Alt Left: The Neoliberal Ghost of Pinochet Is Finally Being Exorcised from Chile

The Neoliberal Ghost of Pinochet Is Finally Being Exorcised from Chile

More than 46 years of initially military-imposed neoliberalism in Chile has finally exploded into widespread frustration, protest, and violence. This neoliberalism culminated in 2017 with twelve businessmen, among them Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, monopolizing at least 17% of the national GDP, demonstrating the huge gap in wealth equity.

There is little doubt why the latest protests have exploded violently, with 18 dead so far – Piñera had declared war on his own people to protect his lucrative monopoly racket.

It is without surprise he had declared war. The aggressive neoliberalism that has dominated Chile since the 1973 Chilean coup d’état when socialist President Salvador Allende was killed and eventually replaced by neoliberal Augusto Pinochet with the backing and blessing of U.S. President Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, the CIA, and the so-called “Chicago Boys” neoliberal economic team.

Although the so-called communist threat was defeated in Chile, it was not until 1990 that the kinder face of neoliberalism returned to the country with the first democratic election taking place since the coup. The return to democracy did not equate to any changes in the economic system.

The appearance of GDP growth in the South American country created the mythology of the Chilean miracle, ‘thanks’ to the Chicago Boys, the group of young Chilean economists who studied at the University of Chicago under the adviser to U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, professor Milton Friedman.

They were the so-called economic liberators and advised Pinochet on applying complete free-market policies – essentially to privatize state-owned industries and companies and to open the economy.

The pernicious globalist model was applied and deemed a miracle because of significant GDP growth. However, this was only to the benefit of shareholders and private companies and did not reflect the average Chilean’s experience. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Gini coefficient value, a method to measure wealth distribution, stood at a record 0.50 in 2017, one of the highest inequality coefficients in the world.

This is because the incomes of the richest 10 percent of Chile are 26 times higher than the incomes of the poorest 10 percent of the population. This is partly also due to an unfair taxation system that creates a massive tax burden on the poor, as Chile’s government earns less from income taxes than any other country in the 35-member OECD.

Despite praise for the supposed fantastic economic performance, almost a third of Chilean workers are employed in part-time jobs, with one in two Chileans having low literacy skills according to the OECD.

And now as Chile literally burns and 18 people are dead, we cannot forget that former president Michelle Bachelet grotesquely dedicated lessons on “human rights” against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Although Piñera has apologized, he did not do so for his declaration of war against the people but rather for decades of unresolved problems, which he  followed with an announcement for a new social and economic program.

A reversal of the crippling neoliberal economic system? Highly doubtful and probably more a Band-Aid option.

Neoliberal propagandist Enrique Krauze Kleinbort – accused of the coup attempt to overthrow Mexican President López Obrador – proclaimed that Chile was ‘the role model’ for Latin American economic growth. If inequality is considered a ‘role model,’ it shows that the oligarchs of Latin America have not recognized the growing trend of violent opposition to neoliberalism as the recent case in Ecuador demonstrates.

The very fact that Piñera attempted to increase transportation and energy costs in Chile demonstrates his lack of knowledge about international outrage to neoliberalism.

The French Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) in France began their actions 12 months ago, which soon spread across Europe, when neoliberal President Emmanuel Macron attempted to increase gasoline taxes. In 2018, Brazilian truck drivers blocked roads in a demand for a decrease in diesel prices. Mexico in 2017 saw a 20% rise in fuel prices that exploded into riots.

However, the attempted increase in transportation and energy costs was only the spark that lit the fire. As Piñera the man who is part of a monopoly over the Chilean economy, was forced to admit this is an explosion after decades worth of frustration, neglect, and abuse.

Candida Cecilia Morel, the wife of the billionaire Piñera, sent a WhatsApp message that was leaked in the media in which she comments on the violence and the protests shaking her country, and it certainly does show the disconnect that the elite of Chile have with the common Chilean.

The message said that “we are absolutely overwhelmed, it is like a foreign invasion, alien,” and that “we will have to decrease our privileges and share with others.” Her suggestion to decrease “privileges” is a stark reminder of Charles Dickens 1800’s Britain.

With such elitist comments and referring to Chileans as aliens, there is little wonder that there has been little calm despite Piñera’s half-done apology and promises of more neoliberalism with a softer punch.

Although circles close to the Chilean Presidency affirm that the disturbances and destabilization are orchestrated from abroad, it is unlikely to be true. We can of course expect that Venezuela will be the scapegoat by some Chilean oligarchs just as the oligarchs in Ecuador and Colombia have done, but there remains little evidence that this is the case.

Rather, as Piñera has had to attest, decades of neoliberalism is the cause of the disturbances. Perhaps inspired by events in Ecuador, it appears that the Chilean people are finally exercising the neoliberal ghost of Pinochet from its country.

It appears that the violence will not end unless the Chilean president makes drastic changes to the Chilean economy. Whether he does this remains to be seen.

This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.


Some Differences between the US and the Gorbachev-Era USSR

From the Net:

There will never be an American Gorbachev because the American system is completely different from the Soviet system.

In the USSR, the Communist Party was everything and commanded all the socio-metabolical aspects of society through a centralized state. When Gorbachev killed the Party, he killed the USSR. That’s why it simply collapsed overnight and in a relatively peaceful way.

The USA is a pure-blood capitalist society. It functions through a confederation of capitalists who command and own different parts of the means of production. The state, albeit powerful, is just one institution among many others in this free market anarchy.

The USA, therefore, is a relatively decentralized society (for its size it is incredibly decentralized). In this sense, the USA is more akin to the old Roman Empire than any other recent liberal or late-feudal empire.

My guess is the USA will degenerate slowly and very violently and chaotically, with a succession of weak POTUS over a course of at least many decades. It can or cannot lose territory in this process (I don’t think it ever will unless you’re talking about Puerto Rico or the possessions in the Southwestern Pacific).

It almost certainly will provoke many more wars against foreign nations. It will be a very dangerous period of humanity’s history, if it does not mark its end and a total nuclear war happens.

This is correct. The US is decentralized as any capitalist society is. On the other hand though, Germany was as decentralized as the US is in 1933, and all it took was Hitler to quite rapidly centralize the whole place.

Any free market capitalist society will always be quite decentralized because that is the nature of the market, a decentralizing mechanism itself if there ever was one.

In fact the decentralization is not a bug of the capitalist system – it is one of its features, and this nature is part of why capitalists hate the centralizing state so much.

The other reason is that they simply have no use for a state at all, as the state does not benefit capitalists much at all other than having a military to use to open markets, destroy competitors and ruin competing pro-people (socialist) systems. Other than that the state causes nothing but pain and annoyance to the capitalist.

There are works written by businessmen (merchants) all the way back in the Italian Renaissance by what is called the original Italian Humanists. These works were written from 1400-1600, and many have been collected. The works written by Italian merchants in 1500 could have been written by the Wall Street Journal or Reason Magazine yesterday.

These merchants had no use whatsoever for any sort of state or government and saw any such entity as an annoyance at best and an impediment at worst. Basically this thing called the state mostly just needed to get out of the way, according to these merchants. Here it is 500 years later and not a thing has changed.

Plus le change…

Alt Left: Even the Rich Have to Support Socialism Sometimes

From the Internet:

When the UK went to war in 1914, they discovered that their soldiers were so undernourished and unfit to fight for the Empire, that a series of ‘social reforms’ were enacted to improve the lot of the working class (or cannon fodder).

Actually this is a serious problem in Latin America. There the rich are so selfish and cocky that they won’t even pay for a proper army! When the Peruvian Army was fighting the Shining Path, many didn’t even have proper uniforms or boots. They were often short of ammunition. Soldiers used to man checkpoints to shake down motorists just so they could get money to survive.

You see how cocky and arrogant the rich are? They were so sure that they could defeat the Revolution that refused to even fund an army to fight them! Also note how selfish the rich are. They won’t pay a nickel in taxes for anything, not even for an army to defeat a revolution which would have taken away everything they had!

Looks like the British rich were more sensible than the Peruvian rich. I think it goes to show you that socialism is coming one way or another whether the rich or anyone else likes it or not. That’s more or less one of the laws of Marxism, and if we define socialism as even social democracy or a safety net, it’s obvious that it’s always going to get here one way or another.

The rich always push for total free market economics and getting rid of all safety nets, social democratic programs and even the very state itself (even the army – see above).

According to Marxist laws, the more they move in that direction, the more the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer, and as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, inevitably, you end up with some sort of left or socialist like backlash. It’s so consistent that you could indeed call it a law of political science, which is exactly what it is.

Alt Left: The Muslim World Is for the Most Part Virtually Socialist

Semi-feudalism was eliminated in the (Arab) Muslim world at least 60-70 years ago; granted it existed prior.

It was fairly easy to take out semi-feudalism in the Arab World because it is very hard to justify such a system under Islam. The semi-feudalists had used distorted readings of the Koran to justify their oppression. For instance the fact that Mohammad said that some are rich and some are poor and this is a normal thing was given as an excuse for semi-feudalism.

Most Muslims knew intuitively that this excuse didn’t fly well in an Islamic sense, so the new Arab nationalist (mostly socialist) regimes found it easy to dismantle semi-feudalism.

I know that Palestine was semi-feudal in the 1930’s, and Iraq and Egypt were in the 1940’s. Massive land reforms in the 50’s Egypt and Iraq took out semi-feudalism. But it lingered elsewhere. In  the early 60’s, your average peasant in Yemen had a picture of Nasser on his wall. Nasser was seen as a great hero of the Arab working and peasant classes.

When the Arab nationalist and socialist Ba’ath Party came into power in  Syria and Iraq, one of the first things they did was a land reform. It was easy to do as the semi-feudal system was hard to justify Islamically, and a more equitable or socialist economics was very easy to sell in an Islamic sense.

This is because if you read the Koran, you can see the Mohammad, for all his flaws, was basically a socialist. This is why even hardline Islamist organizations like Hamas are virtually socialist. When the PLO ran Gaza, Hamas ran the social services that should have been but were not run by the state. Now that Hamas is in power, they have a huge social safety net.

Semi-feudalism will be seen as very un-Islamic nowadays, except in the case of Pakistan, where a huge substrate of Indian and Hindu culture virtually neuters whatever socialist advantages Islam may bring.

La Bas in Mexico, or Notes from the Tijuana Underground

I am wondering if any of you have been to Mexico. I haven’t been there since 1987 when I was in Tijuana, but it was a mess even then. We were in the red light district (Where else would I be?) so it was a rather delightfully degenerate mess with no sexual morals whatsover. However a criminal element goes along with that and some maniac tried to force me to buy an edible cactus from him. He was very menacing and tried to shake me down.

Crime, social disturbance large and small scale, fistfights, car crashes, falling down drunkenness – that’s Mexico for you.

In the late 70’s when we used to go to Baja California on the outskirts of Tijuana there was a vast slum stretching as far as the eye could see, extending down into some ravines and over some ridges. I have no idea what they made those houses out of, but it was not standard building materials. We used to call it “The Cardboard Shacks.”

As a kid, this slum was utterly terrifying to me. I felt my heart sink into my stomach in fear and awe every time we drove by. Never in my life could I imagine a vast slum like this. There was nothing even slightly like this in the US at the time. My eyes were locked to that scene the whole time we drive by there. It was like watching the aftermath of a gruesome car crash.

Later when we were in Ensenada (that was mostly where we went), once you got off the main road, the streets are junk. They’re either potholed or dirt roads or both. And on the wall, everywhere, in these areas, we saw red graffiti with a hammer and sickle and the words, “Revolucion!” Well of course.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. You can’t have slums like that anywhere without having its obvious reaction – a socialist or Communist pro-worker or pro-poor movement.

These rightwingers with their End of History crap are self-deluded like all of the blind rich and their water-carriers in academia and journalism. They actually thought that when that Wall fell, the rich would be able to create capitalist paradises all over the world where the rich could live like literal kings where most of the people suffered in slums like “The Cardboard Shacks.”

They wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. No more Communists, socialists, or even social liberals. No more wealth redistribution. No more social programs. No more worries about the poor rising up – they could die in their self-made horrorshow slums while the royal rich ate, drank, and made merry like no tomorrow.

Well, only a few years after the Fall of the Wall, revolutions were still going strong all over the world. The world was mostly ruled by socialist or social democratic parties. Vast maldistributions of wealth still created inevitable Leftist backlashes, just as Marx’s Laws predicted.

Did these rich fools really think they were going to pull this crap off? Sometimes I think rich people are retarded. But they’re not. They’re just blind, live for the day, and are amnesic towards the past like most humans. Idiotic, senseless optimism not grounded in reality seems to be coded into our genes. Presumably this is why our race never simply offed itself as you would thought by now.

I went into a Mexican bar and it was wild and crowded and crazier than any American bar. There were off-duty US servicemen in there, getting shit-faced with everyone else. A gorgeous but very tall woman came up to me and grabbed my cock, just like that! I mean when does that happen? I thought I won the lottery until she whispered in my ear, “High baby…” I jumped backwards. You just can’t hide that male voice.

Earlier we had just made our way to the Red Light District. We weren’t trying to get laid or anything like that. Hell no! What kind of a guy do you think I am? There were men standing in front of every sleazy bar, hawkers. They were all trying to outdo each other in degeneracy.

Six-teen year old girls!”

Fif-teen year old girls!

I forgot if they were offering 14 year olds, not that I cared. I don’t go to foreign countries to fuck JB’s. Clearly an awful lot of grown men like that teen pussy, the illegal kind most of all. Part of it is because it is wrong, illegal, and forbidden – there’s that appeal.

I was buying tacos everywhere we went. I was hungry and they were all damn good!

Against the wall with a crashed-in foregone look on her face that seemed to recede into the wall itself, was an Indian woman. She was actually good looking. She had ~four of her children there. She was a mother and her four kids and there they were on the streets, living like animals. And literally no one gave a damn. I gave her some money and she was very grateful. Ever since then I have wondered what happened to her and her kids. They’ve haunted me ever since.

We went into a seemingly empty bar. There were some men back there running the place, complete pigs like most Mexican men. I’m sure it’s bad for the women, but I can’t deny that piggy societies are awful comfortable and fun for us men. We run the show, no one dares challenge us, there’s not a whole of stuff we can’t get away with if we dare.

There were several women up on tables wearing short dresses. They were dancing in this desperate, sexy way, trying to sell their bods to us. The men were gesturing to these women with looks that said, “Here’s the merchandise, men. Please help yourself to one of these debased whores here.” Snicker. Guffaw. Belly laugh.

But this scene was almost as sad as the homeless woman with her brood. All of the women had the worst sadness smashed into their faces. And there was something else. Abject and utter shame and humiliation.

Now that can be fun as a game to play in bed because a lot of women like their sex really dirty like that. But these women were very unhappy. There were miserable, wretched. That plaintive pain sucked anything sexy out of the scene. Only a sadist would get turned on by that.

We walked out of the bar, shaken. I felt like something had died inside of me. I have never seen a sexual scene as depressing as that in my life.

We wandered the streets and some Mexican guy made friends with us, probably to get some money. He kept asking us for money to go to this or that bar. He was our traveling barker. He was about 20 and certainly pleasant enough.

We ended up in some real Mexican bar full of working class men and women, mostly 18-30. There were a lot of hot women. But this was no pickup bar. All of the women were more or less unfuckable.

I have heard that at least back then (and still today apparently), it was hard to get even young Mexican women to put out. Many guarded their virginity. A lot would only trade their hymens in for a wedding ring. In other cases you might have to date her 3-4 months before you can finally smash.

This was nothing but a dance bar, replete with scores of happy people dancing their lives away, right here amidst the ruins of humanity.

I noticed another thing. There was a sense of anxiety on most their faces, men and women. They weren’t very relaxed or secure. I asked my Mom if poor people tended to feel insecure and she said, “Of course.” Which is something I never thought about: the psychological face of poverty. That was almost a bit haunting too.

We left the bar and I tried to pick up a Mexican woman, age 20. She was cute but rather fat but who cares? I was drunk in a foreign country and I didn’t give a damn anymore. I was using all my famed pickup skills on her, wooing her with my smooth and slick ease, but she wasn’t falling for the bullshit I was selling. In a high-pitched voice she kept protesting my seduction attempt.

“Es una mentira! Es una mentira!”

She was protesting that everything I was saying was a lie. Of course that’s true and that’s always true when I am trying to seduce a woman. Seduction after all is a scam, a fraud, a lie. We are literally trying to trick and fool women into bed past their silly protests.

“Honest seducer” is  an oxymoron. If you can’t lie your fool head off, don’t even bother trying to be a player. Just get a girlfriend or get married and keep your conscience clear. You might even get a lot of sex – who knows? Seduction is a dirty game.

Somehow it was 2 or 3 in the morning. We were out on lost streets to nowhere without a soul in sight at the literal edge of the world in Tijuana, drunkenly careening the streets and  trying  not to fall off the edge.

Most people would advise you to stay out of those places at those hours. It’s generally regarded as a scene that is dangerous as Hell. But hey, I like to live dangerously. Life’s no fun without a bit of risk – even risk of serious injury or death.

Somehow there was a bar tucked out here in  all the nothingness. It gave off seriously sleazy vibes. Out here, far on the outskirts of the Red Light District, is where you find the really dirty bars with the legendary donkey shows and whatnot. Why? Because out here no one cares. Out here the morals are as lost as the streets.

We went inside and the place was packed. We hung out for a while. This seemed like a place where it was anything goes, and abandonment of all propriety felt warm and cozy to me. I was in my element, happy as a clam. We were drinking.

About half an hour in, at 3 in the morning, there’s a woman up on the stage, maybe 35 years old, gorgeous with long dark hair. She’s about as White as I am. She’s completely nude. Her legs are spread as wide as wings.

This was before all the women decided to go bald, so there was a huge triangle of dark brown public hair at her V. Young people nowadays think such decoration on one’s body is gross and disgusting, but the men of our age grew up on hairy pussies, we were weaned on them like our mother’s milk. Most of us probably got imprinted at almost a genetic level, and at least I developed a love for bushes that I carry to this day.

There was a young White man on the stage, completely plastered. He was blond and about 20. He was down on the ground, slinking forwards like a snake. He looked a bit humiliated and embarassed himself,  which made sense as he was making  an abject ass out of himself. But part of his body said he was too wasted to care anymore. Soon he was at that wonderful bush, and he started munching away.

Damn, that’s depraved as Hell! I love it!

The woman had a look of shame, defiance, anger, and arousal all at the same time. Sometimes she smiled. She was happier than the Table Women. Even if this was debasing, she seemed to be getting off on that aspect like so many women do.

We crashed in our car somewhere near the beach, in the land of nowhere. Early in the morning someone knocked on the glass. Two Mexican police officers. We woke up and waved to them.

Unlike American cops, Mexican cops don’t give a damn. About what? About much of anything. This list of things deemed trivial and not worth an arrest is quite long, which is as it should be.

Later that morning we went around to crowded panaderies buying Mexican sweetbreads, which are actually quite nice. They were all packed to the roofs, and the hordes there all had that familiar desperate sort of anxiety I saw at the dance club. Their faces were hard, pained, gritty and desperate. Poverty paints lines on your face, lines of cruelty.

It was time to go home. There was the terrible line at the border. Dirty children in rags with filthy cloths darted about, offering to “clean your windows” for some coins. We mostly blew them off but there was something terrifying about them too. This place, Tijuana, was obviously a place where human souls go to die.

There were others, often dead-poor older women, selling this, that, or whatever. They were a bit pathetic but not as bad as the haunted kids with rags. Most of them had shy, submissive smiles on the faces. Here in this forsaken land at the edge  of the world trying not to fall off, the poor definitely know their place.

Alt Left: A Letter to Francis Fukuyama: There’s No Such Thing as the End of History

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. You can’t have slums like I saw  in Tijuana anywhere without having their obvious reaction – a socialist or Communist pro-worker or pro-poor movement.

These rightwingers with their End of History crap are self-deluded like all of the blind rich and their water-carriers in academia and journalism. They actually thought that when that Wall fell, the rich would be able to create capitalist paradises all over the world where the rich could live like literal kings where most of the people suffered in slums like “The Cardboard Shacks.”

They wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. No more Communists, socialists, or even social liberals. No more wealth redistribution. No more social programs. No more worries about the poor rising up – they could die in their self-made horrorshow slums while ate, drank, and partied like royalty.

Well only a few years after the Fall of the Wall, revolutions were still going strong all over the world. The world was mostly ruled by socialist or social democratic parties. Vast maldistributions of wealth still created inevitable Leftist backlashes, just as Marx’s Laws predicted.

Did these rich fools really think they were going to pull this crap off? Sometimes I think rich people are retarded. But they’re not. They’re just blind, live for the day, and are amnesic towards the past like most humans. Idiotic, senseless optimism not grounded in reality seems to be coded into our genes. Presumably this is why our race never simply offed itself as you would thought by now.

Alt Left: Venezuela: What Capital Flight and Capital Strikes Look Like

Let’s suppose that half the employers in the US simply closed up their shops and shipped all their money overseas to sit in investments. They had plenty enough money to live off of anyway. If you asked them what they were doing, they would tell you that they are refusing to invest in the California economy because they hate the liberal California government.

Well, in a nutshell, that’s part of what happened in Venezuela. A country cannot just sit there while everyone with any money at all ships it out of the country instead of investing it in their homeland. Obviously that’s not going to work. So Chavez put in capital controls to try to stem the capital flight.

It worked but then it created a whole host of other problems. And even with the laws against it, Venezuela has continued to see $50 billion/year flow right out of the economy, generally right to Houston or Miami.

In recent months, all capital controls were eliminated and the exchange rate was finally allowed to float after all this time. Inflation collapsed but so did the economy and it was already racing downhill anyway.

How do you cure runaway inflation? Real easy. You reduce demand. How to you do that? You make it so wages are so low and goods so high that hardly anyone is buying anything anymore. Since inflation runs on supply and demand as its cause and effect, generally you reduce demand and prices tend to drop. You increase demand and they tend to go up. It’s Economics 101.

Nice little doomsday comment here from one of our commenters:

Francis Meville: Anyway, the US are heading towards another worse Vietnam. Venezuela will turn socialist as they can no longer afford to live in a liberal economy. What Venezuela is experiencing right now is not socialism but mass lay off by capital, like half the Californian population living on the streets because the cost of living is way too high.

And most American media tell the yokels all that happens because California is run by the radical Left just one notch below Venezuela as a harbinger of the plagues to befall everybody if were don’t vote more and more reactionary politicians with the decades passing.

You know that California has nothing socialist, so what is happening in Venezuela has as little relationship with the evil they pretend.

This time Trump has committed some kind of hubris America will never recover from. Trump imagines he can arrive in Caracas aboard an aircraft carrier and by helicopter to proclaim like an angel Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela and then depart at the head of a ticker-tape parade of triumph.

It is disappointing relatively to the slowdown or cessation of projects that government had instituted for its people mostly due to high-tech American hybrid wars techniques, but it is not a catastrophe.

Maduro is not the economic genius it would have taken in face of such a foe, but he is being pushed back down to his own level of top competence as per Peter’s principle: class war and union action, where he could tower even over Uncle Ho. Good night America!

