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Oprah, the KKK, the Left and Total and Utter Confusion…

Reading Time: 12 minutes

OK…. I’m up for predictions. Predictions in the short term, and regarding the UK and Scotland first. One, more or all of the upcoming predictions may end up wrong, but regardless of that, there will be no revolution in the UK. Power will still remain with corporations and the land owning class who by way of birth, will still have an inordinate amount of access to power. And why? Well, because in politics, we have actors, spectators (left, right and centrist) and an almost hidden reality and all of these are possible because of the privilege and power  that money brings, and how much you are willing to do to ensure that power remains in your hands. That access to power. Ensuring that easy access to power continues for the very rich.

We live at a time when political debate, discussion, commentary, is odd because most people, even on the left, seem to be talking in different terms, about different things. Conspiracy theory and fake news permeates everything we see. The personal is even more political, as “selfie politics” – or identity politics, has everyone huffing and puffing and slamming doors. If its your “correct” opinion, it matters more than any unity. Here, now, parts of the left have been had in taking part in the right wing process that has created the newest fascist vehicle, “The Brexit Party,” which is not a political party; the new Tory Party under Boris Johnston, and the new opposition which is tory Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrat Party.  If you are unsure of how this was done, let’s not be intellectually snobby – learn from Oprah on how not to be used. Learn from Johnny Rotten’s realisation as a young Sex Pistol that he’d been cheated.

And some battle lines people stand along are actually battles long lost while the powerful have moved on to the next conquest. Neo-liberalism won… and is failing – we don’t need to defeat neo-liberalism, we need to replace it as it falls apart. 

The right already have a new form of fascism based on confusion (Lets call it “Surkov-ism” – from Wikipedia… In contemporary Russia, unlike the old USSR or present-day North Korea, the stage is constantly changing: the country is a dictatorship in the morning, a democracy at lunch, an oligarchy by suppertime, while, backstage, oil companies are expropriated, journalists killed, billions siphoned away. Surkov is at the centre of the show, sponsoring nationalist skinheads one moment, backing human rights groups the next. It’s a strategy of power based on keeping any opposition there may be constantly confused, a ceaseless shape-shifting that is unstoppable because it’s indefinable.-  Peter Pomerantsev, in “Putin’s Rasputin”, London Review of Books issue of 20 October 2011[8]

Surkov himself has said, “Russia is playing with the West’s minds”, “They don’t know how to deal with their own changed consciousness.”)). 

{Bannon, Surkov and the British poundshop Surkovite, Cummings.}

And a good few of our busted flush left would be leaders are now writing and videoing and podcasting on Surkov’s Sputnik and RT.  Compliant. Willing partners, or worse, fooled into thinking that the platform they punt their impotent… erm… I mean, important message really doesn’t matter.  I’ve written before about Bannon. Bannon and Surkov are interlinked

Anyway, for what it’s worth, my medium term predictions, which may date this article after December 2019… But at a guess, much of what I’ll say after the following predictions will not date until the left as a large entity, realise the ground on which they thought they were fighting is no longer the case. 

If you are reading this prior to December 2019, here you go. If you are reading this after December 2019, read and laugh at the simplicity of the age before the one you are living in. That is, the complex world of lie built on lie and confusion, and a news cycle that is as meaningless as the fifth season of Peaky Blinders or Star Wars episode two. 

{1 Labour won’t win the UK General election, but either hold on to what they have or  win a majority, but not overall control of Westminster. Worse still, if that prediction is wrong, one of the three, or all of the three, Tory parties will gain power.  This second option is the one they are hoping for. One a compliant and knowing media (both online and traditional) are working towards/ are complicit in.

 

2 The SNP take 40 seats (or more) in Scotland. I have no doubt about this.  Some think we are heading towards a 2015 type SNP victory. We’ll see.

