The emergence of the expression of white racism exemplified firstly by the Brexit vote and then the vote for Trump deeply saddens and angers me.
My parents were in their teens during the second world war, and were grateful for the peace that followed. As was the frightened community I grew up in that was racist and sexist, and the fear brought out violence including in myself. But mostly this violence was reactionary, the establishment (1%) fighting any form of change.
When I started to think I rejected the fear-based system in the community I grew up in. As an adult I tried not to be racist and not to be sexist, and I tried to work for peace eschewing any violence. For this my community said I would grow out of it. I am proud to say I never have, and trying not to be racist or sexist – and not being violent – are attributes I am proud of.
However significant proportions of the community I grew up with have not changed. Rather than educating themselves into overcoming their fear by being compassionate, they have clung to their fears and this clinging shows in their racist vote patterns. The media claims that Brexit and Trump is a symbol of liberal failure, and looking for something different. They claim that the white racist vote is voting for a change, but neither Brexit nor Trump offer change they only offer a return to the fear and racism of the community I grew up with. Apart from rhetoric and falsehoods what policies that benefit these people have we heard from Brexit or Trump? With Brexit we see the confidence of the money markets manipulating the exchange rates leading to economic loss – hopefully temporary. At the same time there has been an increase in racist violence, will there also be an emergence of increasing domestic violence? What do you think of that possibility 53% of US white women?
There is no rationale to these votes. Trump offered these US racists the sacrificial excuse of “Crooked Hillary”, an excuse which might be valid if the alternative had integrity but when you see the depravity that is Trump how can any rational person vote for him?
My childhood community was not founded in rationale but fear. In this world of fear they went to work, their standard of living grew, as the 1% exploited the peace that followed the second world war and exploited the neo-colonialism in Africa and other ex-colonies. The 1% grew rich and my community went to work leading to a safe but comfortable standard of living. In all of this racism and sexism did not matter because they were afraid of the war.
But these people did not move on. They were happy to call people becoming aware of these social crimes as young people who will grow out of it. And they never grew. They hankered for the past, the peace that followed the post-war community. The needed change was reacted to by the 1%, and those people chose to see those changing as being the cause of the violence – this of course was the stance of the mainstream media (part of the 1%). This fearful community chose not to develop, hankered for a racist sexist post-war peace, and had their fear manipulated by Brexit and Trump.
Instead of describing this ignorance for what it is – a racist and sexist reactionary white community, the mainstream chooses to call this racism a vote for change. Instead of shaming these white people for a racist sexist ignorance, there is a token respect for their willingness to vote for something different. The fact that they are voting for “something different” that is fascist is glossed over. It should not be glossed over, this Brexit/Trump vote is a reactionary vote for racism and sexism. These people should be made to feel shame not excused because they are “seeking change”. Corbyn offers change but this is not fascism so votes for Corbyn are not considered votes for something different.
The Guardian should have the word “shame” plastered all over the front page. But unfortunately this shameful group of “nice” white middle-class and upper working-class are too powerful so the mainstream does not cry “shame”. My extended family are “nice people”, they go to church and help each other and their neighbours. I will not ask but most of them I suspect voted for Brexit, their American equivalents voted for Trump. They are not the bigoted Trump rabble from his rallies who were portrayed in the progressive media, but the quiet white people, amongst the 53% of white women, who voted for Trump. I am ashamed of them. I have always been the aggressive outsider critical of the mainstream, and they pointed out my anger as a weakness. They did not look at their own racism and sexism as a weakness. So many times I sat quiet as disguised racism was the polite conversation, this is now not acceptable. I am ashamed of their vote, they should be ashamed. I should not be the one who has to be quiet in polite conversation, they should be because their racism is shameful.
I grew up afraid but with nothing to fear – or better afraid of the wrong thing. This fear characterised my environment, a quiet Manchester suburb where we conformed to a way of life – a way of wage-slavery. But it was better than war – the second world war, so I soon learned to understand where that came from. I live outside the UK now but when at uni my friends went abroad – I was afraid. As I hit bottom and came out of the conditioning and the fear, travelling was still not the answer because of this fear. But I was developing as a person working on the fears created in the UK. When I was 40 I moved abroad and never turned back to the UK environment that is so dominated by fear.
This fear explains so much that is wrong with the UK, including the racism that underlies Brexit; I am sure it explains Trump but I don’t know those people well enough. Whilst I grew up afraid I grew up feeling a sense of being imprisoned – repressed. This was what my environment did to me. For a long time I saw the problem as being my father, but whilst there are individual characteristics there – that it is not appropriate to discuss – my focus on him at the time was not justified. It was the fear that came from the suburban environment. You can understand it. The parents were all people who had been involved in the war, their adolescence was as children in a country at war. In my house it was never discussed but the fear was there. Wage slavery was just accepted because it was better than war.
When I went to uni it was as part of a generation who were questioning. At uni I don’t remember questioning much as my life was dominated by the bottle, but I suppose I must have because after 18 months of the world of work I hit bottom. And never looked back. I have always seen that hitting bottom as breaking out of conditioning – the academic mindset, but it was more. It was breaking the restrictions that fear had put on me. I carried that fear with me a long time even after I had hit bottom. But hitting bottom was the beginning of breaking through the fear.
What did that fear do to the UK? I grew up surrounded by racism, sexism and violence. At teacher training college I went to a fancy dress ball in a dress for some reason – I had some strength having hit bottom three years previously. A trainee teacher who was a rugby player touched my dick that was showing through the tight dress, I touched his back in a blasé way and he thumped me – I walked away; I was not a fighter and he was bigger than me anyway. Why was he violent? At the same place another teacher promised to buy a bike from me. We agreed that I would leave the bike outside my house and he would collect it and pay me some money. Maybe he was drunk, maybe he didn’t want it – that is not my point. A year later I was teaching so was he. He was living in a squat with a colleague. She told him what I said, he told her if I ever told her the story again he would come and hit me. Fear breeds the kind of violence these two teachers showed. They grow up with fear, and then defend themselves by being violent. I chose those stories because these people were teachers, the violence amongst less educated is worse. Violence is not an acceptable way of life but it is created by systemic fear and is integral to western way of life. For me this is a significant part of Britain, and why I don’t live there.
