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Brexit: let there be blood among capitalists and may the real Left finally win

 by system failure

Many wonder why the Left has failed so loudly to become the primary force against the onslaught of neoliberalism. One has to look in the past to investigate the first steps of neoliberalism, in order to understand the Leftist retreat.

As David Harvey points out, "when the neoliberal ethic was first being proposed, it was very much being proposed to the generation of 68 and saying to that generation, 'Look, you want individual liberty and freedom. OK, we'll give it to you in this neoliberal form, which is a very political, economic form, and you have to forget other issues, like social justice and the like.' So, it seeped its way into the discourse of much of the Left and this creates a sort of tolerance for some neoliberal practices."

It was like the generation of 68 was suddenly 'shut down' and there was nothing to resist against the capitalist class. As a consequence, in the early 70s, the capitalist forces launched an unprecedented counter-attack against the working class in the West, through neoliberalism and financial capitalism.

In his film, HyperNormalisation, Adam Curtis describes the sudden retirement of the Left from fighting the banking mafia that actually took over New York in the mid 70s, in one of the first neoliberal experiments inside the US soil.

The road was open for the capitalist elites to establish their new ideology and, therefore, their absolute domination.

As Harvey writes in his book A Brief History of Neoliberalism, "businesses needed a political class instrument and a popular base. They therefore actively sought to capture the Republican Party as their own instrument. [...] The Republican Party needed, however, a solid electoral base if it was to colonize power effectively. It was around this time that Republicans sought an alliance with the Christian right. The latter had not been politically active in the past, but the foundation of Jerry Falwell’s ‘moral majority’ as a political movement in 1978 changed all of that."

As Curtis describes in his film The Power of Nightmares, "by the late 70s, there were millions of fundamentalist Christians in America, but their preachers had always told them not to vote. It would mean compromising with a doomed and immoral society. But the neoconservatives and their new Republican allies made an alliance with a number of powerful preachers, who told their followers to become involved in politics for the first time."

Religious conservative political activist, Paul Weyrich, says: "The neoconservative movement up to that point, was essentially an intellectual movement. It had some very powerful thinkers, but it didn't have many troops. [...] When these folks became active, all of a sudden, the conservative movement had lots of divisions. We were able to move literally millions of people. And this is something we had no ability to do prior to that time."

Curtis continues: "And at the beginning of 1981, Ronald Reagan took power in America. The religious vote was crucial in his election because many millions of fundamentalists voted for the first time."

The capitalist elites had now a non-negligible electoral army at their disposal. And the most impressive, is that this army was being consisted from millions of conservative voters who were part of the working class and couldn't realize, at that time, that the Republican economic agenda, based on neoliberalism, would sooner or later benefit plutocrats at their expense.

But there was a problem. Millions of moderate Republican voters were frightened from the conservative fundamentalism that had taken over the party, so they turned to Democrats. Yet, the capitalist elites had already paved the way in order to take over the Democatic party too.

As Harvey points out, "The dependency of Democrats, furthermore, on ‘big money’ contributions rendered many of them highly vulnerable to direct influence from business interests. While the Democratic Party had a popular base, it could not easily pursue an anti-capitalist or anti-corporate political line without totally severing its connections with powerful financial interests. [...] The Democratic Party, on the other hand, was fundamentally riven by the need to placate, if not succour, corporate and financial interests while at the same time making some gestures towards improving the material conditions of life for its popular base. During the Clinton presidency it ended up choosing the former over the latter and therefore fell directly into the neoliberal fold of policy prescription and implementation (as, for example, in the reform of welfare)."

As a consequence, the capitalist elites had completely taken over almost the entire US political system from the Clinton era and afterwards. The economic agenda became almost identical in both the Republican and the Democratic party. Yet, the differences in the ideological field were rather superficial and were primarily used as a tool to give voters the sense that they could change things towards their preferable ideological direction.

This had become impressively evident, especially in the Democratic party. From the Clinton era up until even Barack Obama, the party was consistent with the Republican agenda, designed by the US deep state and the banking-corporate establishment. Meaning, bailing out Wall Street, deregulating, implementing continuous tax-cuts for the super-rich, privatizing, implementing continuous austerity for the working class, conducting endless for-profit wars.

At the same time, the Democrats offered a selective progressiveness to their base. The part of progressiveness that would not harm the neoliberal order that has been imposed by the capitalist class. Democratic party had no problem to implement policies in favor of women's rights, LGBT community, other minorities, etc., to maintain its Leftist facade and therefore, its progressive electoral 'customers'. This has become today's official Left in America, which, of course, in reality is a pseudo-Left. These are the remnants of the destructive capitulation that the generation of 68 had made with the capitalist elites.

