What's the political climate like in the UK right now?

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JohnPowell
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30 Jun 2019, 7:47 am

The_Walrus wrote:
JohnPowell wrote:
He intentionally flooded the country with the third world

When was that?


When he was PM


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01 Jul 2019, 11:30 am

The_Walrus wrote:
Go on - define "Marxist".


You've already rejected my understanding by being selectively purist. Let me try a different tack.

- Was Gramsci a Marxist or "only" influenced by Marx?
- Are "Gramscians" Marxists?
- If they aren't Marxists, what are they? What is the point of fighting a Gramscian war of position? What are they fighting against and what do they hope to accomplish?

The_Walrus wrote:
Was it co-opted by the Left, or was it used by the Right as a way of attacking all progressivism?


The Right barely talk about it and it's hardly an attack.

The_Walrus wrote:
British culture was something clearly very dear to Tony Blair (Newcastle United fan).


Not chomping on that bait today. Isn't trolling against the rules Monsieur Moderator?

The_Walrus wrote:
He didn't want to destroy it, he just didn't have a fixed idea of what it consisted of and was happy for it to get better.


I'll remember that when the Right start undoing the last 70 years of progressive politics in Europe, it's not that we want to destroy what Europe has become, we're just "happy for it to get better".

The_Walrus wrote:
Marx was a critic of immigration - he claimed that it was a tool capitalists used to set the poor natives against the poor immigrants in order to make the poor natives feel more loyal to the government, and by extension the rich and powerful. While the argument today would usually be that it makes the working class more sceptical of the "elites", his views were remarkably similar to modern conservative views.

Are Marxists known for their support for the EU?


The EU - it depends what kind of Marxist. The Eurocommunists, having an internationalist streak and loving power, are obviously in favour of it. The Gallowayist/Corbynist left are generally against it, seeing it as a capitalist conspiracy.
Immigration splits opinion too, the Gallowayish old guard are against it, for much of the same reasons as Marx, seeing it as exploitation of foreigners and as sapping the wages and union powers of the working class. While I'm uncertain about Corbyn, the more modern leftists like immigration because they are fighting a cultural war and see them as potential political allies. That economists can spin a clever sounding economic argument in its favour is a bonus.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews ... viser.html

The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and "rub the Right's nose in diversity", according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.

He said Labour's relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to "open up the UK to mass migration" but that ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its "core working class vote".

As a result, the public argument for immigration concentrated instead on the economic benefits and need for more migrants.

...

He said the final published version of the report promoted the labour market case for immigration but unpublished versions contained additional reasons, he said.

He wrote: "Earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.

"I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if this wasn't its main purpose – to rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date."



The_Walrus wrote:
See, that's the thing - to say "some of Blair's ideas were influenced by Marxism" is a very different proposition to "Blair was a Marxist".


Think about my questions at the top of the post. As for "Blair was a Marxist", that is a factually true statement by his own admission, unless of course you don't consider Trotskyism a form of Marxism, which wouldn't surprise me at this point honestly.

The_Walrus wrote:
My point is this: the phrase "Tony Blair is a Marxist" can be use to denigrate Blair, to praise Blair, to denigrate Marxism, or to praise Marxism.


It's not just simple smears, it's about understanding why they did the things they did and what their vision is.

The_Walrus wrote:
It's not so much like calling Trump a Nazi


Well let's play that game:

What if Trump had actually been a Nazi in his student days along with much of his administration, many of them self-identified as "Trotzis", who believed in every stated and unstated aim of the Nazi Party in the 1940s, but just believed the wrong Fuhrer was in charge. Many of his administration would also have been found to have fallen in with another, more insidious brand of Nazism, Cryptonazism, which understands that overt Nazism would never work again, so instead they teach young Nazis to hide their politics while climbing the ladders of power in important institutions, like education, the legal system and the media. A "war of position" you might say, laying the groundwork for the real revolution later.

Would that be important to know? Would writing columns about it serve only to denigrate Trump?