But the violence that is British is not unique in the West, nor am I saying that it is uniquely western. But what is the excuse for such fear now? My parents had grown up during the war (I am 64), so they had fear. My generation grew up with that fear but actually had nothing to fear. Yet the fear continued. Why? Conspiracy theory; remember conspiracies like this just develop, not some idea from a smoke-filled room. Fear worked to create profits. My parents, my environment, was an excellent place for profits. Through the 50s and 60s the fatcats made huge profits based on a compliant workforce, and why was the workforce so compliant? Because of fear of war. Look at the history. Slowly in the 50s and 60s began to fight off the fear that was repressing them. Violence dogged that breaking out because that was the fatcats holding onto their post-war profits. Young people expressing themselves brought out that fear, and arms of repression, police and others, jumped on them. For 20 years the fatcats made huge profits at the expense of a low-paid workforce. During the 70s the workforce sought their due recompense and the fatcats refused to budge and closed the country down. This increased people’s fear, and with the media defending the fatcats people turned that fear on themselves – against the unions, and voted in Thatcher. Thatcher then fostered that fear in other ways, and so on until the present day.
In British society what is there to be afraid of? There is no second world war that parents had lived through. But there is the fear and violence that has been fostered ever since my childhood. There is racism that has been built up by the media. Fear of losing jobs to immigrants, a fear that is not borne out by statistics. A fear that is fanned by the media which is the PR arm of the fatcats who will do anything for a profit especially not pay fair wages. There is however a legitimate fear that is rarely discussed because it would affect the fatcats’ wealth, the fear of blowback from all the wars for profits; this is not a fear recognised by many.
How I would experience that fear if I was growing up in Britain now I do not know. But what I do know is that that fear is manufactured by the establishment to maintain a compliant workforce – to maintain the fatcats’ profits. That fear is so strong that the equivalent environment to the one I grew up in voted Brexit. Now I am not a big fan of the EU as I am an internationalist and don’t like Fortress Europe (against the USA). But for the people of my background to be voting for Brexit shows how bad that fear still is. And yet that fear has no legitimacy, it is created by the divisions the fatcats through the establishment impose on society in order to increase profits.
In Britain we now grow up with fear because they want us to be afraid. That is a reality we should know. How you deal with it I don’t know, after all the bully boys the system creates still are violent – however educated.
In this Guardian article, it says “53% of white women voted for Trump, according to CNN exit polls.” And in this article, 42% of women, 53% of white women, voted for Trump. Whatever an individual woman might say the general reality is that a competent woman politician who had been smeared incessantly did not attract the votes of 53% of white women. Trump was no respectable sexist, he was outwardly chauvinist demonstrating characteristics I would only expect to see in the worst pub. Yet 53% of white women voted for him. How can ANY woman be voting for him? Whether a woman is right-wing fascist or whatever, surely what Trump says should prevent any woman from voting for him? His sexism ought to preclude him from candidacy but 53% of white women don’t care.
I immediately feel like attacking the women’s movement. Some of the more aggressive women do not hesitate to attack men over chauvinism yet 53% of white women voted for Trump. In much the same way that I feel shame over the way white people are LINK, I feel every liberal white woman should be ashamed at this state of affairs.
You 53%, I do not understand you.
I feel like shouting at liberal women to get out there and do something, but I have no right. I have the right to point this out and ask questions of the movement. This man, Trump, would never have been elected in the 60s – at the start of feminism, now 50 years later he is elected. Black people note his racism and he gets no votes, 53% of white women do not care about his blatant sexism. Serious work needs doing, there has to be a level of complacency amongst liberal women.
I note the difference between the two feminisms – reformism and revolutionary – that I I discussed earlier this year . No revolutionary could vote for Trump, does reform allow you to vote for Trump if you get more salary?
I want to compare two women – Hillary and Thatcher. To me Thatcher stood for all that is wrong, I see 1979 (with Reagan) as the end of possible change gained from the hippies and the beginning of an age of right wing oppression where people just worked for money – wage-slaves. Yet many feminists lauded Maggie because of her “power in a man’s world”. Compare Hillary to Maggie, she has competence, established herself in a man’s world, whilst I disagree with what she represents – neoliberal exploitation – as a woman she is a political icon. Yet 53 % of white women did not vote for her.
You 53%, I do not understand you.
White people should be ashamed, white women – 53% – should be more ashamed.
I supported feminism in the 60s because of violence towards women – and how for some women were perceived as little more than a kitchen chattel. The Beyonce image of feminism means little to me, her succesful image is reformist rather than revolutionary, but my studies convinced me that if body image is such a prison that Karen Carpenter can die from anorexia and Jane Fonda felt she had body issues this was enough to say despite my personal interactions the struggle needs to continue. 53% white women voting for Trump shows me that the struggle of the women’s movement has hardly begun.
53% white women need to feel shame.
I talked about this a little in this blog but it is worth being explicit – white people should be ashamed of their racism and sexism. It has made me laugh how on TV the 60s and 70s – which was a great time – was a time of rampant sexism and racism (maybe so), and that how much better things are now – how everyone is now not racist and sexist. Then in the two white countries of the US and my origin a little bit of wealth was dangled first by Brexit and then by Trump, and white greed showed itself without any concern for the racist and sexist consequences. So where is the change?
It is important to see any changes that have happened for what they were. When I grew up racist and sexist slurs were common place, they were part of my conditioning. Because I hit bottom and came out on the Path – at least some way, when I met black people telling me I was racist I listened – because I knew my conditioning was all wrong. That was how I learned. Then whenever I had contact with my family and my suburban upbringing it was clear how racist the conditioning was. Typically, a nice black family moved in down the round of my myopic suburban background – I saw them one Xmas and the next year they had gone. My father justifying himself said “I have nothing against them but I don’t want them here because the house prices will go down.” He had no intention of selling his house but he would join in the conformity of conditioning that led to pressure on this family (discomfort with the neighbours) to leave.
This white shame was most brutally brought home to me when I went to South Africa in the early 90s. Because of my politics the very Afrikaaner accent used to grate on me – before I went. When I was down there I met these white people. Black people were demonised by conditioning, so with the draft the whites just oppressed them – conditioning. But why were they doing this? They were just looking after their families, to maintain their standard of living they had to accept apartheid and its benefits – and this was easily accepted because black people were demonised. Now most of these whites are ashamed of their history but other whites in the US and UK have not learnt this shame from them.
What has happened since my youth has been the development of the “thought police”, it became unacceptable to be racist and sexist in public. This of course is a lot better. But in private the white people remained the same, the more aggressive would still hit you as a “nigger lover”, and the suburban would still fear blacks because of house prices. Until Brexit and Trump I have been unable to affirm this assessment because I don’t live there – such attitudes are one of the reasons why I left. Liberals including liberal women and liberal blacks have lulled themselves into a comfort zone that what they have been doing has been making changes, but these two votes show that the changes are only superficial. Dangle some money, and the liberal “values” – lipservice – goes out the window.
Jonathan Cook whose tactics I have recently criticised (here and here) was right on the money when he criticised liberals. These liberals have not been concerned about the underlying factors that direct our society, they have been content with the results of the thought police – people are not racist and sexist in public. These liberals encourage the delusion that things are much better than the dark days of the 60s and 70s and before. But they are far from so. I contend that Trump and Brexit could never have happened back then – certainly Trump. No presidential or prime ministerial candidate could ever talk of “pussy-grabbing”, and get voted in. Yes, racism and sexism were there but it was more circumspect. Of course, I am English so I cannot be 100% sure that what I am saying is true of the US.
