Jeremy Corbyn is a Victim of Ideology

Since the general election has been called, the turgid slogan of strong and stable has been trotted out by the Conservatives, supposedly contrasting with a ‘coalition of chaos’ represented by Jeremy Corbyn. In this regard, Corbyn is seen as a useless and failed opposition leader. Such a view seems to be widely held by other elements of the political and media classes, as a quick Google search shows. Thus every political proposal in this election, despite their innate popularity, is kept within this narrative of uselessness. Even with internal party disparity, the lack of an electoral infrastructure and a young, inexperienced base, every electoral problem and Labour Party debacle is firmly placed on Corbyn’s shoulders. This seeming uniformity of opinion can cause concern amongst Corbyn’s supporters, posing the question: why is Corbyn consistently portrayed in this manner? Is it a rational perspective, or are there other narratives that belie this view. Continue reading

It’s a Matter of Scale and Control

The mantra of Brexit has been ‘take back control’. As seen with Nick Clegg’s piece on Brexit voters in Ebbw Vale, Wales a few months ago, such a mantra still holds significant importance. In this ‘dying town’, as it was described, we see the real effects of deindustrialisation and the limitation of employment opportunities that have come from this, as residents feel that their woes are due to the spectre of EU bureaucracy, which is faceless and unaccountable. Taking a wider perspective, I think many of these voters see the move from deindustrialisation to a “wage-subsidy” economy (that is fixated on flexible work, the decoupling of wages from productivity and the use of the welfare state to subsidise low-wages) as blameable upon the developments of globalisation, of which the EU happens to be the most representative case to many of these people. The new Speenhamland system that has been developed removes control from both the worker and the self-employed person, favouring a cartelised economy where employers are subsidised either through tax credits and a multiplicitous welfare system, or through the minimum wage which acts as a technocratic barrier to entry (favouring larger employers who can afford this overhead cost). Continue reading

Cleaning the Muddied Waters of Anarchy

An interesting post. I agree with the author on the economic front. Without states (or at least without states in their current form) the capability to develop any universalisable system such as capitalism would be practically impossible. However, going from their analysis I think the most fruitful ventures for anarchist theory is to begin looking at the overdetermined nature of all current governing structures, including states, much as Proudhon did in his later life. This can recognise the innate plurality of socio-economic activity, and thus advocate a organic mutuality within this complex plurality. (by the blog author)


by Will Schnack

http://evolutionofconsent.com/?p=1620 Continue reading

Contra Musk: There are Other Futures Besides a Governmental UBI

by Nick Ford

http://abolishwork.com/2017/02/10/contra-musk-futures-besides-ubi/

You’ve likely heard of Elon Musk, he’s a huge venture capitalist who helps run companies such as Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity. Being such a huge name in the tech industry and especially Silicon Valley the things he has to say about the future of…well anything, is likely to garner some attention.

Back in November, Musk stated that:

“There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation,” says Musk to CNBC. “Yeah, I am not sure what else one would do. I think that is what would happen.”

Continue reading

Kropotkin, Self-Valorization and the Crisis of Marxism

by Harry Cleaver

https://libcom.org/library/kropotkin-self-valorization-crisis-marxism

Kropotkin, Self-valorization And The Crisis Of Marxism Options
Abstract The collapse of the socialist states and the ongoing crisis of Western capitalism -both brought on by pervasive grassroots opposition- demands a reconsideration of the issue of the transcendance of contemporary society by anarchists and Marxists of all stripes. Such a reconsideration should include a reexamination of the thinking of earlier revolutionaries as well as of their experiences within past social upheavals. Continue reading

Degrees of Complexity

This article is a follow on from my previous essay on the false narratives of Brexit and the wider meta-political discourses that it has shrouded. It also looks to add to some of the arguments Chris Dillow presents in his article on plebiscitary politics.

