We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Corbyn and challenges to political power

Click here to access article by Jonathan Cook from his blog.

This British independent journalist provides us with his views of the unusual candidate Jeremy Corbyn to lead the Labor party by reviewing some comments from another critical Brit, Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan. More importantly Cook informs his views with a "structural" analysis (by which he means a class analysis) of British history since WWII which illustrates why so many people, mostly middle class people, joined the ruling class in order to enhance their careers and fortunes.

I have only one criticism, a sort of pet peeve of mine directed against many social critics, when Cook makes this statement:
Hard as it is to recall today, the NHS was long presented as a radical, dangerous idea – reminding us how crazy ideological assumptions can comfortably dominate even democratic systems. 
This sentence and much of his analysis seem to represent an oxymoron. His analysis indicates that capitalist societies are fractured into classes with a dominate class or ruling class which determines broad social policies. So, how can such a class governing system dominate a democratic (egalitarian) system if the latter is genuine? Of course the "democracy" in Britain and elsewhere is fake. It was devised by the ruling capitalist classes to fool ordinary people into believing that they enjoyed some meaningful participation in government.

Either his, along with many other social critics, concept of democracy is so stunted and corrupted by his ideological conditioning or he simply doesn't understand class (or "structural") analysis. I think both. If he thoroughly understood class analysis, he would understand that Corbyn, if he is genuine, could never be elected to lead a country ruled by a capitalist class that would never tolerate his leadership. They will find a way to destroy him--if he is genuine. (For a more elaborate explanation of my views on Jeremy Corbyn, see my commentary at this post.)

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