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Posts Tagged ‘Jacobin

In US Jacobin Magazine, Back Brexit, “with or without a Brexit deal.”

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Image result for gammon slang Usa

Open UK to US Gammon says US Jacobin.

The “leading voice of the American left” has not published a single article opposing Brexit.

This, despite the fact that opposing Brexit is the majority view of Labour Party members, and a substantial part of the left, including much of the most radical wing.

As Another Europe is Possible says,

Brexit is a hard right Tory project – the only way to resist it is from the left.

“Progressive entrepreneur” Bhaskar Sunkara, who owns the magazine, and its British subsidiary the new Tribune, has this weighty argument behind his opposition to the left-wing internationalists who oppose the hard-right Brexit and fight for a People’s Vote to Remain in the EU:

Image result for Bhaskar Sunkara Brexit

 

No doubt the last sentence was proved by the way Corbyn and his leadership team had to be dragged kicking and screaming to take a pro-immigration stand this week in parliament.

 

The chap appears to have never heard of Another Europe is Possible (above)  – though one suspects that at least one of minions has a sad personal story, located in the mists of time, to tell him about his own relations with one of the groups backing it.

Now we have this essay.

Even for the Gammon left it is piss-poor.

Leave the EU Already Alex Gourevitch. 

29th of January 2018.

The European Union is one of the chief enemies of democracy in the world today. Britain should leave it, with or without a Brexit deal.

One does not know where to begin but the learned associate professor of political science at Brown University helpfully continues:

The European Union is one of the chief enemies of democratic politics, and therefore the mass of people, in the world today. Its central purpose is to constrain popular sovereignty through an executive-heavy, often-secretive complex of organizations. It has no fewer than five presidents; makes key decisions behind closed doors, with no recorded minutes; has a parliament that is its weakest branch; and renders amending its basic constitutional features nearly impossible.

Dreadful.

Not only does the EU rank with enemies of democracy like Putin’s Russia, Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, Iran’s  Ali Khamenei, Bashar Hafez al-Assad (halting there for the moment) but it has bleeding 5 (count ’em) 5 Presidents!

The eminent author of books on Slavery and the Co-operative Commonwealth in the 19th century does not have to look far to find the root faults of this monstrous aberration:

National politicians created the EU institutions in a bid to avoid the rough-and-tumble of democratic representation, turning Europe’s nation-states into member-states. These member-states retain the worst, coercive elements of statehood while reducing the influence of the democratic element, allowing elected officials to avoid accountability by retreating into supranational and intergovernmental institutions.

Supranational, inter-governmental!

Say no more.

As a result, the historian of Republican Liberty spots the reason why the Brexit side won a slim majority in the Referendum.

The vote in favor of leaving the EU is therefore a product of longstanding popular frustration at the sense that politics is out of the electorate’s control and that elites have little to offer but ruses to avoid being held to account.

Most people, if they have persisted so far, will not be astonished to find that the crack political scientist can see clearly that democratic “popular sovereignty” is at stake.

Yet there is still enormous resistance to doing the democratic thing and actually leaving the EU.

Democrats always bow to popular sovereignty: they never contest the Will and the Voice of the people as she is spoke.

Unlike that them there “chief enemy of democracy in the world” – the EU.

The cultured critic of wage labour  talks of

the lure of the second referendum. They are hoping to be let off the hook by engaging in what has practically become a Brechtian tradition of EU politics.

No, he is not talking abut The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui Boris-Johnson-Rees-Mogg-Nigel-Farrage. 

*******

* Alex Gourevitch is an associate professor of political science at Brown University and the author of From Slavery To the Cooperative Commonwealth: Labor and Republican Liberty in the Nineteenth Century.

 

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Written by Andrew Coates

January 31, 2019 at 6:17 pm

As Charlie Hebdo is commemorated US Jacobin Attacks Charlie for being rude about Gammon.

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Image result for cabu les beaufs

Nobody should not be rude about Gammon, says alt-left US magazine. 

