“It is difficult to realize the true Way just through sword-fencing. Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things and the deepest things.”
― Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings
Challenges of New Labour and New Left
History draws its power from the human imagination, and through our collective and individual choices, the human condition evolves. Jeremy Corbyn is no stranger to this process as he is faced with considerably sizeable challenges, and Labour’s besieged leader is a living illustration of the St. Paul’s Cathedral after the 1940 Luftwaffe bombing of London. Situated in the highest point of London, the building became a symbol of the indomitable spirit of Britain after remaining unscathed during Hitler’s desecration of London. Comparatively, Corbyn’s reputation has withstood similar systematic attacks from Conservatives and the Rupert Murdoch-sanctioned press.
During the air raids, however, Winston Churchill enjoyed exceptional popularity after mobilising, strategising, and strengthening public morale. In contrast, a November 2015 Ipsos survey depicted Corbyn as slightly more popular (37/ 40%) than current PM David Cameron (40/ 55%) and with a much narrower consensus gap. This has since declined due in part to the hysterical position voters took on the Syrian airstrikes in the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks and the dubious bomb threat at the BBC headquarters. Furthermore, the mainstream press has exploited Corbyn’s 34-hour cabinet reshuffle; the longest in recent history. This, along with desperate and hasty propaganda, forces Corbyn to battle his own Axis Powers—the Tory Conservatives, Labour Blairites (Progress), and the corporate, far-right press.
On the surface, Labour’s tasks appear Economist in nature: The UK currently has an unemployment rate of 3.5 million, disproportionate budget cuts, a stagnant production sector (14% of GDP), and a national banking debt of 497% of GDP as of 2011. There are also a range of security concerns in the wake of previous administrations, including military adventures in the MENA region, which have cemented 15 years of permanent warring. Furthermore, an ailing Trident programme behaves more like a budgetary black hole to the UK than a nuclear threat to other countries. However, the origins of these problems stem from the elitist superstructure’s handling of domestic and foreign issues, ‘remedied’ by austerity, job cuts, and securitisation; both financially and militarily.
Criticisms of Current Labour Strategy
Adherence to Economism: Corbyn’s current remediation strategy unfortunately relies on the goodwill of a Tory-majority Parliament for success. By repairing Britain with broken tools, Momentum risks exponential chagrin by repeating the Greek tragedy of Syriza. Last year’s hopefuls fell from grace after PM Alexis Tsipras, the Aegisthus of Hellenic democracy, abdicated responsibility and the party’s 40-point proposal under the grip of the European Central Bank troika. Under Corbyn’s current trajectory, he faces a similar fate. The Tories could reject of Corbyn’s reforms at any time, regardless if the UK possesses greater autonomy in the European Economic Area, and instead of battling the Troika, he would contend with the City of London. UK journalist Neil Clark writes notes how previous “socialist” governments capitulated to Western banking empires, citing the fall of Labour PM Ramsey MacDonald:
The London bankers told MacDonald: “The cause of the trouble was not financial, but political, and lay in the complete want of confidence in His Majesty’s Government existing among foreigners,” records the historian A.J.P. Taylor […] In the general election campaign in October 1931, Philip Snowden (soon to become ‘Viscount Snowden’), viciously turned on his former comrades in the Labour Party, saying that their anti-austerity program was “Bolshevism run mad.”
Establishment figures are specialists in repeating this mantra because it is effective, and austerity is the Great Work of many technocrats. The opposite applies to the rest of Europe. For every populist uprising, Podemos, Il Movimiento 5-Strelle, and the Partido Socialista de Portugal, any lack of foresight or shoddy planning risks paving the road to Hell for all future global Socialist movements, and there is no better masonry than the act of petitioning the establishment for reforms. Yanis Varoufakis, Syriza’s betrayed finance minister and current shadow financial advisor to Labour, commented further on using Economism as a remedy:
“[…] the social phenomena under study are heavily influenced by the dominant paradigm to which dominant economic theories are major contributors. Social reality is thus insufficiently independent of our economic ideology and, therefore, is ill suited to pass judgment upon it. Which means that terrible theoretical predictions can be confirmed, as long as key economic players believe that they will, and, similarly, good theories may be rejected, again because key players believe in them.”