Alt Left: The Cause of Venezuela’s Economic Crisis (Socialism Had Nothing to Do with It)

Sure, socialism has nothing to do with Venezuela’s problems. First of all, there is no socialism in Venezuela. There’s just Keynesian economics as the state imposes controls on a capitalist economy. Keynesianism works great everywhere.

The government hardly owns anything but the commanding heights anyway. The state controls oil, gas, minerals, electric grid, telecom, hydropower, and cement and steel manufacture. This is completely normal all over the world in many social democracies. Even in the US, the state owns some of these things. The state owning this stuff causes zero problems anywhere.

And the state controlled all of this under Chavez when the economy boomed. State control has actually gone down under Maduro, as he privatized a lot of stuff and did other rightwing things.

Compared to Chavez, Maduro has gone way to the right on economics. These guys like to play cause and effect. So I guess rightwing economics crashed the economy!

100% of the problems are due to sabotage by the capitalist sector which controls the entire productive economy. The Allende “make the economy scream” playbook has been followed almost to the letter along with the same insane propaganda blitz by the CIA that Allende was subjected to. This is just the Chilean Coup 2.0!

But the problems are all due to capitalist sabotage (mostly capital flight). The capital flight and coup attempts set in motion a chain of events that led to Keynesian economic controls like price and currency controls, which led to their own problems.

The currency controls created a currency black market, which is really the source of all the inflation. Maduro did not deal with this properly but his response was a fixed currency rate, neither right nor left economics. For instance, Ron Paul wants a fixed currency rate.

Price controls were evaded. State made up for the capitalists refusing to produce price controlled products by importing them. Oil prices crashed and they could not import stuff anymore, so shortages developed.

Obviously shortages are not possible in any capitalist economy, so all the shortages were artificially created by the capitalists, who stopped production, hoarded goods, diverted to the black market, and smuggled to Colombia to take advantage of inflation by creating more of it!

Most production and goods import goes straight to the black market or to Colombia which then causes shortages for some goods. The lines you see are for cheap state subsidized food. The shelves in most markets are full. Check the videos. No one is starving. Malnutrition is low.

The media is lying to you.

Alt Left: Nothing Worse Than a Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat sites I am banned from:

I am banned from Democratic Underground. I have been banned from Daily Kos twice. I am usually banned the very first day I register there, typically within 24 hours. I am banned from Mother Jones. I am banned from Media Matters. I got banned from Alternet but got a new name and came back and am now safe for a while. I was banned once from (((Daily Kos))) for attacking Israel. They called me anti-Semite and banned me. All the other places banned me for attacking the Cultural Left.

Suffice to say that these are all liberal Democrat sites except for Alternet, which is more Leftist.

In other words, I am usually very quickly banned from all liberal Democrat sites, usually amidst screams that I am a Republican! Except that I’m not a Republican. I think Democrats are too rightwing. I’m a flaming out and out Leftist.

There are few things more awful than an American liberal Democrat, mostly because there is almost nothing liberal about them.

They all support US foreign policy to the hilt. They all believe every lie the media ever shoved down their throat and every lie the foreign policy wing of the state ever told them. They’re flag waving patriotards.

At the moment, they are frothing with hatred against the evil Russia and the evil Putin. They all supported the Nazi Maidan coup and think Russia shot down that M-17 jet. They all hate Assad and support arming the jihadis and Al Qaeda against him and think think Assad gassed his people. And nowadays they all really hate China.

No matter what lie the state and media shove down their throat, they swallow it right up.

They reject all alternative explanations to US propaganda because it comes from Iran, Russia, etc. And they don’t believe one word those nations say because those countries lie.

You throw evidence at them, like people on videotape confessing their CIA-induced nefarious acts or even actual CIA statements (for instance, half of the CIA says Ukraine shot down that M-1 7 jet), and they shoot it all down. They say that everyone that says anything that goes against the US government/corporate media one party propaganda line is lying.

Anything other evidence is unproven. It’s “state your sources” and then all sources other than the US state and media are not credible. Any theories against US government and media propaganda lies are called conspiracy theories that must be subjected to the “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” rubric, evidence which, of course, is never enough.

The Democrats are always right and never wrong. And the Republicans, of course, are never right and always wrong. If you dare to admit that the Republicans might be right once in a blue moon, then that means that you’re a Republican, and they insist that you now support Trump and are voting for him. It’s pure political tribalism of the most insipid kind.

Oh, and I forgot one more thing. One thing they really, really hate, probably even more than they hate Republicans, is the Left. You know, people like me. And the Squad. And Bernie. I’ve always said that the Democratic Party hates the Left more than anything, more than Republicans, Hell, more than out and out fascism.

A liberal Democrat will support a Nazi before he  supports a socialist. Look at how they reacted to Ukraine (supporting Nazis) and Venezuela (attacking socialists).

Bottom line is they will never admit they were wrong. And they will never change their mind, ever, about anything.

Liberal Democrats are some of the most rigid- minded, hopelessly brainwashed people I have ever met.

Alt Left: Who Are the Neoconservatives?

White nationalists say the neocons are just a bunch of Jews who go around the world meddling  in the foreign affairs of other countries, fighting wars for the Jews, and starting all sorts of other conflicts and aggressions. As with most things, it’s not completely true at all, but there is a kernel of truth there that the stereotype is based on.

It’s not true at all that all neocons are Jews, as neocons have now merged with Cold Warriors, Monroe Doctrine enforcers, and plain old US imperialists – in other words, the standard US militarized financial imperialism which constitutes our only observable foreign policy.

The neocons have now merged with the Cold Warriors who destroyed Central and South America in the 1980’s and 1990’s as part of a fight against Communism (which was really a fight against any sort of socialism in our hemisphere). Of course this militarized, belligerent, menacing, psychopathic US foreign policy is there simply to serve the interests of the US rich (mostly investors) and US corporations.

When you join the army, you are joining the Army of McDonalds and Microsoft, and you will fight and die for General Foods and Exxon. The Pentagon is simply the military arm of the US corporations. It’s their own private army. The US military hasn’t done anything good, decent, sensible, or non-psychopathic in a long time now.

You’re not fighting to defend American shores from aggressors. They never attack us anyway. But like all bullies, we constantly complain that the weaker nations we beat up on are always on the verge of attacking us. So neoconservatism in one form or another is now official US foreign policy of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. Trump has thrown a wrench in that somewhat, as he is at heart an isolationist.

All of the Democratic candidates for President, even Sanders, are more or less neocons. So all of the liberals and Leftists in  the US government are actually neocons. All Republicans are obviously neocons, as the original neocons were Jewish conservative Democrats who converted to Republicanism under Reagan.

Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate I can think of who is not a neocon. Ro Khanna, a representative from Silicon Valley, is also not a neocon. And the much-hated Squad of Ayanna Pressly, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and Omar Ilhan are not only not neocons, but they are openly critical of US imperialism.

Indeed the original neocons were absolutely very heavily Jewish, as they came out of early 1970’s Jewish pro-Vietnam War conservative Democrats around Scoop “The Senator from Boeing” Jackson. They were reacting against the  counterculture and the Democratic Party.

They saw the Democrats as being taken over by the Counterculture, who they saw as dirty, lazy, drug-taking, dissolute, promiscuous, poorly groomed and dressed, anti-Israel, pro-Soviet Communists and traitors. This was an  often older and definitely generation of Jewish men (really a bunch of squares) who were outraged by the Counterculture, particularly the important role that many of their fellow Jewish men (in other words, hipsters) had played in it.

The split between conservative and liberal Jews goes way back. Just looking at New York, the original Jews who came there were very poor, and they organized on a very pro-worker basis as proletarians and poor people.

They were very leftwing and in fact were responsible for much of the growth and prospering of the US Left for the last century.  This is why it is hard for US Leftists to get very antisemitic, despite constant blathering on the Right about “leftwing  antisemitism,” which for all intents and purposes, barely exists. Our movement has a huge debt to Jews for their important role in creating and nurturing it.

Most of them continued to be liberals, liberal Democrats at least, but a number of others were socialists and even Communists.  The blacklisted accused Communists of the 1950’s McCarthy hearings was significantly Jewish, as were Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, executed for spying for the USSR.

However, during this time, a smaller group of conservative Jews also arose. These were the landlord types in New York City who rented apartments to these poor leftwing Jewish workers.

A lot of the agitation of these leftwing Jews was around rents and abusive landlords and slumlords (in other words these very landlords among others), many of whom were also as noted Jewish, and these Jewish landlords were not too happy about the constant well-deserved lawsuits and complaints the Jewish leftwing tenants filed against them as owners of these buildings.

To this very day in fact, 70% of New York City government housing is often leased to Jews, that is when the Catholics have not gamed the market, in which case, they get 70% of that housing market. So you can see there is open ethnic warfare in the New York housing market between Catholics and Jews, both of whom have badly rigged and corrupted the system.

I hope all you Jews out there are proud of yourselves for engaging in ghetto ethnic warfare behavior. You can see why the assimilation of the Jews was a progressive project from the moment Napolean opened the gates of the ghettos and the blighted, ignorant, superstitious Jews staggered out into the light of real society. This is how they act when they’re not assimilated. And this is why Israel, by definition a land of unassimilated Jews, acts as awful as it does.

The archetypal figure for these rightwing Jews organized around this landlord class was the attorney Roy Cohn, a closeted homosexual who was also one of the nastiest American public figures of his time.

US Jews had never cared much about Israel, but the 1967 War threw all of that into stark focus, as the US Jews saw the existence of the Jewish state as threatened. US Jewish support for Israel skyrocketed after that war.

Like the Senator they crowded around, they backed strong military support for Israel, a massive arms buildup, and ramping up of the Cold War against the Soviet Union (some had been Trotskyites earlier, but the revelations about Stalin in the 1950’s ended that affair). They didn’t care much about social issues.

There is even an early publication from 1973, a monthly magazine, that is said to be the first neocon publication. They prospered under Reagan, hibernated and plotted secretly under Clinton, and grew much more bold under Bush when they plotted the Iraq War in 2003.

Anyway, White nationalists despise the neocons as what they see as a bunch of Jews forcing our government to meddle in the internal affairs of other lands and getting us into a lot of useless, unwinnable wars, many of which they refer to with some justification as “wars for the Jews.” And they don’t feel like fighting and dying for what they see as a bunch of muds anyway.

Alt Left: Labour Isn’t Working: A Radical Program for the Party to Reacquaint Itself with Victory

A most interesting text out of the UK but a group calling itself Alt Left. Though I don’t agree with them on everything, in a broad sense what they are arguing for is more or less within the broad scope of what I had in mind when I founded the Alt Left. This group calls itself Alt Left Publishing.

I had to cringe at some of the more rightwing things this group wants Labour to do, but the fact is that Labour needs to win elections, and if they have to be a bit more conservative to do that, well so be it. As long as we are not electing Blairites, Labour will always be much better than the Conservatives, and UKIP doesn’t look very good either (sort of neoliberal Trump Republicans-lite).

As usual with the Democratic Party here, the Left is shooting itself in the foot with massive overreach by being wildly SJW in ways that the majority of people do not support, and by being fantatically anti-immigration when 70% of the British public want a slow-down on immigration.

Labour is getting massacred on this issue, as many working class folks are anti-immigrant and feel that immigrants are taking their jobs and in addition, these people feel that they are losing a sense of their country.

Working class Labour voters are left on economics while being rather socially conservative, and that’s the Alt Left right there. What’s the point of alienating working class voters, screaming racist at them, shoving hundreds of thousands of unwanted immigrants down their throat, and bombarding them with SJW extremism that most of them reject as too radical?

As the piece points out all this is doing is making more and more of these socially conservative working class Labour voters defect to UKIP, mostly over the immigration issue.

Labour is also alienating people by being openly unpatriotic. I’m not a patriotard myself, but I do want the best for my country, so I suppose I love my country more than a corporate types who deliberately harm our country. I certainly don’t want to do my country any harm! I may disagree with domestic and especially foreign policy, but I’m not so angry about it that I want to screw the country over. I mean I have to live here too you know.

At any rate, the people around Corbyn are openly unpatriotic and do not pay proper deference to national symbols and institutions. Most British people are patriots, particularly socially conservative working class folks.

While I love Hezbollah myself and even have a soft spot for Irish Republicans, most British people despise both Hezbollah and in particular the IRA. The latter is heavily due to anti-Catholic sentiment in mostly Protestant UK, a tendency that goes back to at least the 19th Century to “anti-papist” and “anti-Romist” sentiment at that time. At any rate it does no good when Corbyn lauds these groups. All it does is create more UKIP voters.

What’s the point? Politics is after all the art of the possible.

While I love Jeremy Corbyn of course, most British people dislike him, and Labour has been shedding votes since he took over. It doesn’t matter whether I love Corbyn or not. What matters is that most British people hate him. And a leader hated by most of the population should definitely go in favor of someone more popular.

There are other good suggestions here about being tough on crime and the causes of crime. This is an issue near and dear to socially conservative working class voters, and Labour, like the Democratic Party, suffers from a soft on crime problem. That’s not necessary and anyway, crime hurts the working class.

This is a very long document, 12,000 words and 25 pages. I edited it quite heavily. The Alt Left Publishing website can be reached by clicking on the title below.

Happy reading!

Labour Isn’t Working: A Radical Program for the Party to Reacquaint Itself with Victory

Labour Isn’t Working in many ways lays the foundations for the Alt-Left. It establishes fundamental principles like the importance of group identity, the need to restrain the free market, and rejection of radical social justice.

It’s my view that whether your interest in politics is keen or fair-weather, you’ll be intrigued by the book, though I do recommend it particularly strongly to Labour party members and to those interested in the Alt Left and what it stands for.

The transcript can be read in full below, or alternatively downloaded for free here.

If you’d like to purchase the text in E-book format you can do so here.

T. James

Cover JPEG

Preface

The modern Labour party is out of touch with the working class whom it exists to represent, and many of whom turn increasingly to the Tories and UKIP for answers. Labour has been too scared to address immigration, too complacent to address jobs and too divided to address Europe.

The working class is dead. Long gone are the days of the Welsh miners’ choir and the workplace union meetings. The flat cap is worn now by avant-garde members of the rural middle class, men too old to shake a habit, and metropolitan hipsters.

Blackface isn’t the inevitable consequence of a day spent hewing coal from the center of the earth, but is now a racial faux pas. Where once a hard day’s work involved forging world-class steel, for many it’s now manning a call center in order to best resolve Mrs Smith’s broadband issues.

The modern economy necessitates that even the bricklayer has his own local advertising, Facebook page, and website. He doesn’t consider himself part of a homogeneous working class, but instead an entrepreneur, and rightly so.

The production and harvesting of real resources has been shamelessly outsourced to third-world countries. We allow the rest of the world to grow our food, forge our steel, and sew our shirts, and in doing so, we not only deprive our own people of work, but we impose it on others without the benefit of health and safety, a minimum wage, regulations, or any semblance of automation.

Britain’s economy is overly reliant on the financial sector, leaving us vulnerable to the next U.S.-born crash. Where people once took pride in their work as builders, now they are resigned to employment in this coffee chain or that.

Nationalism now rises in tandem with uncontrolled migration leading to names like Le Pen, Wilders, and Farage taking the establishment by storm. What appeared to be a consistently declining level of global violence has begun to reverse itself in recent years, as the wildfire of extremism continues to ravage the Middle East, prompting the worst migrant crisis yet seen in human history.

Humanity is on the precipice of upheaval, there are new questions, and few answers. Left-wing parties across the West are struggling to rally support, caught between the relentless march of globalization and the toll it takes on workers the world over.

The British Labour party is no exception to this trend, and its inability to mount a competent opposition to the government is enabling a period of unchecked Conservative rule. Exerting scrutiny on the executive is essential to ensure that its policies reflect national needs and not self-serving ends. Thus it is in the interests of both Conservative and Labour supporters that the Labour party resurface as a government in waiting and not persist as a party of protest.

In the wake of the 2015 shock general election defeat, long-time backbencher and maverick Jeremy Corbyn, assumed power in the Labour party. Propelled by an anti-establishment appeal and left-wing policies thought to have been consigned to history, he easily defeated his three opponents.

His unprecedented victory prompted a surge in party membership, from some 200,000 to over 500,000, making it notable for being the largest left-wing party in Europe. It appeared that the man to reverse Labour’s fortune had made himself known.

Yet at the time of writing, far from arresting the party’s decline, the Corbyn administration has only exacerbated it. Polling shows Labour now trail the Conservatives by as much as 18%. The 23rd of February 2017 marked a historic by-election defeat for Labour, not just because they had held the seat of Copeland since 1935, but also because it was lost to the governing party.

Owing to resignations, the shadow cabinet is more of a skeleton crew, much of it manned by newly elected and inexperienced MPs.  The vast membership, which was seen as the formation of a campaigning vanguard, has since been shown to be in large part idle, indicative of a niche opinion in the country, and a thorn in the side of the parliamentary party.

That’s not to say that Jeremy Corbyn killed the Labour party. He merely sits atop its coffin. The party has been in a state of managed decline since de-industrialization stripped it of a clear reason to exist. The program detailed herein will therefore not lay blame exclusively at Corbyn’s door, though it will do so where appropriate, but instead will lay blame where deserved, and offer remedies where needed.

It’s not enough to insist that the electorate are deficient or suffering from a false consciousness when they reject you time after time. Nor is it good enough to abandon the values upon which the party was founded in order to pursue public opinion at the expense of all else.

Instead the party must align its core principles with the will of the people, conceding ground on either side where necessary. It’s essential that in order to recover, the party enter a period of reflection, and in doing so it must produce a meaningful answer to the question so many are asking: “Just what is the Labour party for?”.

If it’s to defend the NHS, then that’s an insufficient reason for the electorate to eject a sitting government. No doubt the creation of the NHS was Labour’s finest hour, but to relentlessly invoke its name at every public rally like a war cry is to cement in the mind of the public the idea of Labour as a one-trick pony.

If it’s to be a nicer version of the Tories, this too is inadequate. Aside from the fact that the Liberal Democrats already occupy that ground, the public at large will always opt for competency over compassion.

It’s vital that should Labour ever seek to win again, it must first rediscover its identity. It should reforge its raison d’être from an anti-Tory think tank to a government in waiting, able to steady the nation through what promises to be a turbulent future. Drawing from various tendencies within the party, significant research, personal experience, and observable reality, what follows is a detailed roadmap for Labour’s return to government.

Chapter I – The New Working Class

Labour once had a core demographic on which they could rely: the working class – a monolithic block who worked almost entirely in heavy industry. Commonly united in tight-knit communities centered on a factory or pit, they were class conscious and proudly so.

To inherit one’s father’s job was not just an expectation but a de facto right. The membership of the Labour party and consequently its leadership still holds to these antiquated views of what it means to be a worker. So long as they fail to recognize the nature and needs of modern workers, they will fail to produce policies that appeal to them.

This isn’t a failure exclusive to the left of the party. After all, Blair did once assert that, “We’re all middle class now”, a view still manifest among those of his ilk who exist in substantial number within the parliamentary party.

It’s not so much that this view denies the existence of the poverty-stricken or the manual worker but that it sidelines them. It relies on those people to vote for Labour consistently and is unconcerned when they stay at home, since most such people live within Labour safe seats won on a minimal turnout.

This leads us to a divergence in approach: one that caters to a romanticized and now largely deceased working class and the other which overlooks it entirely. To portray the party as these two schools of thought and nothing but would be disingenuous, but they do have the most to say on the subject. The so-called ‘soft left’ offers little thought on the matter, and the Kendallites have been too preoccupied with plots in recent times to set out any clear views at all.

In order to identify those whom Labour must bring into the fold, we must first establish those who vote for it currently:

Old Labourites. Blue-collar chaps for whom the memories of Thatcherism are still all too vivid. Formerly miners and manufacturers, many now live in the deprived post-industrial communities of Wales, the Midlands, the North, and Scotland. Increasingly, their inherent social conservatism and skepticism regarding immigration has led them to vote Conservative and UKIP in increasing numbers.

Londoners. Labour enjoys ever-growing support within London, a crowd often misidentified as being part of the ‘metropolitan elite’. While much of this demographic could be characterized by the sort of person who hangs a picture of Marx in their parents’ Kensington 4-bed, such people are a minority. Labour’s London support base can be differentiated by its social liberalism, particularly in its concern for LGBT rights, feminism, and police practices.

Public sector workers. Over 56.5% are unionized and the Tories have been slashing their wages for 7 years. They vote Labour consistently, although they do so in worryingly declining numbers. Guarantee a wage rise above inflation and increased expenditure on our public services, and these voters are locked down.

Ethnic minorities. This demographic can be more or less divided between those of African and Asian descent. The black British demographic is concentrated predominantly in London and Birmingham, the product of a generation who were invited to the UK to rebuild in the wake of the Second World War.

Now living in overwhelmingly deprived communities, over 70% vote Labour. Similarly, Asians of both Islamic and Sikh denominations vote by a substantial margin in favor of Labour[i],  despite having (in common with the Black British community) a deep social conservatism and entrepreneurial spirit that would perhaps more naturally put them in the Conservative camp.

As these groups continue to move out into the suburbs and expand their businesses, it’s likely their transition from being staunch Labourites to reliably Conservative will only accelerate.

Entryists. Often hailing from Trotskyist outfits, their influence is at a peak within the Labour party since the days of militant expulsions. Such people are self-professed associates of groups such as the Alliance for Workers Liberty and the Socialist Workers Party. Though not great in number, it seems Tom Watson had it right when he suggested there are some “old hands twisting young wrists”.

This coalition cannot win elections; it lost in 2010, 2015, and it will do so again in 2020, if not before. Where previously Labour had a clear platform that spoke directly to workers the country over, they have so far failed to adapt to the new nature of work in the 21st century.

Talk of workers’ rights to the 4.6 million self-employed[ii] means precisely nothing. When Jeremy Corbyn gives speeches about Keir Hardy, he might as well be reading from Istanbul’s phonebook for all the relevance it has to the voters he’s attempting to reach.

This sort of rhetoric would suggest that Labour now stands on a platform of reviving heavy industry when in fact no such plans exist. It’s evident that such populist polices are not incompatible with electoral success in modern times.

We can look to Donald Trump’s rise to power as evidence of this. A campaign punctuated with the cry – “We’re gonna put the miners back to work!” – roars which carried the rust belt states and Trump himself to an electoral college victory.

While such an agenda should never constitute the headline of a Labour campaign, there is room for it to form a fractional element of a wider economic plan. With the benefits of automation and clean coal, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t create new jobs in coal, steel and manufacturing: industries whose revival would be predicated on a new regime of tariffs and public infrastructure spending.

Though Labour are often happy to ingratiate themselves with the attendees of events like the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival and the Durham Miners’ Gala, they have nothing substantial to offer on the issue of heavy industry yet are content to bask in the romanticism of it.

While the decline of the British steel industry predates recent governments, it now faces a crisis that threatens to end its very existence. The proximate cause of this crisis is China dumping its own steel at below cost price on the world market. This is comparable to a supermarket opening next to a corner shop and offering loaves of bread for 10p.