The supposedly anti-establishment Charlie’s cosy relationship with such élite figures is combined with a wider contempt for working-class French people. For an example we need only look at cartoonist Cabu, who was killed in the 2015 attacks. Long considered one of the pillars of political cartoons in France, Cabu was author of the Mohammed cover in 2006 and known for his anti-clerical and anti-military views.

But he also had a long record of ridiculing the experiences, lifestyles, and behaviors of the working class and the poor. He created the cartoon character Le Beauf in 1974 to this end. The word “beauf” — short for beau-frère (brother in law) — was coined by Cabu and became a staple of French culture to the point that it entered the most renowned French dictionary (Le Robert) to mean the “average Frenchman with narrow ideas, conservative, vulgar and phallocratic.” For Cabu, Le Beauf is the “living symbol of the ordinary loser.”

IMEN NEFFATI

The reaction to the Paris terror attacks in 2015 identified Charlie Hebdo with freedom of speech. Yet the magazine’s anti-working-class smears are today used to silence the gilets jaunes.

The stuck up toff who wrote this is apparently, “a history PhD student at the University of Sheffield working on French satirical press and ideas of free speech.”

On s’en doutait

Meanwhile:

Un hommage officiel aux 17 victimes a lieu lundi, quatre ans après le début des attaques terroristes.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 8, 2019 at 11:48 am

Tribune Bought by US pro-Brexit Magazine Jacobin that published anti-Semite Houria Bouteldja.

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Image result for Houria Bouteldja sioniste au gulag

“Freedom of expression” takes on the opposite meaning — and is being used instead to impose a reign of intimidation and fear.” Houria Bouteldja.

Tribune, the historic publication of the Labour left, will be revived next month by a US journalist who hopes to benefit from the rise of Jeremy Corbyn and run a financially sustainable leftwing print magazine.

Bhaskar Sunkara bought Tribune’s assets on behalf of his not-for-profit US news outlet Jacobin, which describes itself as “a leading voice of the American left”. He founded Jacobin at university in 2011 and the publication quickly rose to prominence, benefiting from the increased interest in socialist ideas which accompanied the rise of Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic primary campaign.

Guardian

The Unity Trap

HOURIA BOUTELDJA MALIK TAHAR-CHAOUCH

Instead, the discussion becomes one about “the class struggle,” or even worse, vague humanist principles. While the “unity march” did indeed mobilize large numbers from among the country’s white population — and, unfortunately, from the entire organized left (unions and parties) save for the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste — it received little support and sparked hostile and mocking reactions among the people on the receiving end of structural racism and its social violence.

……..

They seek to suppress the struggle against their privilege, by invoking a freedom of expression that is in fact indentured to this same privilege. So “freedom of expression” thus becomes a pretext for silencing those who have the least access to it: as we already saw in summer 2014 with the repression of pro-Palestine demonstrations and, before that, with the ban on Dieudonné’s shows (this black comedian’s anti-semitic tendencies apparently can’t be indulged in the same way as Charlie Hebdo’s Islamophobia).

Understood in this context, “freedom of expression” takes on the opposite meaning — and is being used instead to impose a reign of intimidation and fear.

Not only is there is no sympathy for the murdered at Charlie the largely Jewish victims at the Hypercacher are not even mentioned…..

It is not hard to see why.

One further overriding problem is this:

Jacobin regularly publishes extreme Pro-Brexit material from people linked to the Spiked front, The Full Brexit.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

September 1, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Trump Leaves Brexiteers, from Hard Right to “People’s Brexit’ in Disarray.

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Image result for They call me Mr Brexit Trump

“Those who are not prepared to fight to the finish to break free from the iron cage called the European Union are doomed to capitulate.”

Stathis Kouvelakis Borderland. New Left Review. 110. March-April. 2018.

The EU wants to break our national will — Brexit victory would be like winning the Falklands War.

Sir Bernard Jenkin. MP for HarwichThe Current Bun. 14th of July.

For the King’s College academic and  Greek supporter of La France insoumise (LFI), who claims, as is the custom of such academics, to speak for the “European left”, beyond the reaches of social democracy, the Brexit vote was welcomed by many on that radical fringe.

