Aug 17 2017

A CRITIQUE OF JEREMY CORBYN AND BRITISH LEFT SOCIAL DEMOCRACY, Part 3

 

This is the third part of A Critique of Jeremy Corbyn and British Left Social Democracy, written by Allan Armstrong. The first part can be read at:- http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2017/08/09/a-critique-of-jeremy-corbyn-and-british-left-social-democracy/and the second part can be read at:- http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2017/08/11/a-critique-of-jeremy-corbyn-and-british-left-social-democracy-part-2/

 

3. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOCIAL DEMOCRACY, OFFICIAL AND DISSIDENT COMMUNISM

AND A POLITICS BASED ON EMANCIPATION, LIBERATION AND SELF DETERMINATION

 

Contents of part 3

 a.     The limits placed on social democracy during a crisis of global capitalism

 b.     From revolutionary democratic social democracy to existing state-accommodating reformist social  democracy

 c.     A further shift in the meaning of social democracy; the brief emergence of an alternative revolutionary democratic communism; and the descent to state-backed official communism and dissident communism

 d.     Social democracy and official communism morph into social neo-liberalism

 e.     From social liberalism to populism

 

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a.     The limits placed on social democracy during a crisis of global capitalism

i.       We are living through a period of unprecedented global crisis – political, economic, social, and cultural. This means that ideas will be tested continuously. A democratic party used on the exploited and oppressed will have people from a whole number of tendencies – communist (as outlined 2.f.iii), republican socialist, social democratic, movementist, green socialist, socialist feminist, environmental, etc. Continue reading “A CRITIQUE OF JEREMY CORBYN AND BRITISH LEFT SOCIAL DEMOCRACY, Part 3”

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Aug 09 2017

A CRITIQUE OF JEREMY CORBYN AND BRITISH LEFT SOCIAL DEMOCRACY

Socialists are now confronted with the unexpected rise of Jeremy Corbyn and the re-emergence of British Left social democracy. This first part of this article by Allan Armstrong will examine the significance of this and make a critical appraisal of their future prospects in the face of the current global multi-faceted political, economic, social, cultural and environmental crisis.

Contents of Part 1

   1.      From May 2007 to June 2017 – the SNP rules the social democratic roost in  Scotland.

   2.     The rise of Jeremy Corbyn and British Left social democracy

   3.    The prospects for Corbyn and British Left social democracy when handling economic and social issues

   4.    The limitations of Corbyn and British Left social democracy when dealing with matters of state

             A.  Brexit

             B. The National Question

a.  Conservative, liberal and unionist attempts to maintain the unity of the UK state since the nineteenth  century

               b.  Corbyn and the National Question in Ireland

               c.  Corbyn and the National Question in Scotland

               d.  Corbyn and the National Question in Wales

 

 

1. From May 2007 to June 2017 – the SNP rules the social democratic roost in Scotland

i.     Following the demise of New Labour and its successor, ‘One Nation’ Labour, the SNP has been the most effective upholder of social democracy in the UK. In 2007, the SNP won 363 council seats; 425 in 2012, and 431 in 2017. In 2007, the SNP won 47 MSPs; 69 in 2011; and 63 in 2016, (still easily the largest party at Holyrood). In 2010, the SNP won 6 MPs; 56 out of 59 in 2015, but fell back to 35 in 2017 (still having the largest number of MPs from Scotland by some way). Continue reading “A CRITIQUE OF JEREMY CORBYN AND BRITISH LEFT SOCIAL DEMOCRACY”

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Jul 08 2017

DURHAM MINERS’ GALA – BIG MEETING GETS BIGGER

The 133rd Durham Miners’ Gala on Saturday 8th July will see some 150,000 march through the ancient city. Dave Douglass, ex-miner and author of Stardust and Coaldust autobiographical trilogy looks at its  history and the ongoing significance.

 

BIG MEETING GETS BIGGER

 

 

A day of looking back and looking forward

Crowds are now back to the size they were in the immediate post-war years following nationalisation, when they celebrated the defeat of the hated private coal-owners. This mother of all miners’ galas, featuring both picnics and demonstrations, was the labour movement’s most prestigious public platform. The miners formed the bedrock among the proletarian, trade union and socialist ranks; they made up an army of labour that was strategically placed in terms of their bargaining power and influence – the politics of coal dictated much of politics per se. The position of the miners in the class war sent waves across the broad labour movement. Continue reading “DURHAM MINERS’ GALA – BIG MEETING GETS BIGGER”

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Apr 07 2017

SOME OBSERVATIONS UPON ‘THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND’

Allan Armstrong makes some observations on The Commonwealth of England written by Steve Freeman (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2017/04/07/the-commonwealth-of-england/). He examines the likely role that federalism will play in IndyRef2, drawing on the historical precedents for its use in the UK and USSR.

 

SOME OBSERVATIONS UPON THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND

There is a great deal I agree with in Steve’s article. In a later contribution to this discussion I would like to develop Steve’s historic analysis, going back to the days of the Levellers, through the Chartists and on to the Suffragettes. However, in these observations, I will confine myself to the issue of federalism.