Adherence to Liberal Democracy: Today’s Britain is an extensive ecosystem, which possesses two distinct layers. In the first one, the exterior, we have a liberal-democratic public that engages political issues via traditional causes—human rights, market economics, protests, media and socioeconomic analysis—using an extensive array of organisations. However, their lack of cohesion and coordination creates an Occupy Wall Street-style “spontaneous, leaderless revolution”; a concept that flourishes in Primitivism, both in the Bolshevik and Anarcho-Primativatist sense. Stephen Booth explains the Stone Age strategy that many such movements produce:
“Like a spent fire, the Primitivist movement is collapsing under its contradictions, and burning out, helped on by its lack of meaning, the decline accelerated by their intellectual dishonesty, corruption and bankruptcy. Belief in Primitivism arises out of contemporary urban alienation, but these alienated individuals are the last people capable of building a dynamic resistance movement able to oppose oppression, and globalization. They are too busy squabbling among themselves.”
The Myth of Informed Consent
Today’s idea of ‘informed consent’ is simply Newspeak for herd mentality shepherded by corporate media and some NGOs. Corporations wield their power over the media through diversification, and in this case, through “independent media sources”; the same prism diffusing all colours of the rainbow. We know this through the funding of colour revolutions throughout the world, which have ties to such institutions as George Soros’s Open Society and the Pentagon, all which helped shape the Arab Spring and Euromaidan revolts. Ivor Gaber of The Political Quarterly explains further about the role of corporations in informed consent:
Yet ’informed consent’ is not an unproblematic concept. There are those—Herman and Chomsky for example–who argue that this ’consent’ is artificial or ’manufactured’ because in a capitalist system ’money and power are able to filter out the news fit to print, marginalize dissent and allow the government and dominant private interests to get their message across to the public.
Brian Oliver Sheppard explains further by tying the concepts of informed consent and Primitivism together:
“Not to be discounted, either, is the influence of the corporate media, which has taken primitivism and situated it front and center, presenting it to the public as the lifeblood of a 2lst-century anarchist resurgence. Primitivism, the corporate media tells us, is the “new” anarchism — and young adults, hungry for any ideas that point to a way out of the capitalist ghetto, sometimes believe it, and sign up. The popularity of the anti-corporate globalization movement holds much promise for anarchism; the media’s attempts to associate it with primitive ideas, however, does not.”
In short, the public has difficulty determining the parameters of social change due to manufactured consent disguised as informed consent. This concept is as old as Empire, and as modern as Operation Mockingbird. It is Jeremy Corbyn’s job to reverse the two, using coordinated actions in order to create informed consent. The trick is that, he should acknowledge that he is in an information war and prepare to defend, parry, and strike back using the help of the public as his sword.
For instance, Labour’s roots are firmly within Socialism; this is unmistakably true. PM Clement Attlee entire administration was about Labour adamantly fighting to create a secure welfare state. Nevertheless, today’s Tories portray any attempt to socialise British services as a march towards Bolshevism, and have ruthlessly done so in the media. Ironically, it was also Clement Attlee’s ‘radical’ policies that made him a favourite amongst the UK’s own government website, forever making Socialism Britain’s crowning achievement in the postwar society. To carefully examine this Doublethink, one can turn to the statements of controversial University of Ljubljana professor Slavoj Zizek on the “fidelity of the democratic consensus”; the definitive methodology of British reactionaries:
Today’s liberal-democratic hegemony is sustained by a kind of unwritten Denkverbot similar to the infamous Berufsverbot in Germany of the late 60s — the moment one shows a minimal sign of engaging in political projects that aim to seriously challenge the existing order, the answer is immediately: “Benevolent as it is, this will necessarily end in a new Gulag!” […] by constantly reminding us how things may have been much worse: “Just look around and see for yourself what will happen if we follow your radical notions!”
For example, the Times, Independent, Mirror, Daily Mail Sun, and even the London Guardian currently shape public opinion about Labour, and do so by controlling the bourgeois “freedom of choice”, while remaining incorrigibly united in purpose, timing, and opinion. When the Sun arrogantly dismisses Corbyn as “what the smug, London middle-class liberals think a Labour leader should be”, the Mirror responds by publishing an article where “an anonymous shadow minster of Parliament” calls Corbyn a “f****** disgrace.” This form of political agitation purposely ritualises the slander of Corbyn and Labour, serving as a emotionally divisive tool of fiction, not fact. This is also done in conjunction with the help of the manipulation of search engines to press pro-Corbyn stories to the bottom of cyberspace.
Speaking of Greek tragedies, Corbyn cannot gnash his teeth as both Britain and Labour meet the same fate as Cassandra in the Temple of Athena; he must tap into the vast creativity of British intellectuals and manpower to offset the gross imbalance of political power. Additionally, he seems aware of this necessity; in his conference speech to Parliament, he specifically stated that, “I don’t believe anyone of us has a monopoly on wisdom and ideas – we all have ideas and a vision of how things can be better.” This opinion must translate into a struggle of Britain’s finest thinkers for the British, as well as the globally oppressed; fully endorsed by Labour’s Momentum faction. Only under these circumstances can Labour unite with and direct popular will, driving Labour and Britain to victory, and vice versa.
