Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The winter of Discontent continues: The neo-liberal generation and the rise of the left


“A man believes he is a piece of grain and, subsequently, fears that a chicken will eat him. Eventually, the delusional man goes to therapy; where, ultimately, he becomes convinced he is not a piece of grain; however, the man still feels anxious about the chicken and returns to the therapist. Bewildered, the therapist asks, “Why are you still afraid of the chicken? You know you’re not a piece of grain!” To which the man replies, “Yes, I know I’m not a piece of grain, but does the chicken know I’m not?”

This joke, told by Zizek, signifies the problem of our contemporary political economy, that being... we need a new chicken. Currently neo-liberalism functions as the ideological element which operates, in much of the same way as religion does, through people’s disbelief being rendered obsolete through the subsequent reliance on other people’s beliefs. That is to say, people only believe in neo-liberalism or religion through the presupposition that someone else believes that these systems of rule and organisation function and should continue to function through the facade that each system inherently adopts:

In the case of religion; religion makes bad people good, where in effect the opposite is true, only religion functions for a bad person to be good. Such an assumption would support the systemic infiltration of paedophiles in the Catholic Church. 

As for the facade of neo-liberalism; neo-liberalism claims to uphold free market capitalism and the simultaneity of progressive policies within reciprocal governmental policies, however ‘neo-liberal’ states have an ever increasing interference in the markets, from the interventions during the banking crisis, to the corrupt subsidising of North American and European farming (for an advanced article on farming subsidies please see:   http://www.canadiancattlemen.ca/issues/ISArticle.asp?aid=1000398327&PC=FBC&issue=12242010), whilst also increasing the rolling back of the welfare state, at the whim of the private sector. Such a dynamic has been pushing Western democratic systems to be more inclined toward authoritarian policies.

The exposure of the ruling ideologies of our times, religion and capitalism is inevitable. It is praxis of the way ideology functions. Eventually a left wing ruling ideology, if it ever becomes a reality in Europe, will be subjected to particular decays and will perhaps once again require radical reform. Herein lays the contemporary issue at hand...

It is no longer the task of the left to expose the corruption of ‘neo-liberal’ capitalism, that job can almost be left for capitalism to do to itself. People are, substantially, starting to doubt weather other people really believe in capitalism and its inability to better the lives of even the Middle Classes, let alone the Workers!

The opposition to Capitalism and right-wing politics has spontaneously emerged and will continue to grow. It is the task of left wing political dissidents to come together to create and develop viable political policies and opposition capable of challenging, the power, of political monopolies, which have existed for too long. This dynamic is increasingly repressing any true democratic representation of the workers of Europe.
The Left

A new class is emerging; the modern day Proletariat (journalists, academics, artists, play-writes, musicians, writers, labourers, students and the like). This new Proletariat will not attain the wealth shared by, the fictitious, middle class (created by Thatcher and her cronies). If contemporary Proletariats are to be true radicals we will not even aspire to the accumulation of, obscene and oppressive, capital. The only way that the rich can secure the accumulation of profit is to make the poor poorer, resulting in society’s construction of privileges being for the exclusivity of the wretched ‘deserving’ (inherited) petty Bourgeoisie.  

Our civility exists in our civil rights and cultural processes. We must use these rights to the fullest extent through the continuation of; University occupations, public protests, unashamed support for Trade Unions and the continuation of cultural opposition to the fundamental cornerstone of capitalism – cultural capitalism (see Zizek, 2010, First as Tragedy then as Farce).

The youth, the Workers, and anyone who associates themselves with the struggles of today’s Left in Europe share the uncertainty of the future (16 – 25 year olds are the largest category of unemployed in the UK, with further unemployment immanent). It is for this reason that the Left have become radicalised within the small populace of those who have had suspicions already about the dubious ethical nature of the capitalist system. Those in the majority, who have decided to follow capitalism, will need convincing.

We are like the Bolsheviks (Russian for the majority). The Bolshevik party started as the minority but named themselves so through, the presupposition, that they would in turn become the majority.  We must remember the catastrophe of Stalin (meaning-the iron man), an indiscriminate mass murderer, tyrant, and the Judas of communism and move with the knowledge that radical political change may have within their ranks betrayers to the struggle. It was Stalin who betrayed Leon Trotsky, had Trotsky won the leadership of the Bolshevik party the development of Russian communism would have certainly trod a better path!

Quickly democracy in Europe is facing its biggest challenge in history since WWII. European democracy is becoming more and more right wing and in most instances autocratic. This is not so surprising. When we take a glance to the Eastern metropolises emerging on scales which far surpass the pace at which modernisation occurred in the West.

Political leaders and corporations have certainly taken note of authoritarian Asian capitalism. The West once thought that democracy was an inevitable consequence of capitalism; now we see Asian authoritarian capitalism dominating the world economy, alongside the US and Europe. Based on trajectory alone the Asian economy will surpass both continents in the coming decade.

We have our window of opportunity. At the beginning of the latest economic crisis, (which will persist far into the next decade), to fill the void of the left. I have no doubt that this will naturally occur as the momentum at which opposition to this illegitimate government has taken force.

The Winter of discontent goes on. It is the aim of all those who share the struggles against the decrepit system of capitalism (which is bringing about the degradation of democracy in around the world and tearing up the life of workers, and our ecology, into a dynamic best explained by Gorgio Agamben as the homo sacer; a life that is worth killing but not sacrificing) to change the contours of history and make the Left a future reality. The Left needs to unite its defragmented grass-roots into substantial opposition and pose itself as the only alternative...

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