The real issue is that deep morality or sila is not a part of our conditioning. The custom and practise of racist and sexist lipservice was only token – no matter how often repeated, it was a cursory morality not a deep one. For many people who are “liberals” their parents will have been afraid and voted for Brexit or Trump, the resulting racial and sexist assaults are not their concern – if they gain more money.
Look at the excuses that Trump got away with. A man whose past is steeped in bankruptcy, dubious business practise, racism and sexism won a presidency because of promises of supporting the “white people”. That was enough, he promised them money so they just needed an excuse to vote for him. Trump started with the racists and his rallies were full of these ignorant people so “white people” saw what he was about. So what was the excuse? “Crooked” Hillary. Hillary is no different from any neoliberal politician, she has her backers, she makes deals with lobbyists, she and Bill have a neoliberal foundation that promotes capitalism. All of these are not new, apart from the foundation Obama had them and so on. Hillary had emails but they had been repeatedly cleared as non-criminal, BUT they were enough. The shameful white people had their excuse. None of these racists who were so easily bought off worried about what Trump actually offered, it was enough that he offered it to these racists – and gave them “crooked Hillary” as an excuse. He knew these white people, he lived amongst them, he knew their greed, he knew their racism, and he played off it. He knew they were so arrogant that no matter what he, Trump, did they could still be bought off – because bottom-line these shameful white people put their greed first and do not care enough for humanity – racism and sexism.
This is harsh but it needs to be. When you meet these “shameful white people”, they are pleasant, they pass the time of day, their roses are well groomed, they watch their game shows, their gardening programmes and cash from junk are mundane but pleasant conversations. But their greed promotes racism, their greed can be manipulated into Brexit and Trump. They need to be publicly shamed. In my day these people just said with my anger I was going through a phase. I am now 64 and I am still ashamed of who they are. They always have excuses.
In Britain our colonial past is no accident, it is built on this shame. What happened in Africa, India never mattered the money came rolling in. The rich and wealthy got seriously rich and wealthy whilst ordinary people got more money. Not a lot but enough so that they could be bought off. Often enough these shameful white people demonstrated liberal tendencies. Many a time the excuse of the Oxfam envelope was thrown at me but deep down their greed brought out racism and sexism.
These people need to be shamed. Until they are ashamed of what they do nothing will change.
But this is not the shaming of the thought police. Somehow this shaming has to move out of the liberal sphere where the pressure at times is unreasonable and hit these shameful people where it matters – in the pocket. Liberals tow the line at work and harangue at home. This is the wrong way round, the shameful white people are at work, they are the bosses. But of course you cannot harangue the boss – you lose your money.
In the end white people need to be ashamed. They never were, will they ever be?
There is only one saving grace. White people are in power, that is why they need to be shamed. If black people were in the same position could they be manipulated by a black Trump – I think so.
Everything Jonathan says in this article about liberals is true except for this lunatic conclusion:-
“Because real progressives are as frustrated and angry about the status quo as are the poor, vulnerable and disillusioned who turned to Trump. And they had no choice but to vote for Trump because there was no one aside from him in the presidential race articulating anything that approximated the truth.”
This is emotional childishness.
Real Progressives voted for Hillary, and worked for the existing engine of change – Bernie. How can you call yourself progressive when you support voting for racism and sexism and homophobia? You support voting with the KKK? Do you think these people will not increase antisemitism?
Jonathan, how many issues do you expect a neoliberal electoral democracy to put on the table at an election? The whole of capitalism, the whole of the system that supports the 1%?? Or just a small part of it? In this case human decorum that prevents the scourges of sexism, racism, homophobia and antisemitism.
How many progressive issues do you expect Trump to champion in office? When do you think he will stand against Wall Street? What will he ever do that works against the status quo?
Jonathan, seek the advice of experienced Jews in jfjfp.
Liberals (neoliberalism) support the Veil, this is an ignorant weakness. What did Assange do? Support Assange when he could get publicity. Will Trump say “thank you for the ammunition, please come to America – all is forgiven. Trumped-up sex charges will not hold traction.”? Yes wikileaks gained a platform and publicity, a platform that will disappear again now that it has lost its value.
Yes Jonathan, campaign against the Veil (neoliberalism) but not during an election, an election is a time for grass roots campaigners to take a public back seat unless they agree with tactical voting. Work with Occupy, Horizontalidad and others for truth, but at the right time – not when your voice supports fascism.
(this was written before the election).
This type of left-wing blog makes me angry. Jonathan Cook is very knowledgeable on Israel and antisemitism, and should be read (followed) for that, but to me this blog on Hillary is not on the money. For progressives the election was over when Bernie was squeezed out. Jill Stein could be an alternative to Bernie but in my view one should vote for her only in states where Hillary has no chance. A vote for Jill Stein in a close contest is a vote for Trump. The others ….
I start with the following assessment, and it is only that – I don’t know for sure. Hillary represents Wall Street (despite what Michael Moore says in Trumpland). Under Hillary I would expect a continuation of Wall Street policies as with Obama – war for profit, drones etc.
Under Trump I see no difference on wars for profit, drones etc. He is Republican, where do we see with Republicans a reduction in wars for profits and drones? Why would Trump stand up against Wall Street?
In terms of foreign policy I would see no difference. I would expect Trump to take a backseat on foreign policy letting Wall Street and the MIC do what it wants. From this point of view Jonathan Cook’s personal interest is correct – there is no difference in terms of his campaigning interest – justice for Palestine. I think Jonathan’s argument that Trump is an isolationist does not have traction because it is rhetoric. Where does this rhetoric translate into foreign policy? Hillary does not advocate foreign interventionism except when she attends CFR, I assess Trump would not advocate it either but that it would just happen anyway. Trump’s isolationism is about supporting fascism, and not concerned with foreign policy. However Trump is jingoist, that will allow for “war for profit” manipulation as the US must “defend” itself.
So the difference lies in domestic policy. Trump is sexist and racist and encourages sexism and racism, Hillary is token liberal paying lipservice to both – again an assessment. How will these affect domestic US society? The moronic right wing – the US fascists will take credibility from a Trump government, and there will be an increase in such assaults. These atrocious white fascists (Supremacists/KKK) will have an increasing voice in US society, and there will be an increase in violence – as can be seen with Trump’s rallies. As Jonathan says “destroying the politics of respect, and civil discourse, could quickly result in the normalisation of political violence and intimidation.”
