Rightwing-Populism: The failure of leftwing identity politics

 :: General :: Theory

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Rightwing-Populism: The failure of leftwing identity politics

Post by Rapaille on Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:20 am

In the 21st century we witness the advance of a new kind of rightwing-populism, which spreads itself throughout Europe. In the Netherlands this is currently represented by the PVV, in the UK by the UKIP, in Belgium by the N-VA, the FN in France, the FPÖ in Austria, and so on. This rightwing populism is characterized mainly by an emphatic anti-establishment position, a euro-critical attitude and agitation against immigrants; mainly Muslim. In a relatively short period of time they managed to get a substantial part of the electorate behind them and so became a serious threat for the more vested political parties. To what do they owe this success?      

Now the economic crisis is becoming bigger and bigger and its disastrous consequences become more apparent, the discontent against the establishment increases continuously. Now there is less and less to divide, it seems that the fight for survival is going to be fought along ethnic lines: that's the heritage of multiculturalism. This is where this new rightwing populism finds its strength.    

Capitalism is in crisis. The economic bubble which was created by finance capital throughout the last decades has burst and has thrown the world in an unprecedented economic recession. Where a large segment of the European proletariat until now had to enjoy a middleclass life, this seems to be definitively over under the pressure of austerity and welfare cuts. The workers of Europe are the great losers of the globalization. Their existence is directly threatened by the protracted de-industrialization, they became otiose because of the rapidly increasing automatization and outplacement, and feel "alienated" by the ever further advancing mass-immigration. The EU project has also been one big disillusion.

At the same time the vested politicians, both left and right in the political spectra, continue to make empty promises. The failure of the traditional right has paved the way for the rise of a new kind of rightwing populism, which anticipates on the prospect of an age of even more austerity and welfare cuts. On the other hand the left completely fails in offering a concrete answer for the current crisis. Although in the past the left was primarily concerned with the welfare of the working class, these days the left seems to be lost in a helpless "identity politics". Right has already won the decisive economic struggle in Europe a long time ago and implicated its neoliberal policy throughout the continent. As a consolation prize the left still enjoys a certain ideological dominance, which is mainly characterized by anti-racism, anti-nationalism and a devotion to the European Union.    

It’s not surprising that this ideology is perfectly in one line with globalization tailored to the requirements of the international finance capital. Since the mass import of cheap labour forces from foreign countries in favor of maximizing profits for capital, the introduction of multiculturalism became an undeniable fact in Europe. At the same time the left endured an identity crisis, in which the socio-economic discourse was expelled and the emphasis was more and more laid on the cultural and moral aspects of racism, instead of its underlying consequences (the class struggle). In this new 'anti-racist' identity politics of the left all 'white' was bad, so all 'non-white' had to be good. With this they only acted as the defender of ethnic minorities, instead of the defender of the entire working class (no matter what origin, or colour of skin). In the age of guilt policy and self-hatred that followed, the left managed to alienate a big part of the working class, which was confronted with the daily reality of multiculturalism.    

'Anti-racists' accuse the majority of the population to carry on racism, without putting the emphasis on the underlying economic reasons for it. They moralize and demonize like crazy. They don't even try to hide their discontent for the ‘white’ working class anymore. Multiculturalism has displaced social solidarity and polarized the community. People no longer think in terms of collective action to advance a certain set of political ideals, but more and more in terms of ethnicity or culture. Although they don’t like to acknowledge it, the contemporary left with its pseudo-ideology greatly contributes to this development. The unconditional support of 'anti-racists' for ethnic minorities to profess their own culture, while at the same time denying the white majority the same, has alienated a large part of the workers from the left and driven them right in the hands of the rightwing populists.    

The vacuum created by the left has been the ideal recruitment grounds for the new rightwing-populist political parties. Their support consists mainly from workers who stood on the wrong side of social change. They have a hard time to keep up in these difficult times and they feel a stranger in a society in which they are left out from the political conversation. Both the political parties on the left and right have abandoned them. However just like the identity politics of the left, the rightwing-populists also put the emphasis on moral and cultural aspects, while completely ignoring the underlying economic causes. The rightwing on their turn blame 'the immigrants' and the seat of power in Brussels for the crisis. While the crisis is solely the direct result of the capitalist system. Rightwing populists anticipate on the sentiments of a great part of the population, who’ve seen the world they grew up in disappear. However despite their false promises, these rightwing-populists can also not offer the workers social justice or a just society.    

