat. Truly, one must have an empty head to reduce world antagonisms and military conflicts to the struggle between fascism and democracy. Under all masks one must know how to distinguish exploiters, slave-owners, and robbers!

Barovsky
Barovsky
Nov 25, 2019 4:09 PM
Reply to  milosevic

Your point being?

wardropper
wardropper
Nov 25, 2019 4:50 PM
Reply to  Barovsky

Somebody once told a teenager that Trotsky, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Krushchev, Gorbachev, Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Chekhov and Putin were all bad men, and it somehow leaked out into the general consciousness of uneducated teenagers.
Can’t be helped.

George Mc
George Mc
Nov 26, 2019 8:43 AM
Reply to  wardropper

“… were all bad men, and it somehow leaked out into the general consciousness of uneducated teenagers.”

I’m afraid the “ooh he’s a bad man” mantra works on more than just “uneducated teenagers” or, to be more precise, a large proportion of the “mature” British public are still “uneducated teenagers”. How do I know this? In a word: Corbyn. The most pathetically desperate smear campaign of all time …and it worked!

Paul Damascene
Paul Damascene
Nov 24, 2019 4:54 PM

I do agree that Salandria’s method is intelligent and plausible. And while I’m receptive to the direction in which his reasoning leads, I have a small cavil. If a not-yet executed plan to assassinate a wildly popular sitting president is to be a closely-held secret, for operational reasons, then the number of people who were aware, and therefore complicit or conspirators (e.g., “guilty”) would be small, vanishingly small.

But the number of government officials who knew or feared that some branch of government might be involved may have been far larger. Indeed, anyone with even a sense of how many bodies are buried out there (i.e., any fair-minded student of US government action) might well suspect, and might fear the consequences to self, party, in-group or the nation itself. The harm was already done. Better perhaps, to steer the aftermath in the safest direction that presents itself, (even while turning away from the likelihood that the “next time” and the threat of it had now, through their connivance, become far more plausible). That, in effect, the US could now be pronounced dead as a democratic republic.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
Nov 24, 2019 4:26 PM

Can I suggest everyone examines climate change/global warming through the same lens of ‘what would an innocent citizen-led government do?’

Plan for climate resilience :

a. Identify the risk factors to the citizens’ homeland from a variety of risk factors:
i. Drought, floods.
ii. Forest fires, hailstorms and hurricanes.
iii. Tsunamis, high tides and coastal erosion.
iv. Warming by 1/2/3C AND cooling by 1/2/3C.
v. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
vi. Carrington events and meteorites.
vii. Others.

b. Prioritise these risk factors based on statistical probabilities of occurrence and societal effects of an actual occurrence.

c. Develop costed action plans to manage any such events developing as a result of an understanding of the necessary financial safeguards needed to insure effectively against such events, including modelling statistically unlikely multiple events happening in a short time period.

d. Develop early warning systems flagging up heightened states of risk for each major risk factor, allowing timely preparations for action should action become necessary.

e. Invest in appropriate research to maximise effective resilience of the nation.

f. Engage diplomatically to minimise the risk of foreign nations/corporations carrying out actions which heighten risks for the homeland.

Let me be diplomatic and say that there is a rather prominent disconnect between that plan of action and historical UK government policy since 1990.

The conclusion to draw is that the UK government is neither innocent nor led by citizens truly representing the interests of the people.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Nov 24, 2019 4:36 PM
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

If you really like ‘weird’ then I should remark that the US’s Department of Defense is not only a believer in climate change but is taking proactive steps to manage its effects. So while the actual government and its backers might be full on deniers who at best just want to keep kicking the can down the road the people actually charged with making things happen have a much more sanguine view.

(BTW — Mapping this back to the three events cited in this article gets you into tinfoil hat territory.)

Barovsky
Barovsky
Nov 24, 2019 8:41 PM
Reply to  Martin Usher

It’s been this way since the 1970s, when the science was rugged enough to come the right conclusion about capitalism’s effect on the biosphere. In private of course. RAND Corp, MIT, DARPA, they’ve known for decades where it’s all headed. Yet nothing is done. Why? But you might as well ask why capitalism destroys entire countries and their cultures? It knows the outcomes. Thus one can only come to the conclusion that capitalism is incapable of doing anything else but rushing headlong into oblivion and unfortunately taking all of us with them.

Antonym
Antonym
Nov 25, 2019 3:14 AM
Reply to  Martin Usher

The US DoD is the biggest single fossil fuel burner on this planet. Their only green is their budget dollars and uniforms. Looks like they managed to fool one sucker…

Paul Damascene
Paul Damascene
Nov 24, 2019 5:03 PM
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

You draw an important connection here. Our actual civilizational response to the plausible prospect of catastrophic climate destabilization could not have been designed to be less effective. Which leads one to the conclusion that this fecklessness is to a considerable degree a matter of design. Instead of turning this issue into the ultimate political wedge, the design might have followed a risk-management approach entirely familiar to the corporations hastening the conflagration.

Happening in some alternate version of Earth history in a part of the multiverse achingly near…

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym
Nov 24, 2019 10:52 PM
Reply to  Paul Damascene

An even simpler hypothesis is that hom-‘sap-sap’ is simply not up to the task, as a feckless naked-ape species, of creating a comprehensive, effectual plan to counter the crises – and then get a critical mass of us to join in actively.

My dog couldn’t organise such a thing either, even with all her dog friends helping. Just as yeast simply can’t help poisoning themselves. For any species, some things are just beyond their competence.