Categorized | Politics

Being doctrinaire leftwing leads to weakness and inaction

antiwar protest

Richard Seymour of Lenin’s Tomb writing in the Guardian, dissects why the hard left is currently so weak and inept.

The doctrinaire Left insists upon doing things and organizing the way it was done 80 years ago. However, the world has changed. The old ways no longer work. Anarchists get this. That’s why Occupy primarily came from and was encouraged by anarchists. They’ve changed with the times. The Marxist Left was just as gobsmacked by Occupy as neoliberals were. They never saw it coming and their usual tactic of trying to jack incipient movements didn’t work. The anarchists wouldn’t allow it.

If you’re so stereotypically ‘leftwing’ that it impedes the achievement of your goals, perhaps you’ve gone wrong.

Why, in more than five years of turmoil for the global capitalist system, has the left made such a practically negligible impact?

A third manifestation is the commitment to sustaining old methods of organising and old organisational divisions, no matter how thoroughly inadequate to today’s situation they are. Whether one is in the Labour party or in a groupuscule of some kind, it should be evident by now that the institutional formats that worked in the 20th century no longer do.

All too often these positions are conveyed as ostentatiously leftist, safeguarded against revisionism and betrayal. But if the result is that little is achieved, such positions are not leftist; they are useless.

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