Inevitably, the former will put the latter out of business, and then, when it’s free of competition, it is able to raise its prices with impunity. Similarly, if we surrender ourselves to a reliance on Chinese steel, we’ll face higher prices in the long run. Failing to protect them would deliver a coup de grâce to the last bastions of our national manufacturing industries, prompting the decline of communities and our capacity for self-sufficiency.

It’s for these reasons Labour would do well to adopt policies to the effect of the following:

  • Introduce tariffs on Chinese steel to such a point that it becomes unaffordable in the UK.
  • Lobby other European nations to form a steel block, not dissimilar from the Common Agricultural Policy, which will allow for free trade in steel amongst nations with comparable wage levels and health and safety standards.
  • Legislate that all public works must use British steel with appropriate caveats (e.g. certain types of steel are not produced in the UK).
  • Cut the disproportionately large foreign aid budget from 0.7% and put some of that money into retraining post-steel communities and investing in new technology for existing plants

As the supply of steel drops, the free market will necessitate investment leading to the construction of new steel plants, not only in the UK but across Europe. It’s an excellent example of triangulating socialism with capitalism and reaping the rewards of the free market in the 21st century.

Now, I don’t suggest that such policies should be the focal point of a Labour manifesto by any means, on the contrary, they should be towards the bottom of the list, but they most certainly should be on that list.

Such a policy, though necessary, is not an election winner, and speaks only to a specific group of people. It should be brought about in tandem with policies that resonate with the 4.6 million self-employed individuals who are in dire need of strong representation.

These people are more inclined to identify as entrepreneurs than as part of the working class. Mechanics and carpenters are now business people not proles. They don’t care about the history of struggle, or talk of how the EU is essential because it ‘protects workers’ rights’ which is nonsense in its own right, but they do want to have constant work with good pay and little else.

Indeed, until pressure from the Tory-supporting press prompted a u-turn, the Chancellor meant to levy upon self-employed people an even higher tax rate. In the wake of such a clear display of contempt towards the self-employed by the Conservatives, no better opportunity exists for Labour to launch an appeal to white van men the country over.

So, what problems do self-employed people face, and what policy platforms can appeal to them?

By definition they don’t have an employer from whom they can claim sick, maternity, or paternity pay, their work can be inconsistent, and they must continually reinvest their earnings to facilitate the survival of their trade or business.

Such policies should include:

  • Cutting taxes for the self-employed, allowing them to free up income they can use to cover the cost of sick pay and other work-related benefits (alternatively, introduce self-employment working tax credits where feasible).
  • Lowering VAT so that consumer spending increases, thus pushing up demand for new wardrobes, landscaped gardens, vehicle modifications, and so on.
  • Forcing the banks that we taxpayers bailed out to provide loans where feasible to self-employed individuals at a special low interest rate for the purpose of buying tools, refurbishing workshops, or taking on trainees.
  • Sending apprentices to work with the self-employed rather than with huge multinational chains, where they exist as little more than wage slaves.

Again, such policies won’t provoke a landslide electoral victory, but they are essential to attract to the Labour cause the sort of voters who are not only needed to win an election but whose interests lie in the Labour camp; the clue is in the name, after all.

But policy isn’t enough. We can’t expect people who work two jobs and maintain other responsibilities besides to read complex manifestos and pay attention to policy documents – to do so would be an unreasonable burden. Instead we need to talk in a language that ordinary people understand. That is to say: we should speak like normal people.

In 1917 the Bolsheviks condensed a complex economic program into three simple words: ‘PEACE, LAND, BREAD’. It was a message that was understood by every echelon of Russian society without exception. This is no means to advocate Bolshevism, but it serves to demonstrate that exactly 100 years ago, without the benefit of social media, YouTube, spin doctors, and hashtags, it was possible to create easily digestible slogans that summarize a policy platform.

Yet somehow the modern Labour party is entirely incapable of developing a slogan, sentence, paragraph, or message of any length or format that appeals even remotely to its core vote or to those it needs to incorporate into it.

In 2015 Labour produced “A Better Plan for a Better Future” as its campaign slogan. This inspired precisely nobody and means exactly nothing. Given that unemployment in 2015 was 1.9 million[iii], how about this: “Labour Will Give You a High-paying Job”. Or with a little more finesse “Higher Pay, More Jobs”.

At the end of the day, despite the Twitterati’s various obsessions, jobs are the primary concern of most voters, and they have been and should continue to be at the forefront of any Labour campaign. Moreover, nobody speaks the language of the 60’s union bosses or the Marxist Politburo; talk of ‘comrades’ and ‘struggle’ should be consigned to the dustbin of history unless in the context of a historical discussion.

This chapter has thus far dealt with the need for and the avenue by which the traditional northern post-industrial vote can be shored up, and how best the 4.6 million self-employed can begin to be brought across to Labour in greater numbers, as well as a brief mention of language and communication which will be dealt with in greater depth in a subsequent chapter.

With all that said, there remains one ever-growing and crucial voting block who cannot bring themselves to vote Labour for reasons easily condensed into one word.: Immigration.

Blue-collar blokes are sick of being called racists for daring to criticize immigration. There is nothing left wing or liberal about the free movement of people; to the contrary it’s a right–wing, neoliberal idea that disproportionately favors employers.

The Labour party has no need to become radically nationalist, but by God it should be patriotic. It should fly the Union Flag and St. George’s Cross at every speech and every office, and the same for the Welsh and Scottish flags. But above all, Labour should call for a points-based immigration system that guarantees people the world over get a fair shake at entering the country on the basis of having the skills we need in the economy.

Let’s take India’s best scientists and China’s best students and do so on the understanding that they will commit themselves to the country for a specific amount of time. Let’s not feel obliged to take unskilled workers, of which we already have a surplus, in order to further drive down the wages of construction site laborers, baristas, and private hire drivers.

So, here’s a ‘radical’ suggestion for a slogan “British Jobs for British Workers” the words of one Gordon Brown as recently as 2007. This is the sort of slogan that should be plastered so thickly on the walls that they begin to be structurally integral to the building they occupy. Like communication, immigration will be dealt with in detail in a subsequent chapter, but in relation to appealing to the forgotten working class, it must be a cornerstone.

Over 900,000 people are apprentices[iv], mostly young women – an  ideal demographic for Labour voters. Since an apprentice in their first year is entitled to a below-subsistence wage of £3.40 an hour, and those most likely to enroll in an apprenticeship are poorer to begin with, it’s a total no-brainer: Labour should be promising every apprentice in the country a pay rise.

To those who suggest this would be irresponsible spending, we’ll be enjoying the benefit within two years of not having to send the EU hundreds of millions of pounds a year, of which a fraction could be spent on improving apprentices’ pay.

Here’s another groundbreaking slogan “A Pay Rise for Apprentices”. It’s time the unions with their multi-million bound budgets and 6-figure wage packets stopped resting on their laurels and actively began unionizing young apprentices the nation over. An offer of free membership for a year would be hard to refuse.

Others talk of an ‘anti-boss’ brand of populism, but as well as being counterproductive, since we absolutely want bosses to vote for Labour, time has rendered it irrelevant. We now live in an age where peoples’ bosses are oftentimes a relative or a friend, where this isn’t the case, it’s rare that employees don’t know their manager or supervisor outside of the workplace on a casual basis, at the very least as acquaintances.

Any anti-business or anti-boss talk cannot be part of a modern Labour party’s rhetoric or policy. Where there is room for populism, it’s anti-corporate populism.

Let’s make sure Google, Starbucks, and Facebook pay the taxes they’re duty bound to, given that without a taxpayer-funded education system they would have no employees, without the NHS they would have to provide insurance, without public roads they would have no means of haulage, and without internet and phone-line infrastructure they would have no means to even exist.

From the gains made by appropriating the correct levels of tax owed by such corporations, let’s move these profits into delivering tax cuts for small business owners, incentivize them to take on new employees, and expand their trades. It’s by means such as these that Labour can successfully convert traditional Conservative voters simply by offering them a better deal.

We can also reach the middle classes. For the first time in their history, junior doctors went out on strike, and did so on several occasions in the wake of Jeremy Hunt’s punishing reform proposals. Legal professionals are in the process of a mass exodus from the legal aid program, with Scottish wages having dropped over 20% from 2007/8-2013/2014 and trainee barristers earning salaries as low as £12,000 per anum (with training costs of £17,000)[v].

While an opportunity clearly presents itself to launch an appeal to traditional middle class Conservative voters, the Labour party is too embroiled with internal affairs to mount any effective effort.

On this point of traditional Conservative voters, it’s time to speak to farmers once again. We will soon have control over farming subsidies, let’s outbid the Tories on this issue and in addition offer an innovative rural apprenticeship program in order to train future generations in the ways of agriculture, while also aiding overworked and beleaguered farmers.

Furthermore, let’s force supermarkets to pay a fair price for dairy, meat, and vegetables, while subsidizing the cost to the consumer, paid for by an equivalent tax on sugary foods in order to ensure farms thrive while still protecting consumers and simultaneously improving the health of the nation.

Once free from the Common Fisheries Policy, let’s put our fisherman back to work and become the fishing capital of Europe. It makes no sense to subsidize corporations through working tax credits. Labour should promise an increase in the minimum wage and use the welfare savings to fund new infrastructure in our now-decrepit seaside towns.

Through this dual approach, we can not only increase the quality of life of those left behind by globalism while once again making British seaside towns worthy tourist attractions, but also bring back into the fold voters who have long since deserted Labour for UKIP.

Through these methods, we can expand our ever-shrinking coalition to include people from all walks of life, while still staying true to Labour values in a modern and relevant way. Let’s go forward in lockstep with farmers, fishermen, carpenters, shopkeepers, laborers, dockers, lorry drivers, and lawyers.

Some may ponder, then, might this not alienate the metropolitan middle classes, who as of this moment form the last bastion of the Labour bloc vote? Well, the biggest genuine issue for such people is the absurdly high house prices which keep people off the property ladder to middle age, and some of the highest rents in the world.

All the while we spend £25 billion every single year on housing benefit[vi], money which goes straight into landlords’ pockets, (not that we don’t want landlords to prosper).

It’s time to announce a national house building program that takes the money straight out of the housing benefit budget and puts it into building 250,000 homes a year until the housing shortage becomes a surplus, at which point the free market will dictate rents, house prices will return to affordable levels, and the UK will once again become a home-owning democracy.

This is how we can offer concrete solutions to clear issues that will resonate with the 8 million people who live in London. Such a program would also lead to the employment of hundreds of thousands of people, prompting a higher tax revenue and increased spending in local economies throughout the country.

In summary, in order for Labour to properly construct policy that appeals to the working class, it must first understand how the working class has evolved over the past century. It should adopt a dual approach that halts the decline of traditional manufacturing and shores up our export market, while simultaneously engendering job growth in emerging markets, with an eye to appealing to those whose new nature of work leaves them without a natural party to vote for.

This program should incorporate the good work done by Ed Miliband in formulating policies to re-introduce security into the workplace, particularly in dealing with ‘zero-hour’ contracts, while also acknowledging that such policies do not have a broad enough appeal amongst swing voters. Labour must push for full, proud, and secure employment. By these means, Labour will rally all elements of the modern working class to their cause. 

Chapter II Foreign Policy and the Military

Foreign policy is not an election winner. Even when Blair’s hated decision to invade Iraq prompted the largest marches ever seen in the UK, the Labour government comfortably held on to power in the 2005 elections.

However, it’s important to remain principled and strive always to do what is right and best, both for the people of our nation and for those abroad but never at the expense of either. Moreover, Labour faces challenges from the left, notably the Liberal Democrats and the Greens, whenever it assumes an overtly pro-war posture.

There is scarcely a sentient being on earth who still believes Iraq, Libya, or Afghanistan were successful interventions, and for all the times it’s been said, it’s clear we haven’t learnt the lessons of the past. The Labour party should make it clear that they will not involve themselves in foreign military entanglements that do not directly concern the security of the United Kingdom and its allies.

British blood should not be expended to remove a foreign dictator only for that nation’s people to find liberation give way to an unimaginably worse kind of tyranny as has happened when ISIS filled the vacuum that Western bombs created.

Having said that, it is crucial that Labour demonstrate that it does not take security lightly, and its commitment to having first-class armed forces should be clear to everyone.

We have a Conservative government that has sacked soldiers before they could claim their full pensions, moved hundreds of thousands of positions into the reserve army, has aircraft carriers that we can’t land aircraft on, and now, most bizarrely, is offering troops the option of not serving in combat zones in return for a pay cut.

In uncertain global times, Labour should put itself forward as a patriotic party committed to the primary duty of the state: the protection of its own people. It’s essential that a commitment to at least 2% of GDP on defense be made in line with NATO requirements as well as a commitment to nuclear weaponry.

The latter is contentious, particularly within Labour circles, but there are some universal truths on this matter. Firstly, Trident has been commissioned, and should Labour win power, they will inherit the system no matter what their policy is. Secondly, the majority of the population are in favor of nuclear weapons, and confusion on the issue only allows the Tories to portray Labour as a threat to national security, philosophical arguments about MAD aside.

It’s also right that we reverse the horrible mistreatment suffered by our veterans. No individual who has laid their life on the line for the nation should be allowed to sleep on the streets, and as part of the aforementioned house building program, there should be guaranteed homes for veterans with subsidized mortgages, a cost to be taken from the 2% of GDP mentioned earlier.

There should also be jobs in the public sector reserved for them, particularly in the police and border forces. It’s my view that the treatment of veterans is a legitimate use of the term ‘military spending’.

Our foreign aid spending is disproportionate, badly allocated, and unsustainable. We are running a budget deficit of £40 billion, and continue to borrow more money to spend abroad, often sponsoring foreign militaries in proxy wars, or putting money into the pocket of despots to secure exploitative trade deals.

After the United States of America, we are the second biggest foreign aid donor on the planet in real terms. We spend $18 billion compared to the U.S. spending of $31 billion[vii]. That is over half of their expenditure despite being significantly less than half the size of their economy.

There are many cases in which it is not only right but morally incumbent upon us as a nation to send funds and resources abroad, to combat Ebola as a recent example.

But setting an annual target of 0.7% of GDP and dispersing that money across the globe, borrowed money in the first place, only exacerbates the economic conditions this country currently faces, and in the long run will prevent us as a nation aiding other countries to our fullest capacity, since our economic growth is constantly hampered by this gross cost.

Foreign aid does a lot of good, and where it does so it should continue to do so, but where reasonable savings can be made, this is exactly the course of action that should be pursued. The liberal, Guardian–reading, mocha-sipping elites will tweet furiously in response to such a suggestion, as if there’s something essential about the budget being set at 0.7% rather than 0.6%.

It’s important to ignore these people, whose numbers appear  more significant online, as they represent a minority as has been shown time and time again, with only 1 in 4 supporting the current foreign aid policy[viii].

For those who suggest that giving money to space-program-pushing India will somehow engender good relations with developing countries, I’d suggest we could better build relations by ceasing to hinder their economic growth through climate regulation (with caveats) and ending the practice of Western and Chinese companies exploiting the developing countries’ natural resources.

We currently face the worst refugee crisis the world has yet known, and as a party, people, and species, we have a duty to help those in need. In the immediate future, we should accept lone child refugees and house them with willing volunteers in the UK.

Subsequent to this, we should quiz every local council in the country and see what facilities they can spare to house other refugees, prioritizing families. However, there are 60 million displaced people globally and counting. The UK cannot effectively double its population by accepting every single individual – even 5% of that number would bring the country’s infrastructure to its knees.

Thus, longer-term solutions must be found, and they begin with rich Middle Eastern countries which have so far allowed the burden to be shouldered by their neighbors like Lebanon as well as Western nations, namely Germany.

It is time we lobbied Saudi Arabia, to whom we sell jets and whose pilots we train in order to better fly them, we gave a free ride when they invaded Bahrain, and continue to do so as they fight in Yemen killing civilians with British bombs, and whose disgusting head-chopping record gives ISIS a run for their money.

This is not a suggestion to cut ties with the Saudis or the UAE, but given the support both militarily and diplomatically that we provide for them, it’s reasonable to assume we can make demands of them: and if ever there was a need to, it is now. These countries should be taking in great numbers of refugees. They have the infrastructure; they just lack the will.

Further to this, the foreign aid budget should be used to contribute to a wider transnational program to build U.N.-protected safe zones across the Middle East, to prevent refugees making the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean, which in itself will save thousands of lives but also to keep them safe from terrorism and keep them fed, watered, and sheltered until such time that they can return to their country or region of origin.

The geopolitical landscape has suffered a seismic shift in the past year alone, and upcoming European elections look to continue that trend. The long and short of the matter is that we have distanced ourselves from our European neighbors so long as their current rulers last anyway, and thus we must move closer to our historic allies in the U.S.

However, Jeremy Corbyn (perhaps out of some need for the adoration of the echo chamber of his cult of no personality) is making a frequent habit of attacking President Trump vocally, viciously and publicly. He’s joined in such attacks by other high-profile liberals, notably the speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.

When the Cameron government shamelessly courted the Chinese into buying out our public infrastructure, John Bercow was front and center in welcoming Xi Jinping to address both houses of Parliament.

Yet in a stunningly hypocritical fashion which must require Olympic levels of mental gymnastics to justify, Bercow has come out against Trump addressing Parliament and intends to block him from doing so, all the while being supported in these efforts by the leader of the Labour party. Part of the problem is the disingenuous hysteria around Trump that you’ll find in the Guardian, Mirror or indy100.

But putting that aside, even a blind man can see that it’s absolutely within British interests to foster closer cooperation and trade with the U.S.A., the biggest economy in the world, which also has in common with us in language, culture, and history.  In fact, for anybody who considers themselves on the left, a closer relationship with Trump can only be a good thing for world peace, given his thus-far successful moves towards détente with Russia.

On this point, there’s no need to paint Putin as the eternal bogeyman. There are elements of his governance which we can all criticize from one angle or another, but to invoke the words of a separate J. C. for a moment, “Those without sin should cast the first stone”.

The domestic policies of Russia are entirely an issue for the Russian people, and continuing to burden Russia with ever worsening sanctions not only destroys diplomatic relations but is mutually harmful for both our economies. Let’s work with Trump and Putin to defeat ISIS, and in doing so we will position ourselves closer to their ears to best influence them on any human rights issues we find significant.

We claim ownership of an island over 7,000 miles away from our shores on the basis that its citizens voted in a referendum to remain British. This is no bad thing and we should continue to respect the right to self-determination.

However, when those in Crimea, who are 65% Russian by ethnicity[ix], vote overwhelmingly to join the Russian state, the Western political class sees this as grounds for a proxy war in Ukraine.

This is made even more bizarre by the fact Crimea was part of Russia as recently as 1954, when Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine, and now over 60 years on, it’s reasonable that its inhabitants would rather unite themselves to a superpower rather than a failed state.

Some will surely cry ‘appeasement’ to the idea that we should improve relations with Russia. To those people, I say: compromise is essential in international relations, we can’t preach to the world how they should live and operate, and it’s arrogant and pseudo-supremacist to try and push our liberal democratic model on every culture and people of the earth.

That’s not to mention that Putin did little when we invaded Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, supported French action in Mali, and imposed sanctions against their Iranian allies, yet liberals appear indignant at any suggestion that the Russians be allowed the same freedom in their international actions.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t assume a strong posture – we absolutely should – which is one of the reasons this text has hitherto advocated the maintenance of Trident and spending of 2% of GDP on defense.

Working closely with our American allies, we should aim to maintain peace through strength, but this is by no means mutually exclusive with closer cooperation with Russia, with whom we should be seeking to strike trade deals, closer ties, and better relations. In short, we should make allies, not enemies, wherever possible.

Most people aren’t concerned with international relations. They want food on their table, a roof over their heads, and enough disposable income to live a good life. However, it will never be the case that Jeremy Corbyn could be elected Prime Minister on an anti-American ticket.

It’s a simple truism that the U.S. is a crucial ally, and to worsen our relations in the context of Brexit would leave the UK essentially isolated. Trump’s lewd comments about women are not a hill Labour should be dying on, nor a hill they should have even assumed a position atop in the first instance.

Instead Labour should have a foreign policy that doesn’t indulge in 3-dimensional chess and virtue signalling but instead sends a very clear message. Labour will be second to none in defense of the nation, second to none in rebuilding relations, and unwilling to expend British blood or treasure in foreign wars that do not concern us.

In Europe, let’s form bilateral trade agreements and maintain the same standard of intelligence sharing as exists today, both of which are perfectly possible without power sharing in a technocratic bureaucracy.

The upshot of this in messaging terms is that Labour should state loud and clear that Labour will keep you safe, prioritize our own citizens, and maintain a humanitarian outlook on global affairs. Little else is necessary, and Corbyn’s famous hand-holding with the IRA and Hamas are enough to set him up for a decisive defeat in any British election.

Chapter III – Immigration

Immigration became a taboo subject in the realm of political discourse with the dawn of the Blair Age. Conversation on the matter was shut down, and dissidents were branded racists, outcasts, and forced into silence. A mixture of concern and outrage boiled up amongst those left behind by New Labour, leading to the return of two British National Party candidates in the European Elections of 2009.

Fortunately, both of those vile individuals have since lost their seats and faded into obscurity, with those voters now opting to side with the far more moderate UKIP. Nigel Farage single-handedly put immigration at the center of British politics, and his influence led to a vote to leave the European Union, within which the primary concern amongst Out voters was immigration.

This had been a sleeping giant for some time, and Farage was able to awaken it. However, even now in a post-Brexit world, the issue of immigration is still taboo for many, particularly in the mainstream media. It’s rare that anyone advocating a merit-based immigration system as opposed to no controls at all isn’t branded a racist by a ‘Question Time’ panelist or political opponent.

It’s an issue that’s particularly pernicious on university campuses and in inner cities. In the former, anyone to the right of Chairman Mao on the issue is considered Hitler’s earthly avatar, and in the latter, it’s a common occurrence to find your trip through Central London punctuated with stalls of the Socialist Workers Party distributing leaflets that read along of the lines of ‘Let all refugees in now! Stop racism!’.

Speaking of the SWP, whilst Labour seems curious about its own credibility gap, meanwhile its own shadow chancellor is giving interviews to the SWP[x], so whoever is running the Labour PR machine should enjoy the ‘benefit’ of instant dismissal.

The fact that the views of a tiny vocal minority are over-represented on television and online media makes people scared to air their true opinions, only taking action within the security and anonymity of the ballot box. Over 70% of the country believe immigration controls are not tough enough[xi], and this is a figure Labour leaders should be more concerned with than the number of retweets a platitude about multiculturalism can receive online.

Overwhelmingly, the country is dissatisfied with current levels of immigration. This includes Black and minority ethnic voters of all stripes who believe the number of immigrants should be reduced, and they do so by sizeable majorities[xii].

It’s pertinent to mention that immigration is disproportionately a concern for the working classes, and many of them have fled Labour, leading UKIP to be the main challenger to Labour in a great many constituencies in the 2015 election. Although it’s proven difficult for UKIP to directly take seats from Labour, there are two problems that this bleeding of voters poses.

The first is that it will lead the Labour vote in northern communities to be split with UKIP, thus allowing a Tory candidate to take a seat with as little as 30% of the vote. The second problem is that these UKIP voters distance themselves so far from Labour when they look at its middle class-centric tone that they jump ship to the Conservatives, and if that happened in large enough numbers, a Labour general election victory would be inconceivable for a generation.

