Are we all Corbynistas now?

corb

Everyone is very excited about Jeremy Corbyn losing the election (except perhaps Van Badham). Since it was expected by the great and good that he would be crushed by the Tories the momentum of the campaign and the impressive increase in Labour’s vote share and seats won have thrown more disorder into a world political situation already rich with it. Like many I have been enjoying the schadenfreude of it all as all the morons who would pretend to rule us are shown to be the morons they are.

But more than this there is a real excitement about the result. I saw on Facebook that Craig posted a particularly apt quote from the end Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism:

The very oppressive pervasiveness of capitalist realism means that even glimmers of alternative political and economic possibilities can have a disproportionately great effect. The tiniest event can tear a hole in the grey curtain of reaction which has marked the horizons of possibility under capitalist realism. From a situation in which nothing can happen, suddenly anything is possible again. (Fisher 2009, 80-81)

Not losing as badly as we were told Labour would lose seems almost like a victory. Certainly, it has thrown the May government into crisis. When you have been down this long…

But what does it all mean? I’ve got no special insight into Corbyn or his campaign. Rather I want to take the opportunity to place in one spot my thoughts on the febrile debate that is going on amongst friends and comrades in Australia: does Corybn’s ‘success’ mean that a similar electoral strategy based around a revived social democratic program is a promising path for anticapitalists? I want to respond in a way to that doesn’t see us all collapsing into either some opportunistic and doomed electoral project nor some ‘sub-Debordian’ (to quote James Butler) rigid denunciation that forecloses the possibility of something novel happening. This has been promoted by a number of discussions with comrades such as with Karen (who is in Socialist Alliance) and with Tadeusz Tietze (whose work on anti-politics with Liz Humphrys(2013, 2015) has been influential on me). (Note: I do not engage with their arguments directly nor obliquely here and what I have written should not be seen as a specific critique of their positions – it is a clarification of my own thinking). I also want to take account of how developments in Brisbane have shifted my view.

 

corbyn optomism

Continue reading “Are we all Corbynistas now?”

Living the Dream whilst Organising in Your Workplace

Four female members of ILGWU Local 221 drinking coffee as they picket
Kheel Center Four female members of ILGWU Local 221 drinking coffee as they picket https://www.flickr.com/photos/kheelcenter/5279669440 CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

In this episode of Living The Dream, Dave (@withsobersenses ) chats with Carmen about the Workplace Organising 101 training she recently provided in Brisbane. Carmen talks about the purpose and structure of this training, its relationship to anarcho-syndicalism and reflects critically on the contribution it can play to developing our collective power and overcoming capitalism.

Organisations mentioned include:

Brisbane IWW

Freie Arbeiterinnen- und Arbeiter-Union (FAU)

Music by Dolly Parton and Marianne Faithful

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Living The Dream has an #altright time in Melbourne

altright-melbourne
#altright type displays famous political irony

In this episode of Living the Dream Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with Kieran (@Kieran Bennett) about a recent Melbourne counter-rally to a Trump celebration rally  ostensibly organised by #altright types and attended by local fascists and neo-Nazis. From here Kieran lets us know who is who in the fascist zoo in Australia, the social phenomena behind the far-right and we discuss what a relevant anti-capitalist practice might be that can defeat the fascists and offer a genuine emancipatory alternative to the issues that we all face.

Kieran blogs at Kieran’s Review and is a member (of the perhaps soon to be rebranded) Anarchist Affinity

Articles and things  we refer to include:

Angry Workers of the World

Ghassan Hage – Recalling Anti-racism

Ben Hillier –  ‘All that is holy was profaned’: the year that was, and the politics we need (Ben recommends you also read ‘Post-truth politics’ isn’t peak populism, it’s peak liberal capitalism and suggests that my read of his argument is wrong.)

Campaign Against Racism and Fascism

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