Author Topic: How do the Left win?  (Read 1471 times)

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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How do the Left win?
« on: March 16, 2019, 12:38:07 AM »
...and by win I mean supplant or render redundant the current system?

We're all quite excited by Corbyn's moderate European social democracy based on the idea rich people take a hit of their obscene earnings in order to fund wider social projects. Not controversial up until the mid-80s but now so extreme as to be almost poisonous to the touch (unless you actually ask people when they then tend to agree).

The problem there is the capitalist system is easily powerful enough to close ranks around a single European state that goes left. They can ensure it "fails" before it has even had chance to fail or succeed. And they will. They have too much at stake. Unfortunately this tends to make the left overly despairing of democracy.

The above paragraph invites revolutionary socialism, but I have never found that an appealing way to go. I would prefer to work inside out if you like, start with something mild and use tech advances and political devices to further the cause, bringing people with you as you go. There are always reactionaries. At the moment this is happening in patches - Preston council. Jamie O'Driscoll in Newcastle. And they are following policies that are not necessarily left or right. Co-ops, and effectively replacing the Blairite Quangos (which in patches were successful) with a more direct form of local government intervention.

If you look at Mason, he advocates using IT advances to reduce the market worth of items to zero. Infinitely duplicatable at negligible cost. He postulates much of this can be achieved by democratising knowledge on open source platforms.

The other way in in my view: environment. Everyone here should be backing the children's revolt, Extinction Rebellion. Children are the one group wage capitalism can't control. They can skip school with maximum effect of grounding (bit toothless if you've been marching the streets). The left have a massive in by focusing heavily on environmental collapse. It's too early for Labour but the time is coming when this has the capacity to overthrow a government.

I think we all agree we don't want it to come to a collapse before the Left take the reins. We want a democratic, structured victory where the soft left (for instance) are swayed by events, not by the butt of a gun (see Benns weathercocks analogy)

That's enough from me by far. What do you think?

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2019, 12:41:00 AM »
This was my short version btw

Shoulders?-Stomach!

  • You Go Careful There Now My Love
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Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2019, 12:44:57 AM »
Oh shoot/shit/shite/fuck cunts into my aids, it should be 'How does the Left win', shouldn't it?

BlodwynPig

  • Throwing two dogs at a goblin
Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2019, 12:59:02 AM »
You make some hopeful points and I begrudgingly have to hand it to you - it all seems worthwhile. You nearly lost me at "mild" but I'm advocating progression through technology and open-source in my niche field of interest (not game changing, but potentially).

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2019, 01:26:12 AM »
Oh shoot/shit/shite/fuck cunts into my aids, it should be 'How does the Left win', shouldn't it?
No. It's fine to give "the Left" plural agreement. I think it's preferable, gesturing to the fact that it's made of many people.

(Americans have more of a problem with this sort of thing.)

Anyway, I don't know.

ToneLa

  • Kill your masters
Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2019, 01:43:35 AM »
Coalesce, remain together, and wait for the tories to falter.

I think the easiest step is the latter. It's hard but it does happen naturally.

I don't know about Corbyn.

My uncle (being a Labour councillor steeped in Marxism) suggests the current party is weak on economics and trust. But I'll freely admit most rhetoric I spout here on Labour is partially his - I judge on experience and he's got proven bags of it

(Edited bit)
Is there a workable way to, for lack of a better term, buy off the right wing press? As a means to an end to the people. That brings me back to the people - I fuckin loathe New Labour but Campbell provided something of pragmatist aboot his approach.

Yet my socialist heart dies. I just don't know how you make complete and utter cunts identify with people ootside their remit.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 02:36:25 AM by ToneLa »

Twit 2

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Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2019, 02:36:01 AM »
As a lifelong pessimist I’ve never been more pessimistic than now. Country’s fucked, world’s fucked.

Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2019, 02:59:59 AM »
The environment could definitely be a strong focus I'd agree. Dealing with inequality of wealth/opportunity is more difficult in some ways as whilst it directly effects more people its also an area that's had heavy right wing propaganda targeted at it for decades "hard work", "scroungers", etc. The environment on the other hand has been a tentpole issues yet really the centralist stance on areas like Climate change is really pretty weak and its obviously an area pure capitalism in its short termism is never going to be well suited to. I wonder whether labour reviving something like the Severn Barrage idea could be helpful? really big investment projects that can also create a lot of jobs.