Jonathan dismisses decorum as an issue. Hillary of course is more experienced as a debater, and Trump says what he wants. The question here is truth. Trump is no respecter of truth, and appears not to care whether anything he says is truthful. We do not know whether Hillary is truthful, my view is that she is truthful only when it suits her, but she does not lie to smear. Hillary was forced to lower her standards to participate in the debate, could she have remained with a higher detachment during the smears that Trump threw out? I don’t think so.
Consider the sex smears. Has Trump said anything meaningful against Hillary? Absolutely not. The sexual smears have been directed against Bill, what has that got to do with Hillary? It is just smearing without any integrity.
The Clinton foundation will have been involved in promoting imperialism as are all these US foundations, using charity laws to promote the interests of the 1%. The Trump foundation promotes Trump.
I think the disguise of the Clintons, typical of Obama and all mainstream politicians, is marginally better than Trump but only just. What happens if we support the smear approach of Trump? Everything is up for grabs – just because he pretends to open up all the diplomatic disguises of Wall Street politics.
But what he is doing is lurching the debate to the right? What matters is a progressive government – represented by Bernie at the moment? It is possible that Trump’s right wing violence will lead to a greater left wing consciousness but such a consciousness would be forced to express itself through violence. Under Clinton such a dialogue could still be held in a peaceful way. With the Bernie contest she voiced more progressive policies because she had to. When Trump has moved everything to the right there can only be a debate of extremes, and as the Trump extreme is happy to extoll violence the left will be forced to do the same.
When you have issue-based campaigning – such as Palestine, you have to consider when and how foreign policy will change. Of course with US insularity foreign policy is the last to change but it can only change with a generalised progressive agenda, move the debate to the left and maybe some of that progression will make a change to foreign policy. When the debate is controlled by the fascist, foreign policy can never liberalise; Israel as an ally for the US will be cemented. This cannot help Jonathan’s campaigning interest – Palestine.
Jonathan’s summative position is striving for people to vote out of conviction. I ask
“when would the 1% ever allow candidates with compassionate conviction to stand?” Trump has a form of conviction – self-aggrandisement through politics.
A conviction vote can never happen. Electoral democracy can never be meaningful, that seems to be the fallacy of Jonathan’s blog, he seeks a meaningful vote. As he quite righty pointed out, the genuine democracy of Bernie was manipulated out of the arena. Conviction voting is never going to change that. Democracy can only happen through genuine grass roots democracy that hopefully will have an impact on the controlled electoral process. If the grass roots democracy moves the agenda leftwards, then maybe the candidates such as Bernie or Elizabeth Warren will emerge with more chance. Over my awareness since the 70s there has never been left-wing candidates with any chance like Bernie or Liz Warren or Corbyn. This is positive and a Trump government will stifle such by his promotion of fascism. It is naïve to think that conviction voting can ever be anything other than Trot extremism, for progressives voting must be tactical.
Not only was I angry to read this blog, I was disappointed with some of the naivety. It made me respect the wisdom I gained from the training of the experienced with my short stay in the Communist party. Where does Jonathan learn from the wisdom of the elder?
And perhaps most important although Jonathan won’t see this as important, a candidate should at least avow morality – lipservice, sila. It shows how low the western ceiling is that sila has no traction.
When you meet the American ego it is obnoxious. When you watch Michael Moore in Trumpland you see that he has some grudging respect for them. It is like the realisation I had in South Africa, the majority of Trump supporters are like the whites in South Africa, they are like my father, they only care about what they can get for their family. Somehow they think Trump can get it for them.
For me Trump means “business as usual” but that is only in the strict meaning of the word. Business as usual not life as usual. Corporations will have a field day as the shackles of regulation and common courtesy will be taken off. If there is a Trump long-term people will die from environmental disaster such as Erin Brockovich.
Life is where things will change. In Thailand there are no regulations to protect the Farang, you take it or leave it. If you have money it is OK, if you don’t you take risks. Because Thai people are usually good to get on with, Thailand works as a place to retire – even with a military government. But in the US such lack of protection does not work. The bulk of the Trump election mobs are the worst shades of humanity, these racist sexist KKK morons will now be considered acceptable. The manosphere will rule.
But the bulk of Trump supporters are not this mob, they are ordinary white people looking after their families. What gets in the way? Short term – government and taxes. They do not feel they are against the corporations in general, business is OK for them. There are some business excesses of these corporations but mostly business is business is OK. They have not made the jump to understand that small business interests and corporate interests are not the same. They do not see that corporations have stifled them, they blame government rather than corporations or their demise. These people would deride me when I say socialists and small businesses have the same interests.
They see Wall Street as the enemy yet somehow they do not see that Wall Street and the Corporations are the same. They see Wall Street as Hillary – she probably was, Michael Moore – and the enemy to their small businesses. Hillary did not address any of these interests so she lost their votes – in Trumpland. On reflection Bernie stood more of a chance with their votes because he stood against Wall Street especially as voting for such a debased human as Trump with no sila will have hurt this type of Christian. But Trump appeared to stand for what they wanted, a government that will let them bring home the bacon.
But these people are deluded because America is corporate – not small business. Deregulation that will help big business will mean that the big fish will swallow up the small fish. Reduced taxes will hit the compassionate state sector and the standard of state education, healthcare etc will fall. This will hurt the poor and the small business. America is now for the unprincipled bully and poor people need to look out.
Why would foreign policy change? Trump is jingoist and business interests will control that jingoism to maintain the current foreign policy, drones make a profit, no US citizens get hurt, and America stays “great”. Jingoism does not require action, maybe it would require a response. But who would choose to go up against a fool like Trump – not even Putin.
The only thing that will change is US sila as the worst sorts of white humanity will be given their head. Whilst the small family tends to have good moral interactions with friends and neighbours they are ignorant of racism and sexism. The wife accepts the control that she maintains in return she does not promote feminism, black people and latins are unknown and the other – and fair game. These people have found it harder to make ends meet, and are hoping that Trump will enable that. Trump managed to detach himself from Corporate America in the campaigning but his corporatism will show in presidency – and his voters will miss out, ends will not be met. Tax reductions will buy them off for a short while. Any money saved in government expense will add to the profits of the bully boys – and not to these hard-working people. They have been duped.
They have been played, much like foolish Klaus. Why did regulations come in? Because Corporations can pay to implement them, and it helped break small businesses making them easy pickings. The regulations the Corporations want Trump will keep, the ones they don’t want will go – the ones that will help the poor. Regulations like that don’t come in because of pressure from the poor. Unleaded petrol came in when corporations could profit – not because it helped the poor, helping the poor was the sales pitch. Government is in the pocket of corporations, Trump will be as well. If he doesn’t fall in line they will squeeze him – or kill him; Trump is so obnoxious people will be lining up to kill him.
The American ego is just so stupid.
