Tying up Corbynism and Marxism

This is really just a place-holder post to bookmark two great twitter threads (below) and to link them to something I need to elaborate on. Without editing, this isn’t it. Read the two Twitter threads whatever, but for now:

I’m a fan of Marxism intrinsically (theoretically) and in the latest Paul Mason Post Capitalism sense (practically) – that is socially-networked where a capital-centred industrial solution fails or is inappropriate. Extreme “neo-liberal” “bigger-than-the-state” capitalist free-for all is to be regulated against, as are extremes of inequity, but capital-centred industrial entities nevertheless succeed in driving economic activity (*). And, sure, some part of these need to be state-controlled where there is a natural monopoly or public good at the heart of the activity – utilities, transport, health, etc. But as I also said when reviewing Post Capitalism (better Meta Capitalism) this kinda Marxism needn’t be Trotskyist / Leninist, with Stalinist / Maoist central planning and control of all industrial activity. In fact the point is exactly the opposite.

Yes, state-level policy and strategy, but bottom-up socially-networked (person to person as well as technology mediated) activities are what is needed in practice, with management and governance federated by upward delegation through proper institutional democracy not some cheap imitation populist tyranny of “for the many, NOT the few”. The (Momentum) social-media strategy to achieve these entryist aims for Corbynism within the Labour movement is an explicit attempt to exploit these populist aims. [And, Trump > Scouts, Corbyn > Students … same, same. A Pol Pot cult of youth and child abuse of the highest order. I digress, but only slightly. Populist aims, targeted cynically at youth. Gimme strength!]

But as I’ve said, whilst being a fan of Mason’s economics, I have an aversion to his “smash the system” revolutionary politics. Sure we need to break some eggs to make this omelette, and creative destruction is an old concept I’m happy to engage in, but intentional violent revolution? We need to be careful what we wish for. Babies and bathwater. We need to care about the lives and livings of fellow humans (and our eco-cosmos) here and now, as well as in some brave new world. The polarising mentality inherent in “if you’re not with us you’re against us” is hurting some of those people we need most, not just innocent bystanders, collateral damage to fellow humans, but some of the best people working hardest for us in politics right now. Abuse is not debate.

Anyway, the two threads nicely link to MacDonnell, the Trotskyist centralised levers of state behind the Corbynista project and the perversion that current “socialist” Labour policy is leading to some of the most illiberal and least socially-enlightened stances in practice. To be avoided at all costs, especially by Marxists and enlightened social and liberal democrats in general. The antidote to neoliberalism is not a centralised iron-fist of state. The whole of each of these two threads:

Enough for now.

[(*) We can all imagine a brave new world where there are no states, all property is theft and all humans cooperate in sustainable harmony, we can even believe such a situation might be a practical proposition one day, but it’s irresponsibly naive to believe that simply smashing the system and guillotining the elite would deliver anything remotely like it. We will always need concentrations of power and activity (federations) to achieve human aspirations. Practically it’s always a matter of understanding where we are now, where we’d like to be and what should we best do to maximise our chances of moving towards it. Trust and risk are intrinsic.]


Also published on Medium.

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