Monday, 5 December 2016
The “Populist Right” vs. the Elitist Left
There's two new words in town. Leftist automata have taken to them like ducks to water. Forget “neoliberal” and “neocon” - they're so passé. What we now have are the words “populist Right”.
Yes, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK's Socialist Opposition, has urged “progressive parties” across Europe to unite against the rise of the "populist right".
Mr Corbyn, in a speech at the Party of European Socialists in Prague, was referring to Donald Trump, the Freedom Party in Austria, Marine Le Pen's National Front, and, of course, Ukip.
The Labour leader also accused right-wing parties of being "political parasites" which were "feeding on people's concerns". He went on to say:
"The gap between the rich and poor is widening. Living standards are stagnating or falling. Insecurity is growing. Many people feel left behind by the forces unleashed by globalisation. They feel powerless in the face of de-regulated corporate power.”
Now what is all that if it ain't “feeding on people's concerns”?! Corbyn's feeding on people's concerns about falling living standards, the “gap between rich and poor”, “insecurity, “globalisation” and “de-regulated corporate power”. But, most of all, Corbyn wants to scare people with his fantasies about the “far Right” - or, as it's called this week, “the populist right”.
When did being popular become a sin in politics? Or, at the least, why is it assumed that it's a bad thing in progressives' eyes? I suppose that, historically, various socialist vanguards were what really mattered to the Left. The Bolsheviks. The Fabians (i.e., the early Islingtonians). The Red Guard. The Khmer Rouge. And now a tiny bunch of very-posh Islingtonians.
Of course, the leader of the Labour (being regressive-left) offers a traditional Marxist analysis of the current situation. Thus:
1) People aren't against mass immigration because of the threat of terrorism or the Islamisation of the UK.
They're against mass immigration because of the failures of capitalism.
2) They aren't against Muslim grooming gangs because of how they exploit and brutalise young girls.
They're against Muslim grooming gangs because of the failures of capitalism.
3) And they aren't against the EU because it is facilitating mass immigration and subverting our laws.
They're against the EU because of the failures of capitalism. And so on and so on.
When Corbyn say that these “populist parties” have identified many of the “right problems” but that their solutions are “toxic dead ends”, he means that the solutions should be Marxist/socialist in nature. Thus, after we've collectivised, nationalised and massively restricted freedom, then Utopia-in-the-UK can flourish.
And again, Corbyn talks about how the capitalist “substructure” is to blame for, well, literally everything. He also tells us that our economics and politics have “failed” and that only a pure and historically-blameless socialism can solve all our problems. This, in Corbyn's own words, is the solution:
"… unless progressive parties and movements break with a failed economic and political establishment, it is the siren voices of the populist far right who will fill that gap."