“Marxism”? Don’t mention it. “Socialism” you can’t, but while the political and economic changes have taken place so that the once unthinkable is now with us. How come?
Government, whether a Tory/Lib-Dem coalition, or Labour, variously labelled “new” and “blue” has fallen in with the changed power structures dominated by a monied elite. The Thatcher era, which we supposed was over after her “defeat” was championed by the supposedly new government of “New Labour” led by an acolyte called Tony Blair. Except he did things in a bigger and better way than Thatcher, presiding over bigger and better wars, conducted more and more by private enterprise, and privatised more of our essential public services making them ready for destruction. Opposition there is to our prized National Health Service, but our state school system is all but destroyed with Academies (brought in by New Labour) and Free Schools.
The question is do Governments rule? The answer is that they are bound hand and foot by the corporate power which can dictate what it wants without the opposition of elected politicians or a compliant media.
The Labour Party Conference supposedly coming up with an alternative message is once more regurgitating the one that the corporate masters want to hear. So we have New Labour, Blairite, Liam Byrne saying of course we have to get rid of benefits. They are a dirty word. So let the struggling unemployed, homeless and poverty stricken suffer while we think up something else. What’s the answer Mr Byrne? “Push ’em back to work”. Isn’t that precisely what the Government pay Atos to do with the result that many who are unfit for work end up suicidal. Is that what we want for our society? No politician will admit that, but for private sector organisations that is bread and butter. They get their money and make fat profits as the rich get richer, the poor poorer. The politicians, every one of them, repeat the mantra that it’s the economic crisis, stupid. Who created the crisis? And it wasn’t by accident either.
The death of Eric Hobsbawm at 95 has been announced with his obituarists unafraid to talk of his Marxism. He was a friend of Ralph Miliband, father of “Red Ed” now leading the Labour Party to fight the next election. Like Obama in the US he is likely to have trouble getting anywhere near power if he doesn’t shake off any suspicion that he is indeed left. In fact in recent weeks he has made his admiration of Blair, and I understand Thatcher (as did Blair and Brown) widely known and understood.
That Hobsbawm himself it is claimed as someone who “helped spawn New Labour” gives rise to a serious contradiction. Neil Kinnock says he quoted him extensively to curb the Bennite left and Militant “with the author’s approval”. Hobsbawm himself says the “working class, blue collar worker” no longer provides a large enough entity to challenge the corporate hegemony. So if you can’t beat ’em. join ’em. Is that what he meant? I very much doubt it.
As Arthur Scargill maintains the class divide is between those who own the means of production and the rest of us. While the occupy movements have demonstrated that a tiny minority maintains power over the majority, the political domination is owned by the few.