 

3 The UK will leave the EU in a soft Brexit, rendering it powerless on the world stage bar its place in the NATO alliance (which is in the process of committing a Bannonite Trump led harakiri anyway). The Brexit process is right wing (it’s really still incredible to see small groups of “lexit” lefties, wedded to their slogans, still ignoring the fact that they’ve been had).  Regardless of the options above in Government, we will have immigration controls that are on the terms of the right. We will become a “free port.” And our vulnerable people will become more vulnerable, homelessness will increase, more children will go to school hungry. And the power of money in the hands of fewer people will just increase and increase and move to parts of the world seen as more “stable,” like China and Russia.

 

4 We have an independence referendum by 2022, and Scotland becomes independent.  And Scotland will mitigate the influences of the new way to manage confused consent as best or as bad as the Government we return.

 

5 None of the above matters. Without real, international, united dissent, totally outwith the control of the current political players, all of the above are tiptoeing around the wider goals of this new phase of capitalism. Regardless of the possible outcomes we have been presented with, its all tinkering around the edges.

 

The powerlessness of a leftish UK Labour government to make radical change could return power to the right in just a few years in the future. This is a simple fact while the rest of the left argue over purist nonsense and dissipate in a puff of identity politics which is increasingly exploited by the right, who really as controlling, corporate power couldn’t give two fucks who has a cock and who hasn’t, or who is GenX, Boomers or millenials (before I’m kicked around social media by the wrong microgroup of people, I am pro Trans rights).

Opposition to toryism/conservatism (which really isn’t the main enemy anymore) will come from other tories and right wing liberals meaning perpetual tory pro-capital corporate power, and this deference to hidden in plain sight corporate power will continue to wreak havoc in countries that try to block the walking corpse of neoliberalism, while a new, real corporate fascism stalks their resources. 

Unfortunately, at the present time, in the face of this, the old left idea of revolution leading to a better, more democratic and fair world has gone like the simplicity of the binary world of the Berlin Wall, and the left, with their archaic internal and alienating mechanisms, language and backward glancing dogmas have a huge part in that happening. 

The enclosure of the internet across the world by corporations, and corporate governments like China has ensured organised liberal/left ideology is crushed. I sometimes despair at the lefties for whom leftism/socialism is only one of their personal skins. But who am I to despair, when activism is sometimes in my pocket, leaking data to bad actors while I guffaw at Boris as presented by mainstream journalists brought up in the same rich, posh, Liberal households he was? Unfortunately the uncertainty and death of politics is creating blocks on how we use the Internet. And the law is being used to crush dissent (I recently helped organise an event at Faslane Peace camp using Facebook messenger, and our online blocks, checks and balances meant the police turned up at a meeting. The officers who came had no idea where the information they acted upon came from. China is rightly criticised for their blocks and data collection, as is Facebook etc. But our security systems are doing the very same things the corporations and dictatorships are). Our online activism MUST include changing online. Question our data both seen and stored. And think about how our reactions give control to corporations. 

{Tim Berners-Lee – to fix the internet, we must do it together.}

The dream of a truthful mass media, promised when the internet was in its infancy has gone.  Truth is hard to find. And the left, withdrawn into a world of arguments over “true, pure paths,” bears no relation to the left once built on Union power and communities of working class people and middle class people not classified into the shattering demographics identity politics and market analysts create.  The left changing allegiance from the class riven BBC to the Surkovist (Surkovian?), Bannonite Russia Today, Sputnik or (if you are an idiot amongst total idiots) Spiked Online, play their part in our destruction. 

{Dissent – curtailed.}

Hong Kong and Chile and Bolivia and other places, could become the call to large scale dissent, as could the rest of South America… Though South America, unfortunately, is also a  new test bed for the kind of politics that keep Putin, Trump and Assad where they are- manipulating, and managing dissent through confusion and lies. The virus of Surkov-ism is set to spread further.  The left actors in all countries in the world, the real activists, really need to look to the bigger picture. We must all be Oprah, or our dissent will be managed through further parcelling of our bubbles. 

