25 September 2016

Corbyn's Victory and the Pseudo-Left

It was all but inevitable that Jeremy Corbyn would win re-election as his party's leadership. At least that was the case as the votes were cast.

A few months ago, barely anyone would have guessed it. The Right-wing of the Labour Party and for that matter the whole of the British Establishment is against him.

What's happening? How did he pull this off?

It's complicated and probably too soon to fully understand it. Listening to the BBC, there have been narratives about Trotskyites within Labour etc., an attempt to explain the leftward-tilt that seems to be at work.

At present I am more inclined to accept the analysis of real Trotskyites who suggest that Corbyn's survival has been due to rallying the left within the framework of Labour itself... which like the Democratic Party in America is a pro-Capitalist (and thus militarist) party.

Labour has followed the course of many 'Pseudo-Left' parties in appropriating Trade Union movements that were infiltrated by and integrated with the Ruling Class. Labour was happy to work in collaboration with militarist governments, and though at one time it argued for the state ownership of the means of production the modern Labour movement, especially in light of Tony Blair and 'Third Way' triangulation has wholly abandoned the position, effectively making it into a pro-Capitalist, Nationalist and thus militarist party.  

Corbyn like Bernie Sanders in the USA has served as something of a foil for the real Left-wing. Both men have rallied the Left or as the Trotskyites would say, the working class and yet have not (contrary to Sanders' claim) urged them on to genuine political revolution. Instead, they have brought these elements within the fold of Anglo-American Centre-Left politics, the Democratic and Labour Parties. This has effectively quashed their ability to effect social change. The Centre-Left is really the Pseudo-Left... Centre-Right and Right wing positions packaged in Left-wing rhetoric.

The question is, are these Pseudo-Left figures deliberately doing this, are they tools being manipulated by other means, or are they in the end survivalist politicians who will compromise virtually everything in order to survive?

These categories are not necessarily exclusive of one another.

To put these questions in another form...

One might posit, the backing down on the opposition to Corbyn and the demand for his ouster has and will continue to provide an opportunity to dilute his message, corrupt him and remove him at a later date...

Or, he is being permitted to continue and is thus utilised as a means to rally the Left wing and keep them within Labour... and he will be removed at a later date. Under this scenario, he is Bernie Sanders in a different context.

Or, the Establishment of both Labour and in general have vastly underestimated the political dissent and backlash to the policies Cameron's government etc... Corbyn has compromised in order to appropriate them and at this point has thwarted their plans for his ouster. And yet his victory will prove pyrrhic.

By no means do any of these scenarios suggest the Establishment elements are going to sit by and let this continue. If Corbyn begins to triangulate and betray his base as figures like Clinton, Blair, Obama and others have done... he may survive. But I doubt it. He's been pretty polarising (as far as the Establishment is concerned) and though everyone is calling for peace in light of his victory, it would seem that too many wounds have been opened. I am certain that even as I write this new schemes are being hatched to remove him.

But it's also a time for examination. If the Left is really ascendant then in the end a beaten-down figure like Corbyn may prove a better option than a genuine revolutionary type.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

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