The world as it currently exists, despite the attempts at universalisable discourses and the production of narratives that are black and white in their dichotomies, is extremely complex and full of varying degrees of socio-economic knowledge. A full calculatory system that can aggregate these variable forms of knowledge and processes is practically impossible, as was seen in the failures of state socialism and in the many failures of capitalism (which requires continual subsidy to exist). These are the most important lessons of Hayek and Mises, but also the most ignored. Utopian thinking of a top-down kind continues to exist, with everyone from neoliberals to modern leftists believing that everyone is rational or believers in the universal. Things like parochialism, gaps in knowledge and complexity are tacitly ignored. Continue reading

The Paradoxes of Plebiscites

by Chris Dillow

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2017/04/the-paradoxes-of-plebiscites.html

In pointing out that re-joining the EU will be damnably difficult, Simon reminds us of the massive difference between representative democracy and plebiscitary politics.

One great virtue of representative democracy is that it allows for mistakes to be corrected. Wrong’uns can be booted out of office and bad policies can usually be reversed*. Under plebiscites, it is not so. These reveal the “will of the people” which must be obeyed. Whereas representative democracy is a system of checks and balances, plebiscites are battles of wills in which the victor wins permanently. As Mrs Thatcher said, plebiscites are “a device of dictators and demagogues.” Continue reading

Political Falsity: The EU Referendum

The EU referendum, and the resultant Brexit, has become increasingly more important and polarising since the original vote last year. Whether it be calls for a second referendum or a “hard Brexit”, the concept of consensus politics seems to have gone out the window as debate and discourse become increasingly more adversarial. In one sense, developing a wider engagement in politics that moves debate outside the typical forums can be seen as refreshing, as the consensus politics that has defined the British parliamentary system for the past century has been stultifying. Poor voter turnout and the increasing apathy of voters seems to have received a shock from this referendum. However, the stultification of representative democracy has not been truly broken. Instead, new efforts to develop some kind of “politics of truth” has developed on both sides of the referendum campaign, ignoring wider meta-political and socio-economic debates. Continue reading

Forming an Organic Right-Wing Social Order

by Vincent John

http://www.libertymachinenews.com/forming-an-organic-right-wing-social-order.html

The historic election of Donald Trump has changed the course of American politics for many years to come. There are not many people who predicted Donald Trump would win the presidency against what seemed to be impossible odds. Donald Trump did not just have to campaign against the Clinton Machine and all of her donors. He also had to defeat establishment Republicans, which include political hacks like John McCain and Paul Ryan, the Never Trumpers, a mixed bag of neocons and cuckservative losers like Glenn Beck, the regressive left and the Bernie Bots throwing infantile tantrums in the streets, the corporatist far left media who cover for leftist demagogues like Obama and Crooked Hillary, big business who want cheap labor imported into America who lobby for illegal aliens from the third world to pour across the US border. There were many other individuals and groups of people who were vehemently against the idea of a Trump presidency, a presidency where a right-wing populist agenda would be front and center for the direction of the nation.  But things are seldom what they seem. Even though the corporatist far left media were the ones who gave the false impression that Trump would lose and Crooked Hillary would be the first female president, they underestimated the right wing populist movement sweeping across Europe and America. The corporate shills also covered up all of Hillary’s scandals and lies while painting a false picture of how Middle America would vote in the 2016 election by falsely claiming Democrats and Independents in the Rust Belt would vote for Crooked Hillary. This was of course wrong. Continue reading

The Full Extent of Subjective Valuation

Nominal libertarians regularly invalidate their own claims to support the socio-economic understanding of subjective valuation when they focus simplistically on profit (in the capitalist context) as the main axiomatic goal of economic exchanges, and talk of systems of private property as pure enclaves of individuality. These two systems, which seemingly define modern libertarian thought, are taken to be foundational and static in their conceptual makeup, rather than as constituted systems which involve political and social wrangling. They become conceptually conceived as positively anti-state, which is nonsensical rubbish when looking at the historic developments of these systems. Private property is not just simply protected by the state, but also created through processes of enclosure and the purposeful privatisation of ground rent. That is not to say private property cannot exist in a stateless society, but that it cannot exist outside a social context. Similarly, profit can be something developed through generally consensual means as the product of one’s labours, but its existence as a subjective axiom means it is realisable via the state. Our modern rentier economy is a testament to this inconvenient truth. Continue reading