Solutions for Labour
Utilisation of a specific methodology: Labour must create an equation and methodology, not solely an economic platform, to distribute political action amongst the public when elected officials fail them, based on a system of grassroots activism, direct democracy and platform cooperativism (listen to the famous Trevor Scholtz speech here). This model works similarly to the Alpine Initiative of Switzerland, where direct democracy thrives within a parliamentary democracy framework, irrespective of who is in power. We could call it the “Momentum” methodology, which would use the following equation:
pa = xtotal – xNP
(sm + t + f)
To explain, political action (pa) is equal to the number of total desired participants (xtotal) minus the number of non-participants (xnp), divided amongst scope of magnitude (sm), timeline (t) and available funds (f). Labour could use this for political agitation, calls to action, sanctioning informed consent, and creating initiatives on a specific scope of magnitude. The goal is to utilise energy and resources most effectively where desired, and to stimulate competition between constituencies, based on their participation in efforts to revive Britain. Additionally, Labour’s position remains coordinative, multilateral, and representative, rather than coercive, unilateral, and atypical.
Example Situation—The Green Economy:
Firstly, Labour implements a political call to action (pa) based on available polling methods. After receiving the results, Labour liaisons with local (councils), regional (constituencies), national (Parliament) and international levels (investment banks and governments) to establish a ‘broad church’ (xtotal), minus non-participants (xnp). Under the new coalition, manpower is determined using the scope of magnitude (sm) and given the correct timeframe (t) and financing (f) to accomplish their goals.
To maintain a flow of processes, we can use this flowchart to guide collective efforts:
Team conducts in-depth research. Uses polling methods to establish usefulness of green technologies, receives consultations, offers conferences, and carefully plans budget projections. Afterwards, determines which green technologies to use, feasibility of projects, where to implement, which scope of magnitude to use, and how it will profit the country.
Using all scopes of magnitude, recruits participants for media, legislative, project management, draft legislature, consultations, budgeting, and develop contingency strategies. Forms coalition governments with Green parties (UK and worldwide), as well as trade unionists and research organisations. Promotes independent media to gather the support, commentary, and analysis of the public. Appoints a board of directors to oversee the project’s completion.
In accordance to (just) law, recruits engage in systematic dissemination (social media, leaflets, culture jamming, polling) to engage the public. Parliamentary coalitions draft legislature and sums up key points. Follows contingency plans in case of parliamentary rejection with alternative funding sources, such as crowdfunding, cooperatives, and international banking systems.
Labour and coalition parties address Parliament with new legislation, including detailed project roadmap. Communicates the message: (pa) is essential and here is who supports it. Even if you Conservatives reject it, we will mobilise the people without your consent. Momentum coalition funds, builds, implements, and promotes political action as a platform cooperative if rejected by Westminster.
Like research, but is retrospective and determines the gains made across the spectrum of participants. Determines also the efficacy of coordinated efforts, green economy usage, and future power sharing agreements. Monitors the successes and failures of project through impartial organisations.
Ratifies agreements on all possible scopes of magnitude to circumvent Parliamentary obstructions. Use cooperative and external funding to continue projects. Increases competition in UK markets for green technologies, and works with other countries to collaborate with and, finally, export products. Gives credit to all participants involved and determines future collaboration. Increases funding by communicating successes in order to achieve further grants via external financiers, sponsorship, or UK treasury funds.
Labour must be redesigned for the 21st century, using modern asymmetrical initiatives in order to transform British society, and the British need no other motivation than the unpopular history of Conservative and Blairite rule. However, no man is an island, and ironically, neither is the United Kingdom. Therefore, Corbyn should use his best assets—popularity, sincerity, and strong leadership skills—to treat the people as his best resource. However, reshaping the country on a holistic, and not purely socioeconomic level, can reduce worker and political alienation and champion the collective will of Britain’s working class, which is all that it takes to create the momentum Labour desires.
This is by no means a panacea, or even a solid blueprint, for Labour’s future political decisions, but a recommendation. It is understandable that traditional methods can replace the Momentum methodology; for instance, referendums, current diplomatic channels, etc. could suffice. However, Labour must operate through “strength in numbers” to commandeer such essentials as economic development, antiwar efforts, media dissemination, and legislative efforts in Westminster. The key to his success is simply coordinating and sanctioning popular activities, and any socialist government would thrive under the right leadership, and has done so in the past. All it takes is the determination of one person with great ideas to spark a revolution, and Jeremy Corbyn should take a trip to St. Paul’s to reread one of Britain’s most iconic inscriptions:
“Reader, if you seek a monument, look about you.”