What I am (somewhat)positive about though is that were more than a decade past the 2008 recession and still the status quo seems to be on shaky ground, I'm guessing those supporting it felt there might be a few years of protests and ill feeling as there was say in the early 90's recession before things returned to normal but it doesn't look like much sign of the ill feeling going away.

What is sadly becoming clearly though is just how corrupt almost the entire traditional media is, politics is less of a supprise but honestly I think at this point "journalism" is actually the more shameful profession, at least democracy gives the former room for change.

Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2019, 03:01:53 AM »
First of all they need to win. Here's how:

1) Get back to the real issues and drop all the trendy identity politics bullshit that plagues the left. Relentlessly focus on these things -

a) wealth inequality, explain to people exactly what is happening and how bad it's become, Make progressive tax a positive thing again

b) immigration - explain why it's a good thing, sell the benefits, appeal to people's better natures

c) Health - expose the Tories plans to privatise, explain how bad it is in other countries

d) Education - focus on social mobility


2) Manage the media. Blair won because he did the above but crucially he also had Campbell as his highly effective media enforcer. You need that to counter the natural Tory leaning British media. People only read headlines, make sure they are poitive to your side.


3) Keep united. The Tories win because the care about winning more than anything else. The Left loses because they bicker constantly about shit that doesn't matter in the grand scheme.

4) Be less tribal. The Labour party has to lose their arrogant assumption that they are the true annointed champions of the left - it was that attitude that allowed the LibDems to get in bed with Tories, a little more humility then and we'd have had a Labour lead coalition. There are many groups who would partner with Labour if they'd only be a bit more collaborative.


5) Have courage. Get rid of Trident, renationalise, raise taxes for the every wealthy and invest in public services. These are popular policies but they need to be evangalised with passion.


ToneLa

  • Kill your masters
Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2019, 03:27:21 AM »
First of all they need to win. Here's how:

1) Get back to the real issues

Which are? I'd suggest the economy and the home office - Diane Abbot is winning no votes. Also, said in the Corbo thread, but when you sack health ministers... just think certain areas need a strong identity

Quote
and drop all the trendy identity politics bullshit that plagues the left.

Do be careful - what is "trendy" to us old fucks over 30 is reality to young people of 23 who I'd say are Labour's preference over the Tories (to narrow it down to two)

You're not wrong but think pragmatism, man - capitalise if possible rather than jettison; I can think of many socialist ideas I believe in absolutely compatible with identity politics - the problem is repackaging it, because "idpol" is a fucking electoral cancer; what changes do you want to the areas of gender and identity that aren't repugnant to all?

The pragmatist and slightly anti-capitalist historian in me suggests equality - a stern equality. So: lipservice to all rights for everyone; but we aren't the party to undercut feminists for fuck's sake, just... Inclusive rather than exclusive. Equality. Our history defines this rather well. It is about bringing groups in, not exclusion. And these are the terms I'd fight an election on - I'd expect to be pressed down on what's important too, but fuck this, we are a MORAL party, fairness DOES mean something, prejudice CAN be defined.

I find Labour weak here simply because they do not channel wider concerns from both sides into something that could be, not simplified - but more eloquently expressed. I think it is important not to try to hoodwink everyone - there are certain groups, let's call them "the elite", who come under an economics remit, and shouldn't be excluded but rather not focussed upon in how we present our care for everyone.

Our care isn't actually equal as not everyone needs care equally - we'd all do well to remember that; tax breaks for millionaires is not worth any election that cloud cuckoo land would bring us in on

Quote
Relentlessly focus on these things -

a) wealth inequality, explain to people exactly what is happening and how bad it's become, Make progressive tax a positive thing again

b) immigration - explain why it's a good thing, sell the benefits, appeal to people's better natures

c) Health - expose the Tories plans to privatise, explain how bad it is in other countries

d) Education - focus on social mobility


A) Agreed 100%
B) 50% - I dunno if it's truly popular. You speak wisdom and I agree but at the risk of sounding duplicitous it might be useful to dial this back; but you believe in "better natures"' I do too but don't believe politics brings that out. In short think it could be expressed better in other areas
C) 200% - Anyone denying this needs a shot of awareness of their own mortality, and if they have a family, double that percentage for each member they love
D) I have a teacher friend who was a Conservative until he was 26. He now strikes for better rights, so disgusted; and drinks with me when he's back in the Labour Club I take him to. I can't put a percentage on it; I can't gauge the public; but think it's potent, say, 80% from me?

