Thatcher: Just another cog in the capitalist state

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Thatcher: Just another cog in the capitalist state
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Thatcher: Just another cog in the capitalist state. The discussion was initiated by jk1921.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

Was the desire for elements

Was the desire for elements of the British bourgeoise to pursue a more independent imperialist policy the only reason Thatcher was dumped?

Moreover, if British capital "demanded" a Thatcher, does this mean U.S. capital "demanded" a Regan? Why didn't German capital have the same demand? Or did it? 

the bourgeoisie and its teams

I don't think divisions over imperialist policy were the only reason Thatcher was ousted. They were important though - Britian needed to be more flexible in its alliances after the break-up of the blocs and Thatcher was firmly in the 'American' camp. Major was perhaps thought to be more ameniable to the Europhile (pro-German) wing of the Party (and therefore to the section of British capitalism that favoured further European integration/harmonisation), but to be honest I'm not certain that 'the establishment' as a whole (ie, not just the Tory MPs) wouldn't have preferred someone like Heseltine or Clark that was really pro-Europe. It seems that in general 'big business' is more Europhile and 'small business' is more pro-American. The fact that Thatcher was perceive as being both paranoid and dictatorial, as well as alienating a large part of the Tories' traditional base in 'Middle England' (which is very unlike 'Middle America' as a concept), certainly didn't help. She had become a liability to the Conservative Party and to the British establishment.

In terms of which policies needed to be brought in when, in general the larger western economies had 'left governments' in the mid-70s (Wilson/Callaghan, Carter, Brandt/Schmidt) and from 79-82 these moved right (Thatcher, Reagan, Kohl). The ICC I believe developed the thesis of the 'Left in Opposition' to explain this arguing that the social-democratic parties were being put into opposition in order to refresh themselves for their main role of heading off discontent.

I'm not sure the bourgeoisie can orchestrate things entirely to its satisfaction, though, so while the US bourgeoisie could demand a Reagan, there may have been times when it could have gotten a Mondale, for example. Recent results which didn't go as smoothly as the bourgeoisie would like include, I'd argue, the 1992 defeat for Kinnock in the UK, and the 2000 defeat for Gore in the US.


What do you think the response was?

Almost everything I saw regarding the death of Thatcher from 'the Left' was along the lines of 'Thatcher is dead but the policies she championed are still in place'. That's pretty much the tack I took, and it's the jist of the article that the ICC produced too.

Of course 'the Left' then followed this observation with 'so join our mass social-democratic protest party version 2.0', whereas the revolutionary groups followed it with...?

I distributed a leaflet that I produced myself round events to do with Thatcher, and I'm told that other people also distributed some copies, in London and Bristol. In it we called for resistance to the current attacks and for the formation of mass assemblies to organise that resistance. Possibly it's a pie-in-the-sky approach but I hadn't found anything that grabbed my attention (a 4-page article from the CWO that I'm not certain has been published yet, but nothing from the ICC at that point and I needed something in 40 lines or less).

Anyone see this bit by Zizek?

Anyone see this bit by Zizek? Absolutely infuriating in many respects, but notable in its rejection of the idea that Thatcher was "just another cog." He argues for the transformative power of leaders and says we need a "left Thatcher." Laughable, but his harsh verdit on the possibility of any self-organized revolution is worthy of note. What exactly is he saying here? The masses don't know what they want? The myth of the "hyper-competent citizen"? What does this represent?