The politics of federalism, whenever it has been raised within the UK, has always represented a last ditch unionist attempt to preserve the UK. The political origins of the idea of British federalism go back to the first attempts to hold together the British Empire in North America, when faced by the challenge of American republicanism. It failed. A federal UK has been Liberal Party policy for over a century, with no obvious effect on the UK constitution. The challenge of Irish republicanism and the War of Independence from 1919, led to a Westminster Speakers’ Conference. This recommended a federal solution for the UK. It too failed. Although the UK state did instead, after Loyalist pogroms and reactionary Partition, come up with the earliest form of political Devolution in the UK – Stormont. No wonder it was difficult for others later to win support for devolution in Scotland and Wales, when Stormont formed the precedent!
Continue reading “SOME OBSERVATIONS UPON ‘THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND’”

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Apr 07 2017

THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND

Steve Freeman of the Republican Socialist Alliance and the Left Unity Party draws on the revolutionary democratic political tradition in England, linking the Levellers, the Chartists and the Suffragettes. He outlines its strengths compared with the social democratic and economist political tradition of Labour and most of the British Left sects. Steve argues that Socialists should be championing the revolutionary democratic tradition today.

THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND

“Westminster? It’s old, defunct, a waste of time. I hate the place” – Mhairi Black MP *

Westminster does not look or work any better from the inside or the outside. In May 1991 Tony Benn MP proposed fundamental reform. He introduced the Commonwealth of Britain Bill in the House of Commons, intended to make Britain a federal republic. The current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP seconded the Bill. The Bill’s first hurdle on the parliamentary road to a republic was to get permission from the Queen to submit it to the Commons. Then there has to be majorities in the Commons, Lords and then finally with the royal assent the Bill becomes law.
Continue reading “THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND”

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Nov 25 2015

SOCIAL JUSTICE – RADICAL HISTORY, CENSORSHIP AND HOW THE TORIES STOLE OUR LANGUAGE

Pauline Bradley (RCN and RISE) outlines the emergence of the notion of Social Justice during the Liverpool Dockers campaign and how the Tories have attempted to hijack the term.

SOCIAL JUSTICE – OUR RADICAL HISTORY, CENSORSHIP

AND HOW THE TORIES STOLE OUR TERM

Social Justice banner on Liverpool Dockers' March

Social Justice banner on Liverpool Dockers’ March

Social Justice is a concept which has been stolen from the left and distorted beyond belief. Iain Duncan Smith’s Social Justice strategy has devised many “new” schemes to attack the poor such as universal credit which abolished income support and other benefits. Cuts, bedroom tax, benefit sanctions, food banks, increased poverty, misery and despair under the guise of Social Justice have become the norm to poor, working class people. The kind of double think in George Orwell’s classic 1984 and Tracy Chapman’s song “Talkin ‘bout a Revolution;” where
Continue reading “SOCIAL JUSTICE – RADICAL HISTORY, CENSORSHIP AND HOW THE TORIES STOLE OUR LANGUAGE”

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Jun 26 2014

THE DEMISE OF LABOURISM AND THE PASSING OF TONY BENN

Eric Chester (RCN) goes beyond the glowing tributes made to Tony Benn after he died earlier this year and takes a critical look his politics.

 

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Tony Benn was one of the most popular and respected figures on the Left in Scotland and throughout the UK. His recent death has been followed by many notices that have lavishly praised him and yet virtually no effort has been made to seriously examine the politics he represented.

Continue reading “THE DEMISE OF LABOURISM AND THE PASSING OF TONY BENN”

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Mar 16 2014

TONY BENN: A MAN OF PRINCIPLE AND RADICAL DEMOCRAT

Category: Commemorations,Our HistoryRCN @ 8:39 pm

Bob Goupillot (RCN) provides this tribute to Tony Benn, who died on 14th March.

 

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At 7.30 this morning I heard that Tony Benn had died.  I first heard him speak in Darlington in the late 1970’s. I was in my early twenties.  That speech and subsequent ones plus two of his books; Arguments for Socialism and Arguments for Democracy made a large and lasting impact on my political and social beliefs.  I had considered myself a socialist ever since I could give my politics a name.  I can even remember taking part in some anti-Tory direct action in the street when I was still in short trousers.

Continue reading “TONY BENN: A MAN OF PRINCIPLE AND RADICAL DEMOCRAT”

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Mar 07 2014

Republican socialist candidate for the executive of the Left Unity Party

Steve Freeman of the Republican Socialist Alliance is standing as for the  Executive of  the Left Unity Party. Steve spoke, along with Bernadette McAliskey and Mary MacGregor (RCN) at the 4 Nations After the UK session at the Radical Independence Campaign conference in Glasgow on 23rd November. This is the statement he has produced for the election.

 

Sisters and brothers, comrades and friends, I am standing for one of the fifteen directly elected national council members to represent a republican socialist perspective for Left Unity. I am in the Southwark branch of Left Unity. I am an active trade unionist in UCU. I am also a member of the Republican Socialist Alliance and the International Socialist Network.

In September the Scottish referendum presents a major danger for the British ruling class. Hence the leaders of all three major parties are united in favour of a ‘No’ vote. Cameron and Co. are currently mobilising all their economic and political forces and threatening financial sanctions, ejection from the EU and flight of capital if Scotland does not vote the ‘right’ way.

Continue reading “Republican socialist candidate for the executive of the Left Unity Party”

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