Quote
2) Manage the media. Blair won because he did the above but crucially he also had Campbell as his highly effective media enforcer. You need that to counter the natural Tory leaning British media. People only read headlines, make sure they are poitive to your side.

HOW.


Quote
3) Keep united. The Tories win because the care about winning more than anything else. The Left loses because they bicker constantly about shit that doesn't matter in the grand scheme.

I've said before and I'll say it again, not to come over all Titbo: The only thing the Tories have over us is a true lust for power that, evil as it is, and I wouldn't change that for the world, conveys something to the people that Labour do not coalesce to grasp power.
Fully agreed - this is a perception problem, but reality DOES shape perception

Quote
4) Be less tribal. The Labour party has to lose their arrogant assumption that they are the true annointed champions of the left - it was that attitude that allowed the LibDems to get in bed with Tories, a little more humility then and we'd have had a Labour lead coalition. There are many groups who would partner with Labour if they'd only be a bit more collaborative.

Absolutely agree but think my above point ties into it. Why be shy? I'd LOVE Labour to be even more pragmatist and involve other parties: LOOK, WE ARE THE ALTERNATIVE. Collaboration is not compromise - not when it stops actual evil. I mean that last word - happy to prove it, and yknow, not alone

Quote
5) Have courage. Get rid of Trident, renationalise, raise taxes for the every wealthy and invest in public services. These are popular policies but they need to be evangalised with passion.

Plenty of brave policies have already been waved such as nationalisation and from my perception I'd simply say certain policies are enough of a flag for the true believers and the, excuse me, shitmunchers, to follow. I think you're wading into the realm of idealism and that's fine as who doesn't, but enough has been promised I agree with along these lines and thus I simply don't see it as a priority over the points you've already raised. For that reason I expect you knew what you were saying and thanks for giving me something to think about seriously,  and I hope you don't take it personally where I have disagreed.

Politics is not about being popular. Christ, it's anything but. But we, Labour, are a mirror image of the Tories.

They'd sell the public for their politics. But I'm starting to wish we sold our politics for power - but only slightly. Only slightly. If it's not socialist, frankly, I'm not interested

Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2019, 03:40:07 AM »
Great points 👍

Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2019, 03:44:45 AM »
I think it’s foolish to chase popularity, rather focus on making your policies popular. Start with values that are strong and coherent and then use every trick in the book to move the Overton window so that your policies are bang in the sweet spot. To do that you need to get hold of the media, no way round it. Social media can help a lot but you need the BBC, which is still an arbiter if truth for many people.

ToneLa

  • Kill your masters
Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2019, 04:11:41 AM »
I think it’s foolish to chase popularity, rather focus on making your policies popular. Start with values that are strong and coherent and then use every trick in the book to move the Overton window so that your policies are bang in the sweet spot.

Absolutely agreed. Popularity without the enduring means is surely transient? Even if it gets you power, that isn't how you keep it... you've hit it here spot on mate, values sell the policy.

It is surely obvious. Policies are short hand for values; beliefs. Spot on.

Quote
To do that you need to get hold of the media, no way round it. Social media can help a lot but you need the BBC, which is still an arbiter if truth for many people.

I don't want a Campbell figure back in Labour; but I'd like to know who the modern equivalent is.

If we won't swap Corbyn - and I genuinely don't know who could replace him and not betray many intrinsic factors we NEED, for his faults - there's only a finite amount of ways to affect perception these days with an inherent bias.

Let's rule out the unethical or we may as well not support Labour.
1) Direct press manipulation - seems a bit New Labour to me but it's unrealistic in the age of social media. Just wonder - who is the Campbell figure? Again - doubt I'd want it; but I'd listen to ascertain.... I put "unethical" and this first as there is a middle ground, surely?
2) When you actually appeal strongly - and it might do well with someone (else?) to package it, rather than fucking lie about it - about, as you say mate, VALUES, I'd relax a bit about votes, though that needs a certain trust. Be more on-message; not everything is about being fucking opposition....

What else is there?

I do entertain the simple Machiavellian possibility that you have to be calculated to win an election - and in a certain sense, no matter what, I'll see general elections as What We Deserve From the Public (just excuse me when I vomit at the results; I vomit at the public; why lie?)

But anywho. You outright say that people follow real policy rather than woolly promises; good values + good publicity = VOTES

And I'm afraid to say it, the hidden part of that equation may just be consistency. Just.. not without this urgency, yeah?