As the real Left almost vanished from the political game, millions of voters, especially young generations, have chosen not to participate in the political process. They realized that the agenda is not changing, no matter what they vote.

And it's remarkable that neoliberalism, which is highly responsible for reinforcing political corruption, had also embedded a modernized apolitical behavior inside its ideological core. This was necessary in order to demonize state's regulatory power as a key factor that puts barriers against the individual who wants to thrive economically, free from any type of political scrutiny. It was also necessary, in order to neutralize politically entire generations who could disturb the neoliberal order by resurrecting the real Left into a considerable political power.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the road was plain open for neoliberalism - and therefore, the Western big capital - to conquer the entire planet.

The scenario was almost identical for the United Kingdom and it happened almost at the same period. It began with Margaret Thatcher in the late 70s, where the Conservative Party adopted a nationalist form of neoliberalism, attracting the most conservative part of the British society. And when Tony Blair took power, the Labour Party was already fully neoliberalized too.

At the same time, almost the entire Europe fell into the neoliberal trap by adopting, to a great extent, this Anglo-American 'model'. The European political duopoly became dominant through the complete neoliberalization of the two major political forces in the last decades: the popular right and the social democrats. The full neoliberalization of the European Union institutions was inevitable.

Yet, financial capitalism as the main fuel of the neoliberal engine, has been proven an extremely unstable form of capitalism which also generates growing inequality.

The aggressiveness of the Western investment capital, the banking cartels and the corporate monopolies, gradually generated significant centrifugal forces inside the global capitalist system. The neoliberal ideology itself enhanced these forces, as deeply in its roots lies a perception of an impossible endless growth and uninterrupted ruthless competition. These forces, both inside and outside the Western capitalist system, had started to become evident mostly from the late 90s and after, as neoliberal capitalism had already triggered major crises in Russia, South-East Asia and elsewhere.

It was a matter of time to see a major crisis, comparable to that of 1929, inside the heart of neoliberal capitalism. The big meltdown of 2007-08 in the United States fully unleashed the centrifugal forces inside the Western capitalist system, and revealed a merciless endo-capitalist war, which had been already brewing underground in previous years.

The two major events as a result of this war, were the rise of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote. Both in the motherlands of neoliberalism.

What we see now in the United States with Trump, is a counter-attack by the part of the American capital against the globalist faction. The faction that is primarily consisted by the liberal plutocracy. Therefore, as the capitalist class splits, the capitalists around Trump are now taking with them the most conservative part of the American society, as they need electoral power. They have the money and their own media network. Their first big victory was Trump in the US presidency and this explains why the liberal media attack him so hard and so frequently.

On the other side of the Atlantic, we have a similar situation. The United Kingdom is probably now the most crucial field of the endo-capitalist war and the anti-globalist capitalists marked a first big victory through the outcome of the Brexit referendum.

Inside all that mess, the real Left has a unique opportunity. It has started to debunk the neoliberal myths in the US with Bernie Sanders. And an army of progressives are 'threatening' to take over the Democratic party. And the real Left actually took over the Labour leadership with Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.

Yet, perhaps the most important, is that several progressives in the US have shown that you don't need the support of big money to get elected. This has become a reality, especially after the unprecedented victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won the Democratic primary in New York's 14th congressional district against the establishment baron, Joe Crowley, last year.

So, now is the time for the most determined action by the real Left in the UK. If the Blairite faction inside the Labour party prevail and push Corbyn to capitulate to the will of the neoliberal establishment, the consequences would be incalculable. The Labour will suffer an unprecedented reliability damage and the Tories will appear as the only major political power, which is determined to deliver the will of the British people.

Yet, as has been mentioned, with Tories in power, even after a definite Brexit, we should not expect much of change for the British people. That's because, as we saw above, the conservative right has been taken over completely by the neoliberal doctrine, already since the 70s and 80s in the motherlands of neoliberalism: the US and the UK. The Tories have nothing to offer apart from the typical neoliberal policies that the EU dictates to the member-states. That's all they know and they are 100% devoted to this political perception.

On the contrary, a Labour government under the Corbyn leadership after Brexit will be much more flexible to apply progressive policies that will benefit most of the Britons. Of course, with UK's power structure and the elites still in an advantageous position - after decades of policies that limited the power of state institutions - it will not be a piece of cake. Yet, without the additional tight scrutiny of the EU neoliberal beast, it will be much easier.

So, Jeremy Corbyn needs to show much more determination. Now that the capitalist factions are ruthlessly fighting each other, he could exploit the moment and take the power in the UK. And as a real Leftist, he should respect the referendum result. And he should make it clear that he will do whatever necessary to get the UK out of the EU neoliberal totalitarianism.


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