From way back when I was an outsider – even when I didn’t know it. Growing up I was a shadow, there was social participation but never commitment. I more or less conformed to what conditioning required but never with any determination. I remember upsetting my grandmother because I wasn’t interested in my studies, from what I recall when I said I would do enough to get through she cried. I had no determination, more exactly there was no motivation.
Somewhat romantically I associate this undisciplined approach to school as the Path, learning at school was necessary for some form of social conformity, survival or job attainment but it had limited connection to Nature – to the Path. Then as now there is little connection between what we learn at school and what is required for maturity – the Path. There have been times in my life where genuine study has dominated – including being a major motivation for early retirement; as I got older I was too tired from work and there was only time to study during the holidays.
The Path being outside what we learn at school, or what we are expected to conform to, is a reality that we must come to terms with; hence the Path and conditioning have little connection. Having said that we are conditioned when young – whoever we are, and as adults we are subjected to media barrage no matter how reclusively we live our lives. So even following the Path brings with it conditioning but being an outsider helps. Despite being a teacher, the very essence of whose job is promoting conformity, whatever my heart wanted me to do, my non-working self, was always concerned with the Path.
When I first hit bottom I gravitated to the Outside, those alternatives to the mainstream who make some attempt at non-conformity; most notably this was with the Arts Centre. Two things drew me back from the alternate. First of all my creativity was limited, and was not the driving force it was in others. Secondly once my time on the Path was sufficiently entrenched I sought compassion in my life, a compassion that eventually led to education as a means of amelioration of general suffering – as opposed to care helping others to cope. But the very nature of the job made me an outsider within a profession that imparted conformity, a profession that was a key conditioner along with the media and community upbringing including family.
The Path makes you an Outsider, the depth of the pervading conditioning means that overcoming conditioning moves one towards the Outside. To a certain extent this has advantages, overcoming conditioning gives one an edge. Seeing what is happening for what it is provides a choice. It introduces questions of integrity and compromise that don’t always exist for others. Such questioning leads to an understanding of conditioning, and helps move beyond it.
By considering “being an outsider” I am attempting to consider how to recognise and overcome conditioning – how to transcend to maturity. As an outsider I am basically saying that to a great extent I am outside conditioning. Within conditioning people accept community conformity and community pressure – I include family in this conforming process. As an outsider there is less pressure but there is usually pressure to conform to the “outside community”. This usually involves an “outside mindset” such as Icke-ism, replacing the mindset of our conditioning process with a new mindset is an improvement but very soon becomes a restriction. This is not a process of maturing to freedom but is simply adding a less conditioned chain keeping us within a conformed process. What matters is a complete rejection of any mindset, and replacing it with complete enquiry; and with that enquiry comes maturity and freedom.
Achieving that state of enquiry is obviously extremely difficult and requires continuous attention. The three agencies of conformity are family and community, media and education. When you consider these agencies you are always in contact with them, in other words you are always being asked to conform. It therefore requires great strength and conviction not to be pulled back into the conditioned existence that you have been hoping to transcend. It is no wonder monastics choose to take refuge. Spiritual transcendence brings with it strength and conviction that gives one a fighting chance, political transcendence less so because socio-political transcendence is much more intellectual – concerned with social assessment and does not have the conviction of spiritual insight, the strength that can prevent us from being swayed by the three agencies.
We are never free from the battle that is conditioning, and to understand this brings with it an awareness that is forewarning. Taking refuge, being a recluse, being an outsider, travelling are all means of separating from conditioning, but conditioning is a battle won beyond the mind – in transcendence. If we are fortunate enough to experience transcendence, then meditation is the tool that can help us. Through focus and insight, the mind can cut through the condition with deep enquiry that will free it – maintaining a transcendent state of mind. But this has to be ongoing because daily life through the 3 agencies is always trying to recondition. Energy work can strengthen the mind whilst a healthy body will not bring unwarranted distractions of disease etc.
But desire also brings problems that can lead to conditioning, how can lust not demean a man’s view of a woman and of himself however much love and respect is involved? BigFood manipulates food craving through taste additives such as MSG and refined sugar, and if we give in to those desires we provide the basis within our bodies for degenerative disease. With advertising the corporatocracy tries to manipulate desires to condition you into consuming. Human existence requires homes, food and water, which early humans got for free. Now the corporations make our food, a substantial amount of our income is spent on homes, and water is becoming increasingly expensive. Then our society develops (supposedly more civilised when we are not creating wars), and there becomes more essentials. Tax that pays for education and our transport, although perhaps we should say tax for wars and business infrastructure – whilst corporations avoid tax. In times of pure surviving, we used our time and energy to survive (home and food etc), now that we are more civilised we use our time and energy to earn money to pay for the so-called advantages of civilisation. This is wage-slavery for most, as few have any time to pursue their own interests outside the workplace. And yet cursory observation sees the few gaining huge amounts of money that brings with it leisure time and other advantages that can be bought. We are conditioned to accept this, yet why we accept it is really beyond belief. The level of conditioning that requires such acceptance is very high.
Can we see through conditioning from the inside? Only to some extent. Within we are expected to conform to conditioning, to a certain extent that conformity allows for certain leeway – some people are less sexist and racist than others. But whilst people are tied to conformity, their fear of being different prevents them from becoming sufficiently aware to transcend.
Therefore transcendence means trying to help people become outsiders. There are mechanisms that help towards that. Travelling is one such way, the sort of travelling that takes one outside one’s own society, and puts people in positions where they can see what their society is truly about. Of course within this there is a tremendous pull with the love of one’s family and the pull of the familiar that you grew up with and know. Being pulled back is easier in the short term, but because that pull leads to the restriction of conformity it is not easier in the long run. Yet for most travelling doesn’t do it, and it becomes a chance lost as the community conforms you once again. There is of course no simple way out. Spiritual teachings help, conflict in one’s own community – a conflict that stems from you being in the right, and the 1% and the conforming forces are in the wrong. For some study helps to see society for what it is, but intellectual comprehension is not enough the depth and conviction of insight are essential for genuine transcendence. Political activists deride spiritual people as the activists replace the conformity of their upbringing with conformity to the new restrictive mindset. The spiritual experience is often seen as transcendence yet those same spiritual have not developed political transcendence, perhaps because political activists who have transcended to some extent have not learnt the importance of peace etc.; the spiritual deride the political and this derision could tarnish the need to transcend politically as well.
Refuge is such an obvious answer but is the refuge free from conditioning? Does the refuge conform you to a new mindset or does it bring transcendence? Does the peace and tranquillity usually associated with refuges prevent one from seeing the conflicts and disadvantages that social conformity brings? Does the emphasis on the spiritual dogma prevent you from giving time to socio-political considerations? And do the institutional restrictions, such as charitable status and pandering to the rich because they donate more, prevent the refuge from being a place where socio-political understanding can occur? Can a renunciate understand socio-politically when they are not wage-slaves? Whilst taking refuge has many characteristics of “removing conditioning”, it is not 100% so.