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PearlsofWisdom
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01 Jul 2019, 10:17 pm

..And when the rot of political stench sets in we'll see the Marxist campaigns and anti-Semitic movements go up in smoke. Nobody cares about what other wings are doing, it's who is jeopardising its power now that counts.
Who is Boris Johnson fooling? He rides around on that stupid fold up bike of his and is setting the stage up for international failure. When he has stage fright he calls his P.R team for backup or doesn't show up. Between him, his G.F and Hunt we could see a Bor-hemian Rhapsody unfold just at the moment when we need backing treaties and proposals. Boris is also living in cloud cuckoo, if he thinks his confounded girlfriend is going to keep his unsteady feet on rudimentary soil. She is my age, and if I was her, I would want a real man for the job. I don't think I would want to bask in all the fake glory and belittling smears brought to face at my door. I think they had a bust up of thoughts probably basking in the political irony of what the top job could denounce for an ex London mayor and kick start a rebellion into domestic civil rights too. Oh..dear, what the shirks of the jobs could entail for quite an unborised individual. In order to compromise and not suffer a complete and utter breakdown, suggestion would be not to go looking into Trump Ville for any moral backing agencies and she shouldn't worry about Melania's dress sense.
If anything, Boris should be looking to fly off the rocket launch pad that is the latest rocket mans hidden investment in new Korean technology and look at new ways of how to invent a card box out of the blast that is hiding a small mans missile past. The future won't look so Kim and Bright then. He really needs to box in he numbers that don't threaten his sinkhole political career, and not medley against a bus and a hard place. He could otherwise find himself mending the cracks in New Age retirement hedge funds and bills of an offshore foreign license that haven't gone according to plan. As well as new acts of genocide in public trust breaking down the core of iron-age establishment and giving a lack of thought to backing officials of the next human race. At least we don't have Gove's plan of robotics misfiring on us. Armageddon is still firmly out of the picture. The core of politics is founded in the hearts of the people. A modern totalitarian dictatorship shouldn't change it even if it means slicing out the core of concurrent diversity and practical indifference. The roll out of Johnson, will be the -bugle call of the true Empire vs The Political World Stage. I can see how the media queue on this mans private life has ensued, but really it is time to get down to the nitty gritty and show some adult reform, in those polls and queues whilst learning how to adopt fairness inside the realms of honest backboned leadership and in life inside todays Modern Day Britannia.



The_Walrus
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02 Jul 2019, 3:42 pm

Mikah wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
Go on - define "Marxist".


You've already rejected my understanding by being selectively purist. Let me try a different tack.

- Was Gramsci a Marxist or "only" influenced by Marx?
- Are "Gramscians" Marxists?
- If they aren't Marxists, what are they? What is the point of fighting a Gramscian war of position? What are they fighting against and what do they hope to accomplish?

I would say that Gramsci was a Marxist, yes.

I'm far from an expert in this area, but here's how I'd delineate it:
- Gramsci accepts most of Marx's values and conclusions, but put greater emphasis on shifting civil society (changing the values of people and structures) rather than simply overthrowing political society in revolution. This is one degree removed from Marx and seems universally accepted as Marxism.
- Some thinkers have built on Gramsci, as well as a range of other influences, to consider the role of aspects of civil society such as tradition, religion, and media in shaping our society. These people may occasionally be described as academic Marxists, but have minimal interest in actual Marxism. They're not literal revolutionaries (incidentally, neither is 2019 Jeremy Corbyn), they just find that some Marxists have made useful observations. They'd equally cite Kant and Hegel, but put Kant, Marx, and Hegel in a room together and they'd struggle to agree on very much at all. The synthesis creates something new.
- Pretty much every politician and public intellectual incorporates aspects of critical theory into their ideology. I'm sure if you look long enough at Jacob Rees-Mogg's positions on philosophy of language then you'd find some concession to pragmatism, but that doesn't make him a Marxist. If you look at the areas of agreement between Blairites and Cameronites, you'd find influences from right across Western philosophy - most obviously Locke and Hobbes, but also Kant, Marx, Wollstonecraft, Keynes, Smith, Hume, even Plato and Aristotle. Look at these people and they're often painted as in opposition to each other. Synthesise Locke and Hobbes and you're something new. Synthesise Marx and Smith and you're something new. Synthesise all of them together and picking out any one becomes futile.

