loonies, fruitcakes and closet racists
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Johnnywas



Joined: 08 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject: loonies, fruitcakes and closet racists  Reply with quote
David Cameron described UKIP as loonies, fruitcakes and closet racists.

I think taht just about sums it up. I don't always agree with the PM but on this occassion he's alamost certainly right

There is a temptation to argue that we should soft pedal opposition to  UKIP because the truth is that if UKIP do well in 2015 that will cause the Tories major problem at the Polls. If the right vote is split it will under first past the post punish the Tories

In practice however it is not sufficient for Labour to win by default.  It may be essential that Labour does win. I'm not going to suggest that the number of seats won at elections is not a crucial measure of success. However the Left has to win the argument immigration, on integration and on diversity. Its not going to do that if it doesn't use every opportunity to highlight the obvious inanities of the UKIP platform.

There is at least a possibility - that Cameron will choose not to shift to the right as some Tory MPs would like. Instead he will focus his parties efforts on wooing central right voters and let UKIP squawk and wail in the background about whatever they choose. The Tories can afford to lose Votes in true blue constituencies. They are only under threat in marginal constituencies where Tories and Labour swaps seats every few years. If any one were tempted to humour UKIP supporters this would leave no effective challenge to the nonsense they spout.
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WolfySmith



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:14 pm    Post subject: Re: loonies, fruitcakes and closet racists Reply with quote
Is there a progressive patriotism?

Quote:
I was rather puzzled by your editorial on patriotism (M Star November 24).

Normally the editorials are excellent with a good, sound class analysis, but can there be a progressive patriotism?

Can patriotism be differentiated from shallow jingoism as the editorial claims?

I think not. It's the last refuge of scoundrels as someone once said.

I would suggest that the logical extension of such a view would be to embrace the Union Jack as "ours" like Gordon Brown did.

I am sure this is not what the editorial meant. I would leave the Tories to revel in jingoism and patriotism, most regular working class people can see through it.

A healthy internationalist outlook based on working-class solidarity is what is needed. It is one thing to expose the falsehood and hypocrisy of the patriotism of the rich.

It is another to embrace patriotism as somehow "ours."

John Swinburne
Edinburgh


http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/126667
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WolfySmith



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
According to Leninís theory and practices support of bourgeois patriotism isnít a position that any Marxist can take and is less socialist in thought than a non-Marxist social-democrat that takes an internationalist view those who know the texts by heart but justify social-chauvinism accepting the idea of defending the national interests and collaboration with the bourgeoisie of their own countries are opportunists who mislead and confuse the working classes by promoting patriotism over international class consciousness.
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WolfySmith



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
According to Leninist theory only objective consideration of the sum total of the relations between absolutely all the classes and objective stages of development of relations can serve the basis for correct tactics in practice. Leninís said that the argument that the masses wouldnít go along with militant internationalism was a pathetic attempt to transfer responsibility from the leaders to the led and that when capitalism was in crises the leadership should lead not be led. The role of a Marxist vanguard party is to give organizational leadership in the international class struggle at a time when social-democratic parties accept the neo-liberal economic and neo-conservative class agenda of the capitalist classes, Marxist shouldnít be hiding behind nationalist patriotism which is equally a form of class collaboration with the bourgeois class. According to Lenin chauvinism patriotism and nationalism only splits the working classes and is therefore equal to Blairism in its betrayal of the interests of the working classes.

