Wednesday, June 21, 2017

American Elites Need To Feel The Fear The British Elites Feel Today


It’s nice-- very nice-- that Macron pulverized Le Pen and her fascist party. In Sunday’s parliamentary elections, Macron’s party won 350 seats, an absolute-- and unassailable-- majority in the 577 member National Assembly. Le Pen’s fascists won just 8 seats. That, though, is different from having reason to celebrate a great progressive victory. Ultimately, the fact that Macron detests and reviles Señor Trumpanzee is just funny and admirable, not governance. Neither Macron, a centrist former banker, nor his prime minister, conservative Édouard Philippe, is remotely progressive. They literally define conservatism: preservation of the status quo. The turnout, its worth noting, was the lowest in living memory. I was in France for the election. People seemed motivated primarily to stamp out fascism, not to embrace Macron and Philippe. As the French used to say-- or at least the French Jews-- “feh!”

Now across the Channel, on the other had, there really is a reason for progressives to celebrate. Though Jeremy Corbyn isn’t Prime Minister yet, he smashed the Conservatives and sent waves of fear through the British elites. Last week, The Nation carried an interview with veteran British journalist Paul Mason, which you can listen to here:

The point that Mason wanted to get across though, is that Corbyn’s moral victory was something of beauty and something that shouldn’t be underestimated-- and something that can be imported into America. “What happened,” he explained, “has no parallel in modern British politics since 1945. Labour didn’t win a majority, but they won a moral victory because the government had called the election to get a bigger majority of its own. It was predicted on the night before that it would get a majority of 100 seats. In the end it got no majority. There is now what we call in Britain a hung Parliament, which would be as if Congress was controlled by nobody. Theresa May, the Conservative prime minister, is clinging on, but what happened was that really massive numbers of young people voted for Labour-- not just under-24-year-olds, but under-35-year-olds. Something like half of all under-35-year-olds voted for a party that was vilified by the media as a kind of terrorist-supporting threat to national security… [Corbyn] started out far behind, polling 25 percent. The first thing he did was claw back to about 35 percent by publishing the most left-wing manifesto of any Social Democratic Party in the world. It called for renationalization of the railroads, the postal service, and some energy firms. It called for what we call ‘Robin Hood taxes,’ taxing not just the incomes of companies and rich people, but also taxing the wealth of rich people. Taxing the unearned wealth, the property speculation, the stock-market speculation. This would bring in billions, which he said we would spend on free college education for everybody who wants it. That is revolutionary-- and it’s not surprising so many students came out to campaign for the Labour Party in the last few nights of the election. On some urban streets, people were opening their windows and saying, What’s going on? Is there some kind of disturbance? Why are 100 young people coming down my street and knocking on my door? It felt like a sort of velvet revolution in parts of Britain.”
Key figures on the right of British politics are now saying that, to stop Jeremy Corbyn, they have to be prepared to ditch everything. They have to be prepared to ditch what is called “hard Brexit,” which is walking away from Europe without a deal. They have to be prepared to ditch austerity. We’ve had seven years of spending cuts and attacks on the welfare state, and they’ve got to be prepared to ditch that. They’re in full panic mode. As a reporter on British politics and economics, I haven’t seen the ruling class of England in a panic like this for a long time. They realize that their defense lines are falling away. The normal defense lines for British capitalism run not just through the Conservative Party, but also through the Labour Party. But once Corbyn took control of Labour and decisively moved its political programs to the left, the only thing standing between the working class and young people on one side, and the minority and the elite on the other, is the Conservative government. And that just effectively fell apart. It’s a minority government, with no power to legislate.

…[I]t’s not enough to have the combination of a strong leader and a well-worked-out program. The left also needs a ground game. We have this movement called Momentum, a movement to get support within the party. That movement was able to have a million conversations with voters in the space of six weeks, talking to people on their doorsteps, just the way the Sanders people did. Then Jeremy Corbyn in the last days of the election campaign stepped out of the role of party leader and started to speak on behalf of the nation. He’d absorbed so much pressure, so much vitriol, and so many attacks—he assured people that it was possible to go beyond the pain barrier. I think the Sanders movement, or whatever comes after it, has to do popular politics. It’s not the same as populism. It’s like gaming. You go into the dungeon and you kill the boss. You need someone who can do that. And Corbyn proved he could do it.
Help Randy Bryce battle the elites of both wretchedly corrupt DC parties and get down into that basement and end the political career of Paul Ryan next year. No DCCC handler is going to talk Randy into "going centrist," the way they did with Ossoff in the final stages of the GA-06 campaign. Randy stands for deeply held values and beliefs, rooted in his life's experiences. After he wins in 2018, by campaigning on those beliefs-- not on a DCCC-dictated GOP-lite platform-- we’ll see if progressives have the strength to smash the conservative Dems and their donors and beat Trump with a Corbyn, not with a Macron.

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At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coupla things:

"It’s a minority government, with no power to legislate." Well, Labour probably can't legislate either. So... why all the hyperbole?

No, the UK labour "victory" probably can't be exported to the US. UK voters are about twice as smart (or half as fucking stupid) as American voters. And That's only the voters who aren't HATE voters. Those potted plants will never vote on anything but hate.

Let me reiterate: UK ain't WI. Their voters are smart-ish. WI is not. Corbyn's manifesto would get Bryce "Bernie'd" in a femtosecond by his own party... cuz he chose to run as a member of the most corrupt left party in the history of the planet.

If FDR were alive today and disposed to run, he'd never run as a member of the democraps.

American "elites" have nothing to fear. Never will. Nobody in this sub-sentient shithole has the slightest idea what to do to make progressive change happen. They know only how to talk about it and flush a billion dollars only to lose.


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