Left out in the cold
22 December, 2008
Cruddas moves on to attack the ‘Old Left’ (a question on which is served up as a softball by the interviewer). He hails the SPD and their grand coalition, and their response to the emergence of Die Linke. Die Linke and the far left generally, Cruddas describes as having “very reductive” and “economically reductive” views of class.
When I heard that, I had trouble not throwing my computer across the room. Is he fucking kidding me? Does he even live on the same political planet as the rest of us, who are labouring long and hard to undermine this rainbow coloured bullshit of people like Nicos Poulantzas who suggest that Late Capitalism has undermined ‘economically reductive’ class and that actually the material superstructure doesn’t matter anymore?
And he’s so glib about it. He passes over it like it doesn’t even merit debate. I have read, written and debated for years on this topic alone – class – and one hack politician suddenly declares that my interpretation is economically reductive. I’m going to beat the shitbag to death with a copy of Ellen Woods’ Retreat from Class.
The title of the piece is “If Jon Cruddas is the future of the Left, we’re fucked” This misses the essential truth that the left is fucked in the Labour Party anyway.There are several reasons for this.
Primarily the hard left is abysmal at securing parliamentary candidacies for leftwing activists consequently they have very few people in parliament that are in the John McDonell or Jeremy Corbyn mould. With no cheerleaders in parliament they have no one to lead the troops.
Second of the ones that are there at the moment most are retiring, standing down or otherwise giving up.
Third since Militant left the party there have been various avenues for far left wingers to excerise their political ideas in more conducive environments some trade unions, socialist alliance, respect, SWP ect. Why compromise with the electorate when you can live in a socialist nirvana with your buddies.
Fourth the left speaks in a language that is dirived from inflected indo-european bullshit. The lumpen proletariat has long since been subsumed by the lumpen polytechnic. If you want to take part in debates on the hard left the ultimate qualification is an unpublished PhD because capitalism just doesn’t understand you.
Fifth no one cares if you think Jon Cruddas betrayed John McDonnell in the last leadership election. He didn’t but before we get in to an argument let me reiterate: seriously no one cares get over it.
As someone who would like to see New Labour lose its more authoritiarian and twat like tendencies the hard left should be able to appeal to me but all they seem to produce is bile directed at the government and the sense they are totally detachted from the real world. With the world capitalist system falling down around our ears the SWP languishes in oblivion while the far right loonies in the BNP are making serious and worrying advances. While in the Labour Party the government has seen its fortunes rise and the left seems to be mute in response. So if not now for the glorious revolution when?