Based on my limited understanding of Gramsci, I would say that he'd probably consider Blair to be the ultimate manifestation of the passive revolution, changing the hegemony rather than abolishing it. Under Blair it was still very much the public schoolboys in control, even if they offered a slightly longer lead to local authorities.
Quote:
The_Walrus wrote:
Was it co-opted by the Left, or was it used by the Right as a way of attacking all progressivism?


The Right barely talk about it and it's hardly an attack.

Basically every source I can find on the matter says that it's used by the Right to portray their opponents as idealists. Agree that it's quite a weak attack.
Quote:
The_Walrus wrote:
British culture was something clearly very dear to Tony Blair (Newcastle United fan).


Not chomping on that bait today. Isn't trolling against the rules Monsieur Moderator?

Tongue slightly in cheek but Blair genuinely was a Newcastle fan. The reports that he claimed to watch Jackie Milburn play were based on a journalist misunderstanding his response to an interview question.

Either way, you don't go namedropping Jackie Milburn unless you care about British culture. A bit like Theresa May's namedropping of Geoffrey Boycott.

Not denying that politicians sometimes pretend to be interested in sport (Cameron forgetting which team he supports as one example, another being an emergency UKIP paper candidate parachuted in from Surrey in the 2015 GE suddenly sending a single Tweet about Reading FC, and May's poor attempt at a Mexican wave when watching France vs England is another), but I think Blair's love of Newcastle and May's love of cricket are entirely genuine and not the sort of thing politicians are good at faking. Certainly know officials who have worked with May who swotted up on their cricket so they could drop references around her.

Mikah wrote:
As for "Blair was a Marxist", that is a factually true statement by his own admission, unless of course you don't consider Trotskyism a form of Marxism, which wouldn't surprise me at this point honestly.

Let me clarify - saying "whilst Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair implemented Marxist policies" is ridiculous.

Mikah wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
It's not so much like calling Trump a Nazi


Well let's play that game:

What if Trump had actually been a Nazi in his student days along with much of his administration, many of them self-identified as "Trotzis", who believed in every stated and unstated aim of the Nazi Party in the 1940s, but just believed the wrong Fuhrer was in charge. Many of his administration would also have been found to have fallen in with another, more insidious brand of Nazism, Cryptonazism, which understands that overt Nazism would never work again, so instead they teach young Nazis to hide their politics while climbing the ladders of power in important institutions, like education, the legal system and the media. A "war of position" you might say, laying the groundwork for the real revolution later.

Would that be important to know? Would writing columns about it serve only to denigrate Trump?

Hmm. I guess there is at least one important distinction here.

Trump seems to have actually sought to shift the position of the Republican Party "fascist-ward" with, for example, his nationalism and his denigration of liberal democracy. Contrastingly, Blair shifted the position of the Labour Party away from Marxism. Are there any specific ways in which Blair was more Marxist than Foot? What about the subsequent takeover of the Labour Party by people with explicit Marxist sympathies - surely if Blair was merely trying to lay the groundwork for these people then he'd be in favour of them, rather than opposing them?

I did have a second distinction in mind but have forgotten it in the process of writing this one.



JohnPowell
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02 Jul 2019, 5:39 pm

"Liberal democracy" lol. Supporting neo Nazis in Ukraine and Al Qaeda in Syria was all part of that I guess. Bombing people with drones who were "suspects" all part of it, including US citizens. Spying on the population. Using US and foreign intelligence to try to stop another candidate being elected...


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02 Jul 2019, 6:34 pm

JohnPowell wrote:
"Liberal democracy" lol. Supporting neo Nazis in Ukraine and Al Qaeda in Syria was all part of that I guess. Bombing people with drones who were "suspects" all part of it, including US citizens. Spying on the population. Using US and foreign intelligence to try to stop another candidate being elected...

That's a good point, Obama circumvented due process, and on his own, ordered the murder of human beings.



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03 Jul 2019, 3:10 pm

The_Walrus wrote:
I would say that Gramsci was a Marxist, yes.