Throughout all our societies exist outsiders. People’s Paths take them all over, and can lead them to make homes in new communities. Like Chinese monks they can be at the tops of mountains or on islands. But they are not likely to be where they should be – as elders and leaders. Yet even as outsiders their wisdom has influence because the conformed see wisdom in these people even though the conditioning prevents them from internalising this wisdom to any great extent. That is the way of wisdom and conditioning for the mature person who has transcended the conditioning and reached some freedom.
Embrace the Outside, can the Path be any other way?
I have begun revising the Treatise (Treatise of Zandtao). Whilst these small revisions are not going to be online for a while I should note that HHSR has been removed together with references to reincarnation. I have been studying Nagarjuna a bit– as being a link between what is Theravada (supposedly the original Buddha’s teachings and Zen/Tibetan). Reincarnation is really a Hindu belief that has become part of Buddhism according to Buddhadasa – I like that for the reasons that it explains the origin (Hindu India) of the belief and that proving reincarnation seems not to be possible. It is usually assigned to one of the Buddha’s unanswered questions. I was unsure of a lot of the references to unanswered questions, here is a summary that is from one of the Theravada suttas SN 44 explaining why the questions are not answered.
I am more concerned about Nagarjuna’s dependence on faith, I noticed this in the letter to the king in “The Good-hearted Letter” Section Two. Let me start by saying that faith is something I do not have. But before I get into that I want to surmise why Nagarjuna needed faith, and that is his belief in reincarnation. How can you accept reincarnation unless through faith because there is no way you can assert it through experience; having said that I cannot explain stories such as these without finding some disguised way of saying they are lies; the stories are not sufficient evidence to support reincarnation – just sufficient to create doubts. But for me the world is paradoxical enough to accept “exceptions to the rule”. But it matters not, I have not experienced it so I don’t accept it for myself.
Faith is a requirement for reincarnation yet it my view that the Buddha never asked us to have faith in him – or anything. Based on the Kalama Sutta, AN3, it is my contention that the Buddha asked us not to believe him but to come to some kind of personal conviction through experience that what he said is true. I often think of this as internalising an idea by deeply knowing it as a truth – or even experiencing the idea as an insight. Faith says here is a dogma, believe it – in other words here is a mindset, believe it. Are holy books factual? Or are they allegorical to bring home certain spiritual truths? My own view is the second, you must decide for yourself what is important.
This issue of “holding to a mindset” has been alluded to throughout the treatise, and is central to a perspective on conditioning. In an earlier chapter of the Treatise I looked at the book “The Four Agreements” demonstrating that we grow up with mindsets which we agree with because they are custom and practise for our societies, in effect this mindset of agreements could be seen more sinisterly as conditioning. The way we grow up could be seen as making agreements with our parents and society, or it could be seen in a more passive way as conforming to that conditioning that our upbringing requires of us.
The dogmas of a faith are a mindset, the agency of accepting that mindset separates a faith from a set of ideas, and I question that agency. I don’t dismiss the agency, I have used the term “internalising” as an acceptable agency, and I would also see insight as legitimate – although I find it difficult to see how a whole faith could be determined through insight. Debating the agency of one’s faith is an individual journey for each person to undergo, but without a suitable agency one’s faith is simply a set of ideas – a dogma – a mindset. Accepting a mindset without appropriate deep enquiry is for me a mistake that many make. It happens as we start to unravel conditioning especially amongst the young who reject conditioning but then seek to replace it. There is a charismatic figure, David Icke, who has politically dissected much that is wrong with our society. There is a strong body of younger people who follow him. There are two issue that I contend with him. The first concerns the Illuminati. I have never investigated the Illuminati because I don’t know them so how can I ascertain the truth about them. Throughout this book I have discussed the 1%, and I have no doubt that these bourgeoisie control our corporatocracy through finance and influence. But I have no experience to suggest that these people are masons – they may well be. I do however believe that groups such as Bilderberg meet and exert influence on our society. However the control of the 1% is in my view through convergence of interest and influence based on their own conditioning rather than a concrete plan or planning meeting. Second are the lizards. The only lizards I have come across are the ones that scuttle across my living room leaving small shit everywhere. If there are aliens as lizards I can accept correction but it has to be verifiable by direct personal experience. Icke-ists accept and feel they have to accept the full mindset. This is based on our miseducation in which indoctrination through accepting mindsets, ideas and facts stuffed in our minds to pass exams, leads to one mindset being replaced by another once we start to see through our conditioning – discussed throughout in Matriellez.
However this aspect of our conditioning, our mindset-replacing tendency, needs to be seen for what it is – another part of our conditioning (education methods), and it is only when this additional aspect is replaced by complete enquiry can we say that we have overcome conditioning.
Isms are a good way to begin examining conditioning. Consider nationalism. Is this a good thing? Many education systems foster nationalism as this produces stability within a society. By saying your own society is better than others you are immediately creating a lesser society, a group of inferiors. Once you have people seen as less than you, it is very easy for manipulative groups to misuse media to create a war for profit – can we kill our own? If we are all seen as equal, all societies seen as equal, then such excuses for war disappear – we do not make war on ourselves. This of course is a fundamental democratic principle that all people have equal democratic rights.
Racism is another ism well worth examining. I was brought up a white middle-class racist, and was fortunate enough to learn about my racism by good black people being willing to teach me and tolerate the racism I grew up with. When I reflect on things that I have thought and even said, I am somewhat ashamed despite knowing they are sourced in conditioning – conforming to the custom and practise of the white middle-class I grew up with. I would recommend all people of privilege such as white privilege to seriously examine themselves. In my professional biography as part of my M Ed I included a discussion of anti-racist training (ART), and would encourage people to examine themselves through such training approaches.
As a male chauvinism is another ism that I was born with, and therefore grew up being sexist. As an adult I intellectually accepted equality but I am not sure I always practised it because of my desires. Society is undoubtedly chauvinist, and we are therefore continually bombarded with media that promotes sexism. As males, especially younger males in whom the desires are stronger, constant re-evaluation is required. For example, what is anorexia and bulimia? Are these psychological conditions that a few women suffer from? Or are they natural consequences of a sexist society that portrays women as sex objects based on a body image that it is almost impossible to maintain – a situation made far worse by the way Big Food manipulates our foods for profit so that maintaining our health is so difficult. Should women have equal rights in the workplace? Or just in workplaces that do not affect my promotion?
