A message to the future

When the world is looking for someone to blame for whatever comes next, the temptation will be because Corbyn used austerity, to blame the poor. No.

I want it noted here and now before events unfold that this is what Corbyn offered.

He offered absolution to the middle classes. He offered a faux identity as socialist to elite students and he offered the middle classes absolution for the austerity they consented to. As in pre-war Germany, Corbyn appeals to the disaffected middle classes. And it is they who abuse on his behalf.

 

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How the worst get on top: Your Guide to the Labour Left. Written in 1944.

An excerpt from Chapter 10, Road to Serfdom (University of Chicago Press, 1944)]

All power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Lord Acton

We must now examine a belief from which many who regard the advent of totalitarianism as inevitable derive consolation and which seriously weakens the resistance of many others who would oppose it with all their might if they fully apprehended its nature. It is the belief that the most repellent features of the totalitarian regimes are due to the historical accident that they were established by groups of blackguards and thugs. Surely, it is argued, if in Germany the creation of a totalitarian regime brought the Streichers and Killingers, the Leys and Heines, the Himmlers and Heydrichs to power, this may prove the viciousness of the German character, but not that the rise of such people is the necessary consequence of a totalitarian system. Why should it not be possible that the same sort of system, if it be necessary to achieve important ends, be run by decent people for the good of the community as a whole?

We must not deceive ourselves into believing that all good people must be democrats or will necessarily wish to have a share in the government. Many, no doubt, would rather entrust it to somebody whom they think more competent. Although this might be unwise, there is nothing bad or dishonorable in approving a dictatorship of the good. Totalitarianism, we can already hear it argued, is a powerful system alike for good and evil, and the purpose for which it will be used depends entirely on the dictators. And those who think that it is not the system which we need fear, but the danger that it might be run by bad men, might even be tempted to forestall this danger by seeing that it is established in time by good men.

No doubt an English “fascist” system would greatly differ from the Italian or German models; no doubt if the transition were effected without violence, we might expect to get a better type of leader. And if I had to live under a fascist system I have no doubt that I would rather live under one run by Englishmen than under one run by anybody else. Yet all this does not mean that, judged on our present standards, a British fascist system would in the end prove so very different or much less intolerable than its prototypes.

There are strong reasons for believing that what to us appear the worst features of the existing totalitarian systems are not accidental byproducts, but phenomena which totalitarianism is certain sooner or later to produce. Just as the democratic statesman who sets out to plan economic life will soon be confronted with the alternative of either assuming dictatorial powers or abandoning his plans, so the totalitarian dictator would soon have to choose between disregard of ordinary morals and failure. It is for this reason that the unscrupulous and uninhibited are likely to be more successful in a society tending towards totalitarianism. Who does not see this has not yet grasped the full width of the gulf which separates totalitarianism from a liberal regime, the utter difference between the whole moral atmosphere under collectivism and the essentially individualist Western civilization.

The “moral basis of collectivism” has, of course, been much debated in the past; but what concerns us here is not its moral basis but its moral results. The usual discussions of the ethical aspects of collectivism refer to the question whether collectivism is demanded by existing moral convictions; or what moral convictions would be required if collectivism is to produce the hoped-for results. Our question, however, is what moral views will be produced by a collectivist organisation of society, or what views are likely to rule it. The interaction between morals and institutions may well have the effect that the ethics produced by collectivism will be altogether different from the moral ideals that lead to the demand for collectivism. While we are apt to think that, since the desire for a collectivist system springs from high moral motives, such a system must be the breeding ground for the highest virtues, there is, in fact, no reason why any system should necessarily enhance those attitudes which serve the purpose for which it was designed. The ruling moral views will depend partly on the qualities that will lead individuals to success in a collectivist or totalitarian system, and partly on the requirements of the totalitarian machinery.

* * * * *

That socialism can be put into practice only by methods which most socialists disapprove is, of course, a lesson learnt by many social reformers in the past. The old socialist parties were inhibited by their democratic ideals, they did not possess the ruthlessness required for the performance of their chosen task. It is characteristic that both in Germany and Italy the success of Fascism was preceded by the refusal of the socialist parties to take over the responsibilities of government. They were unwilling wholeheartedly to employ the methods to which they had pointed the way. They still hoped for the miracle of a majority agreeing on a particular plan for the organisation of the whole of society; others had already learnt the lesson that in a planned society the question can no longer be on what a majority of the people agree, but what is the largest single group whose members agree sufficiently to make unified direction of all affairs possible; or, if no such group large enough to enforce its views exists, how it can be created and who will succeed in creating it.