What is needed from the Marxist-Leninist left is theoretical analysis and methodology of the imperialist nature and the crises of capitalism, capital has merged together the financial and industrial capital into what Lenin called a monopolistic stage. With this Ďgrows the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation and explorationí (Marx) and what is needed is a Ďdisciplined, united organized revolt of the working classes. (Neil Harding, Leninís Political Thought Vol. 2 1981 p42, 43) As long as capitalism remains what it is, surplus capital will be utilized not for the purpose of raising the standards of living of the masses in a given country, for this would mean a decline in profits for the capitalist, but for the purpose of increasing profits by exporting capital abroad to the backward countries. (V I Lenin cited in Harding Vol. 2 1981 p56) According to Neil Harding the distinguishing feature of Leninís theory of imperialist stage of capitalism is that trade in goods has been replaced by the export of capital, financiers have taken the place of entrepreneurs which is arguably what we have witnessed over the last thirty years of neo-liberal economic practices supported by the neo-conservative state and global governance by the IMF, WTO and World Bank.
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Jon Teunon



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I don't think that it can be reasonably assumed that all Ukip voters/members are racists. It is perfectly consistent to be both tolerant and opposed to the EU. I actually blame those who run the EU for its unpopularity as they are doing such a bad job (and yes to rival those in charge of the UK over the last 30 years or so). As Monbiot has highlighted recently the †subsidy by the EU for landowners is regressive, effectively feudal and entirely unjustifiable. It is no good just calling support for the EU from a left perspective without addressing its many faults. If it was organised more fairly then it would probably be more popular than it is at present.

However, I think it would be a mistake for the Tories to shift to the right. At the moment Ukip is clearly causing it a lot of problems but they still haven't even got one seat like the marginalised Green Party. We have no cause to think that Ukip will be able to do what no one has achieved over the last hundred years or so and loosen the grip of the big mainstream three let alone break the duopoly. Under FPTP the odds are very much against Ukip maintaining their current momentum. What is far more likely is for cynicism and disgust for politics generally to escalate across the UK. That is the real crisis facing us both at national and regional level!
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WolfySmith



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I would accept that you donít have to be a racist to support Ukip or be anti-EU, my argument is with those on the left that argue withdrawal from the EU would somehow strengthen the British Left and working class movement economically and politically. My fear is the British Left are sleepwalking into allying themselves with the most reactionary sections of the capitalist political and economic class in Britain.
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Johnnywas



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wolfy

quite a few issues there

starting with Lenin. I don't think that Lenin's additions to the Marxist Canon added anything of value. Lenin argued that nationalities should be allowed to determine their future but I don't think that he demonstrated any very clear fit between that statement and Marxist theory. I think on the contrary Rosa Luxemburg was wise to seperate issues of social and economic justice from issues of national self determination  

however that is not to say that Lenin was entirely wrong to express sympathy and solidarity with oppressed minorities.

its perfectly possible to make the claim that people have the right to a degree of self determination without making the much more dubious claim that the national state should be exclusive, privaleged and wholly independent. recognising devolved governance seems to me part of living in a pluralist society where people's choices about how they live are valued. we have a federal model which provides individual and community rights as well as a degree of international governance. we should embrace it.

my argument against UKIP isn't here about Europe - its about their visceral distrust of inegration, of immigration and of difference. we are agreed that this marks them as died in the wool reactionaries.

J
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Jon Teunon



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I disagree with nationalism and therefore by extension disagree with Ukip (as well as nationalist left parties who prioritise the destruction of the EU). However, until those in power across the Europe (whether in national governments or as members of the EU bureacracy) actually address the criticisms aimed by Eurosceptics the latter will continue to grow in influence.

Aspiring to more cooperation at a regional (and international) level is laudable and should not be compromised in face of nationalist dogma. But acknowledgement of and practical responses to EU malpractice, mistakes and arrogance is imperative. The CAP and the damage it causes has now effectively been going on for over 50 years! It has consistently been just under half of the entire EU/EC/EEC budget.

Ideological support for more cross border cooperation should not be allowed to overshadow systemic failings in the EU project. To do so only lends credibility to anyone who is determined to highlight them. While making the case for the EU we must also strive to correct its weak points - something which is almost entirely absent from mainstream parties which support it leaving them open to the charge of being Eurofanatics.
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WolfySmith



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Johnnywas, personally Iíve never got to grips with Luxemburg, have a copy of her book ĎThe Accumulation of Capitalí which I found unreadable and gave up on so Iím not really in a position to judge other than as far as I know she argued that the socialist revolution was to take an internationalist form. Whereas whilst Lenin argued it would need to be universal he argued in the developing world it would take the form of national liberation movements against imperialist domination by the developed capitalist states, and took account of the different levels of development. As you say Lenin realized the need for self-determination and for variations due to cultural differences which was a major error in the Stalinist Ďone model fits allí Soviet Union.