That in this time of crisis austerity, welfare cuts and growing inequality more and more people turn towards rightwing-populism should sound the alarm to each revolutionary. In a time that class contradictions are rapidly increasing, class consciousness seems to get replaced for a reactionary and misleading identity politics. The ruling class has always relied on a strategy of "divide and conquer" to stay in power by dividing and setting up the workers against each other - both the left and the right way around.  However the workers just have one real enemy; the ruling class who exploits and oppresses them.

Class contradictions are no side issue, they are the most important product of the exploitation; the driving power behind the capitalist system. Both exploitation and oppression are rooted in capitalism itself. Through exploitation the ruling class robs the workers from the prosperity they produce and by oppression the capitalist minority is able to rule the working masses. Therefore as workers we have one and the same enemy. Do we really want to create a just society on the principles of social justice, then we have to show solidarity with all those people who are oppressed and exploited by capitalism. This also means that we shouldn't let ourselves be misled by false prophets such as rightwing-populists or 'anti-racists'. We should collectively aim our efforts towards the real enemy of our peoples!  

Source:
http://national-revolutionary.blogspot.nl/2014/03/rightwing-populism-failure-of-leftwing.html

Rapaille
___________________________
___________________________

Posts : 51
Reputation : 9
Join date : 2013-07-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Rightwing-Populism: The failure of leftwing identity politics

Post by Celtiberian on Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:50 pm

This article expresses sentiments long shared by the Revolutionary Syndicalist Federation and the majority of the members of this forum; so, naturally, I agree with its substance. Having said that, there are a few points I take issue with and others which I feel warrant further elaboration.

The National Revolutionary Alternative of the Netherlands wrote:Capitalism is in crisis. The economic bubble which was created by finance capital throughout the last decades has burst and has thrown the world in an unprecedented economic recession.

It's interesting that the author of this piece apparently accepts the financialization hypothesis postulated by the Minskyans and neo-Marxist Keynesians, as opposed to the traditional Marxist explanation of capitalist economic crises being caused by a secular fall in the rate of profit. Different proposals follow from an espousal of either view, so I'm curious as to which policies the National Revolutionary Alternative believes the working class should be struggling for at this juncture.

As a consolation prize the left still enjoys a certain ideological dominance, which is mainly characterized by anti-racism, anti-nationalism and a devotion to the European Union.

This view of cultural development in late capitalism is rather simplistic and inaccurate. There is a very straightforward materialist explanation for the recent implementation of the cultural reforms the New Left advocated on behalf of in the 1960s: they facilitate the process of capital accumulation. It most decidedly was not a political "consolation prize." For example, policies which prohibit discrimination in the workplace are essential for successfully instilling in the people a sense that the state has reformed capitalism in such a way that its class structure is presently meritocratic, and therefore 'fair'—which prevents mass discontentment regarding economic mobility. The notion that capitalism could ever be organized in a legitimately meritocratic manner is, of course, preposterous, but it's the ideological illusion which is of utility to the bourgeoisie. (Further analysis on this phenomenon can be found here.)

It’s not surprising that this ideology is perfectly in one line with globalization tailored to the requirements of the international finance capital. Since the mass import of cheap labour forces from foreign countries in favor of maximizing profits for capital, the introduction of multiculturalism became an undeniable fact in Europe.

What of domestic agricultural, merchant, and industrial capital? Do not these sectors also benefit from the downward pressure an expansion of the labor market places on wages?

The unconditional support of 'anti-racists' for ethnic minorities to profess their own culture, while at the same time denying the white majority the same, has alienated a large part of the workers from the left and driven them right in the hands of the rightwing populists.

Indeed. But it should be added that their defense of minority cultural and ethnic identities is purely instrumental in orientation. They believe these populations deserve support solely because they are currently 'oppressed' by hegemonic ethnocultural groups. In exchange for that support, the cosmopolitan leftists who utilize this strategy believe the minorities will assist in their revolutionary objectives (just as the oppressed nationalities in the Russian empire did for the Bolsheviks during the revolution of 1917). The moment that oppression subsides, however, the minority ethnic and cultural groups will no longer merit preservation, according to these activists, and should instead give way to their contrived universal identity.

However just like the identity politics of the left, the rightwing-populists also put the emphasis on moral and cultural aspects, while completely ignoring the underlying economic causes.

Quite right. And the reason the populist right has achieved greater electoral success relative to comparably identity-based leftist parties is because they are ostensibly advocating on behalf of the numerically dominant ethnocultural population.

That in this time of crisis austerity, welfare cuts and growing inequality more and more people turn towards rightwing-populism should sound the alarm to each revolutionary.

