Jeremy Corbyn knows it is too late for small changes to make capitalism fairer.
He may be our last hope to roll back the corporate state.
The battle for the leadership of the Labour Party is more than a simple contest to see who will be the face of the party at the next general election. The mainstream media certainly realise this, as do the right wing of the Labour Party, who believe it is their role to represent the liberal classes in the battle against the elite, the establishment, and the ever more right wing Conservative Party.
Unfortunately, the right of the Labour Party wants to ameliorate the worst excesses of the Tories but without changing any of the fundamental beliefs that underscore neoliberalism. While the Tories have, in fact, become the military wing of the corporate state, a retreat to a Blairite Labour Party would ensure that the opposition is little more than a cheering band of fellow travellers.
The threat, therefore, from Corbyn and his allies — his supporters, indeed — is more existential for the right; a Corbyn victory has the potential to derail the gravy train for the 1%.
A Corbyn victory — again — in the leadership will not see the end, either of attacks on him personally, or the denigration of socialist values. But a Corbyn victory will at least force those who oppose a fairer and more equitable society to appear as they really are. That, as they say, is a start.
A Corbyn victory may give us hope of a return to a society where economics serves the society rather than the current situation, where society exists solely to serve the economy.
I’ve been reading Death Of The Liberal Class by Chris Hedges. Anything by Chris Hedges is worth reading, reading again, and reading carefully. Not only does he do the research, he does the thinking, and he writes beautifully.
The book does a wonderful job of laying bare the descent into treason of those who start out trying to lesson the struggles of the working class and end as agents or worse of the ruling elite. The book was written in 2010 and refers mainly to the state of politics in the US but, as we know when the Tories are concerned, where the US leads, we are bound to follow.
The whole book is a demonstration of how liberal values are compromised in close proximity to the ruling elite but it bears close reading in the light of what the Labour Party’s right — or ‘liberal’ wing — is attempting at the moment. The following paragraph sums up the attempt of Labour’s coup plotters to exert once more their pernicious influence over policies and to maintain the pretence that they really offer some sort of opposition to the agents of neoliberalism:
“…liberal principles were egregiously betrayed to protect careers, to preserve access to the powerful. Liberals conceded too much to the power elite. The tragedy of the liberal class and the institutions it controls is that it succumbed to opportunism and finally to fear. It abrogated its moral role. It did not defy corporate abuse when it had the chance. It exiled those within its ranks who did. And the defanging of the liberal class not only removed all barriers to neofeudalism and corporate abuse but also ensured that the liberal class will, in its turn, be swept aside.” Chris Hedges; Death of the Liberal Class, p139
Hedges traces the final decline of the liberal class to Reagan and Thatcher’s assault on the social contract. Here he is on the way liberals gave up on trying to lessen the evils of unregulated capitalism. He says more eloquently what I was trying to say above.
“The liberal class, its institutions [now] controlled by corporations, was soon mouthing the corporate mantra that economics and the marketplace, rather than human beings, should guide political and economic behaviour. Free-market capitalism, a distinctly illiberal belief system, soon defined liberal thought.” Ibid., p142
Much is made of the many times Corbyn has voted over the years against his own party in House of Commons motions. The reasons are clear; he managed — along with a disgracefully small number of other left wing MPs — to refuse to ‘mouth the corporate mantra’.
A Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn — or another with his beliefs, because this is still about principles more than personalities — is the last chance we may have to undo the corporate subversion of democracy in this country.