The British left, Kouvelakis said after the UK Referendum result, in the American journal Jacobin, should adapt to the result. Prime amongst our change of strategy should be a ” positive, conquering attitude at the level of the national formation”, that is to the British nation. The  task of the left in these Isles is to see (he cites Étienne Balibar, as one does) into the reasons for the Brexit vote, notably recognising that racism is “a displaced form of class struggle” and act henceforth to remedy this.

With this consoling thought in mind – no doubt reassuring for the victims of racialist attacks who can come to terms with their injuries by reading Balibar’s debates with Judith Butler in this latest work, Des Universels. Essais et conférences, Éditions Galilée, 2016 – he advocates a new approach.

This requires hegemonizing the very concept of “the people” that constitute the living substance of the nation to transform it into an inclusive, multiracial, multicultural, welcoming, and sovereign body politic.” (An Open Letter to the British Left. 2016)

The Nation as a political object for the left is suspect for many reasons, one of which appears in Flaubert’s Le Dictionnaire des idées reçues: “Nation. Réunir ici tous les peuples.” Nation: Unite here all the Peoples.

But is would perhaps be more appropriate to cite an old saw of Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau adopted by some strategists of La France insoumise which Kouvelakis so supports, that ‘federating the people’ requires constructing an “us” against a “them“.

It is no doubt the moment to point out that this ‘Other’ , the ‘them’ – a capitalised word that  sends many of ‘us’ reaching for our updated version of Flaubert’s work – has been doing a lot of work recently.

LFI prefers some nebulous alliance of the “popular classes” against a shifting spectrum of the “elite”.

Trump has his own Schmittian Enemy:

President Trump Calls the European Union a ‘Foe’ of the U.S.

Pro-Trump demonstrators in London on Saturday remain fixated, a little more explicitly than the ‘left behind’ but still salt-of-the earth ‘real’ voters Kouvelakis and his mates are so worried about, on immigration.

This was followed by this instruction from the US:

Bannon Calls for Brexit Supporters to Take Up Arms and Fight to Take Back the U.K.

Steve Bannon, Trump’s former adviser, told Nigel Farage on LBC radio Sunday: “You’re going to have to fight to take your country back, every day. Whether it’s Italy, France, England, or the United States. If we quit, they’re going to be in control.”

Theo Usherwood, LBC’s political editor, said: “That sounds like a call to arms.” To which Bannon replied, “Absolutely. This is war.”

Others have different targets.

Sir Bernard Jenkin is not alone in wishing a decisive battle with the EU.

Other calls from Brexitering Tories against soft Brexit ‘traitors’ (Remainers in all but name) has an echo in the desperate rantings  of the ‘People’s Brexit’ cheerleaders.

John Rees of Counterfire writes,

UK big business and their EU allies are increasingly looking to the Labour Party to deliver them from the chronic, systemic incompetence of the Tory party. And most Labour MPs would love to help.

Stuffed shirt lawyer Kier Starmer is signalling like a sailor lost at sea that he’d love to deliver a soft Brexit and is constantly trailing his openness to a second referendum. Chuka Umunna and his allies would love to deliver the double whammy of defeating Corbyn and defeating Brexit.

On Sunday the Morning Star screamed,

The labour movement’s “red lines” should be clear. To support investment, trade and jobs, we need a Labour government with the freedom outside the EU to implement its left and progressive policies.

The problem is that nobody, absolutely nobody, takes the call for this “freedom” from the EU “iron cage” seriously anymore.

As for the ‘People’s Brexit’ – what mass moblisation have they to show for their campaign to “take back control”?

Step forward Trump – who has been the object of some protests…..and support:

Here is his latest….(BBC)

Donald Trump told Theresa May she should sue the EU rather than negotiate over Brexit, she has told the BBC.

The US president said on Friday at a joint news conference he had given Mrs May a suggestion – but she had found it too “brutal”.

Asked by the BBC’s Andrew Marr what he had said, she replied: “He told me I should sue the EU – not go into negotiations.”

And,

The US president has simply pointed out the obvious: the UK cannot maintain free trade with the European Union and at the same time strike new trade deals with other countries, such as the US. If the UK commits to follow EU rules and regulations in goods and agricultural products, as it said last week that it wants to do, then it will not be able to sign a new and different trade deal with the US .