Shit, I may as well question the hunger, so I just did. Do you believe Labour are hungry? I ask because as much as it chides with my socialist upbringing I think it's absolutely a necessity. Hey, let's see. Let's see.

Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2019, 04:47:13 AM »
Personally, I think The Left are so distrusted economically, that in order to have any hope of 'winning', as far as S?S! defines it, there needs to be:

1. A model of economic governance which is demonstrable and scalable. In other words, local councils need to be able to demonstrate that there is a fairer way of managing the economy, that provides for the majority of people rather than disproportionately advantages those with power and money. There are obviously policies and issues that don't exist at council level, but this is the long game. The battle isn't just one of ideas but perception, and it will take time for people to vote for the left on merit (rather than frustration with the Tories) and to overcome the traditional view of the left as economically irresponsible.

2. Commitment to fully formed, detailed policies, and a sensible plan for transition where those differ radically from the status quo. Blair's wasn't a left wing government, but it was a government in waiting whilst in opposition. There were many reasons for that, but bottom line is that Labour in 1997 were perceived as a credible alternative in a way Labour in 2019 are not (outside the Labour bubble). Miliband's infamous 'stone pledges' epitomised that problem. Meaningless, pissing in the wind statements that were so broad they found no resonance, only incredulity. The left are big on moral pronouncements. They need to translate that into a solid plan for government.

3. The bravery to set the media agenda. Politicians love to court the press, but I believe the press have lost much of their influence, and where they have influence, it's largely only within their own biased groups. Trump had an aggressive, pro-active media approach that was highly effective. It involved creating the news and believing, correctly, that the press will follow. Bias in American news is far less subtle than in the UK (which actually helped him) but I think if the left were to do things like set their own media events and choose not to participate in models that don't help them, as well as to fully embrace social media as the new television in terms of effectiveness, that would help greatly.

4. Toning down the sense of moral entitlement. I think the left are often seen to have an unfortunate communication problem, which is the assumption that they rightly occupy the moral space of the arguments they make. Not only can that be off-putting, it also encourages a binary response. It's not at all helpful and often not at all clear cut. Tory-bashing betrays a lack of self-awareness in terms of communication; everybody knows the left don't usually like what the right do and vice versa - the left need to hone in on policies and arguments and drop this sense of good vs evil. They'll then find themselves more accessible and attractive.

5. Defining who they are. These days 'the left' hardly means anything. The spectrum is so broad it includes violent extremists and anarchists on one end and Tony Blair on the other. How the left I assume we're talking about identify themselves is crucial, both in terms of who they are and who they're not. Failure to do so hands communication about their identity to others, who won't hesitate to sensationalise how damaging they would be.

Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2019, 07:04:45 AM »
I don't want a Campbell figure back in Labour; but I'd like to know who the modern equivalent is.

I don't think that's ever going to work, Campbell never had any ideological issues to overcome with the media, Blair was easy to sell as someone who wouldn't upset the status quo so building up influence happened pretty easily.

If anything I think Corbyn needs to go on the attack far more, a left leaning party will never be accepted by the media in its current form, instead he should focus on further questioning the credibility of the media, the BBC especially I think is actually a massive political millstone in this country with the degree of trust it still has.

If he were to actually gain power that potentially changes things, he wouldn't need to stack the BBC with friendly faces as the Tories have done so much as try to push towards actually living up to its own stated ideals.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2019, 07:57:44 AM »
I agree with greenman. The media will never ever support Labour unless it drops all pretence of being left wing, and at most becomes "capitalism with a social conscience" - providing of course the social conscience doesn't extend to asking rich people to make any sacrifices. Even Blair's windfall tax in 1997 would now be seen as unacceptable.

We may get the media back but the Left don't "win" even if Labour win, they just end up in the wilderness while watching their parry embark on privatisation programmes, tsx cuts for business, and hideous military adventures

Zetetic

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Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2019, 09:59:45 AM »
Even Blair's windfall tax in 1997 would now be seen as unacceptable.
And yet we did have two parties pushing for "mansion taxes" in 2014, noting how effectively they were savaged for it.

Part of me thinks that the only way to win the debate on wealth taxation is not to have it until you've been able demonstrate what fixing it would like. Which doesn't help you getting the power to do so in the first place...


biggytitbo

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Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2019, 10:25:37 AM »
I think they may need to synthesise their obviously popular left wing policies - funding public services, nationalisation, ending austerity, an industrial strategy, tackling tax avoidance, with some more traditonally right wing ones on immigration, crime, europe and unfortunetly defense. Basically labour in the 60s.