If we look at the EU one of the things thatís whatís wrong is the Ďone model fits allí which doesnít take account of social and economic differences between nation states such as Greece and Germany and that within its economic and political structures Germany as a more developed nation exploits the less developed nation states to the east and south for its labour, resources and markets. What I believe was the Leninist argument is that like Marx he saw the developed nations of western and northern Europe and Scandinavia pulling the less developed nation states to the east and south up to their level within a socialist European federation. This is why Lenin argued that nationalist and chauvinistic patriotism isnít the correct Marxist strategy unlike the developing nations which in included Eastern and Southern Europe. (Leninís Collected Works Vol. 23 p38 cited in N Harding, Leninís Political Thought Vol. 2 p65, 66)

What Lenin was arguing was that where capitalism hasnít consolidated itself internally by destroying feudalism, national liberation movement are an appropriate political and economic part of the strategy towards socialism, defending native cultures and freedom from exploitation by the developed nation states of capitalist imperialism. What Lenin was arguing was (is) that in the developed nation states national unity should be replaced by class unity. †(Leninís Collected Works Vol. 23 p59 cited in N Harding, Leninís Political Thought Vol. 2 p67) The reactionary ethos of capitalism becomes (has become) manifest in both the developing and developed nation states in the highest stage of capitalism as 'foreign and home policy as imperialism strives towards violations of democracy and towards reaction'. (Leninís Collected Works Vol. 23 p43 cited in N Harding, Leninís Political Thought Vol. 2 p67)

Militarization and violence increasingly becomes the way capitalism solves domestic and international social and economic problems as jingoism becomes part of the ideology that underpins state and class power in the interest of international finance capital as individual and collective rights are eroded. This is according to Harding at the core of Leninís theory of imperialism and monopoly capitalism and his conclusion that the class struggle in the developed world must take an internationalist rather than nationalist form rather than allying itself with the parasitic oppressive and regressive nation state which has maintaining the wealth and privileges of the capitalist political and economic elite as it objective. From a Marxist and Leninist standpoint there isnít any rational for nationalism and chauvinistic patriotism in a developed imperialist state like Britain.

The historical and geographic material-dialectics of the hegemony of globalization and international finance capital have been driven over the last thirty years by neo-liberal economic theory and the neo-conservative state and global governance by the IMF, WTO and World Bank. The task of Marxists/Leninists is to analyse the historical and geographic dialectics of the bourgeois state/supra-state and institution of global governance and unite the working classes of the advanced nation states as a new historic bloc. The political and economic elite of capitalism see the state as providing the legal framework and police/army to enforce marketization and privatization on the peoples of Britain, Europe and Scandinavia through national, regional and global governance.

So called Marxists and Leninist who argue for a nationalistic, chauvinist patriotism have failed to understand Marxism, Leninism and the material-dialectics of international finance capital. And are therefore acting as reactionary trade-union bureaucrats holding back the labour movement and working classes of Britain by allying themselves with the most reactionary political groups in Britain they are preventing and chance of advancing towards socialism. This is why I argue from a Marxist and Leninist position that the AGS, CPB, SP and SWP should/must form a left front like the Front de Gauche in France and be a part of the EL and GUE/NGL led by Pierre Laurent national secretary of the Parti Communiste FranÁais and Gabi Zimmer Die Linke MEP as part of a strategy to stop and reverse the neo-liberal economic and neo-conservative political agenda of the EU, ECB and IMF and the three main political parties of Britain.
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m.chewter



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm not sure what nationalist left parties are. Of course, HM Hyndman was described in that way, but I'm not sure who may be described in that way today.

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