ANTI-DEMOCRATISM AND THE CENTRE LEFT
Phil Ochs used to define liberals as those who are “10 degrees to the left of centre in good times- and 10 degrees to the right of centre when it affects them personally.”
Such a wry critique has been vindicated in the current battle for the soul of the Labour party. During these times of a hostile Tory government, it has seemed commonplace for the left to form slightly uncomfortable bed-fellows with the liberal class in order to tackle bigger enemies such as poverty and austerity. Such a “popular front” tactic has been a long cause of concern and debate on the left, as it seems a compromise between stability and purity.
However, both such virtues have been betrayed these past few weeks, in which the obsequious, reactionary and servile liberal bourgeoisie have turned against democracy and accountability. Indeed, the backlash against Corbyn is demonstrative of exactly this point. With the Guardian’s writers calling Corbyn, “Dismal, lifeless and spineless” and declaring, “He must resign” it seems with friends like these- who needs enemies? Of course, the fact that Corbyn has the largest democratic mandate that any Labour leader has ever had appears to have absolutely no bearing on the question of his legitimacy to the party- the liberal elite want power at any costs. To them, the nebulous idea of “electability” trumps any democratic mandate.
Indeed, it’s not just the establishment liberal “left” media that has show such hostility to the unwashed masses. The Labour MP’s attempting to undermine Corbyn’s leadership show a callous and spineless disregard to the exact constituency they claim to be representing- the labouring class. These bourgeoisie in proletarian’s clothing feel themselves the self-appointed betters of the working class, and will tell them how their party should be run and who should be head of it, regardless of grassroots support. The problem is fundamentally a structural one- there exists two labour parties- the grassroots and the PLP.The grassroots fundamentally have faith in Corbyn as shown by the 100,000 new labour members, who many suspect are attempting to show support and solidarity with him in times of his soft-Allende coup. However, the PLP cynically pursue their own power behind respectable rhetoric of “electability” and “credibility” (all these representing technocratic double-speak for “power”). Indeed, the uncle-Tom aspect of the likes of Jess Philips blatantly lying about John McDonnell shows the PLP is more adept than ever at bringing in working-class MPs only so they could disavow and crush any worker’s movement in a patronising, authoritarian capture of the party.
This is a problem lurking deep within the middle-class liberal framework. A Burkean idea that the ignorant proles ought not be allowed the reigns of political power. With some calling for the referendum to be null and voidand more calling for their party leader to be toppled- it seems clear that this section of the left is not worth our solidarity or camaraderie as once you peel back the superficial progressive layer- an authoritarian bourgeois exists beneath.