This call to arms across classes could be, and at present is being, missed and criticised by a left in Europe stuck in dogma and positions created on top of lies, falsehoods and alternative histories. China will crush the dissenting students, office workers etc, and the Stalinism and Trotskyism still at the heart of ossifying groups here will ignore it or criticise the oppressed, in the way some still openly voice disappointment of the people who took hammers and picks to the Berlin Wall 30 years ago. 

We are heading towards a future of smaller nations where power is devolved and taxes are used to keep those smaller units “stable” (fenced in) in the face of a few larger world powers competing to exploit them. 

The illusion of democracy will continue, but that illusion will be revealed much more openly like a Penn and Teller routine on repeat, but people will still take part in it much in the way they do in voting for X Factor acts already groomed and set for stardom by Simon Cowell, who manipulates how people vote and how little, say the public really have in how he makes his next million. None of us have any real power outside the bubbles we create.  

{Debord’s Spectacle continues, writ large.}

I think the next revolution has to be one in which the Internet undergoes a massive change, directed by us… Not Zuckerberg. We need to stop being fenced in by corporations, and their PR departments.  Or at the very least, one in which we have a better understanding of how it is used by Bannon, Surkov, Putin, Trump etc and a better understanding of our place within the online world they have modelled. Education is key, and a new pedagogy of hope, a pedagogy against oppression and for dissent really must be created. In order to unplug and hack the chaotic Matrix created by a myriad of actors around these people and others, we really need to understand the Matrix. 

Just to add to the pessimism of all of that… as I’ve said, politics will only be needed by corporate power to ensure the population is compliant. Their “ideology” really, will differ from place to place. Expect here, UBI for example (as opposed to citizens income), free public transport, a version of “green” contraction etc all coming from the right in the coming years where and it keeps the population happy (compliant).  

{And so, again, to us.  The left.}

The left at present, have no end game any more. Ideology has collapsed across the world, and across politics. Swathes on the left look to past revolutions that really don’t fit in any longer with where we are. And they point to movements that are directionless where the taking of real power, economic levers and redistribution of resources  are concerned. And many of us have rejected the labyrinthine, claustrophobic, frustrating, archaic left party structures for being spectators, commentators and issue activists. Parties twist and pull at truth in order to confront other parties doing the same. Parties no longer seem to make real, big changes. And voices are lost within their unequal structures.

We need a new, bold, new democratic, agreed, truthful, green left vision. New citadels. New destinations and ones that ensure end games are more than giving a heater and an indoor toilet. People must expect agency and power and the ability to make decisions about their own lives, and ability to be heard equally in larger decision making processes. People must be taught to expect nothing less than responsibility for their communities and total freedom. And Truth must be our main strategy.  (I really shouldn’t have to say this, but memes that attack with selected “facts” and sometimes, lies, really need to be totally rejected by the left, regardless if they make our enemies look bad or not).

(A destination that is far beyond preserving what we have with added free Internet). 

Those in power – real power- at present really only have to support and control confusion. The new war is on truth.  The new war is no longer nation against nation. It is purely one in which confusion creates safe places for hugely rich people to go and to invest.  Confusion ensures THEIR solutions that we wouldn’t normally fall for. Look at Brexit. The problem and its solutions all come from the right. And I fear it will ensure perpetual right wing Governments (perhaps not doing very much, but allowing corporate power the freedom it needs, and the oppressed, crushed, cowed and in part, enthusiastically divided population that ensure its perpetuation). Lexit was nothing but an Oprah meets the KKK moment. 

{Brexit (lexit) has created a problem and solutions – all from the right.}

Look at Egypt. Their revolution, which began on online forums, was rudderless. Without real ideas other than that of, “we want change.” The people kicked out Mubarak. But what took power was  not what the online revolutionaries who stepped out from behind their keyboards into Tahrir Square really wanted, and in the end they welcomed in a new dictatorship to get rid of what had stepped into the vacuum created by their having no end game. The same with the climate campers and what  was the Occupy movement etc. No end game. No vision as to what would be better… what will satisfy them and make the world we dream of. And with no end game, the movement – and hope – dies. 