We are in the process of leaving the European Union, and thus we will no longer be shackled to the free movement of labor which has given every citizen of the EU the right to live and work in the UK. However, neither the Conservatives nor Labour have made clear the path ahead.

What better opportunity then for Labour to appeal to its forgotten voters, take back the defectors, and win over Conservatives by proposing a strict points–based,Australian-style immigration system. Let’s legislate in order to ensure that only immigrants who possess the skills and resources we need have the ability to settle and work in this country.

Let’s mandate that immigrants should have an excellent grasp of the English language, not just because such a skill is essential (particularly in the medical profession) but also because it will ensure universally beneficial integration.

At the same time, we should make it clear that this country already has enough unskilled workers, unemployed, and disabled people who are struggling to cope as it is, and it should not be incumbent on the country to take more such people in.

It’s here the points-based system comes into its own: for example, if there is a shortage of unskilled labor, we can adjust the requisite points for entry and mandate that people who enter under such circumstances have jobs waiting for them.

Some suggest a migration system based on merit is xenophobic, and to those people it’s worth mentioning that we’ve applied a points-based system to non-EU citizens for years, and as members of the EU, we were giving preference to European migrants who were predominantly White over Indian and African migrants.

A points-based system is totally equitable and accepts people based on ability, irrespective of skin color, creed, or nationality. This is entirely in keeping with the sort of values that led to Labour’s foundation and should remain at the forefront of any respectable leftwing movement.

There is a myth that there is something ‘left wing’ or ‘progressive’ about uncontrolled migration, or that it would be desirable to have an unlimited number of unknown individuals entering the country every year.

Let’s be clear: the free movement of labor is a rightwing, neoliberal, capitalist policy, not dissimilar to the free movement of capital. It’s a symptom of an anarchic free market system that serves the elites extremely well; it drives down the price of labor for corporations, affords the middle classes cheap gardeners and nannies, and perpetually rigs the job market in the employers’ favor.

It’s a fundamental leftist belief that the free market is not infallible, requires regulation, and this regulation should pertain not just to levels of taxation and regulation but also to the distribution of workers.

This is not advocacy of immigration control on the basis of electoral populism, or economic philosophy, though it would indeed be popular, and it does follow philosophically; instead it’s an advocacy on the grounds of basic math.

Plainly, the UK cannot sustain the number of immigrants coming into the country every year. 300,000 is the rough annual net migration figure to the UK per annum. Many point out rightly that a large number of these people are students, and they’re right to do so.

However, whether student or worker, they still take the same toll on transport, health, and social infrastructure.  As a nation, we are building around half the number of houses we need every single year, at around 135,000[xiii], creating a clear deficit in housing availability. That’s not to mention that our own domestic birth rate is over 800,000 per year[xiv].

We already have a dangerous housing bubble which threatens to collapse at any moment, pulling our entire economy down with it, and it’s only exacerbated by such migrant numbers. Of course, part of this problem is that we don’t build enough houses, and issues pertaining to that were detailed in the first chapter.

However, the costs of building such enormous numbers of houses and providing the associated infrastructure would be to say the least prohibitive, and even if it were feasible, it would not be desirable.

Aside from housing there are huge costs associated with the NHS, when people who have never contributed arrive able to take full advantage of it without question. This is one of the factors that has led to a record NHS deficit of £1.85 billion[xv]; although of course underfunding remains the direct cause of this crisis, immigration serves to aggravate it.

You’ll hear from Labour politicians and often to the thunderous applause of their echo chambers, the following platitude: “You’re more likely to see an immigrant working in the NHS than using it”.

Aside from being disingenuous, since it’s entirely determined by happenstance and geography, the point they are trying to make is that because immigrants work in the NHS, we should allow an unlimited number of immigrants to enter the country, as if the former warrants the latter, which is a total non-sequitur.

Yes, we have a large number of migrants working in the NHS, and that’s a good thing to. Let’s keep them there and continue to allow medical professionals into the country in line with demand. Having controlled immigration and having Indian doctors are not mutually exclusive; in actuality an equitable points-based system will incentivize and drive up the number of highly qualified migrant workers relative to unskilled workers.

The people are crying out for a credible party to come out strongly on immigration, and if Labour did so, they would take the country by storm.

Chapter IV – And the Rest

Regarding inertia

As of this writing the most commonly seen Labour slogan is “Working together for real change”. The problem is the party is not working together, and presents no change. The conflict within and between the constituency and parliamentary Labour parties is wreaking havoc on Labour’s public image, and as the well-known adage tells us, voters don’t vote for divided parties.

However, this text will not attempt to dissect the intricacies that have led to this point; instead suffice it to mention a couple of key issues.

Jeremy Corbyn will never receive the support of the current MPs and therefore must go. The only alternative would be to begin a process of deselection across the country –  a sort of Trotskyist Night of the Long Knives, which would only leave the party’s reputation in tatters and replace experienced MPs with amateurs.

There is a divide within the parliamentary party between those representing constituents who are socially conservative working class and middle class social liberals. While Labour has always been a broad church that has incorporated numerous factions, the divisions now seem to be intensifying like never before.

Party loyalty is at record low rates, and people are now more likely than ever to throw out of office the candidate of their forefather’s choice and often on the basis of a single issue. This is more contentious than ever post-Brexit, given that some Labour MPs represent constituencies that voted overwhelmingly to Remain and others the reverse. Inevitably MPs jostle with one another to represent their diverse constituents.

The remedies are imperfect for both issues. For the first, Corbyn must go, which is easier said than done; and secondly the Labour party must support the will of the people and push for a real Brexit that rejects freedom of movement. Neither solution is ideal, but both are necessary, not least because the majority of the country hate Corbyn, and the majority of the country voted for Brexit.

On to the second, and more important, element of the slogan: “Real Change.” The most obvious change that has taken place in the last couple of years is the transformation of the Labour party from a party of government to one that wallows in political oblivion. Change is an important message to transmit, but the kind of change needs to be clear, and Corbyn’s Labour has thus far advocated very few changes indeed.

In fact, in my research for this work, I wanted to see exactly what policies Jeremy Corbyn had promoted in order to deal with them individually. However, when I tried to access Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘priorities’ on his website, it returned an error page reading “Unfortunately the page you were looking for was not found”, which is so patently ironic that no explanation is needed.

Further hunting will lead you to an article in the Mirror listing several flagship policies, which range from unpopular and bizarre like abolishing the monarchy to leftist clichés like ‘tax the rich’, and standard Labour talking points like re-nationalizing rail.

An eager hunter will find a more exhaustive list in a Telegraph article, which is pretty damming for the Labour party PR machine when the right-wing pro-Tory paper gives more policy detail than Labour themselves do. Eventually, one will stumble upon the ‘Jeremy for Labour’ page detailing ten broad policy positions. A brief glance is enough to know it’s a slight rewording of Ed Miliband’s 2015 manifesto combined with some broad meaningless jargon.

“We will build a progressive tax system so that wealth and the highest earners are fairly taxed, act against executive pay excess, and shrink the gap between the highest and lowest paid – FTSE 100 CEOs are now paid 183 times the wage of the average UK worker, and Britain’s wages are the most unequal in Europe. We will act to create a more equal society, boost the incomes of the poorest, and close the gender pay gap.”[xvi]

Do we not already have a progressive tax system? What rate should the highest earners pay? Will you cap executive bonuses? How will you boost the incomes of the poorest? How will you close the gender pay gap?

Such questions could be the only reasonable response to reading such general non-offensive meaningless milk-and-honey talking points. Anyone who feels the media hasn’t given Corbyn’s Labour a fair shake and has undertaken to do their own research will only be doubly disappointed when they discover that in the two years of his leadership, there’s scarcely a new policy to speak of.

For those who seek out concrete information, they should be rewarded with definitive and detailed policy proposals signed off by renowned economists, think tanks, and financial organizations.

Such policies should include pledges to build huge tidal power stations taking advantage of the fact that our nation is surrounded by water, to build offshore wind farms (including specifications on how many of them, at what cost and where the money is coming from), and to build new motorways, detailing how many people such a project would employ and projecting the economic benefits it would bring to this city or that. Alas, nothing of the sort exists.

Not to harp on about political antiquity, but Harold Wilson talked of the ‘white heat of the technological revolution.’ It’s not something that was ever truly delivered on, but it’s a phrase that stuck. What better time than now is there to renew the scientific and technological revolution? In the age of drones, self-driving cars, nanotechnology, and interstellar rovers, the modern Labour party has very little or nothing to say about it.

As a people we have the potential and as a country we have the need to host research and development facilities for the world’s leading technology firms and to have factories producing technology for the modern age. Labour Shadow Ministers should be meeting with Tesla and Microsoft, putting out press releases and winning support amongst the firms of the future, letting them know Britain is open for business.

In tandem with this we need new and forward-looking training schemes. The youth vote is overwhelmingly Labour but also the least likely to turn out.

Labour councilors, MPs and its half million members (Where are they?) should be knocking on every door of every council estate, meeting the unemployed, disenfranchised youth, and giving them a clear, concise piece of paper offering them a world-class training program that Labour guarantees to introduce if it wins the election.

Give these people something to aspire to and something to vote for outside of the Blue and Red tribal dichotomy which means very little to most people.

AddendumI have returned to this section to note that shortly after the time of writing, the Conservative government has unveiled so called ‘T-levels’, which promise to train youngsters in the practical and technical fields of the future. Once again, Labour has been too slow on the draw and attempts to do so now would appear to be a derivative imitation.

Put before people a plan that they can understand and offer them a future: through training programs, scientific advancement, industrialization, automation, pay rises, and tax breaks. Talking points must give way to the tangible.

What matters to most people when all is said and done is the food on their table, the money in their pockets and the roof over their head. Naturally, a sense of community drives many voters, but elections cannot be won through street marches in aid of the NHS. It’s an established truism that Labour will best serve the NHS, and people understand that all too well, but it cannot rely on this one-trick pony to carry it through to government.

Tough on Crime, Tough on the Causes of Crime

Possibly the best thing to come out of the Blair era was the acknowledgment that the great mass of Labour voters were not ultra-liberal, as the Westminster establishment would have you believe but are in fact deeply socially conservative. As such, it’s crucial not only for the execution of justice, but for the electability of the party that Labour are seen to come down hard on criminals and serve justice to victims.

This should come in tandem with core Labour values about alleviating poverty, which we know to be the leading cause of crime since the devil will find work for idle hands to do. Any attempt to crack down on crime must do so heavily and stringently on perpetrators, while simultaneously delivering a revolutionary jobs program to put those idle hands to work.

As a consequence, such people will be able to sustain a family and home, thus giving people a stake in society they would be unwilling to discard with wanton criminality. The Tories have shamelessly cut back the numbers of police to levels last seen in 2003[xvii]. Prisons are being sold to private companies and the conditions that occur within them as a result is nothing short of disgraceful.

Prison guards are striking, and criminals are forcibly taking control of their own prisons, if such a thing could be believed to be true in 21st century Britain. Not only is this a national crisis that warrants an urgent response, but it’s a political opportunity Labour has thus far made no move to exploit.

It should call for and develop credible plans to introduce an increase in police numbers, prison reform, and higher wages for those on the frontline keeping our streets safe. Labour should be tough on crime because it’s the working class who suffer disproportionately at the hands of criminals without the benefits of gated drives and suburbia to protect them.

The Labour party has thus far failed to make political capital from any of these issues. It should go forth hand in hand with the police unions and declare that Labour will be second to none in its commitment and strength of purpose to cut down crime and clean up our prisons. Labour will serve the interests of victims and not criminals once again.

Corbyn’s irreparably damaging comments that he was ‘unhappy’ with the shoot-to-kill policy have done nothing to reduce the idea that Labour are soft on crime. The party needs to push the message night and day until it’s accepted as a truism that under Labour the streets will be safe again. 

Speaking to the People

Many in the Labour party have become totally removed from the voters they serve. Famously, Emily Thornberry poured scorn on a white van man for daring to hang the English flag on his own home. She was roundly attacked by people living outside the ultra-liberal Westminster bubble and was forced to resign from her then position as Shadow Attorney General, though since then Corbyn has secured her promotion to even greater heights.

It’s no surprise that working-class people continue to turn to UKIP in such numbers, when Labour’s North London elite mocks anyone patriotic or traditional in outlook. The voters of Rochester and Strood where the comments were made had nothing in common with Emily Thornberry and the beliefs she manifests, yet she felt perfectly entitled to go there and belittle the very people whose support she should have been trying to secure.

Unsurprisingly, Labour came 3rd in the constituency, losing over 10% of their vote share on the 2010 election. Seats like these are essential to take in order for Labour to have any hope of winning a general election.

Such events are symptomatic of a wider problem, which at the moment is embodied within the Labour leadership. The public watched in outrage as Jeremy Corbyn failed to sing the national anthem during a Battle of Britain commemoration. The papers made hay when Corbyn made a half-hearted bow at the Cenotaph, and did so, by the way, in a tatty suit. When the Red Flag is sung, it brings a smile to activists’ faces but confusion to the country at large.

Corbyn is known to be a republican. There is no problem with that. But he must understand that the vast majority of the country are in favor of the British monarchy because it speaks to their patriotism, is synonymous with their British identity, and is associated with the wars from times gone by and those lost in them.

Any leader of any party should sing the national anthem with gusto, and do so in the finest black suit with the boldest red tie. A refusal or failure to engage in the traditions that venerate the nation and honor our war dead sends a clear signal to the working class of this country that Labour is not the party for them. Indeed, many in the country view Corbyn as directly ‘anti-British’ given his close ties to IRA figures and his now infamous comments calling Hezbollah his ‘friends’.

Some will suggest that the aforementioned are merely superficial issues. In many ways, they are an issue of presentation, but the image the Labour party and its present leadership is not a secondary or tertiary concern, it should be the primary concern for any party seeking to win power.

It’s all well and good having an excellent manifesto, but if no one reads it or gives it credence because they believe its authors are intrinsically unpatriotic, then the manifesto is entirely useless.

Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure as leader is essentially a job interview with the British people at large. He must win their approval in order for them to grant him power. Yet he can’t be bothered to wear a decent suit, which in the opening days of his leadership campaign was endearing and charming, but at this point marks him as an unprepared amateur.

The Labour party has a war coffer of funds at its disposal, including membership subscriptions of over 500,000 individuals, a long list of big private donors, and a great deal more cash donated by trade unions. Yet for all these resources, there isn’t a single advisor who can tell Corbyn not to wear black suit trousers with a blue suit jacket during Prime Minister’s question time. When members of the public go for a job interview, they dress to impress, and they expect their leaders to do the same.

We need a leader of the Labour party flanked by the Union Flag, bellowing the national anthem, and embracing patriotism the same way the people do. Sadly, it appears the liberal elite feels shame and embarrassment at any suggestion of national pride.

There are people who understand this. Andy Burnham makes a particularly good example. A working-class lad who graduated from Cambridge, he returned to his home town to represent Leigh as a member of parliament, where he notably worked to secure justice for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster cover-up.

From a cold reception in a speech at the Anfield Football Grounds in 2009, he returned after five tireless years of fighting for justice to a well-earned hero’s reception. He wasn’t afraid to speak about that which for so long Labour had considered taboo, namely immigration, and during his bid for the leadership in 2015, he did just that.

Burnham rightly acknowledged all the good that immigration brings, from economic growth to cultural enrichment, while at the same time talking about those left behind by uncontrolled immigration. He talked of a factory worker in his constituency who sat alone during lunch times as he was the only English-speaking worker.

He rightly identified that immigration had disproportionately taken a toll on Labour’s industrial and post-industrial heartlands, and since his failed campaign, he has become even more vocal on this issue.

Alas, for some reason he lacked a certain spark during the campaign, though that aside, he spoke directly to the country, but yet it was the niche Labour party membership who had for the first time the total say on the new leader. Consequently Corbyn won. Burnham has moved out of the front line of national politics towards a campaign to be the mayor of Manchester. Let’s hope that he and his fellows plan a return in the near future.

Chapter V – Conclusions

There absolutely is a place for social liberals within the modern Labour party. The Labour party has a history of pushing through excellent liberal reforms from Barbra Castle legislating equal pay for equal work between the genders to the introduction of civil partnerships under Blair.

Throughout its history, Labour has been at the forefront of liberal reforms that have liberated people of all stripes, and it’s a good thing too. It’s also right that the Labour party platform deals with discrimination against transgender, gay, and black and minority ethnic individuals, but it should not do so at the expense of all else.

Too often, Labour party circles have discussion dominated by issues that (while important) effect .01% of the population or less. The cry of ‘racist’ or ‘transphobe’ is too often an excuse to shut down freedom of speech, particularly on university campuses and by individuals associated with Labour at a student level.

How can it be that lifelong gay activist Peter Tatchell, feminist icon Germaine Greer, and the left-of-Labour George Galloway have all been no-platformed or attacked on our university campuses. The attitudes that lead to such absurd action are rife among Labour party members and less often to be seen amongst the general populace, for whom these individuals would be considered far left, not something-or-other-ophobic.

There’s a false equivalence between parties like UKIP, a liberal isolationist organization, on the one hand, and fascism or racism on the other, and the comparison between them is consistently pushed by groups like Momentum, the Alliance for Workers Liberty and the Socialist Workers Party, all of which are groups operating with or within the Labour party.

Here’s an excerpt from the SWP publication the Socialist Worker, which I have seen distributed by Labour party members outside meetings and talks:

“And in Stoke Central the racist UKIP party, which came second there at the last general election, wants to whip up racism to take the seat from Labour. Socialist Worker is calling for a vote for Labour in both elections. They will be seen as referendums on Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour—and Corbyn could be forced to resign as leader if Labour does badly.

The racist right will feel ecstatic if UKIP leader Paul Nuttall wins in Stoke. Labour has rightly attacked Nuttall for his previous statements supporting privatization of the NHS. But Labour’s official campaign has not challenged UKIP over its racism. Labour will be most effective if it both attacks the cuts and also confronts UKIP divisive racism.”[xviii]

It’s simply not enough to shout ‘racist’ and expect to win an argument. In fact, at this point it’s no longer even a case of diminishing returns, but it’s actually backfiring, making people more inclined to vote for UKIP when their concerns about migration are met with insult by leftists. We on the left should be trying to win debates, not shut them down.

This isn’t an appeal to the SWP to change their tactics. They are free agents and can do as they please. But the fact that the Labour party leadership meets with them, gives them interviews and is commonly seen marching alongside them is indicative of the sort of attitudes that fester in Labour and also appears to be a soft endorsement of such views.

It’s part of a wider problem where certain social liberals are going so far in their anti-racism campaigns that they shut down free speech within the media, on university campuses, and on the streets, more often than not targeting people who were never racist in the first place.

In short, these liberals have become the very illiberal people they believe they’re fighting against. Such people are fooled into believing the rest of the country is on their wavelength, buoyed up by thousands of retweets and Facebook likes, yet they do not appear to understand that their online presence is an echo chamber. The more their preaching is welcomed by the converted, the more steadfast they become in their initial beliefs.

Most people in the country are not anything close to this level of ultra-liberal, and such attitudes do not resonate with them. The great mass of people are patriotic and socially conservative, and their concern with politics extends to ensuring the system provides them with a safety net and the opportunity for employment.

That doesn’t mean the country at large doesn’t have a sense of and desire for social justice. Of course it does. But the best way to ensure it is to first establish economic justice. When Labour party figures engage in extended diatribes about intersectional feminism, which to most people of both genders means nothing, it turns the public off.

Liberalism is a welcome element of the Labour coalition, but it cannot continue in such an extreme form, nor can it override concern for the economy and for jobs. Labour need to talk less about rules surrounding transgender usage of bathrooms in North Carolina, and more, much more, about jobs.

Corbyn’s position is untenable. He has had second chance upon second chance and failed to rehabilitate his image or reform his party. His name is toxic and his leadership destructive, and for these reasons, he must go.

In his place, we need a strong man or woman who understands the patriotism that stirs within Labour’s core vote, who understands the nation’s deep social conservatism, and who is prepared to meet the electorate’s demands for homes and jobs. Perhaps an Andy Burnham, a Gisela Stewart, a Dan Jarvis, a Richard Burgeon, or someone else entirely.

Labour must overcome its misconceptions about the people’s wants by breaking free of both Westminster and its online echo chambers.

The public are not shocked or angered about cuts to the benefits bill, in fact it’s a popular position[xix]. On this, let’s deliver the biggest benefits cut yet seen, and let them fall on the corporate welfare that now costs over £50 billion a year between working tax credits and housing benefit alone.

Let’s force corporations to pay a living wage, and put the working tax credit savings into a jobs program that will mop up any collateral unemployment. Let’s build houses until prices fall and housing benefit drops to record lows. Let’s cut old-age benefits for the very richest pensioners who have no need of them, and distribute that money to the needy elderly according to their ability and means.

Over a million food parcels were distributed by food banks to hungry citizens throughout the country in 2015[xx], evidence if any more were needed that our infrastructure, welfare, and employment programs are totally failing the British people.

Unfortunately, the people accessing these food banks are the least likely to turn out in a general election. Let’s take Labour’s mass membership and send it to deprived communities to knock on doors and win support from those who have never voted before. Such an effort should be supported by its hundreds of MPs, thousands of councilors, and hundreds of thousands of trade union affiliated members.

Labour’s war coffers are full enough to help out its members when they sacrifice their time for the party. Travel and other associated costs should be subsidized in such campaigns.

Let’s take a strong message into the heart of the country, into Scotland, Wales, the Midlands and the North, that Labour will deliver British jobs for British workers.  It will carry through to the agricultural areas which the Tories presume to sit upon since time immemorial and deliver a program to get British farms working again.

Let’s go into London and make clear that Labour is the party for social justice, and that begins with housing. Guarantee the construction of at least 250,000 homes every year and provide credible plans on how it will be done because whether you’re Black, White, trans, gay, straight, male or female, your primary concern is shelter, of which there is currently a dire shortage.

Let’s spark off a renaissance in 21st century manufacturing, now with the benefits of automation and renewable energy. Take to the public a message that cuts in the foreign aid budget will deliver a program of nuclear, tidal, wind, and solar energy expansion that will not just create innumerable high-paying jobs but will have the added advantage of saving the climate.

Let’s wade into the realm of the intelligentsia and say loud and clear that Labour is the party for true liberals, those who believe in rationalism, freedom of speech, and tolerance. Let’s talk to those who face the prospect of a life behind bars and deliver to them a place behind a college desk, a workbench or the wheel of a JCB.

Let us go to the people and promise them; Jobs, Homes and Health.

