Booted and suited.

Brexit rides rough shod over political identities, Tory or Labour, left or right, brexiteers or remainers. The booted and suited remainers could well be Labour, we know that it is the Tory elite group who are leading the Brexit campaign since this is the message repeated ad nauseam in press reports. The left case is less well documented.

Brexit has been identified with the right from the start with UKIP getting full press coverage. Takis Fotopoulos analyses a situation where, not only in Britain, but elsewhere, including the US, confusion has abounded. The population, divided between the beneficiaries of globalisation and those (the majority) who have found themselves its victims, have looked for alternatives. The traditional left has failed to show support for the victims while many are giving support for remaining in the European Union, an engine of globalisation repressing further those affected by austerity, the loss of what were termed “essential services” provided by almost non-existent local government.

In case any one missed it, this was David Cameron’s promise around the time he offered the chance to take part in a referendum on staying in or leaving the EU. Since then local government has shrunk losing the ability to provide even the most essential of services at the same time as increasing council tax levels significantly. Privatisation of everything, following the highly praised model of Chile’s experiment under Pinochet, has taken hard as “globalisation” (neoliberalism) has taken firm hold. It has become the engine of the European Union and its institutions as well as governments universally whether calling themselves right or left.

Every where privatisation has been practiced flagship projects have ended in tears as private providers collapse through corruption and greed. Carillion failed in the middle of building new hospitals, our railways are costing more and more, at the same time as failing to deliver basic services with huge profits going to providers which include companies set up by state railways of Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy etc. Carillion’s highly paid boss not only landed a new job leading another failing company but was retained as a government adviser. Heads they win, tails we lose.

8 thoughts on “Booted and suited.

  1. David Jacobsen

    Takis Fotopoulos analyses a situation: This is a crafty article. Complete miss use of meaning of actual revolution from capitalism to Socialism or vice versa.European Union gets no mention. There are a couple of EU’S in the piece. Semi defence of what he classes ad neo nationalists. Even to extent of sanitising fascists by painting their adversaries as Europhile lefties. Humane principled people can spot fascists intellectuals and activists.

    1. John Post author

      I read this more as a description of what seems to be going on rather than as an attempt to sanitise fascists or fascism. The idea of an uprising crosses boundaries as both left and right groups have reacted to the responses of those affected by neoliberalism, but not in many cases distinguishing one from the other. As UKIP in UK surged briefly there was a response also to Corbyn who was formerly allied to people like Tony Benn and Scargill. Many thought that Bernie Sanders in the US represented an alternative compared to the awful Hillary Clinton and support came from the same areas in the battles for Democratic candidate and then the President in the so-called “rust belt”. Brexit is now a toxic brand and firmly aligned with the right. This time round their true position has
      become clearer as UKIP champions “Tommy Robinson” and Steve Bannon courts far right groups and governments in Europe.

      Fotopoulos is characterised as a “Libertarian Socialist” alongside Marx, Rosa Luxembourg, CLR James et al. Describing the failure of the “Left” to fulfil its traditional role of supporting people, in this case victims of globalisation and the consequent austerity and only the right portrayed as responding (read virtually any newspaper, the Guardian, Independent, Mirror once considered leftward, even the Morning Star to some extent, portray Brexiteers as fascist/racist. Earlier Fotopoulos forecast that the elite Europhiles would hit back with smear tactics against those who voted for Brexit. It worked and many on the left recoil from the idea that they are anything but anti-racist to the core. They refuse to be associated in any way with the elite Brexiteers who have dominated the headlines throughout the referendum campaign and after.

      I certainly have no with to see the far right, racism or fascism sanitised in any way and don’t believe that to be Fotopoulos’ intention.

  2. David Jacobsen

    My response above was solely to the Fotopoulos article that I read from the link provided. Take this quote from the article
    ‘Instead this globalist “Left’ simply criticises what it considers to be the systems” excess” (I.e. systemic symptoms, like “austerity”)..”
    Capitalist plunder of wealth from the public to dig themselves out of their own criminal actions is a cause not a symptom. A tried and tested survival mode of capitalism. Through personalization of Imperialism character ‘globalist’ and inability of the writer to recognise the widely used term austerity is intended as device of ruling class to shoulder it’s debt through greed onto the working class who should accept it’s hard times as regrettable but inevitable, Fotopoulos fails in my view to give a Marxist analysis of world.
    One more quote:
    ‘As it is well known the old working class in advanced capitalist countries rapidly diminished during the de-industrialisation of the last four decades or so, when a new phenomenon characterising the globalisation era emerged: the multinational corporation.’
    The economic and social character of the working class changes always in relation to the recurring crisis of capitalism. In numbers the working class has increased as once middle class people fall to lower economic activity and wealth. The multinational corporation phenomenon as Fotopoulos calls it is over one hundred years old. There is a case to categorise transnational businesses and ruling structures such as the European Union as rapidly developing from multinational and national state rule over last 40 years ‘ or so’. However all this was correctly predicted by Marx Engels and Lenin with important contributions from Stalin.
    Fotopoulis rules out revolutionary overthrow of society as in early 20th century as out moded. Organised withdrawl of Labour is neither outmoded nor impossible on a large scale in Britain. It is the very exercise of that power at times of political, economic and social crisis of capitalism that puts the direction of travel in the hands of the working class.