I'm far from an expert in this area, but here's how I'd delineate it:
- Gramsci accepts most of Marx's values and conclusions, but put greater emphasis on shifting civil society (changing the values of people and structures) rather than simply overthrowing political society in revolution. This is one degree removed from Marx and seems universally accepted as Marxism.
- Some thinkers have built on Gramsci, as well as a range of other influences, to consider the role of aspects of civil society such as tradition, religion, and media in shaping our society. These people may occasionally be described as academic Marxists, but have minimal interest in actual Marxism. They're not literal revolutionaries (incidentally, neither is 2019 Jeremy Corbyn), they just find that some Marxists have made useful observations. They'd equally cite Kant and Hegel, but put Kant, Marx, and Hegel in a room together and they'd struggle to agree on very much at all. The synthesis creates something new.
- Pretty much every politician and public intellectual incorporates aspects of critical theory into their ideology. I'm sure if you look long enough at Jacob Rees-Mogg's positions on philosophy of language then you'd find some concession to pragmatism, but that doesn't make him a Marxist. If you look at the areas of agreement between Blairites and Cameronites, you'd find influences from right across Western philosophy - most obviously Locke and Hobbes, but also Kant, Marx, Wollstonecraft, Keynes, Smith, Hume, even Plato and Aristotle. Look at these people and they're often painted as in opposition to each other. Synthesise Locke and Hobbes and you're something new. Synthesise Marx and Smith and you're something new. Synthesise all of them together and picking out any one becomes futile.

Based on my limited understanding of Gramsci, I would say that he'd probably consider Blair to be the ultimate manifestation of the passive revolution, changing the hegemony rather than abolishing it. Under Blair it was still very much the public schoolboys in control, even if they offered a slightly longer lead to local authorities.


We're getting somewhere at least Walrus. How much do you know of the magazine Marxism Today? Said to be the true cauldron of New Labour thought and policy and heavily Gramscian by nature.

In retrospect I should have added that to the Trump example. What if Trump and many of his later government team, only a decade or so before his 2016 win, had been writers or editors of a magazine called "Nazism Today" which, despite its title, often rejects and pigeonholes the word "Nazism" and speaks of institutional takeovers and cultural revolution through the schools, police, universities, media and courts of law.

The_Walrus wrote:
Let me clarify - saying "whilst Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair implemented Marxist policies" is ridiculous.


Arguable. Take away state-led economics and his social policies and institutional subversions wouldn't have looked out of place in East Germany or a number of other Communist states. But I imagine in your mind right now that is just a coincidence, or the old "stopped clock" where explicity Marxist communist states just happened to have the right ideas, totally unconnected to the overarching ideology.

The_Walrus wrote:
Contrastingly, Blair shifted the position of the Labour Party away from Marxism.


Well this is just reiterating our disagreement about the nature of Marxism. You take the New Labour position party line, while I see them as interested in Marxian revolution by other means, as the Western Left has been trying to do ever since the failure of the Soviet model was evident.


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03 Jul 2019, 5:25 pm

Shrapnel wrote:
JohnPowell wrote:
"Liberal democracy" lol. Supporting neo Nazis in Ukraine and Al Qaeda in Syria was all part of that I guess. Bombing people with drones who were "suspects" all part of it, including US citizens. Spying on the population. Using US and foreign intelligence to try to stop another candidate being elected...

That's a good point, Obama circumvented due process, and on his own, ordered the murder of human beings.


But that was during liberal democracy :roll:


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04 Jul 2019, 1:43 pm

Mikah wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
I would say that Gramsci was a Marxist, yes.

