Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Left Vacant

Revisiting 'leading' Leftist thought -- through my encounters with Klein's shaky polemic -- proved a reminder of an old belief of mine that the Left could do so much better.

Naive belief in grand unworldly politics ("a world parliament"), peaceful revolution ("throw out capitalism") and little or no engagement with the reality of politics (producer interests, identity politics, etc etc), there remain true believers willing to roll out the same old lines.

A rather thin article in the Guardian earlier this week about the vacant Left prompted letters from such die-hard fanatics.

Amidst the usual self-congratulatory nonsense came this:

"It is a mistake to think the left can flourish independently of the rest of the working class. It is out of the living resistance of workers themselves that the left will renew itself."

Living resistance huh? It's all a battle I guess to some. All or nothing. Total dedication or else. For me, a bit of engagement by lots of people would be welcome enough. For the ideologues, nothing but 110% belief is enough. Actual politics with actual people? Less of a priority.

Also ... the letters selectively miss Paul Ormerod's point:

"The left just gave up on economics," says the economist Paul Ormerod, who retains sympathy for the cause. "Marx and Keynes cast such long shadows. There was too much of the left saying, 'It's all there in the old masters.'" Marx died in 1883 and Keynes in 1946; by the 80s – some would say much earlier – the world economy had changed sufficiently to invalidate some of their ideas. Yet the left was more interested by then, Ormerod argues, in other issues such as race and gender and sexuality. Lawson agrees: "We've had a hollowed-out generation of economic thinkers.""

Edited to add: a grand piece of Marxist nonsense from the SWP! If you ever wanted to see the religion of modern-day Marxism, here's a good example.

I find it hard to take such people seriously. they are marxism's quants - enablers of complex nonsense.

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