Written By: - Date published: 8:27 pm, September 17th, 2018 - 78 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Economy, Media, Politics, poverty, Social issues, socialism, workers' rights - Tags: class, class warfare, karl marx
I had an interesting discussion the other day with a regular TS contributor. The subject and substance of the exchange is not what brings me to write this post, so I’m going to skip the details. It was the commenter’s use of information from right wing websites to justify left wing positions that got me curious.
I have a sneaking suspicion that many people whose political and social instincts are solidly left wing have no idea what the term means. They may have heart, they may have a sense that the world is unfair, however they lack class understanding and therefore have no effective bullshit meter.
And not having a grounding in working class politics means that any old tosh that sounds anti-establishment gets a pass mark whether it’s deserved or not. Forget fake news, fake views are what we really have to worry about.
And it logically follows from that position that those folk will never really know what’s going on and will always be susceptible to being suckered.
Let’s be crystal clear. The Government is not the real problem, it’s capitalism. It’s not chem trails, buildings in free fall or 1080. It’s capitalism. It’s not virtue signalling, putting preferred pronouns on Twitter pages or overusing the epiphet ‘racist!’. It’s capitalism.
It’s always capitalism.
Now, I don’t mean that earlier analysis in a nasty way; I’m not saying that people who’ve never read Marx, Lenin, Dimitrov, Luxemburg and so many others are foolish or stupid people, just that they are ignorant of what defines the left.
And it’s not easy getting that learning. For a start, you’ll have to read books. So that’s the men out of this discussion already. See how hard it is?
No point blaming the news gathering media for our collective ignorance either. Removing sub editors means that there is simply no quality control any more. Newspapers used to have the piss taken out of them if they occasionally misspelled words, but nowadays there is a budget for accidental defamation roughly equivalent to the salaries saved when all the wielders of the blue pencil were made redundant.
And it’s not a red pill/blue pill choice. That’s a fantasy designed to stroke teenage egos. What’s going on is a class struggle and you, dear reader, are part of it, because we’re all working class these days and have been for nearly four decades.
There’s no middle class any more. There’s just different degrees of poverty, from outright destitution to the mirage of credit card and house price wealth.
So what’s stopping us from uniting and losing our chains?
“The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”
That’s Steve Bannon, quoted in the halcyon days when he was re-setting the White House agenda.
Steve gets it. He knows it’s a class struggle, it’s just that his class isn’t your class.
The author of the seminal book The End of History and the Last Man, Francis Fukuyama, has been reassessing his tome. Back in the eighties, Fukuyama suggested liberalism was probably humanity’s end state. Looking back, he now recognises that the triumph of liberalism over fascism and communism has not ended the world’s problems, nor has it bought any kind of societal consensus.
Fukuyama now notes:
“You have leftwing and rightwing versions of identity politics. The leftwing version is longer-standing, where different social movements began to emphasise the ways they were different from mainstream culture and that they needed respect in various ways. And then there was a reaction on the right, from people who thought, ‘Well, what about us? Why don’t we qualify for special treatment as well?’
Politically, it is problematic in that it undermines a sense of citizenship. And now you get extremism on both sides.”
It’s that sense of citizenship that I really miss. We’re all citizens, but we don’t see it as something to be exercised, something to work on. Something to be part of.
Cui bono, readers, cui fucken bono?
I have a question, once posed to a law class I was taking, that has always stuck in my mind as a useful indicator of class understanding:
What’s more important, individual rights or collective rights?
So what do you think the answer to that question is, Standarnistas?
And why does it matter?