There are three main reasons why such a numerous and strong group with fairly homogeneous views is not likely to be formed by the best but rather by the worst elements of any society. By our standards the principles on which such a group would be selected will be almost entirely negative.

In the first instance, it is probably true that in general the higher the education and intelligence of individuals becomes, the more their views and tastes are differentiated and the less likely they are to agree on a particular hierarchy of values. It is a corollary of this that if we wish to find a high degree of uniformity and similarity of outlook, we have to descend to the regions of lower moral and intellectual standards where the more primitive and “common” instincts and tastes prevail. This does not mean that the majority of people have low moral standards; it merely means that the largest group of people whose values are very similar are the people with low standards. It is, as it were, the lowest common denominator which unites the largest number of people. If a numerous group is needed, strong enough to impose their views on the values of life on all the rest, it will never be those with highly differentiated and developed tastes it will be those who form the “mass” in the derogatory sense of the term, the least original and independent, who will be able to put the weight of their numbers behind their particular ideals.

If, however, a potential dictator had to rely entirely on those whose uncomplicated and primitive instincts happen to be very similar, their number would scarcely give sufficient weight to their endeavors. He will have to increase their numbers by converting more to the same simple creed.

Here comes in the second negative principle of selection: he will be able to obtain the support of all the docile and gullible, who have no strong convictions of their own but are prepared to accept a ready-made system of values if it is only drummed into their ears sufficiently loudly and frequently. It will be those whose vague and imperfectly formed ideas are easily swayed and whose passions and emotions are readily aroused who will thus swell the ranks of the totalitarian party.

It is in connection with the deliberate effort of the skilful demagogue to weld together a closely coherent and homogeneous body of supporters that the third and perhaps most important negative element of selection enters. It seems to be almost a law of human nature that it is easier for people to agree on a negative programme, on the hatred of an enemy, on the envy of those better off, than on any positive task. The contrast between the “we” and the “they”, the common fight against those outside the group, seems to be an essential ingredient in any creed which will solidly knit together a group for common action. It is consequently always employed by those who seek, not merely support of a policy, but the unreserved allegiance of huge masses. From their point of view it has the great advantage of leaving them greater freedom of action than almost any positive programme. The enemy, whether he be internal like the “Jew” or the “Kulak”, or external, seems to be an indispensable requisite in the armoury of a totalitarian leader.

That in Germany it was the Jew who became the enemy till his place was taken by the “plutocracies” was no less a result of the anti-capitalist resentment on which the whole movement was based than the selection of the Kulak in Russia. In Germany and Austria the Jew had come to be regarded as the representative of capitalism because a traditional dislike of large classes of the population for commercial pursuits had left these more readily accessible to a group that was practically excluded from the more highly esteemed occupations. It is the old story ofthe alien race being admitted only to the less respected trades and then being hated still more for practising them. The fact that German anti-semitism and anti-capitalism spring from the same root is of great importance for the understanding of what has happened there, but this is rarely grasped by foreign observers.

* * * * *

One of the inherent contradictions of the collectivist philosophy is, that while basing itself on the humanistic morals which individualism has developed, it is practicable only within a relatively small group. That socialism so long as it remains theoretical, is internationalist, while as soon as it is put into practice, whether in Russia or in Germany, it becomes violently nationalist, is one of the reasons why “liberal socialism” as most people in the Western world imagine it is purely theoretical, while the practice of socialism is everywhere totalitarian. [1] Collectivism has no room for the wide humanitarianism of liberalism but only for the narrow particularism of the totalitarian.

If the “community” or the state are prior to the individual, if they have ends of their own independent of and superior to those of the individuals, only those individuals who work for the same ends can be regarded as members of the community. It is a necessary consequence of this view that a person is respected only as a member of the group, that is, only if and in so far as he works for the recognized common ends, and that he derives his whole dignity only from this membership and not merely from being man. Indeed, the very concepts of humanity and therefore of any form of internationalism are entirely products of the individualist view of man, and there can be no place for them in a collectivist system of thought. [2]

* * * * *

It would, however, be highly unjust to regard the masses of the totalitarian people as devoid of moral fervor because they give unstinted support to a system which to us seems a denial of most moral values. For the great majority of them the opposite is probably true: the intensity of the moral emotions behind a movement like that of National-Socialism or communism can probably be compared only to those of the great religious movements of history. Once you admit that the individual is merely a means to serve the ends of the higher entity called society or the nation, most of those features of totalitarian regimes which horrify us follow of necessity.

From the collectivist standpoint intolerance and brutal suppression of dissent, the complete disregard of the life and happiness of the individual, are essential and unavoidable consequences of this basic premise, and the collectivist can admit this and at the same time claim that his system is superior to one in which the “selfish” interests of the individual are allowed to obstruct the full realisation of the ends the community pursues. When German philosophers again and again represent the striving for personal happiness as itself immoral and only the fulfilment of an imposed duty as praiseworthy, they are perfectly sincere, however difficult this may be to understand for those who have been brought up in a different tradition.

Where there is one common all-overriding end there is no room for any general morals or rules. To a limited extent we ourselves experience this in wartime. But even war and the greatest peril had led in this country only to a very moderate approach to totalitarianism, very little setting aside of all other values in the service of a single purpose. But where a few specific ends dominate the whole of society, it is inevitable that occasionally cruelty may become a duty, that acts which revolt all our feeling, such as the shooting of hostages or the killing of the old or sick, should be treated as mere matters of expediency, that the compulsory uprooting and transportation of hundreds of thousands should become an instrument of policy approved by almost everybody except the victims, or that suggestions like that of a “conscription of women for breeding purposes” can be seriously contemplated. There is always in the eyes of the collectivist a greater goal which these acts serve and which to him justifies them because the pursuit of the common end of society can know no limits in any rights or values of any individual.

But while for the mass of the citizens of the totalitarian state it is often unselfish devotion to an ideal, although one that is repellent to us, which makes them approve and even perform such deeds, this cannot be pleaded for those who guide its policy. To be a useful assistant in the running of a totalitarian state it is not enough that a man should be prepared to accept specious justification of vile deeds, he must himself be prepared actively to break every moral rule he has ever known if this seems necessary to achieve the end set for him. Since it is the supreme leader who alone determines the ends, his instruments must have no moral convictions of their own. They must, above all, be unreservedly committed to the person of the leader; but next to this the most important thing is that they should be completely unprincipled and literally capable of everything. They must have no ideals of their own which they want to realise, no ideas about right or wrong which might interfere with the intentions of the leader.

There is thus in the positions of power little to attract those who hold moral beliefs of the kind which in the past have guided the European peoples, little which could compensate for the distastefulness of many of the particular tasks, and little opportunity to gratify any more idealistic desires, to recompense for the undeniable risk, the sacrifice of most of the pleasures of private life and of personal independence which the posts of great responsibility involve. The only tastes which are satisfied are the taste for power as such, the pleasure of being obeyed and of being part of a well-functioning and immensely powerful machine to which everything else must give way.

Yet while there is little that is likely to induce men who are good by our standards to aspire to leading positions in the totalitarian machine, and much to deter them, there will be special opportunities for the ruthless and unscrupulous. There will be jobs to be done about the badness of which taken by themselves nobody has any doubt, but which have to be done in the service of some higher end, and which have to be executed with the same expertness and efficiency as any others. And as there will be need for actions which are bad in themselves, and which all those still influenced by traditional morals will be reluctant to perform, the readiness to do bad things becomes a path to promotion and power. The positions in a totalitarian society in which it is necessary to practice cruelty and intimidation, deliberate deception and spying, are numerous.

Neither the Gestapo nor the administration of a concentration camp, neither the Ministry of Propaganda nor the SA or SS (or their Italian or Russian counterparts) are suitable places for the exercise of humanitarian feelings. Yet it is through positions like these that the road to the highest positions in the totalitarian state leads. It is only too true when a distinguished American economist concludes from a similar brief enumeration of the duties of the authorities of a collectivist state that they would have to do these things whether they wanted to or not: and the probability of the people in power being individuals who would dislike the possession and exercise of power is on a level with the probability that an extremely tenderhearted person would get the job of whipping-master in a slave plantation. [10]

Corpses of the poor as fuel for Corbyn’s middle class movement.

THis is Kate Belgrave, asking some serious questions about Corbyn’s middle class movement. Apparently, credit card debt, the debt you can default on without losing anything, is a big problem. The debt that came with austerity is not, because the poor are fuel for a midle class movement and middle class stuents have credit cards.

Welfare reform that directly undermined the rule of law and citizenship, that directly breached responsibilities laid out to children and equality legislation, was never discussed in Corbyn’s fake anti-cuts movement. Because the purpose of the left is to assist the right in keep ‘the poor’ as objects. People died, Universal Credit continued, and Corbyn upheld those tax credit changes that Ian Duncan Smith found unpalatable and resigned over.

Corbyn’s acolytes didn’t do this accidentally. James Butler, Aaron Bastani, Matt Zarb, friends of Laurie Penny, Owen Jones, the elite clique of the Oxbridge left who identified as having the right to build media careers off austerity, used intimidation and abuse of welfare claimants to subordinate discussion of austerity so they could do this.

People died in the 10s of thousands while Corbynites abused anyone discussing the flawed political consensus not only underpinning austerity, but the last thirty years of institutional erosion. They used physical intimidation and abuse to take away people’s ability to fight austerity and they showed that elite social closure has also taken the power of labour. UNISON and PCS don’t know we are in system failure, and are currently using their members money to prevent discussion of that system failure and channel it into political capital for a middle class movement.

Elite social closure is not new. Labour’s legacy identity as representative of the WORKING class, meant they participated with gusto in the abuse of those perceived outside that on benefits for the entire duration of the post war period. The expansion of welfare spending to the working population, demonstrated our cash transfer system was primarily a tool tro strip citizenship and Corbyn used a fake anti-cuts movement to prevent anyone challenging the complete removal of citizenship from the entire welfare dependent working population.

THis seemed safe. Corbyn had our trade unions, he had our political party, he had elite thugs to intimidate and abuse anyone who objected, and yet it wasnt. We are in system failure that means we will be forced to address political consensus over 30 years and Corbynism will go down as an example of a movement which attempted to strip citizenship from the working class completely, and used intimidation an abuse to do it. Centrism plus abuse.

This Laboufr conference has been defined by calls to expel jews from the party, John McDonnell and Paul Mason demonstrating austerity was a way they could relive their youth and they are laying out the 1983 manifesto to demonstrate HOW they have upheld the neo liberal consensus for its lifespan.

We watched Corbyn revitalised by the deaths of Grenfell, as he worked carefully to gain as much benefit for himself out of that tragedy as possible. Corbyn is worried about inequality as long as the poor understand the ONLY political representation he will ever allow them is their corpses and those corpses will only ever be fuel to for giveaways to the middle class students he can convince to abuse women and jews on his behalf.

Tara Hewitt: A lesson on gender and violence.

Tara, you appear not to understand something. Intersectionality is about power structures, it begins and ends with the routine violence that blights the lives of women e and is theory that is about trying to understand the impact of that.

The thing that defines men and women, the tangible thing beyond our genitals and reproductive organs, is violence. Male pattern violence. Gender is not an innate inner feeling, its that women have to live with the fear of violence an have to develop risk assessment and management skills just to live. Its why we have feminism. CHoosing violence against women is choosing your gender, because you become part of the power structures that define it. When you force women to recognise you as a risk, you force them to reject you as a woman, and you choose your gender regardless of how you identify. Women cannot identify out of living with violence and if you choose to contribute to it, that’s your choice.

I find the pressure on trans women to ‘pass’ visibly, a bit horrible. I don’t think any woman should feel so much pressure to fit a male idea of femininity an I think it must be, and know it is an appalling pressure. I don’t think trans women should have to o that, I think you shoul dbe able to expect to be treated with respect regardless of make up, clothes, and not assessed on how closely you fit a male ideal of feminine. Its revolting and am sorry trans women have to deal with it.

But Tara let me explain something to you, women have to live with violence. The threat of it. We learn very young an learn through our lives. THis is how gender shapes our lives, its what it is. Us learning to do that. It does not matter how well your eyeliner is applied, or how you pass visually, the moment you demonstrate you are violent, sexually violent, or support violence and sexual violence against women, we see you. You cease to pass, because we have to manage the risk you pose. THAT is womanhood.

Tonight you accuse me of being transphobic in a narcissistic hissy fit after you threatene to have someone fired for being able to recognise male violence. Tara, we can ALL recognise male violence.

I thank you for being clear you support male violence, I thank you for being clear you will try to get people sacked for being able to recognise male violence and I thank you for doing so publicly. Feminism is about that violence and so am glad you have publicly been clear you are not a feminist because you support violence against women, that should save everyone some time.

I am glad you retweeted me explaining this to you, so you have it on your feed, even though you blocked me after trying to incite a pile on. No Tara, am not a transphobe, I recognise male violence, you clearly don’t, this is something that means you dont pass, because women have to recognise that. And do. Legislation never covered my perception and there is no equality legislation that means I have to stop assessing risk. Sorry.

It really doesn’t matter to me how you dress, if you are living as a woman, getting the shit for it, you are one. BUt when you decide you are contributing to male violence, you don’t pass any more. You telling people you think objectin to male violence is transphobia is useful, thank you.

The backlash begins

So thanks to the efforts of the posh left and the thugs on twitter, the backlash against trans women has begun. Believe it or not the inequality trans women face is not lesbians refusing to reclassify lesbian to include dick, the cotton ceiling, the right to have every woman on the planet place you at the centre of her identity, the right to openly fantasise about murdering and raping women. Because that’s the needs of psychotic misogynists who should be locked up.

Trans women face acute inequality, poverty, vulnerability to male violence, while also managing the gender dypshoria that means they have had to go through terrifying journeys to begin to live in a way they can be comfortable. I have never actually met a misogynist trans woman, this is a new thing to me.

Because in the UK Laurie Penny decided her misogyny and the violent misogyny of her friends was feminism, 60 year old women are beaten up for discussing gender. Laurie’s friends particularly like to find ways to frighten and threaten women. The backlash has begun. The Sun, the Mail, the misogynist press have found an in. Violent misogynists working together. And once all the progress trans women have made has been undone, once that can’t be fixed, our transtrending unstable misogynists will wander back, like Sean Faye, to being male laywers, and privileged white men, and trans women will be left in a worse state than they were before. Take a bow. Well fucking done.

.@YouveBeenFisted: A warning about this twitter user

He searches twitter for mentions of Jeremy Corbyn, and if they are made by women he abuses them. He bonds with his friends by intimidating women online, I don’t know about offline. He then reports the women he abuses to twitter to get their accounts suspended. A warning. This man l2RWrPqB.jpg is the type of thug Jeremy Corbyn is using to triangulate on welfare cuts and Brexit.

He solicited repeated abuse of me, solicited other people to abuse me and is clearly mentally unwell and seeking to take it out on women. So this post is a warning about htis account.

‘I identify as’

The phrase exposed by 2017. The year we learned about narcissism.

Social media is interesting. With old media, you create an image and you broadcast it. One way. No feedback. Social media has produced an interesting hybrid. I identify as.

We all lash out to protect identity, no more so than when that identity is false. I identify as socialist. I identify as the rightful representative of the working class. I identify as this and if you exist as evidence this is false, I will lash out. I identify as having won that election. I identify as this, and thefore I am. I can identify as this on twitter, and therefore it is true. Its fairly brittle. Its not sustainable. As a place to observe narcissistic reflex its fucking fascinating.

I think we are about to see the limits of identity. And ‘I identify as’ is the phrase that dies in 2017.

State of British politics: 25/09/2017

Phil Hammond sent a text to Boris Johnson, saying he would back Bojo for leader. The government is falling apart over Brexit. Labour leadership are trying to marginalise MP’s and using conference to continue with the democratic centralist project. Laura Kuennsberg, a female BBC journalist, has to have a personal bodyguard at Labour conference, because Labour members believe journalists who do not show absolute obedience deserve to be hurt.

Anti-semitic literature is being handed out. And we are all pretending that an anti-semitic party, who see democracy as a tactic they are well past needing, and Theresa’s May’s power grab legislation, plus serious instability, isn’t a terrifying proposition with these people on the horizon. Triangulation over Brexit and welfare cuts is not centrism if women are threatened with violence, and you scream about ‘the jews’.

Brexit will not be discussed at conference, because leadership has more important issues at stake. Like this project.

Wow.

This is the home of the Mother of Parliaments and this is what the space looks like between the post war settlement ending, and whatever comes next.