Ditching the baggage
Posted by Left Luggage on March 27, 2009
On much the British Left today, there is an unquestioning acceptance of the key priorities for socialists, and little willingness to engage in critical reflection on strategy. But in politics there are no self-evident truths. All ideas must be tested and stand up to scrutiny in practice. Even notions that seem common sense should be open to question. For example:
- Can we combat the British National Party without discussing issues such as crime and immigration?
- Should we devote more energy to international issues than to more immediate problems that the Left has a chance of solving?
- Are we guilty of focussing on student recruitment at the expense of organising working class people?
It is comforting to console ourselves with the belief that our stance on these issues is right, but that objective circumstances need to change for them to be vindicated. The recession threatens to expose this as a fallacy. This should be an ideal climate for socialist ideas, but the Left remains on the margins.
The danger is that if we do not face up to our weaknesses and reassess our strategies, we will consign ourselves to the margins for the foreseeable future. A major beneficiary of this will be the far right, who have shown themselves amply capable of exploiting social grievances to position themselves as allies of the working class.
We have to stare reality in the face and acknowledge the Left has no significant roots in the working class today. There must be an urgent post-mortem on the strategies the Left has pursued for decades that have led us to our present position of obscurity. We must recognise that the working class has not failed us; we have failed the working class.
Left Luggage has been launched to facilitate critical discussion on the strategies currently pursued by the Left and to generate alternatives. We need to identify and then ditch the burdensome baggage of dead-end strategies that perpetuate our insignificance. We hope this blog will become a forum to discuss these crucial issues in a constructive and non-sectarian manner.
This entry was posted on March 27, 2009 at 10:12 pm and is filed under Socialism, Strategy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.