I wish it wasn't true but I fear it might be, we have the biggest crisis in government in living memory and Labour are still behind in the polls. Why?

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2019, 10:40:03 AM »
Let's try and think globally here as well. As per the opening post, a solitary win for the left in the UK will be shut down and thrown out by the financial markets and the capitalist establishment very quickly, even if we walk said tightrope above. Token defiance is fine but I'm interested in breaking through merely being an exception to the rule

How can the Left become the new normal? Why were socialist ideas and policies able until the late 70s to co-exist with capitalist ones? How do we re-enable, re-conventionalise (??) that when at the moment even mild social democracy in a capitalist setting is framed as total communism?

biggytitbo

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Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2019, 11:03:25 AM »
Well the most obvious answer to that is by revitalising popular democracy and the integrity of the nation state, as at least in this country socialism, the nation state and democracy have always gone hand in hand. Everything the left has achieved it achieved by winning it at the ballot box at a national level and that remains by far its best chance of changing the political landscape, both here and abroad.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2019, 11:12:07 AM »
Well the most obvious answer to that is by revitalising popular democracy and the integrity of the nation state, as at least in this country socialism, the nation state and democracy have always gone hand in hand. Everything the left has achieved it achieved by winning it at the ballot box at a national level and that remains by far its best chance of changing the political landscape, both here and abroad.

See above - what happens when the capitalist establishment, through its various tools prevents a democratic victory by the left from having any chance of succeeding in government?

We don't have a tolerance of capital and social anymore as we did pre-80s. It's either Free Market or nothing. This political regime is ideologically determined to destroy any remnants of socialism either here or abroad. That is markedly different from the social democratic post-war settlement.

Before there was some tolerance and co-operation, as you'd expect from a democracy - now there is a determination to destroy.

Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2019, 11:12:15 AM »
By scoring more proles.

I’m not proud.

BlodwynPig

  • Throwing two dogs at a goblin
Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2019, 11:14:34 AM »
Education, education, education

ToneLa

  • Kill your masters
Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2019, 11:26:39 AM »
By scoring more proles.

I’m not proud.

Haha
Also, hmm, hmm.

Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2019, 11:53:03 AM »
Just explain to the tories why they're thick.

Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2019, 11:55:30 AM »
If we coulda, we woulda.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

  • You Go Careful There Now My Love
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Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2019, 11:59:01 AM »
If we coulda, we woulda.

We didda, then we messed it uppa, rememba?

biggytitbo

  • WHAT ABOUT THE GODDAM JAFFA CAKES ASSWIPE
    • theunredacted
Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2019, 12:31:31 PM »
See above - what happens when the capitalist establishment, through its various tools prevents a democratic victory by the left from having any chance of succeeding in government?


It's the main barrier yes, but it would help when we have a once in a lifetime chance, albeit by accident, to dismantle one pillar of that barrier, we take it.

The biggest threat to the power of global finance capitalism is a powerful nation state working in the interests of its own people. We see that when those things assert control in foreign countries outside of the Western order, because we regime change them.

And if it were to assert control in this country they would also attempt to regime change us (obviously using different methods, but basically the same thing - although in our system it usually happens before the systemic threat comes to power). How do we guard against that? It can only realistically be by creating a stronger, more accountable, more vital democracy. Diluting that, as our current set of political leaders invariably want to do, leaves us pretty much helpless when its our turn to be regime changed.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

  • You Go Careful There Now My Love
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Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2019, 12:42:18 PM »
That's important for our nation but I'm thinking globally, multilaterally.

The kids strike for climate change is one thing capitalism can't touch because children aren't wage slaves, their employer won't sack them, there is no real fear factor for kids other than the prospect of permanently polluting our environment. Capitalism hasn't invented a robust or enforceable set of crimes to motivate parents to keep these kids in check.

This has enormous potential.

BlodwynPig

  • Throwing two dogs at a goblin
Re: How do the Left win?
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2019, 12:48:29 PM »
That's important for our nation but I'm thinking globally, multilaterally.

The kids strike for climate change is one thing capitalism can't touch because children aren't wage slaves, their employer won't sack them, there is no real fear factor for kids other than the prospect of permanently polluting our environment. Capitalism hasn't invented a robust or enforceable set of crimes to motivate parents to keep these kids in check.

This has enormous potential.

So those twerps in power telling them to get back to class, that was them trying to reestablish control? Makes sense