[i] Khan, O. (2015 May 15) Race and the 2015 General Election Part 1: Black and Minority Ethnic Voters. Retrieved from http://www.runnymedetrust.org/blog/race-and-the-2015-general-election-black-and-minority-ethnic-voters

[ii] Monegan, A. (2014 August 20) Self-employment in UK at Highest Level Since Records Began. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/aug/20/self-employment-uk-highest-level

[iii] BBC Business. (2015 March 18) Economy Tracker: Unemployment. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10604117

[iv] Mirza-Davies J. (2016 November 21) Apprenticeship Statistics: England. Retrieved from http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06113/SN06113.pdf

[v] Blacking, D. (2014 July) So You Want to Be a Legal Aid Lawyer? Retrieved from http://lacuna.org.uk/justice/so-you-want-to-be-a-legal-aid-lawyer/

[vi] BBC Business (2015 September 21) Why Is the UK’s Housing Benefit Bill so High? Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34290727

[vii] OECD. (2016 April 13) Development Aid in 2015 Continues to Grow despite Costs for In-donor Refugees. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/ODA-2015-detailed-summary.pdf

[viii] Leach, B. (2012 December 19) One in Four Support Britain’s Foreign Aid Policies. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/9770644/One-in-four-support-Britains-foreign-aid-policies.html

[ix] Lubin, G. (2014 March 16) How Russians Became Crimea’s Largest Ethnic Group, in One Haunting Chart. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/crimea-demographics-chart-2014-3?IR=T

[x] Socialist Worker (2017 February 28) Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell Spoke to Socialist Worker on the Recent By-election Results. Retrieved from https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/44161/Shadow+chancellor+John+McDonnell+spoke+to+Socialist+Worker+on+the+recent+by+election+results

[xi] Migration Watch UK (2014 November 18) Opinion Poll Results on Immigration. Retrieved from https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefingPaper/document/249

[xii] Migration Watch UK (2015 March 25) Immigration Policy and Black and Minority Ethnic Voters. Retrieved from https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/11.37

[xiii] Castella, T. (2015 January 13) Why Can’t the UK Build 240,000 Houses a Year? Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30776306

[xiv] BBC News (2013 August 8) More UK births Than any Year Since 1972, Says ONS. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23618487

[xv] Dunne, P. Mckenna, H. and Murray, R. (2016 July) Deficits in the NHS 2016. Retrieved from https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/files/kf/field/field_publication_file/Deficits_in_the_NHS_Kings_Fund_July_2016_1.pdf

[xvi] Our Ten Pledges to Rebuild and Transform Britain. Retrieved from http://www.jeremyforlabour.com/pledges

[xvii] Newburn, T. (2015 November 24) What’s Happening to Police Numbers? Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34899060

[xviii] Clark, N. (2017 February 14) Clive Lewis Backs off, but the Labour Right is out for Corbyn’s Blood. Retrieved from https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/44091/Clive+Lewis+backs+off%2C+but+the+Labour+right+is+out+for+Corbyns+blood

[xix] Wells, A. (2011 May 16) Strong Public Support for Benefit Cuts. Retrieved from https://yougov.co.uk/news/2011/05/16/strong-public-support-benefit-cuts/

[xx] BBC News. (2015 April 22) Record Numbers Use Food Banks – Trussell Trust. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32406120

Alt Left: All That Glitters Is Not Capitalist: Various Types of Non-Capitalist Forms of Production That Work Well

Rahul:

I would argue that being pragmatic while being a communist is almost impossible. Communism doesn’t work, because humans are too greedy.

A mixture of a bunch of ideologies is probably the way to go.

If you are talking about hardcore Communism with the state running everything and no market or private enterprise as in the USSR, nobody wants to go back to that anyway. Even most Communists don’t want to go back to that.

But otherwise, you are just wrong. Most Communists nowadays see some sort of a role for a market. There are lots of ways to do this.

For instance, in Venezuela, various neighborhood groups and communities operate bread factories, farms, on and on. They sell the bread at a small reasonable profit to the community. The proceeds and profits are invested back into the enterprise and used to pay the salaries of the employees.

The farms and animal husbandry industries work along the same lines. A community will be organized as a commune. They will raise chickens for eggs or pigs or they will grow various crops.

They then sell the eggs, pigs, or crops to other communities for a reasonable profit. The proceeds and profits are invested back into the company, used to pay the salaries of the workers, and if there is anything left over, they are invested in the community itself – new sidewalks, new roads, a new health facility, water treatment, a community center, on and on.

The Venezuelan communes are considered to be a non-capitalist form of development.

Communists all around the world have supported this model. The Chinese Communists are operating a form of market socialism that utilizes a market mechanism. The Vietnamese Communists are doing the same. The Cuban Communists are doing something similar.

Most Communists also support the cooperative movement, where workers own the enterprise and compete against other firms, including capitalist firms. The enterprise either sinks or swims.

The proceeds and profits are best collected by a regional bank, which reinvests them in the enterprise, uses them to pay salaries, or even gives bonuses to the workers. So a very successful enterprise that made a lot of profits could end up having some workers who were making some good money if they were pocketing some of the profits.

When you give the workers the control over what to do with the money – whether to sink it back into the enterprise or to take it home as increased paychecks, workers tend to choose to take home the bigger checks. This is what happened with Yugoslavia’s otherwise very successful worker self-managed Communism.

The workers would not put enough money back into the firms to keep them going, and the firms would start to deteriorate to the point where they were no longer operative. So everyone was out of a job. But no worries as everyone got a bigger paycheck!

In the Mondragon Cooperatives in the Basque Country in Spain, a similar system has unfolded and has been successful for a long time now. There, the workers elect their own management, which is a great idea in my opinion. You would think that workers would elect management that let them slide and screw off, but they elect very good managers.

The decisions about what to do with the proceeds and profits – whether to sink them back into the enterprise or to take them home in higher worker wages – is left up to management and ultimately large regional banks.

These large regional banks are the ultimate owners of all of the Mondragon cooperatives. These are public banks so they are not run on the typical profit motive. They resemble more the customer-owned credit unions in the US which give much better customer service than the capitalist banks do.

I’m not even entirely sure that credit unions are a capitalist enterprise. How can you have a capitalist enterprise that is owned by the consumers of its service? That does not seem possible.

The banks tend to make the best decisions for the firm. Keep in mind that Mondragon cooperatives utilize a non-capitalist form of development.

The problem with Mondragon is that they have to compete against capitalist firms. So all of the cutthroat behaviors that capitalists engage in to reduce costs and maximize profits – exploitation of labor, shafting consumers, investors and the public at large – means that Mondragon is forced to some extent to lower their own costs however they can to keep pace with these firms.

So Mondragon is a non-capitalist system that is still privy to the logic of capitalism in which they are ensnared.

In North Korea in the far north of the country there is a lot of private gold mining going on now in new-found reserves. They are often just one man enterprises of small groups of men working together.

The state’s footprint up there is small, and the state has stepped aside and simply lets these miners mine whatever they want. They only ask for a 25% tax cut on all mining proceeds. As long as you give them your cut, it’s all good. Most of these miners would not be described as capitalists.

In North Korea and Cuba there are now farmer’s markets where farmers can bring their produce directly to farmer’s markets to sell to the public. These are generally not capitalist enterprises. These are just farmers selling the product of their labor to consumers (other workers) buying their crops. There’s no tendency to maximize profits, as the prices are set by the market.

The entire cooperative sector all around the world is a non-capitalist form of development. The workers actually own the firm so there is no exploitation of labor, which is the definition of capitalism. No exploitation, no capitalism.

In this way these cooperatives have gotten rid of the division between Labor and Capital which is the backbone of any capitalist system because capitalist systems work by marking up the products of workers’ labor and then adding onto it something called surplus value when is then pocketed by the capitalist as a profit.

So a worker producing a product that is paid say $20 in labor has his product taken by the owner of the firm, which then proceeds to mark up the worker’s labor cost to $25-30, and thereby make a profit. This is called the Labor Law of Value, and it has been proven to be the backbone of the capitalist system.

As you can see here, the worker is not getting the full value of the product he produced. He produced a product worth $25-30, and he only received $20 for it, with his owner taking the $5-10 surplus value and pocketing it as profit.

Independent contractors such as electricians, plumbers, painters, attorneys, physicians, accountants, etc. are not usually capitalists at all. Instead these are just workers – albeit highly paid workers – who are simply selling their labor time to  others, mostly workers, who purchase their labor time when they hire them or use their services.

Middlemen and traders who simply intervene between the producer and walnuts and the seller of say walnuts, adding on their profit, are not capitalists. Those are simply traders or merchants. They are not exploiting anyone. They can be thought of as a form of workers who act as go-betweens vis a vis producers and sellers, adding their small amount on as a fee for helping to get the two together.

Finance capital or people who buy and sell stocks are not usually capitalists. These are like people who trade in rare books, stamps, coins, precious metals, or anything else.

The stocks and bonds are like rare coins or precious metals. They simply try to buy them at a lower rate and sell them at a higher rate, which merchants have been doing forever even long before capitalism. They have no employees so they are not exploiting anyone.

Music groups and other performers, authors, artists, sculptors, etc. are mostly just workers who sell their labor time as performers or the product of their labor as books, paintings, sculpture, DVD’s, etc. Most of these people, even bands, do not hire employees.

Now granted the book publishers, record companies, galleries, etc. are marking up the labor time and labor products of these entertainment workers and taking the surplus value, hence they are capitalists.

A big rock music band can be thought of simply as performers (workers) who make a musical product and sell it to fans, mostly other workers, who enjoy their entertainment product so much they are willing to pay good money for it. So most bands, artists, authors, sculptors, etc. are not capitalists. They’re just workers for the most part marketing their labor time or the products of their labor time.

Now granted finance capital and speculative capital, while generally not capitalist, are nevertheless regarded as “parasitic” industries because they don’t produce anything.

They can be thought of as gigantic casinos in the sky (the stock market in particular can be seen this way). Speculative capital produces nothing and often has bad effects on society. Look at the wildly inflated housing markets on the US West Coast and in New York and Paris for example.

In China under what they call market socialism or socialism with Chinese characteristics, a Communist party cell sits on the board of directors of every large corporation. When corporations get a certain size the state usually takes them over in a sense. However, the managers have large leeway how to operate their company.

All private enterprises are underneath the state or the Communist Party. The CP sees the market or the private sector as a tool for the development of the productive forces. However, the capitalists are underneath the state. They have to do what the state says.

They have to adhere to 5-year plans. Yes, the 5-year plans that were said to be so devastating to the USSR and other Communist countries are working great in China.

The government, the party, and the private sector all work together on economic goals. In this way it is similar to the state capitalism of South Korea and Japan or even Nazi Germany.

That state capitalism is a non-capitalist form of development because the state works closely with the capitalists on economic goals which are supposed to serve the nation and not just the petty temporal demands of capital for maximal profits come Hell or high water, forget about consumers, workers, society, the environment or the nation.

Under state capitalism, the state controls the commanding heights of the economy. In Japan this boils down to a several huge banks which effectively run all economic development in Japan.

Nazi Germany was similar. Yes, you could have your corporation but you had to do what the state said, or they would just take you over and confiscate your firm. So the firms in Nazi Germany in effect all worked for the state.

In China, if firms do not follow guidelines and do as they are told, the state will simply go in and seize the firm, confiscating all of its assets. The state will then take over the firm or hand it over to  a more obedient capitalist. You see here that the state rules capital. Capital has to do what the state says.

Here in the US, the market is not a tool for the development of productive forces. Instead it is a form of politics. In other words, the market or the corporations basically run society. The market is over the state. The state has to do what the corporations demand, or the corporations will get rid of the state and put in a new state.

The state obeys the demands of capital and not the other way around. Capital, the market, and the corporations are our true rulers in the US. The government simply acts as if they are employees of capital. The state does not rule us except to the extent that it carries out ruling directives that Capital gives to the state to enforce on the people.

In China state firms are often run by local municipalities. So if we had their system,  say Los Angeles and San Fransisco might both have steel mills. These mills would then compete against each other and against private firms both domestic and foreign. It’s sink or swim for all public firms in China.

Firms that are more successful see their incomes rise and more workers move to those cities to be part of those enterprises.

The workers still officially own the enterprises, but the city takes 95% of the income that the enterprise brings in in the form of a paycheck for every worker. 95% of each workers paycheck is taken by the city and reinvested in the firm or in the city itself (similar to the Venezuelan model). The workers get 5% of their check to take home as pay.

Keep in mind that this can be a good paycheck, as cities running successful firms pay their workers more.

There are large cities in Southern China with 700,000 workers where 1/3 of the population works for one of the many enterprises that the city runs. The residents of the city, who are also workers for the city, have a say in how these firms are run.

For instance, they try to fight corruption, since it hurts the firms, which hurts the city, which hurts them in the end. So the firms of the city in a sense are under the control of the people who live and work in there in the sense that their input is used to make decisions about how to run the firms.

Conservatives Are Murderous and Hate Democracy All over the World and at All Times

The Murderous, Democracy-Hating Latin American Right

The murderousness of the Chilean, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, and Argentine Right is in the past, but you never know when they will spring up again.

  • There was talk on the Argentine Right of calling for a coup when the last president talked about regulating the agricultural sector. They run that country like a mafia and no one dares to touch them. The Argentine Right worked with Wall Street to bankrupt the country and ruin the economy so they could win an election.
  • The Paraguayan Right overthrew the government with a judicial coup.
  • The Ecuadorian Right attempted an armed police coup several years ago.
  • The Peruvian Right staged a coup 25 years ago.
  • The Chilean Right only allowed a weak democracy 18 years ago.
  • The Honduran Right staged a military coup to get rid of a democratically elected president. Since then, death squads have murdered 1,000 people.
  • Aristide was overthrown by US sponsored coup 23 years ago, and they haven’t had any democracy since because Aristide’s party is banned from running. The last time they ran, they won 92% of the vote. After the coup, death squads rampaged through the population, murdering 3,000 members of Aristide’s party.
  • The rightwing Brazilian legislature overthrew the Left government based on a complete lie and they jailed the former president on a completely fake charge based on a bribe that he didn’t even accept! I mean they simply overthrew a democratically elected government with a parliamentary coup. They do this stuff all the time down there with either judicial, parliamentary or military coups.

The Latin American Right hates democracy.
If you wonder why the Left goes authoritarian down there, well, this is what happens if you try to do it democratically. They try to do it democratically, they wage coups and economic wars against you, start terrorist riots destroying you cities, murder the members of your government and political parties, start contra wars, or if they are in power, run death squads and slaughter the members of your parties.
I mean if they block all efforts at peaceful change, why not just put in a Left dictatorship? By the way, this is why Lenin said peaceful efforts towards socialism were doomed to fail because power never surrenders without a fight. He called such efforts parliamentary cretinism. I don’t agree with that, but I see the point.
The main point is that everywhere on Earth, the Right hates democracy and they are determined never to allow any Left governments to take power. Things are a bit different in Europe, North Africa, the Arab World, and Central Asia, but once you start getting over to South Asia, once again, they won’t give it up without a fight.

The Murderous, Democracy-Hating Right in Southeast and East Asia

  • Thailand overthrew a Left government with a judicial coup and the middle class rioters called yellow shirts destroying the country.
  • Indonesia staged a fake coup so they could murder 1 million Communist Party members.
  • The Philippines runs death squads that slaughter the Left.
  • The Taiwanese state consolidated its power after 1949 when they fled to they island by murdering hundreds of thousands of Leftists.
  • South Korea also killed hundreds of thousands of Leftists from 1945-1950 before the Korean War even started.
  • Between 1954-1960, Communists tried to take power peacefully in South Vietnam, but the government murdered 80,000 of them. They kept asking the North Vietnamese for permission to take up arms but it was never granted. Finally, in 1960, Ho gave them permission to take up arms.

Alt Left: Whither the Alt Left?

Sami: Robert, every single counterpoint you make brings us back, full circle, to the ultimate question concerning what the Alt-Left is really about:
Does it aspire, truly, to become a genuine, mass-based political movement with a clearly-articulated platform, that can change this country for the better from the ground up? Or is it a mere, irrelevant intellectual exercise on a few blogs?

 
There were 18,000 members of Alt Left groups on Facebook recently. It has now dropped down to ~6,000.
Also the existing Alt Left seems to have been colonized by regular Democratic Party people pushing anti-Republican partisan politics along with typical SJW stuff. The best analysis of the Alt Left right now is that it has been co-opted by Democratic Party liberal entryists.
And then the movement itself died down for some unknown reason. We had a terrible problem with being swamped by rightwingers and Libertarians the whole time we were popular on Facebook. It was a never-ending nightmare keeping the rightwingers out.
The problem is that nowadays when you go anti-SJW, you get swamped by rightwingers. And everyone on the liberal-Left is pretty much automatically an SJW.
And there is an odd process whereby as leftwing people get more and more anti-SJW, they start moving more and more away from left economics towards more openly promoting capitalism. This makes no sense to me. Why on Earth would capitalism be opposed to anti-SJWism? Feminism is just a group of women to sell women-oriented products to. Capitalists would love to cater to Blacks to sell them stuff. Capitalists will fall over backwards to cater to and suck up to gay people if only to get them to buy stuff. Why should capitalists care about Muslims? Capitalists would love to cater to this group and sell products especially for them. There’s absolutely no reason whatsoever for capitalists to be anti-SJW. It makes no sense. And it makes a lot more sense for them to go full SJW if only to sell more stuff to new groups.
It makes somewhat more sense that left economics be tied in with SJWism, as both are about equality, but there’s no reason left economics should hate or oppose heterosexuals, Whites, or men. Why should it? None of those three groups have anything to do with economics. Also the Left has always been sexual liberationist, but now that feminism has taken over the Left, the Left has become as prudish, Victorian and sex-hating as the Christian Right. Puritanism has no logical connection with the left or left economics. Why do Left economics have to do with sex and fucking? Nothing.
The Alt Left was an attempt to sever this horrible intertwining of left economics with SJWism and rightwing economics with anti-SJWism, but we haven’t had much success at that. When liberal Left people go anti-SJW, they abandon Left economics too. And no one subscribing to Left economics wants to go against SJWism. So economics and the culture war are still horribly tied together, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to disentangle them. It’s so frustrating.
There are several online magazines which people are referring to as Alt Left. There are some folks on Youtube calling themselves Alt Left, and there are others who are being referred to as Alt Left. I would say that it’s a very small movement, but it definitely exists.
Part of the problem is that people like me are too lazy to promote it. I have my own Alt Left group on Facebook, and I encountered quite a bit of interest in the subject. I was also on some of the other Alt Left groups, and there were a lot of interested and curious folks. The problem is mostly just laziness. It’s incredibly hard work to grow these movements, and I for one am just too lazy to do the hard work. But there are others still working on this project.
There is also the Realist Left, another small project that definitely exists.
A political scientist in Poland got interested in us and wrote a couple of pieces about us in political journals. A couple of other political journals over there also wrote us up. Mostly no one has the faintest idea of who we are, so first of all, we need publicity more than anything else.

Alt Left: The Relationship Between Feminism and Marxism and Between Marxism and Identity Politics

Rod Fleming: Hmmm…Gloria Steinem took most of her political thinking straight from Marx, and Steinem is at the root of modern feminism, along with Dworkin, another disgrace to the species and the most overtly sex-negative of the credible 20th-C authors. There were other prominent socialist thinkers than Marx who are also reflected in Steinem but the identitarianism inherent in modern feminism seems to come from Marx. We can argue as to whether their interpretation of Marx was accurate or not, but it’s clear that they are reflecting his influence.
Essentially, Marx depends on identities — proletariat, bourgeoisie –and identities are obviously the core of modern Identitarian or ‘Intersectional’ feminist thinking.
Marx, along with Engels and later Lenin, of course, was a Jew who had left Germany because of antisemitism (specifically, the problems over Jewish emancipation) there. I think it’s likely that the experience of actually being a scapegoat did have an influence on his thinking and the progress of Marxist political philosophy generally. It’s probably not possible to be a Jewish author and not think in identitarian terms, since it is impossible to think outside the Logos and the Jewish Logos is conceived on the notion of an essential and heritable Jewish identity that is independent of belief.
That is why atheist Jews are still Jews; being Jewish is not about theology but about an unimpeachable sense of identity that exists through blood. An interesting sidelight is found in the US, where people whose families, for generations, were born in the US and who are themselves indistinguishable from any other modern white American, still claim to be Scots, even though they would understand hardly a word of any Scottish dialect, archaic or modern and have not a scoobie about Scottish culture. I have never, ever, encountered a person of US birth who claimed to be English. Identitarianism is much deeper than one might think.
Whatever, identitarianism, repackaged by feminists as ‘intersectionality’ is the curse of modern life in the West.

Dworkin never talked much about Marx. She just talked about how much she hated men.  Radical feminists say they are Communists and they are, but they never talk political economics. All they ever talk about is how much they hate men. Incidentally, Socialist Feminists would have thrown Dworkin out of their movement for that because Socialist Feminists forbade feminists from hating men and said men and women workers had to struggle together against capitalism.
I haven’t the faintest idea if any of this is true. I have read quite a bit of those early feminists, and I rarely hear them quote Marx. I have read Steinem quite a bit, and I can’t remember her quoting Marx. More importantly, is Gloria Steinem a Marxist? Hell no.
Radical feminism came out of Marxism in a sense, but they substituted class struggle for the struggle between the sexes. Instead of proletariat and bourgeois, you have women and men, women as an oppressed class and men as an oppressor class.
The Socialist Feminists completely reject Radical Feminists on this question and accuse them of substituting class struggle with gender struggle. For Socialist Feminists, the primary struggle is a class one. Further, both Marxist and Socialist Feminists officially state that men and women workers need to work together to battle capitalism and establish a more just society, so neither wing is much into man-hating, although on the Western Left, you find an awful of lot of quoting of radical feminists. Radical feminism formed the theoretical base on the whole 2nd Wave and much of the 3rd Wave.
Marx was not an Identitarian at all. In fact, many socialists and Marxists have strongly opposed modern Identity Politics as basically bourgeois politics that does nothing but divide the working class. Many of the worst critics of IP have come out of the Left. They really hate dividing the working class into all of these micro-identities.
Marx never discussed IP in any form.
He barely talked about the Woman Question. Engels talked about it more.
Marx and Engels were both backwards on race, and neither liked homosexuals.
Both of them were rather socially conservative men by our standards.
Proletariat and bourgeois are not identities. Those are classes. Identities are generally things you are more or less born with – race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, etc.

Rod Fleming: –and identities are obviously the core of modern Identitarian or ‘Intersectional’ feminist thinking.

This is correct.

Rod Fleming: Marx, along with Engels and later Lenin, of course, was a Jew who had left Germany because of antisemitism (specifically, the problems over Jewish emancipation) there.

I don’t think so. Marx was an atheist Jew. In 1844, he wrote a tract called On the Jewish Question which bashed Judaism to Hell and back. It has been labeled an anti-Semitic tract forever now, but I don’t think it was. He didn’t like any religion and he hated Christianity and Islam just as much.
Marx left Germany because he was a journalist and editor of small newspapers and journals and a political organizer who founded some of the first Communist organizations in German or in Europe for that matter. These organizations were shut down and raided, and a number of their members were imprisoned. Marx fled political persecution and imprisonment to Paris and then to London.
I think it’s likely that the experience of actually being a scapegoat did have an influence on his thinking and the progress of Marxist political philosophy generally.
Except that to my knowledge, Marx never experienced much anti-Semitism. As an atheist Jew, Marx had all but left the Jews. Marx also called for the assimilation of the Jews, and many Jews consider that to be antisemitic. There was a not a huge amount of anti-Semitism even in Germany in the 1840’s and 1850’s. People were too busy worrying about other things. Germanic, especially Austrian, antisemitism really took off in the late 1800’s when racial antisemitism first got started with Mars and the rest. Mars founded the first Anti-Semitic League in Germany in ~1880. However, by that time, he had already married and divorced three different Jewish women. Perhaps this is why he turned anti-Semite? Just kidding.