  3. David Jacobsen

    This is a self screen and not a lecture: Marx and Engels developed to comprehension of the world only by scientific analysis of history and prominent works before and during their time. Dialectical materialism, natural science, Darwin, Owen, Hegel and many more. It is scientific accuracy and analysis in Capital and other works, the discovery of surplus value that puts their work on incontrovertible scientific ground. It is this type of proven prediction referred to in my previous post not the hocus pocus stuff swirling around all eras in history. Outcomes of Capital accumulation and appropriation of Labour power. The concentration of a working class increasingly exploited and closer to class consciousness. The demise of Capitalism as a sustainable economic model. Socialist and Communist agitation the essential work of cadres of revolutionary change. Weird deluded ‘libertarian’ reinvention is not my bag. Whether or not Fotopoulos or any other poulosopher begin with that intention.

    1. Anton Pannekoek

      Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to get involved in a sort of a dialogue when the one side of the debate uses dogmatic and aphoristic arguments (not devoid also of some slander against a well known libertarian socialist which represents the other side) coming from the old Marxist tradition, without even slightly taking into consideration the structural developments that neoliberal globalization has brought into the table. I will attempt to respond in a nutshell to the major theoretical misunderstandings that were mentioned, which expose the very fact that this type of analysis has nothing to offer to the liberatory struggle of the social strata today. This struggle has at its core the loss of economic and (consequently) national sovereignty as a result of the open and liberalized markets (the so called “four freedoms” of the Maastricht Treaty) of neoliberal globalization, which is today’s main class issue.

  4. Anton Pannekoek

    To start with, the multinational corporation is in fact a new phenomenon in the history of capitalism. A phenomenon that Marx and Lenin could not have predicted in their times when the center around which the capitalist relations where reproduced (the political super-structure) was the nation-state. By realizing the reason why multinationals are a brand new phenomenon, we can grasp the importance of an analysis of neoliberal globalization today in contrast to the completely irrelevant references to Lenin’s “Imperialism”, which discusses a previous stage of capitalism.

    While before the emergence of multinationals in the mid-1970s or so there was indeed an international market of commodities, nowadays the structural difference is that even the organization of production itself is taking place on a global scale, where interconnected production units are working on separate parts of a specific product. This production process is no longer controlled by A nation-state and its elites but by the multinational corporations which operate worldwide. In this sense, the production process has been decentralized, depriving in this way the economic sovereignty of the nation-state, but, on the other hand, the control and management of that process has been concentrated in the hands of the advanced capitalist countries (mainly the G8, from which the Transnational Elite is coming). Therefore, each national economy is competing with every other according to which is offering relative advantages for the investments of multinationals, on which capitalist growth is dependent upon. In this context, we are able to interpret the austerity policies and the corresponding breakdown of the welfare state as a consequence of the struggle for competitiveness which would attract multinational corporations. On top of that, a parallel process of globalization of financial markets has taken place, marking in this way the emergence of a new stage of capitalism: neoliberal globalization.

  5. Anton Pannekoek

    Having the description above in mind, we are able to realize that the movements for national sovereignty that have developed in Europe, which are called “racist” or even “fascist” by the globalized “left” together with the global ruling elites (a.k.a Transnational Elite), are just the reaction of the people to the very observation that they do not control their economies even in the slightest degree. This smearing campaign of the globalist “left”, demonstrates that the left has, in fact, abandoned the working class and has been integrated into the system. No wonder the working class in Britain, France, Italy and elsewhere in Europe abandons in droves the old left parties and is forced to support any party fighting for national and economic sovereignty, in face of the ugly attach of the Euro-elits against nation-states.

    To put it simply, nowadays whoever wants to talk about capitalism, has to talk about globalization, not in the sense of the badly outdated Lenin’s theory of imperialism, trusts and cartels but in the sense of the role of multinational corporations in today’s world economy and polity.

  6. Anton Pannekoek

    Last but not least, I won’t discuss the issue of the scientificity of the liberatory project which is mentioned by comparing dialectic materialism with natural sciences. The outcome of the revolutionary struggle of the 20th century has a lot to teach us and only a belief to the orthodoxy of a social theory which is turned to social science could prevent someone from taking that lesson


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