I'm far from an expert in this area, but here's how I'd delineate it:
- Gramsci accepts most of Marx's values and conclusions, but put greater emphasis on shifting civil society (changing the values of people and structures) rather than simply overthrowing political society in revolution. This is one degree removed from Marx and seems universally accepted as Marxism.
- Some thinkers have built on Gramsci, as well as a range of other influences, to consider the role of aspects of civil society such as tradition, religion, and media in shaping our society. These people may occasionally be described as academic Marxists, but have minimal interest in actual Marxism. They're not literal revolutionaries (incidentally, neither is 2019 Jeremy Corbyn), they just find that some Marxists have made useful observations. They'd equally cite Kant and Hegel, but put Kant, Marx, and Hegel in a room together and they'd struggle to agree on very much at all. The synthesis creates something new.
- Pretty much every politician and public intellectual incorporates aspects of critical theory into their ideology. I'm sure if you look long enough at Jacob Rees-Mogg's positions on philosophy of language then you'd find some concession to pragmatism, but that doesn't make him a Marxist. If you look at the areas of agreement between Blairites and Cameronites, you'd find influences from right across Western philosophy - most obviously Locke and Hobbes, but also Kant, Marx, Wollstonecraft, Keynes, Smith, Hume, even Plato and Aristotle. Look at these people and they're often painted as in opposition to each other. Synthesise Locke and Hobbes and you're something new. Synthesise Marx and Smith and you're something new. Synthesise all of them together and picking out any one becomes futile.

Based on my limited understanding of Gramsci, I would say that he'd probably consider Blair to be the ultimate manifestation of the passive revolution, changing the hegemony rather than abolishing it. Under Blair it was still very much the public schoolboys in control, even if they offered a slightly longer lead to local authorities.


We're getting somewhere at least Walrus. How much do you know of the magazine Marxism Today? Said to be the true cauldron of New Labour thought and policy and heavily Gramscian by nature.

In retrospect I should have added that to the Trump example. What if Trump and many of his later government team, only a decade or so before his 2016 win, had been writers or editors of a magazine called "Nazism Today" which, despite its title, often rejects and pigeonholes the word "Nazism" and speaks of institutional takeovers and cultural revolution through the schools, police, universities, media and courts of law.

Ah, yes, we are indeed getting somewhere.

I don't know enough about this magazine, never heard of it before. The Guardian article I found on it says that most of the people from it who went to work for Blair and Brown were quietly shuffled out. From your description it sounds like the "Today" part of the title was doing a lot of work, would that be fair?

Now if Mr Trump had been writing for "Nazism Today" then yes, that would be a big mark against him. But if the magazine had been advocating for neoconservativism as "the closest thing to Nazism you're going to get" or some such, then that would be a somewhat different matter.

Mikah wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
Let me clarify - saying "whilst Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair implemented Marxist policies" is ridiculous.


Arguable. Take away state-led economics and his social policies and institutional subversions wouldn't have looked out of place in East Germany or a number of other Communist states. But I imagine in your mind right now that is just a coincidence, or the old "stopped clock" where explicity Marxist communist states just happened to have the right ideas, totally unconnected to the overarching ideology.

So what in particular are you talking about?

I would suggest that Blair's government was much more accepting of gay rights, for example, than any East German states. His disregard for civil liberties is common to almost all politicians - surely you wouldn't accuse George Bush of being a Marxist? Or Margaret Thatcher? Are you talking about Blair's Lords reforms or his opposition to corporal punishment or the academy system or...?

Mikah wrote:
You take the New Labour position party line, while I see them as interested in Marxian revolution by other means, as the Western Left has been trying to do ever since the failure of the Soviet model was evident.

OK, so... define "Marxian revolution".



uyyu
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14 Jul 2019, 1:19 am

theresa may cared about the country .. more immensely than a lot of people do. but everyone thats not in her position was filibustering against exactly what nobody knows. wheres the pdf of that deal the kids are all curious now .



uyyu
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uyyu
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14 Jul 2019, 1:40 am

Theres also another very important economic report there it was that make u feel like theres still hope in the uk .. talks about the skewed sectors and automaton and bullsh jobs and eveeything .. couldnt find it .. ??



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23 Jul 2019, 12:46 am

New PM announced at midday

I just cant imagine who it will be, it's going to be such a surprise.....



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23 Jul 2019, 6:10 am

In a shock to absolutely no one, Johnson lands the top job and will take over as PM once Theresa May resigns tomorrow following PMQ's



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23 Jul 2019, 7:04 am

I'd feel more confident about a general election if Corbyn was removed. Boris's rise to PM shows that if you're of a certain class incompetency can still carry you far .


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