Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Poverty of The Left

Far be it for me to suggest that what passes for 'the Left' in this country is reactionary, backward looking and a force for conservatism, but what else can one say when the following arrives in an email from Pluto Press...
Get Political Campaign - key activists urge engagement with Trotsky, Lenin and Luxemburg

Fifty key figures on the left, including China MiƩville, Lindsey German, Ken Loach, Suzi Weissman, Michael Yates and Immanuel Ness, have backed a Pluto Press campaign urging activists fighting for the 99% against the 1% to draw inspiration from the lives and writings of three giants of 20th-century political change: Leon Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg and VI Lenin.
Yep, from the whole of the 20th century and what we've had so far of the 21st, these 'key figures' can only hark back to the period around the Bolshevik coup in Russia. This is a form of politics immune to history, knowledge or experience. It ignores both the failure of every form of state socialism and central planning ever attempted and the huge advance of economic development since the early 20th century. It even ignores any developments from the non-Leninist left.

Nope, it's still the same old cant on offer:
The Get Political campaign statement argues that 'It will not be a simple thing to win the battle of democracy...Luxemburg, Trotsky and Lenin were among the most perceptive and compelling revolutionaries of the 20th century. The body of analysis, strategy and tactics to which they contributed was inseparable from the mass struggles of their time. Critically engaging with their ideas can enrich the thinking and practical activity of those involved in today's and tomorrow's struggles for a better world.'
Note the use of the word democracy there. How well does that sit with Lenin and co? Remember, Lenin is the architect of 'democratic centralism', 'the dictatorship of the proletariat' and other zany ideas that ultimately lead to the murder of millions all over the world.

Have these 'key thinkers' - the vast majority of them being salaried academics and/or aligned to the Socialist Workers Party - really not learned anything at all? Sure they have... Why, the campaign is also part of a commercial endeavour by Pluto Press, who are flogging a new set of books off the back of it. Good to know that at least some elements of free market thinking have got through...

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