{Scotland/ UK}

The left here, has many wee groups wedded to the past, and this is part of why our left crashed. Corbyn, I’m sorry to say, is part of the problem as well. Old dogma (including old right wing dogma) that seeks to control on the old ways, is dead. To control nowadays, the powerful sow confusion and control the groups that offer solutions both left and right as much as they can. 

{Off putting, Left labarynthine, alienating structure is dead.}

The left really has to move beyond Stalinism, Trotskyism and other old, analogue “designs for life,” and look to how we engage, how we include people, how we democratise and use the new ways of communication, and why we will do those things. 

What is the end game? A warm house in an isolating, alienation city/system? No plastic in our sea’s, while we build walls around nations physically, mentally and online?

{“Alienation expresses itself in different ways in different people. It is to be found in what our courts often describe as the criminal antisocial behaviour of a section of the community. It is expressed by those young people who want to opt out of society, by drop-outs, the so-called maladjusted, those who seek to escape permanently from the reality of society through intoxicants and narcotics. Of course, it would be wrong to say it was the sole reason for these things. But it is a much greater factor in all of them than is generally recognised,” said Jimmy Reid.}

Alienation is powerlessness, and that alienation is created within the very organisations that should be wiping it out. Be the change you want to see in the world is not a motto of any of our current “democratic” socialist parties. 

Alienation is found in the online shopper and the need to connect through bubbles and across  the Venn diagrams created by Facebook, twitter etc. Jimmy Reid spoke of it as the post war consensus and economy began to crash. 

{Jimmy Reid spoke of alienation in 1972…}

Online is a huge changer and so is the enclosure of online (which I wrote about for Red Pepper back in 2007). The corporate control of it of the enclosure is almost complete. The early nineties “60s hippy” view of the internet only exists in bubbles behind walls created by the corporations nowadays. The Internet we hoped for died with AOL, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The selfie killed the fight for socialism. The dick pic takes up a huge amount of data passing across the globe. Democracy, discussion and debate much less so. 

Conspiracy, enclosure, corporate control and dogma have all helped hide reality. 

{Being part of a rewrite.}

We need a new vision (of course, a real vision will give everyone a real, powerful say in its creation, execution and in the resulting new society, or else it is doomed to failure). We need a new, agreed, manifesto of the oppressed and of hope – one we all participate in and one not drawn up on our behalf and read to us for us to sign. 

 

How do we do it? We need a vision that both ensures redistribution and democracy without violence or walls. I’d really love a series of articles from people  on those themes. Articles of activism, dissent and hope. Articles we can all discuss, and critique without feeling silenced or attacked. And articles that help give voice to others who for what ever reason cannot take part. 

 

I think real lasting change can only come about across generations and class. Blaming post war babies for woes really does not help. We must engage with all. Extinction Rebellion (XR), and occupy were/are promoted as youth movements, but those from those movements I have met come from all generations. In the want to change things, let’s not silence each other.  XR, hopefully, will get better as it is trying to create better connections across the world, but at present it’s amorphic structure is hugely open to being manipulated, and mistakes. None of the youth movements of the past thirty years have made any real attempt at addressing the world as it is, and changing its structures. They have concentrated on their own form and internal communication… the lessons from these experiments in social dissent really need to be part of what we try to build, but what comes next must have much more than a mediated crowd or a human microphone, but must contain versions of these. 

Yes, young people see problems in new ways and highlight them, but many others do too. The luggage of being older may come in handy, but good pedagogy within our movement can ensure what gets in our way, can be cast aside without the feeling of failure_ without the worry of having to say, “sorry, we were wrong,” (a huge difficulty across the left). It takes mass movements across many issues, Internet bubbles, groups and Venn diagrams, age groups, classes and countries, with a worked out, agreed plan, to actually make change.

 

{How and when can we start? }

 

By Neil Scott
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