Disastrous Capitalism – But is a Labour government the solution? By William Bowles

July 15 2017 — investigating imperialism

Class War

Consider the Grenfell Tower inferno as an expression of a new kind of class war, but not a class war as we have known it–between organised workers, political parties and capital–but between ordinary citizens and the local fiefdoms of the capitalist state as increasingly, big business has taken over the running of what’s left of our public and collective life, through ‘outsourcing’, public-private-partnerships and what have you, where making a profit is the bottom line, not serving the public.[1]

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Full Corbynism: Constructing a new left Political Economy beyond Neoliberalism

by Joe Guinan and Thomas M. Hanna

[I’m working on a followup to my previous outings on Corbyn, the Labour Party and the left, to be published shortly. I am still not convinced that Corbyn can so transform the Labour Party as to effectively make a new political formation out of it, that will, in turn lead us out of this nightmare toward real socialism but we’ll see. In the mean time, check this hymn to Corbyn out: ‘Full Corbynism: Constructing a new left Political Economy beyond Neoliberalism’. WB]

‘There are three stages’, Sidney Webb wrote in a Fabian Society pamphlet in 1890, ‘through which every new notion in England has to pass: ‘It is impossible: It is against the Bible: We knew it before’.’[1] This month’s sensational election result means that Corbynism is now rocketing toward the latter stage, consolidating its position as the new common sense on the left of British politics. Granted, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour didn’t win. Outright victory on 8 June was never likely given the party’s weak prior standing, and would have required a seismic shift far greater than could reasonably be expected in a landscape fractured and divided by Brexit. Nevertheless, what Corbyn and his team pulled off – against all odds, and in the teeth of an overwhelmingly hostile media and continual sabotage from within – is truly remarkable. The Labour Party is now a government-in-waiting, poised for the next General Election, which could come at any time and could easily carry Corbyn into Downing Street as Prime Minister.

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My Dilemma By William Bowles

19 September 2015

I ended my last piece with this:

But assuming JC [Jeremy Corbyn] makes all the right calls, could it, a reborn Labour Party lead to a new call for an end to the madness of capitalism and exactly 130 years after [William] Morris made his plea?

Think about it. Transform the Labour Party into a vehicle to promote a new socialist vision? Who is kidding who here?

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Corbyn’s Dilemma By William Bowles

18 September 2015

‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions’

I’m really torn writing this, for on the one hand, Jeremy Corbyn’s (JC) sudden materialisation in the midst of a rampant, Victorian-style imperialist England, like Doctor Who landing in the Tardis, it’s difficult  not to join in the euphoria currently sweeping through what’s left of the left in England  (the current Media Lens has an excellent description of this) and bow down before JC, an almost Christ-like apparition right in the middle of the gangster capitalists in Armani suits who rule us.

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OWS in a bind: Doesn’t want to mention the S-word By William Bowles

30 October 2011

Although many on the established Left are claiming OWS as their own, latching on to the anti-capitalist theme that figures prominently, at least in some locations, it’s clear that the focus of the OWS ‘movement’ varies greatly from place to place. Thus where it all started, in downtown Manhattan, the focus is very much on capitalist criminals rather than criminal capitalism. But little or no mention of the dreaded word- socialism, ironically for fear of alienating even those who occupy, never mind what the rabid corporate/state media does with that which shall remain nameless.

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Occupy The World! To the barricades comrades? By William Bowles

19 October 2011 — Strategic Culture Foundation

Four years ago in a Ministry of Defence Review, the Whitehall Mandarins, more astutely than any so-called Lefty, determined the following:

“The Middle Class Proletariat — The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx. The globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’ attachment to particular states. The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins to bite. Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.” — ‘UK Ministry of Defence report, The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007-2036’ (Third Edition) p.96, March 2007

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Are we getting good Marx? I think not By William Bowles

1 September 2009

Karl_Marx_posing1I often wonder how Karl Marx would react were he to find himself here, right now? After all, he too lived through momentous and world-changing times, perhaps even more so than the changes we are experiencing, given that his was the world that gave birth to the rise of the Machine and capitalism as we know it. Born on the cusp so-to-speak and I too, was born on the cusp, 23 July, 1945, a couple of weeks before the empire showed the world that it was truly barbarian when it dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I also caught the tail-end of 20th century socialist culture, warts an’ all. But I did more than just catch the tail-end, I inherited the culture of the two generations of lefties that preceded mine, one that stretched from here in the UK to the edge of the Black Sea. Worker intellectuals are a unique product of the Industrial Revolution, my father was one of them. Self-taught, multi-skilled (and talented), his father started out working for some lordship or other as a plantsman, growing orchids I think; moved to the city were he managed a Cross & Blackwell warehouse. He was a socialist by nature, a believer in ‘natural justice’ and he communicated it to all of his eight kids.

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My Dad, me and Nature By William Bowles

5 February 2009

woodcraft.jpg

The badge of the Woodcraft Folk

Unlike most of the kids I grew up with, my folks introduced me to Nature at a very early age and they introduced it to me in very specific ways, especially my father, Roy. Not just trips to the country at weekends, weather permitting, but a view of Nature as all-encompassing including us humans.

roy-microscope.jpg

My dad, building microscopes at Baker’s Microscopes

Roy was a self-taught man who had left school at perhaps fourteen or fifteen and like others of his class, time and politics, he felt a deep sense of inferiority when it came to knowledge. Thus he did everything he could to educate himself in all kinds of subjects especially the English language, science, history and of course politics and surprisingly for those days, Nature.

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Time travelling or does Obama have any kind of deal let alone a new ‘New Deal’? By William Bowles

26 December 2008

In the essay by Stanley Aronowitz ‘Facing the economic crisis’, we read the following summation,

“Progressives have advanced hope that Obama will usher in a ‘new’ New Deal. But the New Deal of yesteryear was never intended to pull the United States out of the depression. While it did employ more than a million workers in government projects, even considering that these might have produced three times or 3 million jobs, as late as 1940, unemployment hovered at about 20% of the labour force. What the New Deal accomplished went well beyond its relatively modest economic impact; more important was its ideological and political force.

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Let us speculate By William Bowles

28 October 2008

There’s an awful lot of speculation going on right now, from both the left and right about where the latest crisis of capital is headed, chief amongst them is the notion that this signals the end of the US Empire, that the so-called uni-polar world is over, that a new multi-polar world, headed by China, Russia, India and Brazil is emerging.

The theory is based upon the fact that the US is no longer the world’s numero uno economic power and it’s true that even an overwhelming military force is dependent on the economics that fuels it. But how true is this idea and even if it is true, over what timescale are we talking about here?

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