Rod Fleming: It’s probably not possible to be a Jewish author and not think in identitarian terms,

This is probably true but no one gets more outside of the Jews than Jewish Marxists, and no Jews have criticized the Jews as strongly as the Marxist Jews. They are widely considered to be self-haters. For instance, Trotsky, when asked if he were Jewish, described his nationality as “working class.”

Alt Left: Praise for the Conservative Left

Although the SJW author of the piece that quotes Selbourne in the New Statesman attacks Selbourne, what Selbourne describes is nothing less than the Alt Left itself.
In a very early bulletin board post, a poster described my Alternative Left as conservative Leftists.” When Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York in 1969, he called himself a left conservative. Mailer has continued to describe himself as a left conservative to this day.
Well, that’s exactly what we are.
We are somewhat socially conservative on the Cultural Left Freakshow, but we are Left on everything else. According to our dispensation, Selbourne would be Alt Left, as he despises the moronic SJW Left. And as he brilliantly points out, the unlimited freedoms (not really unlimited though as look at how SJW Feminism wants to stop heterosexual flirting, dating and sex) to be as weird and crazy as you want are really the freedoms of neoliberalism.
This is radical individualism taken to its ultimate without any regard for the good of society. And radical individualism in Culture goes right along with radical individualism is business and the rest of society. If government has to get out of the lives of all the SJW freaks, then obviously it has to get out of the lives of US business and the rich too, right?

Those who want the right to choose, and who object to moral or social restraint as ‘authoritarian’, cannot logically object to the rights of Capital to do whatever it wants also.

Capitalism runs on a culture of individualism, and radical individualism is the ultimate capitalist society. Capitalists say, “There is no such thing as society.”
And in a Cultural Left world where everyone is running around flying their freak flag du jour, there’s no society either. Everyone has a different hair color. Everyone has a different sexual micro-orientation and gender micro-identity.
Everyone is divided against everyone else. The women workers are egged on to hate the male workers. The Black workers are egged on to hate the White workers. The gay workers are encouraged to hate the straight workers. The tranny workers are prompted to hate the cisgender workers. Everyone hates everyone. No one works together on any societal goals because everyone hates each other too much.
Now that the working class is divided into factions at each other’s throats, society is demolished, all humans are atomized, and the capitalists can go on their merry rapacious way, destroying everything in their path, including whatever is left of society, like they always do.

In fact, we are now landed with a “Left” concept of freedom which is little different from Milton Friedman’s “right to choose”, a Libertarianism that has overshadowed the social in what used to be socialism. It is itself a market freedom; after all, self-restraint has less market worth than self-indulgence.

I like how he describes the Cultural Left as the free market of culture. That’s exactly what it is!

David Selbourne, in the left-of-center New Statesmen, writes::
With socialism at the end of its historical evolution, the “Left” now lacks a coherent sense of what progress is. It has only a ragbag of causes and issues, rational and irrational, urgent and idle: a politics of personal rights and ‘lifestyle choices’, of anti-racism and environmental protection, of multicultural separatism, individual identity and gender, and much else besides.
Neither rhyme nor reason — and certainly not socialist reason — can be made of it, especially when mere transgression is confused with progress.
In fact, we are now landed with a “Left” concept of freedom which is little different from Milton Friedman’s “right to choose”, a Libertarianism that has overshadowed the social in what used to be socialism. It is itself a market freedom; after all, self-restraint has less market worth than self-indulgence. Nor is today’s ‘freedom’n’liberty’, whether Right or ‘Left’, the freedom fought for in the Reformation or in the revolutionary overthrow of the anciens régimes. It is not the freedom for which the 19th-century emancipationists and the suffragettes struggled. It is the freedom to do what one wants and the devil take the hindmost. No wonder that the far Right is advancing.
There is ignorance too in this pseudo-Left Libertarianism. It is reactionary, not progressive, to promote the expansion of individual freedoms without regard to the interests of the social order as a whole. Those who want the right to choose, and who object to moral or social restraint as ‘authoritarian’, cannot logically object to the rights of Capital to do whatever it wants also. The rapacious equity trader has as much right to be free as you or me; these ‘rights’ differ only in scale and consequence, not in essence.

I would actually agree with the following, and this is why I am an extreme statist at heart because face facts, socialism is statism taken to its ultimate ends.
From the Libertarian author:

It grabbed the methods of conservatism, embracing state power as the means of planning permissable changes and preventing others.

We don’t hate the state. We love the state! The state is the people personified as a single governmental entity, acting in the interests of the people to whom it serves, as Mao points out.

“The effort to escape from State control has always been the sign of liberty; the effort to enforce State control has always been the sign of Conservative reaction.” For this reason: “Socialism, in so far as it postulates State control, is Conservative in thought.”
Oliver Brett, Defense of Liberty, 1922

Fine. We are conservatives then. We are the Conservative Left!

Professor E. Harris Harbison of Princeton, concurred: “The truly ‘radical’ movement of the later medieval and early modern period was the growth of economic individualism, not the appearance of a few communistic books, sects, and communities. Against the background of nineteenth century individualism, ‘radical’ is today almost synonymous with ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’. …It is essential to the understanding of utopian socialism to remember that when it first appeared in European history as a fairly consistent theory, it was very largely a reactionary protest against a new, ‘progressive’ and poorly understood economic movement, an appeal to turn the clock backward.”
Socialism and Modern Life, 1952

Fine, not a problem! I was always wondering when the Rightists and Libertarians would reclaim the word liberal.

Walter Lippman wrote: “…I insist that collectivism, which replaces the free market by coercive centralized authority, is reactionary in the exact sense of the word.”
Carl A. Keyser, Spare None: the Federal Octopus: How it Grew and Other Tales, 1972
 

Sounds good.
Liberal historically has never meant anything like US social liberalism. In most of the world, liberal is a dirty word. It’s synonymous with neoliberalism. Liberalism in economics means classical liberal or neoclassical economics. It’s Ricardo and Smith all the way to Mises and Hayek, without stopping.
In the rest of the world, it tends to mean the “free minds and free markets” garbage that American reactionary foreign policy claims to support in their lying propaganda. Note once again the tie-in of social freedoms with freedom of Capital. You want free elections, gay rights, feminism, porn, civil liberties and the rest? Fine, you have to let the market run free with no restictions from the state whatsoever.
According to this nonsense, you can’t have free minds without free markets, and you can’t have free markets without free minds. Any restrictions on the free market are automatically symptomatic of a dictatorship or authoritarian regime.
This is why every Left government on Earth immediately gets called a dictatorship by US foreign policy. Because to the sick American way, socialism in any way,  shape or form is automatically undemocratic and dictatorial by its very nature.
This nonsense places economics over politics as Economics Uber Alles. Here economics determines the nature of the state.
If the market is free, you have a democracy automatically, no questions asked. Never mind the death squads that just murdered 200,000 people and all the peaceful opposition, the election that was just stolen, the US sponsored coup to “restore democracy” that resulted in the 17 year long “democracy saving” dictatorship, the politicized police, army, judiciary, the rich owning all the media and rendering freedom of speech a sick joke, the money-based elections giving rise to the “democracy of the dollar” and the dictatorship over the people.
And if  you have any type of socialism, you automatically have a dictatorship. I suppose Norway and Sweden must be dictatorships then. Never mind that you have the freest and fairest elections on Earth as they have in Venezuela. No matter. Elections can never be free enough in a socialist country. Even if they are the freest and fairest elections on Earth, it’s automatically a dictatorship simply by dint of being socialist.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

High Illegitimacy Rates and Dysfunction among Lower Class Blacks

Greg Rambo: “The current plight of Black America has more to do with the government’s subsidizing of pregnancy and desertion than anything else.”* When you have a nearly 75% out of wedlock birth rate, you’re asking for disaster.
* T. Sowell

We don’t really support them anymore. Welfare is $300/month. Black women have out of wedlock rates like that all over the Black world and they don’t get a nickel.
Further this is based on a delusion. First that Black women have kids to get the check when the check doesn’t even begin to cover the cost of raising a kid. Socialist states all over the world subsidize children with fathers or not and we don’t see epidemics of illegitimacy. So if those women are having kids to get checks, they’re retarded. You get a check for $300, but it costs so much more than that to raise the kid? How are you coming out ahead? You sink yourself further into the hole with every new kid you have. It also suggests that Black women will start acting more responsible if we cut off the checks. Well they won’t. This is happening for societal reasons not monetary reasons. Another suggestion is that if we cut off the checks, these Black men will suddenly start sticking around and supporting their kids. Yeah, right! Come on.
Illegitimacy itself is not a serious problem if you look at it statistically. There are effects but they are moderate rather than major. The problem is the rate of it. A community can handle a 25% illegitimacy rate. It cannot handle a 70% rate. When illegitimacy rates get that high, you get additive effects to the illegitimacy due to the sheer prevalence of it. What happens that rates that high tend to cause the entire community to unravel, while lower rates dd not.
There is another reason. A moral reason. It is the argument that children need to be supported. Single motherhood is not optimal, but as a socialist, I refuse to cut off funds for single mothers and their children.
Give them the check in the form or rent vouchers, IBT cards, cards to pay their bills, whatever. Not just cash in their hands. In the 1990’s, Richard Nixon himself bemoaned the Clinton welfare “reforms.” in an interview. He shook his head at the interviewer and said in a note of dismay and disgust:
“I can’t believe what we are doing nowadays…I mean…beating up on the single Moms…of all things…come on…”
Although I agree that the high illegitimacy birth rate is catastrophic for Black people. It’s not doing them any favors and I think Blacks would act a lot better if that rate would go down. Before 1960, the Black illegitimacy rate was 20%, and it seems like they acted a lot better than they do now, but there could be other reasons why the behavior went down.
Illegitimacy and being raised by a single mother predict a lot of bad things.
Basically:
The girls develop Daddy issues and often turn into sluts trying to fuck their way to an ethereal Daddy who is always fading out of the picture.
The boys turn into criminals.
I don’t want to beat up on single Moms. They get beat up enough. But it’s not the ultimate family arrangement, and it does cause some problems in the offspring.

Alt Left: Resolved: All Feminists Are Toxic

I just posted this question to Reddit r/feminists. I swear to God I tried to be as pro-feminist as possible. I went out of my way to try not to say anything antifeminist, though I nevertheless had to be honest. Every single thing I wrote in my comment is 100% fact. I got two comments, and I was immediately banned. I was shocked as I was not expecting that. I am still trying to figure out why they banned me. Was it because I mentioned that man-hatred was still a problem among feminists?
The percentages of feminists who are 2nd and 3rd Wavers is a good question, but feminists have no use for facts, science, truth or data like all Identity Politics scum, so it’s not surprising I did not get any answers. Actually you will probably never get any answers because feminists don’t like to argue hard factual questions about much of anything.
I don’t imagine there’s a feminist anywhere on Earth who would try to answer what the % of 2nd Wavers to 3rd Wavers are, although it’s an empirical question. Actually if you try to ask it now, you will get more handwaves saying there’s no such as 3rd Wave because we are now in the 4th Wave of this idiotic bullshit. Never mind that the 4th Wave differs in no important ways from the 3rd wave and that most feminists nowadays objectively appear to be 3rd Wavers.
Here’s the question:

My question is which group of feminists is stronger now, 2nd or 3rd Wave? And what percentages of feminism are divided into 2nd and 3rd wavers? I believe that the 3rd wave is more numerous now, but I am really interested in what % of feminists are 2nd wave radical feminists.
Definitions below:
2nd Wave feminists to be mostly radical feminists at the moment, if we define Second Wave as TERF and TESW’s opposed to among other things:

  • Legalization or decrim of sex work
  • All sex work (strippers, cam models, porn stars)
  • Sex dolls
  • Pornography
  • PIV sex
  • Anal sex
  • Fellatio (sometimes)
  • Romance (sending flowers, etc.)
  • Artificial birth control (too dangerous for women)
  • Beauty industry (to the point of deliberately advocating that woman make themselves appear ugly to oppose it)
  • Femininity (to the point of promoting women to act and dress like men)

And an extreme hostility towards men in general exemplified by:

  • A theory that eliminates the class struggle of proletarian workers versus ruling class capitalist owners and replacing it with a gender struggle with men as a ruling oppressor class and women as an oppressed “proletarian class.”
  • Extreme emphasis on Patriarchy and Rape Culture theory.
  • Extreme celebration of lesbianism and hostility to heterosexuality in general for women. General sex-negative and near-puritanical mindset.
  • Support for lesbian and female separatism.
  • Support for curfews for men, putting men in internment camps, reducing the male population to 10%, etc.

All of these view are extremely common among radical feminism. There are few who do not go along with all or nearly all of these positions.
So that’s 2nd Wave.
Everything else is now 3rd Wave. Even Socialist and Marxist feminism, formerly 2nd wavers, are now 3rd Wavers. Most other strains are also 3rd Wavers with the exception of New Feminism (unclassifiable?) and some strains of Liberal Feminism like Equity Feminism, which are best described as 1st wavers, the descendants of the suffragettes.
3rd Wave differs from 2nd Wave in the following ways:

  • Sex positive.
  • Pro-porn, pro-BD/SM, pro-prostitution, and other sex work
  • Reduced celebration of lesbianism
  • Support for heterosexuality for women
  • Pro-PIV sex, fellatio, anal sex, etc.
  • educed emphasis on rape culture, patriarchy, etc.
  • Reduced hatred for men, although it is definitely still there
  • Much more open to dating, relationships, and marriage with men
  • No support for separatism
  • Support for sex dolls
  • Opposition to male curfews and internment camps, reduction of male population, etc.
  • Pro-romance
  • Pro-artificial birth control
  • For socialist and Marxist feminists, rejection of radfem replacement of class struggle with gender struggle and replacement or owners and workers with men and women as oppressor and oppressed groups. Extreme emphasis on class roots of women’s oppression in capitalism and a recognition that male workers are also oppressed under capitalism.
  • Pro-transgender
  • Pro-femininity
  • Pro-beauty industry (makeup, tight clothes, heels, spandex, etc.)

First answer: Hard to answer something when the question seems way off. Where are you getting these definitions from?
Me: The definition of radical feminist beliefs comes from me being on their websites and studying them for long periods of time. Although I am open to any rational people who want to tell me where I am wrong about them. My definition of 3rd wavers should not be controversial, or it is, I want to know why.
Male curfews and internment camps…? Who have you been reading?
Me: Major radical feminist thinkers have advocated curfews for men in articles. Although the articles was later said to be satire, it did not seem so at first and they always say that everything inflammatory they write is satire. All of the comments that followed for months after those articles were published treated the articles as if they were serious. Commenters even offered their own serious takes on the subject, with one man suggesting that cities be divided into male halves and female halves with mingling allowed during the daylight hours but after dark, each sex would have to retire to its own section of town.
Numerous radical feminists have suggested that men and sometimes even boys be placed into internment camps and be kept there “until they can learn to behave themselves in a civilized fashion.” Radical feminist Julie Bindel recently wrote an article in the Guardian suggesting this in all seriousness. The article promoted a scandal, but she is still on the staff.

A Look at the Chinese Model of Communism – Market Socialism

You are starting to see a lot of articles in the capitalist press bashing China now, saying their economy is not as good as they say, that it cannot be sustained, and that it is headed for crash. They base this on a comparison to other Communist countries, but those economies fell behind far before China’s did.
China has sustained Communism under various forms, including presently under market socialism, for 70 years now. That’s as long as the Soviet Union, and the Soviets started stagnating a long time before that. China is an example of a smashing success for a Communist country, and the capitalist press is freaking out because that shows that their anti-Communist propaganda has been crap for all of these years.
Incidentally, Deng Xiaoping emphatically stated that he was a Communist. Deng’s idea was to create “a rich Communist country.”. In an interview in 2005, a top party official was asked if China was still committed to spreading Communism all over the world.
“Of course,” the minister beamed. “That is the purpose of the Communist party (CCP).”
Incidentally, China still has 5-year plans and the whole economy is planned. The business sector has to go along with the plan, and if you do not go along with it, they can confiscate your business. A party committee sits on the board of all large corporations. The government owns every inch of land in China. The state invests an incredible amount in the economy and also overseas where it makes vast investments. This is because some Chinese government companies are very profitable. A number of Chinese government companies are on the list of largest companies in the world.
Capitalists in the US openly complain that they cannot compete with Communist Chinese government  corporations, crying that they get subsidies so it’s not fair. So here we have US corporations openly admitting that they can’t compete with Chinese government Communist state-owned companies.
45% of the economy is state owned and it is very profitable. 87% of all investment in the economy is made by the state. This figure includes all Chinese private investment and all foreign investment.
Much of the state sector is owned by small municipalities, and this works very well. Further, cities compete against each other. For instance, City A’s steel mill will compete against City B’s steel mill, and both will compete against a private sector steel mill, if there is one. Successful enterprises bring in a lot of money to the city, which it uses to upgrade the city, which results in more workers moving there, which grows the economy more with more workers and more demand.
There are also still a number of pure Maoist villages in China that are run completely on a Maoist line. Everything is done as it was right out of the Mao era. I understand that they do very well, and there is a huge waiting list to move to those villages.
I did a lot of research on China recently, and the party is literally everywhere you look every time you turn around. The party itself still runs many enterprises all over the country, especially in the rural areas. There are party officials in every village and city, and they take a very active role in developing the municipality in every way, including culturally. They have an ear to the ground and are typically very popular in the villages and cities.
Party officials lobby the state to try to solve any urgent problem in the area. The government is always spending a lot of money all over China on public works, on fixing various environmental problems, or on really any societal problem or issue you can think of. This of course includes economic development, which tends to be state-led. I read synopses of many dissertations coming out of Chinese universities, and most were on how to deal with some particular societal problem or issue. Many others dealt with technology and industry. So a lot of the research on technology and industry that is driving economic development is coming straight out of state universities.
Instead of leaving it up to the private sector to deal with the problems in society, create public works, and even plan the economy, the government does all of that. Incidentally, the way the US leaves the planning of the economy, such as it is, up to the private sector is insane. All sensible economic planning in any nation will always be done by the state with a view towards allowing the country to prosper. Capitalists have no interest in whether the country profits or not, so they engage in no economic planning at all. Leaving economic planning up to the whims of the capitalists is economic malpractice.
There are 1,000 protests every day in China. Yes, there is corruption and there are government abuses, but if protests last long enough, the party usually gets alarmed and tries to do something about the problem because they don’t want serious unrest. This is party that does everything it can to serve the people and try to remain popular with citizens by giving them as much as they can and doing as much for them as possible. The party spends every single day of its rule literally trying to buy off unrest and keep its citizens satisfied.
It’s illegal to be homeless in China. If you end up homeless in China, they will try to put you in a homeless shelter, or if they cannot do that, they will send you back to your village because most homeless are rural migrants who moved to the city. The state is now investing a vast amount of money in the rural areas because these places have been neglected for a long time. The state still wants to own all the land because they want to keep the rural areas as a secure base where rural migrants to the city can always return if they fail in the city.
How can a government in which 45% of the economy is publicly owned, 87% of investment is done by the state, and every inch of land is owned by the state possibly be called as capitalist country? No serious political economist anywhere on Earth considers China to be a capitalist country. The only people who say that are ideologues and liars, which includes almost all political conservatives and most businessmen.
The state spends an unbelievable amount of money on public works all over the country all the time. Many projects that in the US have “conclusively proven” to be too costly to be implemented have been done in China quickly and easily. And China’s per capita income in less than 10% of ours.
Most ethnic minorities are still allowed to support their culture, and in most cases they are allowed to have education in their native language. In these areas, the native language is co-official with Mandarin.
In recent years, the Chinese government has begun to support a lot of the Chinese dialects, of which there are over 2,000 main ones, many of which are actually separate languages. Cantonese is still an official language in Hong Kong, and it is widely used in Guangdong. The other major Chinese languages or macrolanguages still have millions of tens of millions of speakers. Lately the Chinese government is telling people they can preserve their dialect as long as they also speak Mandarin. Many schools now have classes in the local dialect.
Cheap medical insurance is available and it covers 85% of costs. State medical centers are still very good. However, if you have a serious medical condition in China, you will quickly run out of money with no recourse.
This is a serious problem but it is much better than earlier in the Deng Era when millions were dying from lack of health care. However, the state still need to cover everyone. They got away from universal coverage  when they moved away from Maoism early in the Deng era. In addition, tens of thousands of schools, many of which were built during the Cultural Revolution, were closed early in the Deng era.
The introduction of a market had a lot of problems in the early days. The capitalist press was cheering wildly as thousands of schools were closed all over China, medical care was cut off from or reduced for hundreds of millions of people, while millions of Chinese died from lack of medical care. This was all cause for celebration! Isn’t capitalism wonderful? What’s millions of humans dying from lack of health care as long as a few rich people can buy ridiculously expensive, useless items that they don’t even need?
A recent good survey done by a Western polling firm found that 87% of the population supported the Communist Party.  The excesses of the Mao era, especially the Great Leap and the Cultural Revolution, have been widely discussed and the party has admitted that many errors were made and resolved not to do this again. These excesses are being blamed by the party on what they call “ultra-Leftism.”
The economic model of China is called Market Socialism and a lot of modern day Leftists and even Communists support it and agree that this is the way forward for the left and Communist movement. Like all words, the word Communism has no inherent meaning. It means whatever people who use it say it means. So the definition of Communism can clearly change with the times as Communists update their definitions of what the word means.
China cannot be called capitalist in any way. Their model is far more socialist than anything in any European social democracy. It also goes far beyond the US in the New Deal and of course beyond beyond the social liberalism and its more left analogue in Canada, not to mention beyond social democracy in Australia or New Zealand.
Interestingly, Japan is not a capitalist country. They don’t have neoliberalism. That country does not operate on the capitalist mode of development. Instead the resemblance is, I hate to say, to Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany also did not have a capitalist mode of development. I’m not sure what you call it, but it’s not capitalism. For instance, in Japan, the commanding heights of the economy, including almost all of the banks, is owned by the state.
The state still plans the economy. They plan the economy together with the business community and the state allocates a lot of funds and loans to areas of the economy it wishes to develop. There is probably a similar model in South Korea, which also is not capitalist and instead operates on a series of monopolies that are owned currently by large corporations and the government. The South Korean economy is also planned, and the plan is worked out by the government and the business sector working together.

