“What’s best for British capitalism” is a false question for the working class

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jk1921
“What’s best for British capitalism” is a false question for the working class
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: “What’s best for British capitalism” is a false question for the working class. The discussion was initiated by jk1921.
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jk1921
Populism?

Hmm, interesting that the article identifies a contemporary strain of "populism" that is an increasingly important feature in the political life of the international bourgeoisie in many different countries. More interesting is that it situates a number of different tendencies within this broad "populist" category. Not only are Donald Trump and the UKIP part of this category, but so are Podemos and Syriza? What about Bernie Sanders? Is he in there as well? Comrades may know that the kind of "populism" practiced by Podemos and Syriza has been consciously theorized as such by leftist academic Chantal Mouffe (who actually advises Podemos). This populism is supposed to be a mature political alternative to reductionist and fatalist vulgar Marxism, which suggests the working class is only ever acting legitmately when it is rationally pursuing its material interests. For the new left populists, this is a gross misunderstanding of "The Political," which requires political actors to motivate society through specifically political means by finding the messages that work best regardless of their relationship to some objective economic interest (hence populism). And sure enough, this populism seems to actually "work" as witnessed by the rise of Syriza and Podemos. But are Trump, UKIP, Tea Party, the new-fangled populism of a remodeled FN, really a part of the same phenomenon? Perhaps the instance of the Galloway/UKIP alliance, or the bizzare example of the Trump/Sanders crossover voter, suggests they might really be.

On the "Brexit:" There seems no rational way in which exiting the EU is in the best interests of the UK national capital. Of course, there was also no rational way in which Scottish independence would have been beneficial for either party (the UK bourgeoisie as a whole or its Scottish nationalist faction). So what is going on? Why is the UK bourgeoisie taking such huge political risks with these referendums at this point in time? Is it to ward off these populist forces with the understanding that they will only get stronger as the rot of capitalism deepens? So better to get these votes over with now and render them moot questions for as long as possible? Supposedly, if the Scottish independence referendum were held again today--Scotland would be gone. Is the penetration of certain populist factions into the main centers of bourgeois institutions in the UK (Parliament, the Tory party apparatus itself) a reflection of the same forces that have brougt the Tea Party and other populist wings of the US bourgeoisie into the center of the Republican Party (Perhaps with something of a similar process going on the Democratic Party today with Sanders--but at a less dangerous level)?

lem_
a good thoughtful post,

a good thoughtful post, thanks.

Quote:
Why is the UK bourgeoisie taking such huge political risks with these referendums at this point in time? Is it to ward off these populist forces with the understanding that they will only get stronger as the rot of capitalism deepens?

IMHO it would likely be mistaken to split the referendums from that populist current.

As to Sanders / Trump, I would agree they perform similar functions, though for separate bourgeois ideologies.

Fred
If the UK votes to leave the

If the UK votes to leave the EU in the June  referendum, won't that inevitably lead to another referendum in Scotland who will vote to exit the United Kingdom and join the EU as a seperate entity? 

As to the question "What's best  for British capitalism ?" The answer is simple. Get rid of it. Get rid of capitalism worldwide. Just do it!  

Lazarus
Struggle and consciousness

The article says the working class has to be conscious to be able to struggle effectively, but I question this.  There must be some level of understanding to go into struggle and even more so to go beyond trade union and sectionalist limits, but this does not mean that the working class in general can attain revolutionary consciousness before struggle or even during struggle in the absence of a class party.    This does not necessarilly spell certain defeat for struggles, they can have some success even in a generalised panorama of erosion of working class conditions. 

But without a return to class struggle, no matter how hampered by inevitable bourgeois ideological domination, there is no chance of generalising the revolutionary perspective nor building anything like an adequate revolutionary presence to generalise the revolutionary perspective.

Class consciousness will be a result of struggle and other factors but it will always be a marginalised phenomenon outside of acute revolutionary periods.

jk1921
Agree

Lazarus wrote:

The article says the working class has to be conscious to be able to struggle effectively, but I question this.  There must be some level of understanding to go into struggle and even more so to go beyond trade union and sectionalist limits, but this does not mean that the working class in general can attain revolutionary consciousness before struggle or even during struggle in the absence of a class party.    This does not necessarilly spell certain defeat for struggles, they can have some success even in a generalised panorama of erosion of working class conditions. 

But without a return to class struggle, no matter how hampered by inevitable bourgeois ideological domination, there is no chance of generalising the revolutionary perspective nor building anything like an adequate revolutionary presence to generalise the revolutionary perspective.

Class consciousness will be a result of struggle and other factors but it will always be a marginalised phenomenon outside of acute revolutionary periods.

I can mostly agree with that...

lem_
kicking off ?

i'm wondering if anything will "kickoff" with the referendum results ...

what are historical precedents for these (false, if anything, but) important decisions ?

lem_
sorry for posting soo much, but

Quote:
The more immediate problem posed by the rise of populism is this: while it is evidently a phenomenon that can be used by the bourgeoisie, there is the danger that it can escape the control of the main political parties and cause problems for the usual political manoeuvres of the bourgeoisie.

does this explain the perception of sanders and corbyn in the media?

lem_
i don't mean that either of

i don't mean that either of those politicians could present the danger of communism to the ruling class. one thing i've been wondering about is the division between populist camps, e.g. sanders and trump. maybe that is part of the appeal of populism for the bourgeoisie, the ability to divide workers based on these (popular) political ideologies.