Stop Tinkering

I love Monbiot’s informed and erudite assessment – always have. He describes the problems and the challenge superbly well. But, and you knew I’d be raising a but, his answer is more reformism in a time when there’s no chance of reform.
The word he chooses, always not to use is Class. Rather than focus upon a few oligarchs we have to understand that they are part of a class, the mutually supporting grouping of Capitalists much broader than just the oligarchs – probably some 3-4 million in the UK who wield power and have a managerial layer below them tied to their bidding, wielding daily misery upon the majority: bullying in the workplace or Job Centre; lowering wages towards the minimum possible; lengthening the working hours to the maximum possible whilst disrupting domestic routines with call-ins and Rosita changes at the flip of a fancy; raising the rents three times a year and calling-in the boys to evict anyone who questions; triaging health and social services to ration provision to ensure the most sick and elderly are gotten-rid-of asap.
Unless you start and end from the recognition of class war you build a new lie – meet the new democracy, same as the old “democracy’. Let’s be clear, if workers – those who produce wealth in a society – have little or no say over what they produce, how they produce it, why they produce and for who, and then receive only a minority of the value of their labour, there is no democracy. Talk of a new voting system to upgrade Parliament is irrelevant. And mirroring the lie of Parliamentary democracy by trickling-down the same system to the Shires won’t do much either. We are not living in a democracy.
Universal suffrage – a real and equal say in everything that affects your life – is a class issue, always has been. And we are in a class war with the balance of forces strongly in the hands of the ruling class – the Capitalist Class. To speak of reforming the parliamentary system in such circumstances is a non-starter – they’re in charge and they won’t have it (remember Corbyn) except as a chimera, a light on the horizon, a bluff to allow business as usual, a foil.
And there’s the rub. There can be no business as usual. We cannot have, there cannot be, another Chartist movement of millions spending the next decades building a new programme of workers rights inside capitalism, simply because there’s not another 70-100 years in which to win it. We are experiencing the global climate catastrophe and it’s accelerating (and the ruling class is aiding and abetting its chaos).
Fuel prices a killing our social infrastructure now. Electricity blackouts are forecast this winter. In less than 10 years we won’t have PR on our minds, but food scarcity from destroyed harvests and war-impacted supply chains. In the next five years we’ll have militarised borders killing by various means the climate refugees seeking refuge here – with a militarised government and punitive set of social controls required to enforce it all. Already we have political prisoners of conscience (as defined by the UN) incarcerated across the UK for daring to raise the the climate crisis at all, mirrored across the world in the government killings of climate activists.
The official climate conference is to be held, this year and next, in Police States where military authorities decide who can protest and how…and the same laws are in place here to be used as soon as needed – tagging targeted individuals who have been on a protest within the past 5 years in order to arrest and imprison them should they be thought to “intend” to attend another one. That’s now, here, this England.
Talk of PR and long-term campaign of parliamentary reform is stuff and nonsense. It is, in a word, liberalism. You may prefer the word reformism, but look at the history of liberalism in Britain and understand my use of the term – pejoratively of course. You are seeking solutions within the crisis-ridden, corrupt and decaying Capitalist System – there are none. The only hope the Capitalists have of their own survival is to ramp-up as much private wealth as possible to build their sea-walls and bunkers by extracting as much surplus wealth as possible from us – the world working class. Capitalism can only survive so long as the working class accepts the pain and torture of the exploitation, repression and oppression required for the rich few to stay rich.
There is only one solution – revolution. And all that is happening – the deepening of racism and fascism, the militarisation of society, the build-up of armaments and spread of war, the mass famine and forced migration from floods, the deepening health crisis – will ensure people rise-up, fight-back. We are rising-up over-and-over again, everywhere, even if we are lions mostly led by donkeys.
But if any of your efforts, any of them, are to be directed at distracting and diverting that anger and courage into the cul-de-sac of proportional representation then I’m afraid you will be culpable for the weakening of the power on our side. Would you split the strength and collectivity on our side capable of over-throwing the wretched oligarchs and their despicable cling-on politicians, between the falsehoods of reform and the only real chance of survival, socialist revolution for universal distribution of resources based upon need and not profit?
Have you really any belief, George, given your deep scientific understanding of climate science, that a campaign like PR has any chance of doing anything anytime soon enough? I don’t think so. You care. Most of us care – that doesn’t make you special. We share the same world and the same biology.
My conclusion is that this is a call in desperation. You have never embraced revolution. You know the reality of social upheaval as do we all, and would wish for almost anything other the turmoil of class war. But in reality its coming anyway and you’re probably going to get in the way if you don’t join the call for real democracy, workers democracy – unite the strikes, take to the streets, occupy the factories, defend local communities, all power to local workers councils – defy the power of Parliament and the State. It’s time!

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