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The problem with Corbyn is that the socialist ideas he represents really are a throwback, they are no paradigm shift at all. His is very much the old tankie dream of centrally-organised cadres working dutifully to create a workers paradise, probably based on 5 year plans and the nationalisation of everything that moves.

This idea had already been shown to fail by the 70s, the naitonalised industries were bywords for inefficiecy, the ossification, indeed deification, of out-dated work practices and a failure to adapt and move forward to embrace new ideas.

All of which came crashing down in the "Winter of Discontent" in 1978/9. Something had to change and the struggles of the 80 within Labour were between those who wanted to throw this off, the people who became Blairites, and those who wanted to double down, the Bennites among whom Corbyn was numbered.

However, I suspect that, in the last 30 years, JC has had something of a learning curve. His adherence to democratic decision making is far more pronounced than that of the Bennites. Which means that the accusation that Neil kinnock threw at him of being a "syndicalist" is probably correct

Syndicalism had been a prominent ideology amongst some workers in the period before World War One. Analogous movements existed in countries across the world (especially Europe and the Americas) and were often inspired by anarchist and communist ideas, as well as drawing on the radical democratic practices of some 19th Century trade unionism.

The idea, at its core, was a relatively simple one. Industry should be directly owned and controlled by the working class without intermediaries, and the state and parliament inherently stood in opposition to this happening.

The Labour party has, as the article explains, always been opposed to co-ops and bottom-up organisations, preferring the more traditional Leninist top-down imposition of state ownership "in the name of the people". So, although the Labour party took over the Co-op party, I believe the rule book of the party somewhere specifically prohibits their promotion.

This new syndicalist movement that corbyn leads is very much of the Occupy podemos m5* generation. Whether Corbyn himself is the best person to lead it is something I doubt, as he still harks back instinctively to his Bennite past. But he's better than any of the alternatives on offer, he recognises that neo-liberalist conservativism is a busted flush and that'll do for now

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2016 at 12:04:48 PM EST
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