2000s >> 2003 >> no-1191-november-2003

Turning Left – or going round in circles?

We in the World Socialist Movement are very much a different breed from all those others who like to use the term “Socialist”. We have a highly original proposition among the political organisations world-wide seeking to bring sensible arrangements to human society, and, when we say we want to “change the world”, we really mean just that. We are not in any way attached to any in the huge array of lefty groups which together can produce a recipe book to remedy all society’s ills the size of which would put Culpeper’s Herbal in the shade. In reality, though, many of these are as suspiciously comparable to each other in content as Tesco and Sainsbury products and as BBC and ITN news bulletins. Moreover, all have a success rate as to make the practitioners of mountebankery honest and respectable professors.

It is unfortunately a fact that among the opinions of the various bourgeois media there too is confusion in the area of social studies and of the true identity of the particular players engaged in their respective activities. This confusion extends to including us in with groups such as Anti-Nazi League, the Anti-Capitalists or Anti-Globalisation movements, etc. The Anti-Globalisation groups may know what they are against, but regrettably they know not why nor what to replace world capitalism with and still call for modifications in existing society, reforms. In addition, they cannot yet distinguish between globalisation and capitalism. Many thus end up either supporting the deadbeats who only want to tinker with the capitalist economy, reformers, and who have all in the past failed miserably even with their limited demands – Benn, Scargill, Gorbachev, Fidel Castro, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin and Mao, to name just a few. While others, quite remarkably, take on a Luddite mentality and start smashing up the world.

However the latest publications from some Anti-Globalisation members look encouraging as the analysis of society worked out by Karl Marx is beginning to creep into the discussion within this movement and hopefully will bring some grounding to this confusing diversity of protesters. The conscious recognition in this movement of the international nature of the adversary; the awareness of the necessity of a global action against it; the extensive and intense use of the new means of global communication and the Internet developed by capitalist globalisation but in a spirit of digital counter-culture is itself a very significant development.

Now we have another lefty following the path of Benn etc who must now be regarded as a clown among clowns – Tommy Sheridan. This, not only because in the light of the failures of others he still presses on, but because of the laugh he raised among all political persuasions during the recent election when he raised the possibility that, in his little Scottish republic his government (and I mean “his”) could take over one Motorola plant and compete with Motorola and others world-wide to sell phones or components for phones. What a howler!

The left, despite referring to themselves as “socialists” have no confidence in Socialism, no confidence in the workers to win through. They tell us, your Socialism will come eventually someday – presumably, when we are all dead and gone. By this, they mean the job falls not to them but to others sometime in the future. There is no logic to this whatsoever. For the world is ready now and painfully waiting – how is Socialism to ever come in the future when we are never to explain it to people here now, for it takes a while? What will happen that might cause this future embrace of Socialism, we are not told. The truth for Benn and co is “do what you want after my career, my shot at being the leader, my time in the limelight is over”. The left like to act themselves as though they are Jesus or Moses, and lay down the commandments in stone for ignorant followers to obey. Some of us however, are not so easily taken in.

How sum up the differences between us and the lefty heroes above?

Where these leftwingers call for more wages, we socialists call for no wages; where they call for the right to work, we call for the right not to work; where they call for the Rights of Nations, we say Nations should have no Rights to exist; where they call for Leadership, we call for no Leadership. And though we both agree that money is a problem, they call for a more “fair” distribution of it; we say if it’s a problem let’s live our lives without it; they call for the exchange in the means of life with other exactly or at least comparably valued means of life; we say no to exchange, except for in the free exchange of ideas and the exchange of raw Nature into the means of life.

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