Antisemitism is a particularly interesting ism for those on the left. When you consider history there is no doubt that Jews have been persecuted culminating in the atrocity of the Nazi Holocaust. Following the situation that has happened in Palestine where the homeland of Israel was created, on the left there has been much support for the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, oPt. Often that support has been vocal against Jews, is that antisemitic? At the same time there are wealthy Jews who could be called 1%, some such Jews have power in media. Is that then a Jewish conspiracy? I recommend a deep enquiry into one’s own antisemitism, and a suitable place to start are these 7 tenets of antisemitism.
Considering the ongoing barrage of media conditioning, enquiry is so important, it is integral that we continually re-evaluate our own conditioning because it is so easy to accept negative mindsets. When we add to this the dangers of attaching to mindsets once developed as insights the need for constant enquiry is a matter of ever-vigilance.
But we need to consider what is the purpose of this conditioning. It is conformity to what end. Certainly conformity is useful for providing a stable society but it does not begin to give a reason until we look at the 1%. They require a compliant and consuming workforce, they need consuming wage-slaves who can accept the various consequences of the current system such as climate change and wars for profits. Now the conditioning has a meaning because across the world we have people who accept working for money to pay the bills and consuming extras.
And where is the danger to this system? If for some reason the workforce refuses to be wage-slaves and discerningly decides not to waste money on consumerism. This is why so much effort is made to attack unions because when workers band together they demand the profits for themselves.
But more than unions they fear a unity of purpose, a unity of purpose that sees 99% working together for the interest of the Gaia – climate change, renewable energy, Dakota pipeline – and for the interests of all the people in the world – no wars for profits. Such division of peoples comes from nationalism – dividing nation against nation, racism diving white from black, sexism – dividing women from men, and antisemitism – dividing gentile from Jew.
Political unity in the interest of all peoples and for the interest of our planet is the way we can overcome the 1% manipulation of ourselves as consuming wage-slaves.
And unity or Oneness is what is sought through spiritual awareness. We are not separate people with individual interests, but we are One people with the interest of the One planet, our home. Even the very religions which are the systemic way of understanding this Oneness are used to separate. Wars have been fought with religion as an excuse yet religions when understood in depth seek only Oneness.
But what happens to people who seek Oneness, they become aware that we are not separate but One people. They transcend the separation and understand there is Unity. They overcome the conditioning that creates separation, they see through the delusion where we are conditioned as separate and accept the Unity.
This acceptance of Unity is usually associated with forms of bliss, and the transcendental process is often confused with the joy that people have during transcendence but the truth is that this transcendence happens when people end separation, when they end division, when they don’t accept the agreements their society and upbringing require of them, when they work to end their conditioning on all levels. Transcending conditioning is what brings Unity – anatta.
And this transcendence brings understanding on all levels. Once we throw off the shackles of our conditioning, by rejecting separation, by going beyond dogma and intellect, by fighting the hatred that comes with all the isms – often bringing wars with profits, by accepting Unity as Gaia where destroying the environment by climate change and industrial exploitation is understood as destroying ourselves. This is all transcendence. From the moment any part of our conditioning is questioned we begin transcendence. For some it remains political where the bliss is never experienced because new mindsets are clung to. For the spiritual the transcendental experience can bring with it bliss but instead of a mindset they cling to bliss and don’t move forward. But the process is the same – enquiry, removing the shackles that ignorance of our conditioning places on us bringing with it open minds that question, that naturally reject injustice, that reject climate exploitation, that want genuine peace, a peace that comes with the Unity of all peoples in Gaia.
This transcendence is what the three tenets of the Treatise of Zandtao are working towards. Healing the body so we do not become attached to the diseases that are a consequence of toxic intake whilst at the same time working with Gaia through whole foods that enable us to survive in harmony with nature. And the energy is the energy of Gaia of One planet. Once we open our minds and bodies to that energy that is Gaia then we begin to feel through that energy that this is not separation but Unity, the energy of the One planet that sustains us, making us feel vital when we accept the Path that is Gaia. We work together in Gaia, we transcend the conditioning that seeks division, and we accept Unity for what it is – the natural way.
In the Treatise I have looked at many ways that work towards this transcendence, this removal of conditioning. One way just mentioned are the three tenets, but much more importantly there are the 4 Agreements, and there is magga – the 8-Fold Path. All seek one thing – the removal of conditioning – the removal of agreements, the removal of the attachment to I and mine, the removal of attachment to the 5 khandas, the Unity that comes with the understanding once the conditioning has been removed.
There are many levels of this transcendence. When we see black people justifiably angry in “Black Lives Matter”, we might well see people who have transcended this political aspect but need more. When we see Momentum supporting Corbyn in his struggle against the 1% we see people who have transcended this aspect of conditioning but who seek more. When we see the monk who devotes their lives to meditation we see a transcendence that has overcome the conditioning of wage-slavery and consumerism, but needs more. On this diverse world there is much transcendence to varying degrees, it can only be hoped that these people do not rest on their laurels and that they work to seek a complete transcendence, a transcendence that comes from permanent enquiry, a transcendence that lacks conditioning on any level, a transcendence that brings with it a complete freedom from any shackles. Unity that is anatta.
I have just read this Polly Toynbee article which is a basic cow-tow to tactical voting.
Let me accept what she says, that she supports Corbyn’s policies. Then what she is saying is “I give up on my policies” for strategy. For years those with genuine left-wing beliefs have been forced to vote tactically, but is that the aim of socialists everywhere? To use their vote as a tactic. Definitely not.
I talked about where tactics within the NCP led me, I worked as a traitor to socialism supporting union leadership that exploited membership; nearly 30 years later it still rankles. The question is this, when do we work for the possible opportunity for a socialist government? And the answer is this, will there be a better opportunity than now with all the momentum that is with Corbyn?
There are two sets of people who do not want to get on the Corbyn bandwagon:-
1) Those who have been cowtowed
I place Polly Toynbee in the category of those who have been cowtowed – assuming the description of her politics is true; although the phrase is a bit rude it is not really my intention to be so. She has spent her life in a political setup that has given socialists little choice but to vote tactically for whatever leadership came along. In the end the last vote (for Blair) enabled exploitative wars in the Middle East, how can this be socialist in any way? Blair took us into Iraq, Tories took us into Libya and Syria; what is the difference? When is the time we stand up for principle and goodness? When I was politically compromised by the NCP could I have done anything better with my time? NO. But now there is a movement. The mainstream media including Polly Toynbee (and Mock the Week) unfortunately are militating against Corbyn even if it is with Polly’s temerity. But look at the streets, that is where the mass movement is; and the streets are growing with their support for Corbyn. Isn’t it time to make a stand on principle and goodness?
My erstwhile NCP comrades would have hated these words at the end of 80s, but that was a completely different time. That was a time in which supporting Corbyn or Socialist Conference would have been to create a split in the Labour or mass movement. Ever since then supporting such would have been support for a split. But is now the time ripe for principle and goodness?
