David Garcia on Sun, 5 Aug 2018 18:19:19 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> What does Trump get right?

> "A few years ago, some believed that this emerging nightmare of a political economy could be reversed by the self-organized uprising of critical collectivities able to pierce the ideological veil and offer new pathways of productive development. Instead the multitudes got fascinated with their iPhones. More recently there has been the hope that the most oppressed (ie anybody who's not straight and white) could transform the culture while the rest of us applauded and liked. Both those generous hopes are a naive evasion of responsibility. …”[ ] the only practicable instrument of the formal institutional change, in a rigid bipartite system like that of the United States…"

Dear Brian,
many thanks for your words, as ever. Just a couple of points..

These are points I made before on the list but maybe thay are worth repeating.

Sorry to take your words out of context but even in context they carry the suggestion that we have to choose 
between politics as a self organising networks and social movements and politics that engages with the institutional power 
through structures like political parties. 

>From my vantage point in the UK we can and should practice both kinds of politics simultaneosuly and in concert. The UK left is witnessing 
an important experiment. In sheer membership terms the experiment is successful as in membership terms its larger than any leftist party in 

The success has been in large part due to the injection of youthful energy and campaigning accumen of Momentum, an organisation that is 
not formally part of the Labour party, but has been formed to support Corbyn’s agenda. This separateness (whilst being very close) to the party itself is 
important as it enables it to maintain its grass roots ethos whilst wielding real influence. It is not a party within a party as it is sometimes disparaged by those 
on the right who are jealous of its success.
Like the Alt.right its cultural dimension is vital to its effectiveness. The ‘World Transformed’ the annual event that was organised by Momentum and which 
takes place alongside the Labour Party annual conference functioning as a kind of “fringe festival” without the disciplinary constraints of the formal party political 
event and yet close enough to power for the major players in the party to contribute.

As I have pointed out in earlier postings Momentum campaigning has borrowed (sometimes deliberately) from the Trump and Alt-right playbook and their 
understanding that separating grass roots activism (including media activism) from institutional engagement is a flawed approach but these thigs cannot be instituted 
by fiat to work radical new organisational formations appropiate to local conditions need to be forged. Connected to this is the neeed to ask ourselves whether this 
also means we need a ‘populism of the left’ and if so what would it look like ? And is it desirable ? For example would a leftist populism claim to be speaking for 
“the people” like Trump and branding critics "enemies of the people” or “traitors” as the rightwing press in the UK regularly do to their opponents. Is their a 
form of populism that doesn’t claim to speak "for the people” ?

UK list readers will know that things are far from perfect and that fissures in the newly constituted Labour Party are begining to appear particularly on the question 
of where the party stands on Brexit and more urgently on a particularly toxic controversy based on accusations of anti-Semitism. These questions are too localised to go into 
here but they do serve to demonstrate that once grass roots movements on the left start coming close to the kitchen of power the heat will definitely be turned up.   

 David Garcia

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: http://mx.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@kein.org
#  @nettime_bot tweets mail w/ sender unless #ANON is in Subject: