This election has proved one thing, that radical change will never come through a duopolistic political system that sits on the steps of the state. The false paradigm of left and right may well be dead, but a new fallacious paradigm of social internationalism on the one hand, and paradoxical nationalism on the other, has been birthed. Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn represent two faces of the state, both centralising in their tendencies and utopian in their belief in state power. Both fundamentally lie within the centralising axis of politics, and thus have little to say when it comes to revolutionising the concept of work in relation to automation, when it comes to governmental and tax reform, and when it comes to developing alternative production processes.
Both parties, as before, live on the same side of the coin, despite the claim that this election represents a genuine choice. The Labour Party is broken, made of irreconcilable contradictions that make promises that require a fundamental revolution of governance and the economy. As much as I want to see such a revolution, their manifesto has provided no pathway other than mealy-mouthed promises for corporation tax raises and slight reform around income tax for the highest earners. In a similar manner, the Conservative Party is a glorified front for Blairite politics combined with neoliberal economics, that has produced a low-wage, low-productivity economy reliant on immigration and the subsidised flows of international capital.
It may be that the Corbyn moment represents a significant change in politics and economics, yet the modest form of social democracy it proposes seems to be a step to nowhere. With May, it’s an obvious continuation of the status quo with some cheap reform around ‘rootless companies’ and industrial strategies. Thus modern politics once again breeds bullshit. The problems of economic and political centralisation will not be solved by electoral/distributional coalitions which propose to further empower their own sides, whether that be promising a range of free stuff at election time or proposing populist nonsense that are akin to get-fit-quick schemes. The huge range of institutional diversity that is possible, that brings forth an alternative modernity of organisation and governance, is not coming from a tick on a piece of paper, but through self-organising and the building of counter-institutions. It comes from technological change and the political possibilities brought forth. It comes through ignoring the vagaries of electoral bullshitting.