As Trump put, in his interview with the Sun: “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.” He half backed away from this yesterday – saying a trade agreement could still be on and backing away from the “ kill the deal” comment. But he was right the first time – if the UK does stay tied to EU rules, there won’t be any point.

Irish Times. Cliff Taylor.

There is also this (BBC):

Justine Greening calls for second Brexit referendum.

Justine Greening has called for a second referendum, labelling the prime minister’s Brexit deal a “fudge”.

Writing in the Times, the former education secretary described Theresa May’s proposals as “the worst of both worlds”.

The final decision should be given back to the people and out of “deadlocked politicians” hands, Ms Greening said.

She states there are three options: the PM’s deal, staying in the EU or a clean break from Europe with no deal.

Ms Greening, who resigned after the cabinet reshuffle in January, said the referendum should offer a first and second preference vote so that a consensus can be reached.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ms Greening said the government’s proposals were a “genuine clever attempt at a compromise that could work” but “suits no-one”.

The MP for Putney said: “The reality is Parliament is now stalemated. Whatever the proposal on the table, there will be MPs who vote it down. But Britain needs to find a route forward.”

But then no doubt trade deals, new referendums,  and all the rest probably mean little to readers of Balibar and “constructors of the People” Independent of the EU.

Written by Andrew Coates

July 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm

American Jacobin Magazine Advises UK Left to “embrace Brexit” and National Sovereignty.

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Image result for jacobin magazine Winter 2018

 El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Why the Left Should Embrace Brexit 

THOMAS FAZI WILLIAM MITCHELL.

“A progressive, emancipatory vision of national sovereignty radically alternative to that of both the right and the neoliberals – one based on popular sovereignty, democratic control over the economy, full employment, social justice, redistribution from the rich to the poor, inclusivity, and  effectively the socio-ecological transformation of production and society – is not only necessary; it is possible.”  What Is Needed Is A Progressive Vision Of National Sovereignty  

In the article the authors argue,

The Left’s anti-Brexit hysteria, however, is based on a mixture of bad economics, flawed understanding of the European Union, and lack of political imagination. Not only is there no reason to believe that Brexit would be an economic apocalypse; more importantly, abandoning the EU provides the British left — and the European left more generally — with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show that a radical break with neoliberalism, and with the institutions that support it, is possible.

Fazi and Mitchell knock down a straw man, that the Remain left considers that Brexit “will lead to an economic apocalypse. Their arguments are based on the idea that the pro-EU left’ accepts the idea that markets are optimal, that “free trade” is the basis of pro-Remain economics, and that we agree that, ” A crucial tenet of the Single Market was the deregulation of financial markets and the abolition of capital controls.”

The authors, one safely based in Australia, conclude,

Indeed: a democratic socialist government led by Corbyn is the best option for the majority of British citizens and for the British economy. This leads to an obvious conclusion: that for a Corbyn-led Labour government, not being a member of the European Union “solves more problems than it creates,” as Weeks notes. He is referring to the fact that many aspects of Corbyn’s manifesto — such as the renationalization of mail, rail, and energy firms and developmental support to specific companies — or other policies that a future Labour government may decide to implement, such as the adoption of capital controls, would be hard to implement under EU law and would almost certainly be challenged by the European Commission and European Court of Justice. After all, the EU was created with the precise intention of permanently outlawing such “radical” policies.

That is why Corbyn must resist the pressure from all quarters — first and foremost within his own party — to back a “soft Brexit.” He must instead find a way of weaving a radically progressive and emancipatory Brexit narrative. A once-in-a-lifetime window of opportunity has opened for the British left — and the European left more in general — to show that a radical break with neoliberalism, and with the institutions that support it, is possible. But it won’t stay open forever.

They ignore this:   New report: the Corbyn moment and European socialism.

Today we are launching a major new report, outlining a fresh strategy to “Remain and Reform” in the EU.

