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Jun 09

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Left-Wing Populism Will Beat Upper Class Journalism

Jeremy Corbyn - Left-Wing Populism Will Beat Upper Class JournalismI’m really happy to see how well the Labour Party did under Jeremy Corbyn. It is a great victory for left-wing populism. Of course, it is of some interest that even in victory, I see the mainstream liberal press taking pot-shots at him. “Wow, it’s great that Labour did so well; too bad they are led by a guy who supports Hamas and Hugo Chávez.”

But I just wanted to share with you what I jotted down in my notebook yesterday. My hometown has the worst public transit system I’ve ever encountered, and I’ve ridden them on four continents in dozens of cities. But one of the best things about my “smart” phone is the little memo app that allows me to talk and create notes when I’m stuck because the bus isn’t working.

It’s “speech to text” feature doesn’t work that well. But it’s pretty cool that I can send my notes via email so I don’t even have to transcribe.

Just Yesterday

If the Labour Party does well tomorrow, Jeremy Corbyn will be said to have done a reasonable and maybe even a good job. They will never say that he did a great job. If the Labour Party does poorly, the media will blame it all on him.

In this particular case, I believe Corbyn deserves a great deal of credit if the Labour party does well. That is based upon the way that he’s managed the party. However I do not think that if the Labour Party does poorly that it is Corbyn’s fault.

I believe instead it is the Labour Party’s establishment that is to blame. Because they have done everything they can to sabotage him. Of course equal credit goes to the media which has done everything it can to delegitimize[1] Corbyn.

Then Left-Wing Populism Won!

Regardless, Corbyn and Labour did far better than I could allow myself to hope for. The truth is that the Torries were expecting to improve their position — not get beaten badly. And I think the whole thing shows that when liberals are allowed to be liberals, they do better.

A big problem with the New Democrats or the Tony Blair Labour Party types is that they aren’t authentic. Sure, they can win elections. That’s because elections are more about fundamentals like economic trends. The truth is that when Bill Clinton ran as a new kind of Democrat, he was still seen as a Jeremy Corbyn socialist. It doesn’t matter that Bill Clinton really, truly was a new (bad) kind of Democrat. The people still saw him as a leftist.

But we’ll win. As long as we vote, we’ll win. The people will support candidates who will support them — authentic left-wing populists.

And the people are right to think this. In a two party system, you expect that there is going to be one party on the left and one party on the right. When you have two parties on the right, the one that is slightly less conservative will be seen as, “Socialist! A socialist, I tell you!”

The People Need a Choice — And They Know It

And I still maintain that the Republicans’ move over the last four decades into a form of fascism is the result of the Democratic Party’s move to the right, starting in the early 1970s. Jimmy Carter was responsible for the success of Ronald Reagan. And Bill Clinton was responsible for the success of both George W Bush and Donald J Trump.

So the fact that the Labour Party won by being an unabashed leftist party is good news for the whole world. Everyone can see that there really is a constituency for left-wing populism. But our continued foe is the mainstream media. And that’s because they have never seen a conservative who was too conservative.

Liberal Journalists Think They Define Liberalism; They Don’t

But given that most journalists are liberal in the American sense of the term, they always define what they think as the right amount of liberalism. Thus, when a Jeremy Corbyn (or even an extremely moderate Bernie Sanders) comes along, they attack! The reporters define liberalism, not these politicians! So even if working people who make minimum wage like left-wing populism, the upper-middle class journalists can’t abide it.

But we’ll win. As long as we vote, we’ll win. It doesn’t matter that MSNBC thinks being pro-choice and pro-same-sex marriage is all it takes to be liberal. The people will support candidates who will support them — authentic left-wing populists.


[1] My phone, in its infinite “speech to text” wisdom heard “delegitimize” and converted it to “deal egitim eyes.” As far as I know, “egitim” is not even an English language word. But it hardly matters. I knew what I had said.

Permanent link to this article: http://franklycurious.com/wp/2017/06/09/left-wing-populism/

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6 comments

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  1. Claire Broadley

    I voted twice for Corbyn to be Labour leader, and I voted for the Labour candidate in my constituency (who took the seat after 12 years of Liberal Democrat wins). The UK has been fucked up for well over a year by the Tories, and yesterday, although he didn’t win, Corbyn disrupted the entire Tory plan. Now, the Tories are backed into a corner. They have formed a loose alliance with an anti-LGBT, anti-evolution, pro-abortion party that (as I understand it) may not even be able to vote on English matters anyway. Corbyn may have lost, but he still prevented the Hard Brexit that would have ruined us all.

    1. Claire Broadley

      Actually, the UK has been fucked up by the Tories for more than a year. But this election was the second vote in a year that took place entirely for the Tory party’s own agenda.

  2. James Fillmore

    Essentially the left worldwide has abandoned working people in favor of the middle-class office types, in the belief that office types are more likely to pay attention to politics and vote than stressed out hourly wage earners. Which, on the face of it, may be true. But the expected shift where office types make up a winning plurality of voters, while poor workers just shut up & go away, hasn’t happened. The fact is corporate make-work — what David Graeber calls “the phenomenon of bullshit jobs” — can only be stretched so far. It’s been stretched to the maximum, and young college grads are feeling it, facing an insanely competitive job market for less and less returns while their debt has skyrocketed.

    I think we’re seeing the stirrings of a possible cultural shift, now. Where having a corporate career no longer conveys immediate social superiority on the paper pusher. For decades, even if you worked more hours and got less pay, having an office job was seen as more serious and socially desirable than being, say, an electrician. This could be changing.

    If it is changing, no doubt the political media resent such a change. They’re members of the professional class, after all. They’ve seen their job requirements expand (can’t just write anymore, now you have to generate social media content X times a day), their colleagues get downsized, and the last thing they can pride themselves on is not being a member of the great unwashed wage workers. People with a decaying status privilege cling to it for dear life.

  3. Kaleberg

    The only problem is that if they had replaced Corbyn with a friendly street dog from Manchester, they would have won a clear majority. It’s the right side, but the wrong man.

    1. James Fillmore

      I don’t know much about him. But sometimes sincerity is more valuable than charisma. That may or may not be the case with Corbyn, but it was definitely the case in America with John Edwards in 2008 and Sanders in 2016. Both argued for essentially the same positions. Edwards was a slick, obviously opportunistic huckster, and got eliminated early. Sanders was the opposite of slick (putting it mildly!) yet seemed passionately sincere, and that allowed him to make a serious run of it. Again, though, I don’t know where Corbyn falls on this spectrum.

  4. James Fillmore

    Wow — Thomas Frank at his best: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/07/from-rust-belt-to-mill-towns-a-tale-of-two-voter-revolts-thomas-frank-us-and-uk-elections

    And reminds me of the movie “Pride,” which is one of those brilliant English comedy/dramas about struggling working communities, yet more overtly political than any of the famous ones. Probably why nobody noticed it here. An absolute classic. The guy who played Moriarty back before “Sherlock” got awful is in it, and so is Bill Nighy. Really well worth checking out, and has a make-you-so-happy-you-start-bawling finish.

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