The Success of America's Longstanding Propaganda War Against the Concept of Socialism

Socialism, the very concept, especially in its social democratic and democratic socialist varieties, is the ho-hum status quo on most of the planet.
The war on the very concept of socialism has probably been worse in the US than anywhere else in the West. It has a 3rd World death squad tinpot dictatorship feel about it. I keep wondering when the rightwing death squads are going to show up in the US. They show up everywhere else in states with a US-style reactionary and Left-hating culture.
The difference between the US war on socialism and the war on socialism waged in various death squad democracies is that the war on socialism has been more successful in the US than anywhere else on Earth other than Colombia, but the Left is armed to the teeth there. The war on socialism was just as bad if not worse due to the death squads and all of the imprisonments, beatings, tortures, murders and genocides all over Latin America and in the Philippines and Indonesia.
These countries differ from the US however in that all those Latin American countries and SE Asian countries have gone Left in recent years.
Even in the Philippines, Duterte calls himself a socialist and had friendly relations with the Maoist NPA  guerrillas when he held office in Mindanao.
In Indonesia, the female elected President recently ran on a socialist ticket.
To the south, Mexico has been officially socialist since the Revolution. The Left in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina was armed to teeth and fought vicious wars against reactionary regimes. That has to count for something.
In El Salvador, the former Left guerrillas are now running the country.
In Honduras, a leftwinger was recently elected President only to be ousted in a coup sponsored by the CIA and Hillary Clinton.
Nicaragua of course had a successful Leftist revolution, and those revolutionaries have been holding office now there for quite some time.
Haiti elected a Leftist in Jean Bertrande Aristide, only to be ousted by Bush Administration officials via a contra death squad army from the Dominican Republic. Aristide himself was arrested at gunpoint in his mansion by armed Blackwater mercenaries acting under the command of the Pentagon.
A number of the island states in the Caribbean have gone Left in recent years and most were members of the Chavista Bolivarian Movement. Most political parties in the Caribbean have words like Left, Socialist, Workers, Progressive, etc. in their party names regardless of their ideology because any party that wants to get anywhere in the Caribbean has to at least dress  itself up in Left garb.
Grenada had a successful Leftist revolution that was subsequently overthrown on illegal grounds by Reagan.
Venezuela of course has been voting Leftist since 1999 when the Chavistas took power. They have never left.
In Ecuador, a Leftist, Rafael Correa, ruled for many years. Recently a man named Lenin Moreno ran on a Leftist ticket of continuing Correa’s Left reforms, but as soon as he got into office, he immediately shifted gears and went hard Right.
Right-wing parties run as fake Leftists all the time in Latin America because generally rightwingers running on a rightwing agenda cannot get elected down there because most Latin Americans hate rightwingers and don’t want them in power. Hence the Right obtains power by contra wars and fascist mob violence in the streets, waging wars on economies and currencies, judicial, legislative, and military coups, and even open fraud.
The definition of conservatism is aristocratic rule. It is the antithesis of rule by the people or democratic rule.
The definition of liberalism is democratic rule by the people, not the aristocrats.
Not many Latin Americans want to be ruled by aristocrats, so the Right down there has to seize power by extra-democratic means.
The Opposition in Venezuela recently ran on an openly social democratic platform, but most people thought it was fake they would turn Right as soon as they got in.
In Brazil, the Left has been running the country for some time under the PT or Worker’s Party until it was removed by a rightwing legislature in an outrageous legislative coup. They even imprisoned a former president, Lula, on fake corruption charges. A female president was recently elected who was an armed urban guerrilla in the 1960’s.
In Paraguay, a Leftist former priest was elected President, only to be removed in an outrageous legislative coup.
In Chile, not only was Leftist Allende elected in the 70’s, the Left was not only armed  all through Pinochet’s rule and once came close to assassinating him. In recent years, a socialist named Michele Bachelet has won a number of elections.
In Bolivia, Leftist Evo Morales has been in power for a long time.
Uruguay recently elected a Leftist, a former armed urban guerrilla in the 1970’s.
Argentina recently elected two Leftist presidents, the Kirchner, a husband and wife. A rightwiger was recently elected after a rightwing Jewish billionaire named Singer obtained a court judgement against Argentina in a US court. That judgement bankrupted the economy, so you could say that the Right destroyed the economy in order to get elected.
So with the exception of Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Guyanas, all other countries have since gone full Left at one time or another recently. Costa Rica’s already a social democracy, and Peru had an ultra-radical murderous Left for a very long time. Panama’s been reactionary since the CIA murdered Omar Torrijos by sabotaging his helicopter and killing him via a fake copter crash. The Dominican Republic and Jamaica have not gone Left since the 60’s and 70’s.
But the war on socialism has been so much more successful here in the US than even in the above named backwards countries because even the world norm of social democracy was so demonized here in the US that it never even got off the ground.
In some ways, the US is one of the most rightwing countries on Earth at least in terms of political economy.
 

Alt Left: Intersectionality Is Itself a System of Power

An absolutely essential piece by Ernest Everhard from the Alternative Left website sums up perfectly an Alt Left position on SJWism, Intersectionality or Intersectional Feminism. It’s a bit hard to read, but I understood 90%+ of it, so maybe you can understand a lot of it too. This is us. This is really us. This is an immaculate summary of exactly what the Alternative Left is all about. Please feel free to comment on this: this is a very important topic in this great movement we are trying to build here.

Intersectionality Is Itself a System of Power

Intersectionality is itself a system of power. It upholds the status quo and protects the powerful and privileged.
Recognizing this is the key difference between the alternative left and other current forms of political thought.
A fan of the Alternative Left Facebook page recently posed this question to me:

Have you considered that you might be postmodernist? The actual meaning of the term, not Peterson’s ridiculous conflation and confusion of it. It seems as if a lot of your philosophy relies on the rejections of meta-narratives.

At a glance, this seems an absurd question. Isn’t rejection of postmodernism integral to the alt-left? Doesn’t all that deconstruction and bafflegab distract from the hard and real work of class struggle? Isn’t a return to some semblance of economic realism, if not historical materialism, what we’re all about at the end of the day?
Not so fast. While I don’t think postmodernism is a tenable philosophy long term, it does make some good points. It’s like nihilism and other forms of radical skepticism. They’re nice places to visit, and doing so is a sign of intellectual growth, but you wouldn’t want to live there.
My quarrel with postmodernism is how it tends to be cherry picked by the intersectional left, the feminist theorists in particular. They’re quite good at using deconstruction to pick apart the texts of their opponents, and will exploit other postmodernist concepts such as “the death of the author” – the idea that textual interpretation by authorial intent is flawed – to license their tendency to simply read their own narrative into ideas that threaten them.
They use such notions as science being a western, patriarchal “way of knowing” as a legitimizing excuse to handwave otherwise proven claims of some biological basis in gender differences, for example.
Deconstruction, cognitive framing and other advanced linguistic concepts are devastating ideological weapons against those who are not aware of them. Intersectional theorists get a unique education in these concepts in the academic institutions wherein their views dominate. Institutions that are not cheap to attend and require significant baseline intelligence to be successful in. They’re therefore able to win debates against their less privileged opponents simply through framing and linguistic and cognitive gimmicks of this nature.
Ultimately, however, feminist theory’s apparent embrace of postmodernism is self serving pretense. Notice how their own theories are presented as if they were eternal truths, universally binding on all people under all circumstances. Cultural relativism is fine when it’s used to impose multiculturalism and diversity upon western cultural spaces, but has a funny way of disappearing when similar demands of tolerance are made of feminist theorists in turn.
Fixed and objective meaning of text based on authorial intent is not authoritative, since the author no doubt lives in a network of socially constructed systems of which he is barely aware. But not so the feminist critic.
Her views, and her views alone apparently, somehow transcend the context of the society that gave rise to them, and so are above questions of this nature and constitute an ultimate authority on par with divine revelation. No one is faster to declare epistemic superiority for their own points of view – standpoint theories so called – than college feminists who’ve studied the poststructuralists closer than anyone. If feminist theory is not a metanarrative, you tell me what is.
Who deconstructs feminist theory, one must ask?
Yeah, it’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.
Herein lies a very central tenet of alternative leftism: that the brands of postmodern critical theory so prevalent on college campuses and that are the underlying ideologies of the SJW’s are actually conservative, not radical. They are in fact themselves systems of power, like the very notions of patriarchy and colonialism they so love to deconstruct.
This is quite naturally a counter intuitive concept when first exposed to it. Feminist theory, queer theory, critical race theory and so on – Intersectionality serving as a kind of one ring to rule them all and thus a useful term for referring to them collectively – is interpreted either as official party line and not to be questioned, in the case of the mainstream left.
Or else condemned as “Cultural Marxism” and taken at face value as advocacy for an artificial egalitarianism, in the case of the right. Neoreaction comes quite strangely closest to the truth in its denouncing of progressive ideology as “the Cathedral” – a vast Matrix like social construct comparable to the Christian church in the middle ages – the state religion to which everyone must pay homage, hence the term.

The Cathedral: It doesn’t challenge the aristocracy.
It is the aristocracy.

Neoreaction’s flaw, however, lies in the irony of its denunciation of progressivism in those terms. Isn’t a medieval form of social organization exactly what they want? The Church of the middle ages, far from being an institution for egalitarian social leveling, had a long history of supporting the aristocracy and running interference on behalf of the status quo, despite a good portion of what Christ actually taught, which may be where the confusion arises.
So it is with intersectionality. Despite its pretenses, and despite what were likely genuinely radical critiques at one time, current year intersectionality does not challenge privilege. It upholds privilege.
Do not misunderstand me, dear reader. I do not condone racism towards minorities, misogyny and homophobia. The left spearheaded the fight against those things for all the right reasons. And not merely because prejudice undermines working class solidarity, thought that is reason enough. To be left is to value equality, to some degree or another, and fair treatment regardless of what one is by accident of birth. Intersectionality itself was intended to be a manner of looking at how various different forms of oppression reinforce one another. This is not in itself a bad idea.
The problem is that intersectionality has evolved into something does not actually promote real social justice. Its lack of tolerance for dissent made it vulnerable to abuse on part of the unscrupulous, who were thereby attracted to intersectional feminist spaces.
They’ve co-opted social justice movements, and used them as tools to oppress people. It’s like Marxist Leninism 2.0 – a popular movement is appropriated and exploited by an elite vanguard professing to represent the interests of marginalized people, and using that to consolidate their own power. Cultural rather than political power this time, but the underlying mechanisms are quite a bit alike.
It’s also quite different from Marxism in one key aspect, and this is often overlooked by those on the right who equate intersectional ideas with Marxian leftism: intersectionality’s lack of emphasis on political economy. It is not merely that they simply don’t care about or are ignorant of the internal workings of the international economy or the political machines of the G7 nations.
Intersectionalists are rewarded by capital for framing privilege in terms of racial and sexual identity rather than in terms of wealth and political power. These rewards include expansion in academia, access to agenda setting mass media and favorable policy service. Ideological systems that truly threaten the status quo do not enjoy universally favorable media bias, moderator bias on major corporate social media platforms and an exalted status in academic institutions.
The state religion does not advocate for the truly marginalized within the polity.
It’s important that you divest yourself of the notion that intersectionalists truly represent the underclasses, including most women and people of color. They occupy a very different world than that of working single mothers or unemployed minority youths in the ghetto, or on their way to prison.
They occasionally will use real oppressions suffered by women and minorities while making the case for an increase in their own influence, but that is the only reason for which they ever seem to do so. If one takes their standpoint theories at all seriously, the plush halls of the academy and major media outlets are not the places we should be seeing credible voices of the oppressed and marginalized. Those voices are kept quite intentionally silent, because their demands will be for redressment of their economic hardships and lack of political representation.
Women who are turned off of men and family as a result of feminism, and men who are turned off of religion, community and nationalism as a result of anti western critical theory find themselves completely atomized and without an identity. This is central to the alt-right’s critique of modern liberalism and the abolition of borders.
But the real question is: who is the real beneficiary of all this? The far right will tell you that this is “cultural Marxism” and is necessary in order to groom the populace for the embrace of socialism.
That’s not what happened. If you do not believe that, observe how neoliberalism increased apace just as this so called cultural Marxism did. The emergence of political correctness coincided with Reagan in the US and Thatcher in the UK. If the idea was for feminism and multiculturalism to precede socialism, they could not have failed more miserably.
Atomized individuals turn to careerism and consumerism to fill the void, and they’re more easily replaced when cheaper cogs for the machine are found. So they’re more obedient and easily used in the workforce and more responsive to consumer trends. When other vectors of identity are removed, do the brands we work for and consume become the way we identify ourselves?
This seems to me to be the triumph of capitalism, and quite in line with the manner in which Marx believed capitalism would progress, abolishing relations based on kinship and reducing all human interaction to commodity exchange, rather than the triumph of Marxism itself that it’s so often described as by reactionaries.
Hard Fact: Social liberalism is the handmaiden of capital, not of revolution. And so capital became socially liberal when national economies became fully saturated and capital had to go global in order to keep up its expansion. The alt-right is hated in the capitalist press because capital must always seek new markets, and it was therefore in capital’s interest to globalize and promote diversity.
Observe one of the methods whereby Intersectionality preserves its hegemony: by seeking to get people who disagree with them fired from their jobs. Often with no recourse or due process whatsoever. In what world does leveraging the power of capital over labor so flagrantly and directly constitute anything that could be at all called left wing?
This is what was done to socialists and trade unionists back in the bad old days of blacklisting. This isn’t to say that removal of an offensive or hateful person from a workplace isn’t sometimes appropriate or necessary, but to use the threat of employment loss as a means of enforcing ideological conformity more broadly is something the left should not be supporting. We can question the rationality of workers supporting conservatism all we want. It won’t seem quite so irrational now that this ugly tactic has been normalized.
Another hard fact: Intersectionality relies on the absolute power that capital has over labor and consumers in order to successfully impose its will on the population, as it’s doing in geek culture, for instance. The capacity for populations to resist cultural and moral relativism imposed from above would be greatly increased if cultural and economic as well as political institutions were democratized and under some or another kind of social ownership.
Intersectionalists are a safe and nerfed form of “leftism.” One that attacks white male “neckbeards” and “dudebros” in places like 4chan while leaving the State Department, the military industrial complex and Wall Street lobbyists unscrutinized.
Activists and even radicals who truly want to challenge the status quo find their anger and vigor channeled into safe outlets that do not truly threaten the powers that be. Offensive statements by white male celebrities are made front page news by an intersectionalist movement that’s presented in the headlines as being radical and subversive – the resistance, so called. Offensives launched by the US military on the other side of the world in defense of petrodollar interests are kept more safely out of the public eye.
Intersectionality is a tool used by an educated elite to police the culture of the underclass, and to undermine the solidarity of that underclass by dividing it along racial and gender lines. We’ve seen this done time and again now: with Occupy Wall Street, with Bernie Sander’s campaign for the White House, now with the Democratic Socialists of America. Most leftist spaces on social media are completely overrun by intersectional dominance, even ones that profess to be Marxist or anarchist.
Intersectional activists have a curious way of coming to dominate leftist spaces, and maintain their power through dividing the left against itself and redirecting popular anger towards other segments of the left. Sometimes the target is white male leftists – brocialists, so called. Sometimes it’s white feminism, or TERF’s or straight feminism. Sometimes straight black males are called the white people of black people.
Sometimes cisgender gay males are driven out of LGBT spaces. Some or another activist has run afoul of the intersectionalist overlords and is publicly shamed, like in a Maoist struggle session or the young kids being banished from polygamous fundamentalist communities for the most trivial reasons.
But the real reasons aren’t so trivial: to maintain the power of the leadership over the flock. Ceaseless purity spiraling destroys the cohesiveness of the left. J. Edgar Hoover and his COINTELPRO could not have done a better job if they tried. Perhaps the FBI still is, and that’s what all this really is.
Like a puritanical religion, intersectionality promotes a guilt based morality that ceaselessly berates its followers for their ideological and lifestyle shortcomings. Theories of inherited privilege based on what people are by accident of birth become a moral burden comparable to original sin. People with a lot of internalized guilt do not take action to challenge their leaders. They punch down, not up.
Nearly any action a person may commit or even a thought they might think can be construed as oppressive in some way or anther. That combined with intersectionality’s taboo on questioning claims of oppression made by its activist leadership – who are above any kind of ethical or moral standards due to their supposed “marginalization” – results in a near cult like atmosphere in intersectional spaces. Not surprisingly, most people want nothing to do with this and thus nothing to do with the left overall. Who does that benefit, in the long run?
As mentioned previously, considerable education is needed to really understand their theories, and the intersectionalists themselves conveniently have a near hegemony within the academy itself. Hence, the relative absence of working class people in these self styled radical movements.
Which in turn makes the whole of the left easy for the right to denounce as “limousine liberals”, “champagne socialists” or the like. No more effective means of turning the working class off of the political left could be contrived. This makes McCarthyism look clumsy and amateurish. People who are rightly put off by intersectionality then defect quite willingly to conservatism as a protest against it. One almost wonders if this wasn’t the intent all along.
The problem is not with education itself, which is perfectly fine and good. But rather with the co-optation of education to serve elite interests. Something that the left was much more willing and able to call out prior to the capture of the humanities and social sciences by intersectionalists.
The ideology of intersectionality itself is constructed to be a closed system of thought, wherein disagreement with it is likened to actual oppressive behavior against a marginalized person. Allegations of racism or sexism – made with the backing of powerful media outlets – against lone individuals without recourse and no due process are effective and currently socially legitimate ways of marginalizing people. It’s a good way of removing someone who’s bringing up facts and ideas that the truly powerful don’t want publicly legitimized.
Far from emboldening the resistance, intersectionality keeps protest culture in line and ensures its continuity as a controlled opposition. One that allows the powers that be to claim that they allow and legitimize dissent – so long as it doesn’t really threaten them. One oligarch or another might get thrown under the bus due to his alleged racism or sexism here and there.
The oligarchy itself is thus made safer, for it submits itself to the appearance that it really is held to scrutiny and made accountable for its abuses. Surely the absurdity of a racist or sexist comment ruining a CEO while his abuse of his workers, defrauding of his shareholders and pollution of the environment as a matter of course going completely unnoticed highlights the absurd nature of intersectionality as a form of radicalism.
With leftism like intersectionality, who needs conservatism? It’s the ultimate metanarrative, and if the postmodernist techniques of deconstruction can be turned against it, that can only be a good thing. An essential thing, as a matter of fact.

China is a Communist Country, Not a Capitalist Country

US rightwingers keep saying that China is a capitalist country or it is the most capitalist country on Earth.
China is one of the most Communist or socialist states on Earth today. Fully 45% of the Chinese economy is publicly owned, and it does extremely well. Much of the very high economic growth has come from the public sector. How on Earth can China be capitalist when 45% of the economy is state-owned?
But realize that all public firms in China operate on the profit model. They all compete with each other, so you have a steel mill run by one city competing with a steel mill run by another city. Many of the fastest growing industries are run at the municipality level. Also, China’s fully state-owned firms do very well. In fact, Republicans say that China’s public firms are “not fair” because American capitalist corporations can’t compete against them. The reason is that China’s firms get subsidies from the state. Poor capitalist corporations! They’re too inefficient to compete against Communist state owned firms. Poor babies.
You realize that the state owns every single inch of land in China? How is that possible in a capitalist country? Capitalism is primarily based on the private ownership of land. No private ownership of land, no capitalism. Real simple.
I would also point out that the Chinese state spends a tremendous amount of money on its people. Since 45% of the whole economy goes directly to the state, they have a lot of money to spend. And they spend it very wisely too. They mostly spend it on their own people in one way or another.
As I understand it, US capitalists believe in a minimal state, and there is nothing they hate more than state spending. Huge state spending is seen as wasteful tax and spend policies by all capitalists everywhere. Wherever you have massive state spending, you do not have a capitalist system.
But I would like to thank US rightwingers for praising China, the finest example of modern Communism.

The (((Cartoon Version of the Lebanese Civil War))) Most Americans Have Heard Is Wrong

Sisera: And naturally Hezbollah was arch rivals of Israel, who was defending the Christians.

But now the tides have turned because Israel’s pet Jihadis genocide Christians.

Israel didn’t invade to rescue any Christians and they were not defending any Christians. They didn’t participate in the Civil War much. They invaded to conquer the PLO in Lebanon.

This is a cartoon (((evil Muslim Islamist Christian haters trying to genocide good Christians minding their own business version of the Civil War))). This version that most Americans believe was concocted in Israel. So the knowledge most Americans have about that war is just Israeli propaganda.

The war was pretty much rightwing or fascist Maronite Christian groups versus Leftist and Arab nationalist secular Palestinians. That was the war in a nutshell. Later others allied with one side or the other. Most of the groups who allied with the Palestinians were secular. Religious Muslims were mostly not involved in the war.

There was no Hezbollah until 1985. They were caused by the Israeli invasion. And you have it backwards. When Israel invaded, the Shia in the South (Hezbollah’s territory) welcomed them with flowers. They turned on them when the Israelis started being shits like they always do.There was no Hezbollah until 1985. They were caused by the Israeli invasion. And you have it backwards. When Israel invaded, the Shia in the South (Hezbollah’s territory) welcomed them with flowers. They turned on them when the Israelis started being shits like they always do.
The Christians didn’t need any rescuing. They started the Civil War in the first place. They stopped buses full of Palestinians and ordered everyone out and shot everyone in the head.  They did this a few times and the PLO took up arms. But left-wingers were on the side of the PLO too, and the Greek Orthodox were always fighting with the Muslims, etc. against the Maronites. And the leftwing movement of the Druze, a non-Christian, non-Muslim religion, fought alongside the Muslims. Socialists, Communists and Arab nationalists all fought with the Muslims.
The Maronites were sick and tired of the Palestinians living in their country. That’s why they started the war.
The Christians have always run Lebanon. They’re no poor victims. More like minority rule thugs.
The war started with Leftists, Syrian nationalists and Arab nationalists against the Phalange fascist Christian militia modeled after the Nazi party (your heroes). None of the former were very religious. Those were secular groups. Sunni Muslims and Armenian Christians sat out the war. The people who took up arms against the Maronites were secular Arab nationalist types. The Shia sat out the war for a very long time. They did not want to get involved. But they had sympathies with the Palestinians.
The Palestinians set up refugee cams all over Southern Lebanon to attack Israel. During this time, the Shia hated them. The Palestinians ruled like thugs and the religious Shia saw them as a bunch of Commies. They were so sick of Palestinian rule that they welcomed conquering Israelis with flowers as I mentioned.
The main Shia movement, the Amal, fought against the Palestinians alongside the Maronites at the start of the war. The Shia only turned against Israel due to Israeli abuses. They formed Hezbollah, but they spent most of their time fighting Israel. An Armenian Communist organization fought the Maronites for most of the war. These were Christians.
The war actually started when the Maronite President of Lebanon tried to force a fishing monopoly for his group along the coast. Fishermen in Sidon objected and there were popular demonstrations. Palestinians joined these demos. A sniper killed the former mayor of Sidon. To this day no one knows who killed him or why. The sniper fired at the  end of a demonstration and appeared to try to start a conflagration. The situation soon spiraled out of control and the Maronite government lost control of the situation.
The actual beginning of the war was fighting versus Maronite and Palestinian militias. The Maronite government was not involved.
You are going by the (((officially narrative))) of the war of evil Muslim Islamist Christian haters trying to genocide the good Christians of Lebanon. Except most of the “Muslims” were not even religious and the Christian militias were objectively fascist and in particular opposed to democratic rule via a census which would have made them a minority.
The war was secular Palestinians versus fascist Maronite Christians. Most religious Muslims sat out the war. There was no “evil Muslims trying to exterminate good Christians out of religious hatred” bullshit. Hezbollah never took part in the civil war itself. All they did was fight against Israel and its puppet Maronite army in the south. However, most of the soldiers in this “Maronite” army were Shia Muslims! So the war in the South was Shia Muslims in the SLA versus Shia Muslims in Hezbollah. Also there were many Palestinian Christians in the PLO fighting against the Maronites.

