Dear friends, comrades, brothers and sisters I was recently listening to my favourite economist Professor Richard Wolff and yes he is a Marxist before you ask.
I like him because not because he is a Marxist but because he talks a lot of common sense and I hardly find myself in disagreement. I was struck by something he said recently that socialism was repressed in the United States for over 50 years and has only been let lose since Bernie Sanders entered the running for the democratic ticket in the Presidential elections.
Socialist thought has always been burning in the USA but that which was a flicker is now a flame. The Democratic Socialist Party of America has been at work in the US for many many years and here's a link to their website www.dsausa.org indeed their Political perspective " Where we Stand" say's this in part.....
"We are democratic socialists because we reject an international economic order sustained by private profit, alienated labour, race and gender discrimination, environmental destruction, and brutality and violence in defence of the status quo.
We are democratic socialists because we share a vision of a humane international social order based both on democratic planning and market mechanisms to achieve equitable distribution of resources, meaningful work, a healthy environment, sustainable growth, gender and racial equality, and non-oppressive relationships".
Indeed the DSA is full square behind Bernie Sanders run at the democratic ticket #WeNeedBernie Socialism and socialists has always provided a critique to Capitalism and Capitalists and it's voice is being loudly heard in the USA.
It has caused the elite of the Democratic Party to go into a state of blind panic fearing that Bernie just might win the ticket; who knows which way the super delegate's will go particularly if they see the writing on the wall as the polls point toward a Trump victory over Clinton if it became a race between the two, but point to a Sanders victory over Trump should that be the case.
Trump and Sanders whilst they are poles apart politically speaking do have something in common and that is to do with where they are picking up their support in part from.
The disposed and the marginalised who have been left behind by the mainstream political parties have seen their salvation in these two men albeit for different reasons.
Now this should have been and should be a lesson for the Labour Party; why did we lose the 2010 and 2015 general election because there was a critical mass of Labour voters who felt marginalised and dispossessed and voted for other Parties who reflected their concerns and needs. I did try to warn the national party but I am not important enough and the ruling elite of the party thought they knew better than anyone else but I knew Labour would not win in 2015 and I don't say it with any satisfaction whatsoever.
So what of our Party - the right have clearly lost the argument and don't have a clear alternative to the current policies promulgated by the Tories. It is a well know fact that when people lose an argument they often become personally abusive and we see that at the moment in our own Party it saddens me to say.
Indeed that which was repressed in the USA for over 50yrs was also repressed in the Labour Party especially in the Blair/Brown years. The "S" word was never spoken about and when it was those that spoke it were often seen as eccentrics with nothing to offer and they too were often marginalised and pilloried.
Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell are often being spoken about in terms of high praise by some to the world's leading left wing economists particularly around their plans to democratise the workplace and praise coming from these quarters should not be ignored.
The right of the party seem to have a Corbyn fixation and their mantra seems to be anyone but Corbyn..
We on the left know that Jeremy is only one man and whilst many on the democratic left pray for his victory at the 2020GE we know it will be a team effort to get us over the finishing line in 1st place.
The right of the party can play their part in ensuring a labour victory under the leadership of our leader Jeremy Corbyn as we on the left know all about progress because we have a vision of the kind of society that we would wish to see and others find it difficult to grasp but grasp it they will or they will be left behind.
By Frederick James
My great uncle John was born in Stepney in 1926. As a child he left school at a young age so he could help his father support their large family of eleven.
Also as a child he saw the Blackshirts march through the East End.
To many working people, politics was something that others did and they obeyed. To John’s young eyes, politics could be something very dangerous if left to its own devices.
Despite his lack of education he never stopped trying to gain knowledge. As an adult he immersed himself in books, music, and kept up on all current affairs. One thing I remember about him is his generosity in sending me every classic book he could think of. From my birth until his death in 2001, John was always encouraging me to learn, learn, learn.
In 1968 John enrolled in an O Level course to try and gain a promotion. After his death I found his coursework for this course, and felt as if I knew him better because of it. Yesterday I got it all out again and was gobsmacked at what I found.
This exercise, “If I were Harold Wilson”, could almost be parallel to the struggles the left face at this very moment.
Do we struggle with the same things consistently? Do we not progress, or do the right push us into the same battles every decade?
Whatever the reason may be, it was incredible to see his thoughts mirror mine and so many others, all those years before. If only he could’ve seen Corbyn.
I suppose all we can do, to make sure these things will one day, finally, become history, is to learn, learn, learn.
[The coursework in question is posted below with kind permission of Rachel Mulberg and John's family]
If I were Mr. Wilson
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