Richard Hil, Mullumbimby
Boyd Kellner’s muscular comments about the need to build a ‘political class struggle ideology’ rather than offering ‘feelgood ideas’ to overthrow corporate capitalism remind me of the sort of politics – ironically enough – that preceded full-blown neoliberalism. I should know; I was a member of the International Socialists in the UK during the early 70s.
Our revolutionary activism was head-banging fun but it didn’t get us very far even though we thought we had the ‘correct line’ – Thatcher got elected in 1979!
What we forgot to do was include a cross-section of people in our conversations. I think we were too busy being ideological purists!
With respect, Boyd, I think you miss the point: we need a compelling, persuasive story about a different future, not an ideological straitjacket which, in my experience, invites rigidity and dogma.
Yes, the junk ideas that underpin greedy capitalism need to be exposed, but then we require a set of coherent ideas, principles, and an alluring story to guide our thinking about the sort of future we want. It needs to be an inclusive story that embraces everyone, and that doesn’t mean reducing everything to class – I’m afraid, Boyd, that so-called ‘identity politics’ still matter.
We also need to think harder about how we create meaningful relationships, even with those people we disagree with.
People will act on the basis of their lived experiences, hopes and aspirations – on their dreams and utopian ideas. What they want to hear is that life doesn’t have to be like this, that fairness, a clean environment, peace, and real democracy (free of corporate influence) have discernible benefits for all.