Socialism, Populism, and Neoliberalism in the Arab World

Sisera: The CIA’s coups have been out of control for decades, agreed.
But you support minority rule governments in the Middle East (Saddam Hussein, certainly and possibly Assad who is at least an ethnic minority. Hezbollah operated for years in a largely Christian country, etc.) because the alternative would mean Americans die in terror attacks from those countries becoming terror bases.
I don’t know that you could argue any Latin American oligarchy was more brutal than Saddam Hussein.
So you just value certain American interests that are different than his.

Saddam was brutal but he was a populist. He just didn’t tolerate any minority rebellions or opposition really. But in return for that he was a great socialist and populist leader who did great things for his people. Saddam’s rule was not oligarchic rule by a ruling class. Actually when the Ba’ath took power, they took out the local oligarchs, confiscated their land, imposed heavy taxation, nationalized many industries, etc.
Saddam was a man of the people. He was for the little guy, the average Joe Iraqi Workingman. You could also argue that Stalin and Mao were brutal in similar ways. Leftwing regimes can be pretty brutal. I am not one to dismiss that. But leftist and Communist regimes are not cases of ruling class rule or the rule by a small group of rich and capitalists over everyone else.
The whole time Hezbollah was around, Lebanon was a minority Christian country. It hasn’t been majority Christian since the 1960’s or maybe 1970’s. Anyway the Christians are not in opposition to Hezbollah. One of the Maronite leaders, Aoun, is in an alliance with Hezbollah. Hezbollah has Christian and Sunni militias in Christian and Sunni areas. The Greek Orthodox have always supported Hezbollah. It’s a populist movement. Hezbollah only came into existence because of the Israeli invasion.
You may be correct about Syria. Democracy may well vote in radical Islamists, and that would not be a pretty picture. The Syrian rebels give you a taste of what life would be like without Assad.  We already know what life in Iraq was like post-Saddam. A sheer Hell of a charnelhouse. Surely Saddam was better than what came after.
Assad is a populist. He works for everyone. It’s not a matter of the rich running the place and fucking everyone over. They just had elections for Parliament and 85% of the seats were run by Sunnis. The Sunnis run the business community. The army is full of Sunni generals. The minority rule thing is sort of dumb. Assad cuts everyone in because he has to. Anyway, if you go the democratic route in the Middle East, you end up with Islamists.
I actually do not mind popular or populist dictatorships that serve the people. That’s fine. Assad appears to have majority support too. It’s not like the majority want Assad gone and he just usurped them.
Saddam was difficult, but there were 1 million Shia Ba’ath Party members. Shia were persecuted not for being Shia but for being Islamists. Anyway, Saddam was the best choice. Look what happened when he was gone.
For whatever reason, the rich and the capitalists in the Arab World are not evil like in Latin America, the Philippines, Indonesia, etc. Everyone wants socialism in the Arab world. But Arab socialism allows businessmen to earn money, so everyone gets cut in. You don’t have hard-line socialism or Communism because you don’t have diabolical ruling classes like you have in Latin America. If the rich and the capitalists are willing to go along with a socialist or populist project, why can’t they have full rights?
Hezbollah does not control Lebanon. Anyway, Lebanon is minority rule and has been forever. Christians are guaranteed 50% of seats in Parliament but are only 30% of the population. Hezbollah is not a ruling class group. They are basically socialists like most Islamists.
You see, radical neoliberalism, Latin American style economic conservatism, Republican Party politics, etc. is a no seller in the Arab World. Literally nobody but nobody but nobody wants it. The only people proposing it are Lebanese Maronites because they are close to Europe and they are trying to distinguish themselves from Arabs by being individualists and different.
You can’t sell any sort of oligarchic rule, ruling class rule, economic conservatism of any of that in most Muslim countries. Because Mohammad, if you read him closely, was a pretty socialist fellow. Now the ruling classes in the Arab world used to be feudalists who worked the fellahin like serfs.
But the Arab nationalist revolutions that rocked the Arab world got rid of all of that. All rulers wiped out the feudal holdings and liberated the peasants. The large landowners tried to justify their rule by saying that Mohammad said there are rich and there are poor and that is fine. They got corrupt Muslims clergy to go along with this, similar to how the ruling classes get the Catholic Church to go along with the project of the rich.
This alliance was most notable in Iraq, but it existed in other places like Palestine. Egypt was largely feudal before Nasser. Nasser was not only an Arab nationalist but also a working class hero. Leftists all over the Arab World used to have pictures of Nasser on the walls. He too liberated the Muslim peasants. Feudal rule ended in Palestine in the 1930’s in the midst of an Arab nationalist revolution there.
Getting rid of oligarchic and feudal rule was easy in the Arab World because the masses never supported the oligarchs or feudalists. Rather, they hated them. So Arab socialism was an easy fit all over the region. Even the business communities gladly went along.

The Rich Only Support Democracy when the Elected State Serves their Class Interests, Otherwise They Try to Overthrow It

Zamfir: Thanks Robert. I appreciate the site, and it’s nice to feel welcome.
Obviously one problem in discussing this is that terms like ‘left’ and ‘right’ or ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ have been given all kinds of different meanings. If economic conservatism is identified with free market ideology then I’m pretty ambivalent about that, at best. And if it’s identified with support for whatever this internationalist economic system is that we have now, I’m against it.
I find it very weird that people who are conservative about social and cultural issues often support “economic conservatism” of that kind. It’s so clear that these things are incompatible! Anyway I certainly have no problem with socialism per se. I would only disagree with certain versions, or cases where I believe socialism ends up being destructive of healthy families and cultures (in much the same way that capitalism can be).
As for democracy I’m not sure what I think about it. I think I’m a reactionary to the extent that I don’t believe that democracy, or any other specific system or procedure, is always good or always essential to a good society. My sense is that some democracies or kinds of democracy are fine, while others are really bad. It all depends on some many factors aside from the system or procedure itself.
I do want a society where the interests of most people, including the poor, are taken into account fairly. But I don’t see any reason why that could never happen in a non-democratic state. Or, more precisely, for anything that’s good about some democracies, I don’t see why certain non-democratic regimes couldn’t also have those good things; it would all depend on other factors such as the culture and history of the people, their typical behavior and beliefs, etc.
So I guess I’d support coups against democratic regimes in some cases–though things would have to be pretty bad–and also against non-democratic regimes in some cases. I don’t think coups are always bad. (In fact, that’s one thing that seems silly about a lot of rigid ‘conservative’ ideology–the wish to preserve order and the status quo no matter how terrible it’s become…)
You say the rich don’t support democracy. I wonder if that’s true. Maybe they don’t support the ideal of democracy, for the reasons you mentioned. But, again, bearing in mind the looseness of terminology here, they sure do seem to support systems that we normally call “democratic”. Is the US a democracy in your view?
Are England or Ireland or Canada democracies? If so, then I don’t agree that the rich never want democracy. My sense is that they long ago figured out how to manipulate these kinds of systems to get the results they want. They manage the perceptions and values of the masses so that they always end up “freely choosing” the same garbage that the elites wanted all along.
A good question is whether this is an inevitable feature of democracy. (I don’t know the answer.) It could be that in any feasible form of democracy, no matter how close it gets to the ideal, you end up with powerful interests rigging the process to maximize their own wealth and power. And I don’t like that, because I want the interests of ordinary people to be taken into account. Ironically, then, I’m skeptical about many forms of democracy because I think the masses deserve to have a say.
So I’d be against democracy in cases where ‘democratic’ systems are hijacked by elites and used against the people. That’s what’s happening in most of the western world, I’d say. Not to say I’d support a coup in this situation–and certainly not if the point of the coup was to install an even more extreme form of exploitation. But I’m not entirely sure what to say about democracy. I think the reactionary critique has merit. (But then, don’t communists also criticize democracy for roughly similar reasons?)

The Communist view is that seeking power peacefully would be a great idea except the ruling classes will never allow it to happen. They say that power never gives up without a fight, and I believe that they are correct. Nevertheless, most Communists support Venezuela, Nicaragua and only leftwing democratic countries. But the Communists would say, “Look what happens why you try to take power peacefully. You get Nicaragua, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Honduras, Haiti, and even Argentina.”
The ruling class will just overthrow the democratic Left state any way they can, always using anti-democratic means to do so. That’s why Lenin called people who supported the peaceful road to socialism “parliamentary cretins.” He thought it was a great idea but it would never work because the rich would never allow the Left to take power peacefully.
The Communist view is also that you never have democracy under capitalism anyway, as the capitalists and the rich always ending ruling the state one way or another through all sorts of means. And yes, the rich and the capitalists always take over all the media in any capitalist country as you said, they use it to shape the view of the people to support the class politics of the rich. Such support being called false consciousness.
Gramsci said that the ruling class took over the entire culture in capitalist countries and brainwashed the masses into supporting the project of the rich. They did this via cultural hegemony. Marx said that the culture of the rich is always the popular culture in any capitalist country. So the ruling class turns all of us into “little rich people” or “little capitalists” to support their project. They brainwash us into thinking we are the same class as the rich and that we are all capitalists ourselves, so we should support Capital. These are lies, but most Americans are easily fooled.
Ralph Nader called this “going corporate” or “thinking corporate.” He says that in the US, most people adopt the mindset of the corporations and think of themselves are part of the corporate structure whether they are or not. If everyone is part of the corporate structure, then what’s good for corporations is good for all of us, which is the project of the Republican Party, neoliberalism everywhere, the Latin American rich, etc. It’s a big fat lie, but people want to be rich and a lot of workers want to think of themselves are busy little capitalist money-making, go-getter, can-do, Bossterist entrepreneurs because it seems to cool to own your own business.
And the Communists would call this false consciousness and their argument would be that under capitalism, most people adopt false consciousness.
I think in the US, the rich see the tide coming and the rule of the rich is going to end so they want to lock in as much of the state as possible by stacking the courts, gutting the safety net, massive tax cuts that will be impossible to get rid of, and that Constitutional Convention they are two states away from getting where they want to rewrite the whole US Constitution to lock in rule by the rich for as long as possible. The rich see the writing on the wall. That’s why they came up with the computerized elections scam, so they could steal elections as long as people kept voting against the rich.
The gerrymandering of districts now makes it almost impossible to get rid of Republican majorities on state representatives in the House and in Senators and Assemblymen in the states. It’s all locked in.
So as the rich saw the tide turning and demographics moving against them, they instituted a full court press to do all sorts of extremely anti-democratic stuff to stay in power. If the people would just vote for them anyway, they would not have to do that, but apparently most Americans have now turned away from the politics of the rich, so the rich will have to lie, cheat, and steal to stay in power from now on.
Also they elected Donald Trump, by far the most corrupt, authoritarian and even outright fascist leader this country has ever had. And this follows too. Whenever there is a popular movement against the rich and the capitalists, the rich and the capitalists always, always, always resort of fascism to stay in power. This has been proven endlessly over time, even in Europe. Trotsky had some great things to say about this. Check out “Thermidor.” Trotsky truly understood what fascism was all about. It is a desperate last ditch move by the ruling class to seize power in the face of an uprising from the Left.
The rich and the capitalists are determined to stay in power, by hook or by crook, by any means necessary, and they will lie, cheat, steal and kill as many people as they have to just to keep the Left out of power. They simply will not allow the Left to rule. They must rule and if they are out of  power, they will use any antidemocratic means to get power back.
Which is the story of the CIA, the Pentagon and 100% of US foreign policy since 1945 and even before then. Read Samuel Butler.
I mean, we on the Left generally allow the Right to take power if they do so democratically. Sure they destroy everything like they always do, but most of us are committed to the democratic means of seeking power. Even most Communist parties will not take up arms against any rightwing government, saying they prefer to seek power by peaceful means. Typically, the CP will issue a statement that the nation is not in a revolutionary situation right now. There are objective conditions under which a nation is said to be in a revolutionary situation. I’m sure you can recall a few. It is then and only then that most CP’s will go underground and issue a call to take up arms.
Frankly, almost all Left insurgencies postwar were defensive. The Left allowed the Right to take power and then the Right started running around killing people. Usually the Left sat there for a while and let themselves get killed before taking up power. I know the Viet Cong just sat there from 1954-1960 while the rightwing Vietnamese government ran amok in the countryside, murdering 80,000 Communists in six years. They kept asking the North Vietnamese for permission to take up arms, but the North kept denying it.
The Colombian, Salvadoran and Guatemalan guerrillas only took up guns after the state had been running about murdering them unarmed for years. The Salvadoran guerrillas said they got tired of sitting in their homes waiting for the rightwing state to come kill them, and they decided that if the state was going to come kill them anyway, they might as well pick up a gun and defend themselves. They also took up arms because the Right kept stealing elections by fraud.
The Right had cut off all methods of seeking power peacefully, so the Left picked up guns. The message is if you elect a leftwing government, sooner or later the Right will overthrow it and then there will be a reign of terror where many Leftists will be murdered. Knowing that, if you were a Leftist in some country, would you not be afraid to put the Left in power knowing you stood a good chance of being murdered once the inevitable rightwing coup took place?
The Colombian and Honduran governments only stay in power by killing people. Lots of people. The Greek Communists only took up arms after the government had been killing them for some time.
Also once a Left government is overthrown by the rich and the capitalists, the new Rightist government institutes a reign of terror where they slaughter the defeated Left for many years. This went on for decades after 1954 in Guatemala, and it goes on still today. After Aristide was overthrown, the rightwing government murdered 3,000 of his supporters.
After Allende was overthrown, Pinochet murdered 15,000 people over a decade and a half. A threat from the Left prompted the Indonesian government to fake a Left coup and murder 1 million Communists in a couple of months. Even before the Korean War broke out, from 1948-1950, the South Korean government killed hundreds of thousands of Communists in the South.
As they withdrew when the North attacked, the South Koreans killed South Korean Communists everywhere they went. After the fascist coup in Argentina, the government decimated the Left, murdering 30,000 mostly unarmed supporters of the Left. The same thing happened in Bolivia with the Banzer Plan when Hugo Banzer took power after the tin miners briefly sought power. The new rightwing government in Brazil is already starting to murder members of the former Left ruling party. They’re not going to stop.
After the fascist coup in Ukraine, the Communist Party was outlawed and many of its members were murdered. War was declared on labor unions. Workers in one union were chained to a heater inside the building and the building was set on fire.
The party supported by half the population (the Russian speakers and their supporters) the Party of Regions, was outlawed, a number of its deputies were murdered and there were attempts to murder the leader of the party, lastly by setting his house on fire which set his neighbor’s house on fire instead. He fled to Russia. Now half the population and all of the Russian speakers had not party to represent them, which is why they took up arms. They were locked out of power.

Mao Was Right

Sisera: So what does that mean then? You believe rich people are inherently oppressors who don’t deserve rights but then White men are okay?

I dunno. There are some North Koreans worth up to $100,000. The party doesn’t seem to care much. There are many rich Chavistas and the Ortegas have plenty of money. There are some Cubans who are living quite well now – marble counter-tops and floors, etc. The state doesn’t care.
I suppose a good CP would just argue that moneyed people can be kept around as long as they support the party and the basic socialist nature of the system. Progressive rich people are not unknown. The father of the famous terrorist Carlos was a life member of the Venezuelan Communist Party and a millionaire.
Do the Chinese Communists (Chicoms) believe that the rich are inherently oppressive? I doubt it as the party is full of millionaires. There is even a billionaire in the party now pushing the rightwing politics of all billionaires everywhere. I think they ought to throw him out of the party.
Mao said reactionary and capitalist elements would be springing up in the party all the time, and you to wage more or less constant cultural revolution to keep the rightwingers from taking over the party. That’s one of the pillars of Maoism that distinguishes it from other Marxisms.
Then Deng came along, aaand…
Mao was right.

Why Do Some Countries Lack a Class Conscious Working Class?

John Engelman: Contrary to what Karl Marx said, for most people most of the time loyalties of nation, race and ethnicity are stronger than loyalties of class. The working class in the United States has always been more diverse than the working class in European countries. It is becoming more diverse with the influx of non whites.

To get class consciousness you really need a homogeneous working class. It helps if the working class is ethnically distinct from the upper class. In Scotland the upper class is English, or Anglicized Scottish. That is to say Scottish, but educated in England, and often speaking with English accents.
The clear majority of Scots vote for the British Labour Party. English workers are more likely to vote for the British Conservative Party.
The argument is circular in a sense because as you look around the world, generally what you see in most cases is an ethnically homogenous working class.
Would you describe the working classes of Latin America as homogeneous or diverse? They seem to be a mixture of White, Indian and Black and the mestizo, mulatto and Zambo mixtures, correct? Yet the diverse working classes down there have high working class consciousness despite their diverse nature.
Aren’t North African and Gulf countries fairly mixed between Blacks and Arabs?
Certainly in Arabia, lands with diverse working classes of Kurds, Arabs and Iranian working classes are all very left.
I believe Sri Lanka even with the vicious Tamil versus Sinhalese war, the diverse working class is leftwing. In Burma the working class is very left although there have been wild ethnic wars sputtering on for decades.
In Russia and other nations of the former USSR, there are many ethnic minorities, but the workers are still working class.
A recent exception is Ukraine where workers have gone radical Right. The former Yugoslavia is still very leftwing even after all of the ethnic conflict and even slaughter of past years. Spain’s working class is very radical despite an armed conflict in the Basque region and separatists in Catalonia. The different religions hate each other in North Ireland, but the Scottish Protestant workers are as class conscious as the Irish Catholic ones. Switzerland is divided between three ethnic groups – French, Germans, and Italians – yet it is a very leftwing country.
The extreme tribalism in Africa has not prevented the working classes from being class conscious.
Is the working class of England voting Tory yet? Or do you just mean that they are more likely to vote Tory than the Scots are?
Most workers in Europe, Arabia, North Africa, Africa, the former USSR, China, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Japan, South Korea, Nepal are the same ethnicity as the ruling classes of those places, yet workers have a high degree of class consciousness in all of those places.
The places where working class consciousness has been harder to develop were those that had a Chinese ruling class as in Philippines and Indonesia.
I think we need to come up with some better theories about the poor class consciousness of the US working class. If you are looking for examples elsewhere, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia, the Baltics and Colombia are places with quite poor working class consciousness.
In Australia it is recent as US style conservatism is imported.
A similar trend is underway in Canada and has been since Thatcher in the UK. But the UK is in nearly a revolutionary situation. A lot of the working classes are militant and radicalized, while a lot of the country has at the same time gone Tory. When Thatcher died, there were anti-rich riots in housing estates across the land. Thatcher was burned in effigy in the streets. Can you imagine that happening in the US?
The recent riots in the UK also had a class undercurrent. I was dating a British woman at the time, and she told me that local storeowners who treated the community well were spared by rioters. Rioters focused on stores selling upscale goods to the rich. Many corporate outlets were also smashed.
She told me that a number of those outlets had a reputation for not paying taxes to the UK by hiding money offshore. She said the rioters knew who those companies were, and they were brutally singled out. Many outlets were burned to the ground. Can you imagine heavily Black rioters in the US having class consciousness like that?
The Baltics are a case of entire nations full of complete idiots who hate Communism so much that they went into an extreme overreaction against Communism and turned against anything socialist, left, liberal or mildly progressive. Fascist heroes including many Nazis with a lot of Jewish blood on their hands were celebrated. Communist parties were outlawed, and Russian minorities were viciously maltreated.
Radical rightwingers were elected in all of these lands, and Chicago Boys Friedmanite experiments were undertaken. The results were predictable. In the recent economic crash, the most neoliberal European countries were the most devastated of all. Estonia was eviscerated, and Latvia was almost wiped off the map. 1/3 of the Latvian population left the country, including almost all of the educated people.
The Philippines and Indonesian cases are up for discussion, but these are Latin American situations of a ruling class of a different ethnicity than the working classes holding forth brutally and anti-democratically over the people. In addition, the workers have little consciousness.
Taiwan has a similar legacy where extreme hatred of Communism resulted in being ruled by reactionary fascist anti-Communists for decades. There is a nascent Left now, but it has little power yet. The wealth of the country seems to have gotten in the way of working class consciousness. Probably the extreme anti-Communism helped too, as any working class movement could be quickly portrayed as Communist.

Would Anyone in the US with Normal Intelligence (98 IQ), Ambition, and Absence of Disastrous Life Choices Be Impoverished?

Answered on Quora.
Of course. I know people with IQ’s of 140–150, good education (BA to MA), good looks, good social skills, good work history, etc. who are either impoverished or have a low income.
Making money is a lot more of a crap shoot than anyone thinks, especially in capitalism because capitalism doesn’t care about utilizing every member of society to their fullest potential.
The Communist countries, no matter what you think of them (and I include China here), probably would have tested all of these people early in life, realized that their intelligence at least had to be utilized by society, and set them on some sort of a track towards putting these people’s intelligence at least in positions where they could maximally benefit society and the state. The Communists were not interested in wasting human potential. In fact, they were ideologically opposed to it.
Capitalism on the other hand claims to care about human potential but actually is neither in favor of or opposed to utilizing it. It is simply indifferent to whether the human potential of society is utilized or not. Capitalism is about maximizing profits and nothing else. If profits can still be maximized while still wasting the potential of millions, capitalism is indifferent.
Furthermore, capitalism, unlike Communism, is indifferent to maximizing human potential to better society and the state. Capitalism is hostile to the state and would just as soon almost do away with it, and capitalism cares not one whit about benefiting society as a whole. As long as high profits are being made, capitalists could care less about what state society, the nation, or the ethnic group are in because they are indifferent to the well-being of all of these things.
I am not advocating for Communism or socialism here over capitalism. There are serious benefits and drawbacks to each system. But the Communists obviously did a much better job than the capitalists at getting the maximal benefit to society and the nation out of as many individuals as possible.

A Chinese Man Looks at Africa


How many times have we heard this before? This video is being condemned in the comments as racist. It’s not. Anyway, how many times have you heard similar things about Africans? There’s no end to anecdotes like this.
That said, I think the Chinese will be very good for Africa. People do not understand the Chinese Communist Party. They really are Communists. I know this. There’s no need to argue about it.
This notion that they have all turned into radical neoliberal laissez faire capitalists is wishful thinking on the part of the capitalists. Their system is called Market Socialism or the Social Market, and that is exactly what it is. 88% of investment in China comes from the state. 45% of the economy is publicly owned. All of the banks are publicly owned. The private sector is severely regulated. They still have a planned economy all the way down to actually existing five-year plans. And they have admitted that they are still committed to the goal of spreading Communism around the world. They are spending a lot of money at US educational institutions to promote socialism.
The Chinese effort in Africa is not neocolonialism or imperialism. China is not an imperialist country. It can’t be. They work on the basis of solidarity, not neocolonialism and imperialism. A Communist country can’t be imperialist anyway. Social imperialism was a made up thing that never existed. Soviet imperialism was a notion invented by the Cold War.
The Chinese do and will operate in Africa on a win-win basis. We win, you win. Exactly the opposite of the way the US and other imperialist countries operate – my way or the high way, do as we say or else, we exploit you while you lie back and enjoy it, etc.

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