And the big question is this. If now is not the time for principled voting when will there ever be such a chance? Now there is momentum and Momentum, these are both mass movement in nature. If we don’t use these momentums now will there be another chance? I remember the miners. The miners’ strike was the time when trade unions lost much of their power. Whether Scargill was tactically in error or not (I think he was), the fact that the mass movement failed to back the miners 100% enabled Maggie to have a victory, a victory that has led to lessening of union power and eventually Labour taking us into imperialist wars. The movement did not seize the chance to defend because of doubts about the “Trot” tactics. Are we going to make the same mistake now? Are we going to fail to back Corbyn over minor doubts? Over wish-fulfilling failure?
It is time for people like Polly Toynbee to stand up and say now is the time for principled behaviour – socialism and goodness.
Polly is also arguing against Corbyn’s tactical stances with the opportunists in Labour. Let us start with how this struggle is being phrased by herself and others in the mainstream (albeit left-wing MSM). She talks about leaders. Since when is mass movement politics about leaders? It is about the mobilisation of the mass movement. So why isn’t she asking whether representation within the Labour party is mass movement? Corbyn has proven mass movement credentials. He wants a greater accountability to these mass movement voters, is this not what the Labour party ought to be about?
Where is her historical perspective? Historically Blair opportunism manipulated that lack of mass movement support for Labour to install his flavour of opportunism not only amongst the parliamentary Labour party but also on the NEC. Now that his Machiavellianism does not have control, shouldn’t all socialists be calling for appropriate representation – democratic representation of the mass movement? I don’t know whether Corbyn has talked of deselecting or whether it is just many of his attackers; but people who have got into position whether in parliament or the NEC through manipulation do not deserve to be there. I do not support a purge but these people need to support the mass movement who have without doubt given socialism as represented by Corbyn’s policies their assent. These incumbents need to get behind the policies that mass movement membership has voted for. Even if they are unhappy with Corbyn as leader there is a clear mandate for policies.
Instead these “Progress”ive MP’s are still fighting Corbyn, and then Polly says Corbyn is not bending enough to them – is not being magnanimous in victory. What is wrong with saying to these “Progress”ives, get behind the policies and I will forget any personal animosity. “His calls for unity are only a call for capitulation and obedience” is a very negative way of putting forward the position that MP’s should unite behind policy that the membership wants. Labour has gradually moved so far to the right that taking the middle ground or even socialism and goodness is seen as a lurch leftwards. It will be interesting to see whether conference provides mass movement policies yet – or whether conference is still dominated by opportunism.
Is saying the “vast majority won’t be deselected” a threat? Or is it just a recognition of history and a recognition of mass movement forces? Do incumbents have the right to stay there if they cannot be selected by their constituents? Is a vote for 5 years sufficient democracy or if there is a democratic change should the incumbent not reflect that change in their approaches – genuine democracy? Democracy has been relegated by neo-liberalism to a 5-year mandate. If Polly is a genuine socialist why isn’t she demanding that democracy reflect the membership’s views? Surely leadership of a democratic party would want its representatives to represent the views of membership. I am not sure what the “deselection” means. Does it mean that Corbyn has the right to ask for a sitting MP to be revoted? I doubt it. What is this so-called deselection? If there is an election then candidates will be chosen again, is this deselection or democracy? When you place these fears for deselection into the context of the Machiavellianism of Blair in putting these people in as MP’s in the first place, this deselection fear-mongering just sounds like support for “jobs for the boys” – or more correctly “jobs for the incumbents”.
As for MP’s voting for the shadow cabinet posts Corbyn must resist this in a constructive way. MP’s have gained office through manipulations of apathy. For those MP’s to then vote for Shadow posts would mean that manipulation would be creating Shadow policy when the mass movement has clearly supported different policies. If the Shadow cabinet can be “whipped” into support for the policies of the movement, then that should be the way of “voting”. Was there calls for shadow cabinet voting when Blair was creating his clone-olony? It will be interesting to see whether these opportunists can be whipped into line? “All this Machiavellian back-room manoeuvring is out of keeping with his benign …. image”. Where has the Machiavellianism come from? Being in politics forces him to work behind-the-scenes, ask Harry Perkins.
I find this very biassed:-
“The key rule change he wants from the NEC is to reduce the votes of MPs and MEPs needed to put a candidate on the ballot in future leadership elections from 15% to 5%: that ensures one of his own on the list, and the present party membership would then be able to select a successor in Corbyn’s image.” This might be something Corbyn wants but to describe it as key is very emotive. For me the democratisation and accountability of representation is the key issue of Corbyn’s policy within the Labour party, I don’t know whether he actually calls this “key” – I expect he would but I have no desire to put words in his mouth. Does 5% or 15% matter? It matters now because of the reason he was first nominated. In that first election it is my understanding that he was nominated by the MP’s to offer a different position – maybe some would not now want to have given him that opportunity? But if there were not 15% of Labour MP’s who represented the broad platform that Corbyn now stands for then it shows a weakness in the voting process that created that situation. 5% would mitigate against such happening again, but hopefully under the 2 momentums Labour will never be hijacked again by the likes of Blair.
“In one fraught conversation after another, I try all this on Corbyn believers but to no avail. No compromise, blocked ears, total denial of electoral facts, a post-truth conviction.” Throughout the article Polly describes Corbyn supporters as good people, yet she then criticises in this way. These are words I would use to describe Trots. Her conversations are fraught because she is being intractable. Let’s be clear the 2 momentums are people standing on principle – not being closed-minded but standing on principle. As described above, unlike the Trot situations of the past this is a movement that is based on principle and not on electability. But that does not mean that such a movement cannot enable Corbyn and Labour to be elected. Look at the Brexit vote – crazy. People were prepared to vote to leave because they were disillusioned. What if that disillusioned vote could be turned into a vote for principle and goodness – as opposed to anger and racism.
Across the pond there is support for ignorance and racism, because the opportunists in congress have exploited the allegiances of the people. Hopey-changey’s support for Wall Street severely disillusioned the black vote, and Sanders had great difficulty mobilising them. But Sanders offered an alternative that almost upset the Wall Street establishment of Clinton. Sanders “Our Revolution” continues unabated, but sadly it does not continue in the neo-liberal electoral forum of the Veil. Momentum would continue in the same way – working on community issues, if Corbyn were not elected. But let’s go 100% behind Corbyn and see if left-wing votes can mean more than strategy but actually be a vote for what we believe in.
It is time for the armchair socialist to get off the strategic-voting fence and begin to support the momentums for genuine change – principled, good and democratic. I suspect another chance like this will not come along in my lifetime. Corbyn’s speech at conference backed up by the membership vote gives a sufficient platform for the party to unite behind to present a credible government. Polly get behind this ….
unless you are 2) above “Those who support the veil”.