8th March 2018

Transnational institutions such as the EU are essential to pushing forward radical and progressive change, and only if the UK remains in the EU can Corbyn have the necessary influence to achieve these aims.  The report identifies a number of key areas where a Labour government could use the EU to implement its radical programme. These include:

  • Taxing multinationals, including harmonising corporation tax rules and clamping down on tax avoidance.
  • Regulating banks, including with a new financial transaction tax
  • Protecting migrant workers’ rights and strengthening trade unions
  • Digital Rights, where Labour has already played a leading role in the global debate
  • Climate change, using its weight shift EU institutions and overcome big business lobbies
  • Addressing global conflicts, prioritising the security of people, rather than the interests of states, on a humanitarian basis
  • Ending fortress Europe, by radically altering the discourse, opening up legal routes for entry, and treating the refugee crisis as a humanitarian issue, not a security one
  • Reforming the Eurozone, by playing a supportive role and example for progressive anti-austerity parties inside it

A strategy based on National Sovereignty ignores the fact that no country alone is a “sovereign” of the economy, that pooling sovereignty in the EU is the means  to promote these objectives.

If the EU is, as they assert, a “de facto supranational constitutional order “,  what is the British constitutional order? The body administering these processes, the State, is ‘capitalist’, that is, is institutionally wrapped around the existing power structure. It is organised to promote the interests of business. We do not need an elaborate theoretical framework to see this nor can we wish it away by appealing to ‘real’ sovereignty.

The left has to grapple with this problem, just as it would have had to deal with the limits that “pooled sovereignty” creates.

Our strength does not lie in the nation state but in our popular support and the labour movement: expressed by how far we can condense this power in the administration, not just by legislation but by grass roots backing. It would, we hope, be expressed by Parliamentary representation.

What could a Labour government negotiate within a probable framework after an election?

John Palmer has argued (Corbyn Should Stop The UK’s Drift Out Of The EU January 2018)

Labour should drive home the message that being part of a stronger and reforming EU is an essential means for advancing its programme for radical economic and social reform at home. Social democratic, socialist and green parties in the EU believe this is the real basis of Jeremy Corbyn’s approach which is one reason why he was so warmly received during recent meetings in Europe.

If Corbyn is elected PM before the die is cast on the final shape of the UK/EU relationship, he should seek immediate negotiations of his own with the EU. As the incoming PM, leading a government with a new mandate, this would be very unlikely to be denied.

If, however, Labour does not take power until the UK is fully outside the EU, a Corbyn-led government should unilaterally pledge to fully match all future progressive economic, social, labour and democratic reforms agreed at EU level, coordinate closely with the EU on a new Europe-wide economic recovery strategy and serve notice it will seek renewed full membership of a reforming EU at the earliest opportunity.

What exactly is a break with ‘neo-liberalism’?

Only those gifted with immense “political imagination” consider that a  ‘sovereign’ UK  can negotiate a break with capitalism with the WTO and the EU.

The rest of the Fazi list of idées reçues, , “progressive, emancipatory vision…radically alternative to that of both the right and the neoliberals…. popular sovereignty, democratic control over the economy, full employment, social justice, redistribution from the rich to the poor, inclusivity,….the socio-ecological transformation of production and society” is long on rhetoric, short on specifics.

The final rupture with capitalism is, nevertheless, clearly off the cards.

A Labour government would face, inside or outside the EU, a hard task in untangling the multinational ownership of  “mail (Postal services), rail (ways), and energy firms.” Capital controls is a vague term, but it hardly looks an easy objective to carry out on the world stage, a kind of Bretton Woods of one.

Would Labour, having avoided a “soft Brexit” be in a position to reach trade deals with the ‘soveriegntist’ Trump government, or any other, that favour these objectives?

The key issue for a Labour government is austerity. It will face challenges with tackling the under-funding of the NHS,  public services and social security.

Would it be able to wrangle a way of making arrangements with the EU that untie all the legislation regulating the production and trade flows of companies and rebuild them to its wishes in the British Isles?

What kind of socialism aims for ‘national’ sovereignty other than one which restricts this power to this one nation’s people?

The goal of socialists is not a vision of national but international emancipation.

The irony of a US publication being the vehicle for a lecture to the British left on how to embrace sovereignty cannot have escaped many.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 30, 2018 at 1:55 pm