Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Some thoughts on the British Labour Party

I posted this on my Te Whare Whero Facebook page some time back. It's a compilation of some replies I made to a post on a dear friend's FB page. It is about the contest for leadership of the British Labour Party but has direct relevance to us in NZ. 

Some people argue against Jeremy Corbyn for leader of the British Labour Party because he's too old. This is foolish and misses the all important point that, if Corbyn can lead the British LP to become the party of progress and build a genuine mass base, progressive younger people will come through to take over the leadership. 

More importantly, no single person leads a political party, a company or a country. However useful it is for the Right (and some sections of the Left) to create the notion of the all-powerful single leader, it's always a team effort.

The only way to counter the enormous and increasingly destructive power of corporate capitalism and its servant state, is through a genuine mass movement. The greatest threats to building such a mass movement are the tendency of sections of the Left to indulge themselves in infantile and destructive sectarian squabbling, and the tendency of significant numbers of others to write it all off as just 'too hard' because the Right has sucked too many people into a state of self-indulgence and stupidity so we might as well all just give up and let them get on with it.

If it's 'human nature' to be greedy and self-seeking, how come there are people who not only help out those who are less fortunate, but who fight - and die - for a better, fairer world? According to the bleak vision of human nature as inherently competitive and self-serving - altruism, self-sacrifice and the struggle for a better world shouldn't happen, except as a strategy for self-advancement. 

The fact is that it's as much 'human nature' to be cooperative, compassionate and caring about others as it is to be cruelly competitive and self serving. The problem is how to boost the former in order that the latter ends up in the 'dustbin of history' along with the patriarchal order that gave rise to it. 

The notion of humans as inherently selfish and greedy is a product of Right-wing ideology - it justifies a world order that is based on individualism, selfishness and greed. It's the creator and motivator of the mindset that turns the phrase 'do-gooding' into an insult. 

Supporting the LP in Britain is not a question of blind loyalty - quite the reverse. It's as much pragmatism as anything. 

People have a deep need for something to believe in, for there to be a light at the end of the corporatist tunnel. Corbyn and the people supporting him are shining a light and it's beginning to break through the awful torpor that corporatism has created and nurtured - and that can only be to the good. 

And that is why the Right is turning themselves inside out to damn him. The best thing any progressive person in Britain can do is join the only party which, at present, has the potential to be a mass movement to make it work for the people and, through it, make the state work for the people not for Korporate Kleptomaniacal Kapitalism - my new slogan.

We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The broad Left has been in self-destruct mode since the1980s. It's time we stopped being self-indulgent ninnies and realised that the only way little people can ever win against the might of the state and the forces the state works for, is through combination. Why else do the Right expend so much time and energy, not just physically destroying collectives, but destroying the very idea of them?

People of conscience really don't have a choice because it's not just us, it's the entire planet that's at risk. 

Even if the LP do not win the next election, every expression of resistance to the current destructive world order sends out positive messages to the world's oppressed and exploited people. 

Corporate capitalism stole socialism's internationalist ideology and went global - it's time we took it back.

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