It's discouraging, but not particularly alarming. The worst that could conceivably happen is parties like the Front National or British National Party are elected, attempt to implement immigration reforms incompatible with the imperatives of capital accumulation and which do little to improve the plight of the domestic working class, and are subsequently ousted by the combined efforts of the bourgeoisie and proletariat. But I doubt it would even get that far.

_________________
RSF Executive Committee (Chairman)
"The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', would be nonsense, if abilities were equal."
—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star
avatar
Celtiberian
________________________
________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 1523
Reputation : 1615
Join date : 2011-04-04
Age : 30
Location : Florida

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Rightwing-Populism: The failure of leftwing identity politics

Post by Rapaille on Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:02 pm

Celtiberian wrote:It's interesting that the author of this piece apparently accepts the financialization hypothesis postulated by the Minskyans and neo-Marxist Keynesians, as opposed to the traditional Marxist explanation of capitalist economic crises being caused by a secular fall in the rate of profit. Different proposals follow from an espousal of either view, so I'm curious as to which policies the National Revolutionary Alternative believes the working class should be struggling for at this juncture.

As the NRA is merely a medium of several autonomous groups and individuals based on a common manifesto, I can only give my own opinion on the subject.

Overproduction, declining profits and speculative bubbles - the contradictions in capitalism - are the cause of this new crisis. As far as I know theories about the speculation of finance capital is not limited to Keynesian economics, but can just as well be explained by Marxist analysis.

There is a very straightforward materialist explanation for the recent implementation of the cultural reforms the New Left advocated on behalf of in the 1960s: they facilitate the process of capital accumulation. It most decidedly was not a political "consolation prize."

Many neo-Marxists embraced identity politics because they thought the Western working class had became to passive to be the revolutionary subject. In their views the new created class of immigrants where the new revolutionary subject. That this analysis is fundamentally wrong, has become very clear these days. Furthermore a substancial part of the identity-based left these days has long abandoned Marxist analysis!

Also big question marks must be put by the intitutionalization of the new left into the system and the general acceptance of their cultural reforms among the establishment. Appearently the bourgeoisie saw these ideas fit for their goals; which in my opinion means the "political-correct" left dominance in the cultural sphere, only exists by the grace of capital... That's a consolation prize if you'd ask me.    

What of domestic agricultural, merchant, and industrial capital? Do not these sectors also benefit from the downward pressure an expansion of the labor market places on wages?

We are talking about monopoly-capitalism/finance-capitalism here; (globalist-)capitalism has long outgrown its national boundries and so the domestic markets (or nationstates for that matter) are of no great importance for "the capitalist without fatherland", who will simply shift production to another more profitable area. So national-capital is hardly a influence to be taken seriously in this context.

Rapaille
___________________________
___________________________

Posts : 51
Reputation : 9
Join date : 2013-07-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Rightwing-Populism: The failure of leftwing identity politics

Post by Celtiberian on Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:43 pm

Rapaille wrote:Overproduction, declining profits and speculative bubbles - the contradictions in capitalism - are the cause of this new crisis.

So you appear to be a pluralist with respect to the question of the causes of capitalist crises, not unlike David Harvey. This approach, while perfectly sensible prima facie, is, in my view, ultimately incorrect. Although the socialist tradition is replete with instances of "overproduction" being cited as the chief cause of capitalist instability—including in Marx's early writings—the empirical evidence demonstrates otherwise. Capitalism is in a perpetual state of overproduction as a consequence of production being organized for exchange, and yet it only experiences crises periodically. It's clear that when the long-term data is taken into account, financialization and its attendant speculative bubbles are merely symptoms of a fall in the rate of profit, and that there is no compelling correlation between the aggregate level of consumer consumption and economic stability.

As far as I know theories about the speculation of finance capital is not limited to Keynesian economics, but can just as well be explained by Marxist analysis.

Marxian economists have certainly incorporated the neo-Keynesian/Minskyan financialization hypothesis into their analyses, as well as the theory of underconsumption. Orthodox Marxists, however, understand the former phenomenon as a consequence of an underlining crisis of profitability. Again, the evidence favors the orthodox Marxists (i.e., Marxists following the theory of crisis developed in Capital volumes I-III) on this matter.

Many neo-Marxists embraced identity politics because they thought the Western working class had became to passive to be the revolutionary subject.

Yes, but that doesn't explain why the cultural elite have come to support identity politics.

In their views the new created class of immigrants where the new revolutionary subject. That this analysis is fundamentally wrong, has become very clear these days. Furthermore a substancial part of the identity-based left these days has long abandoned Marxist analysis!

Agreed.

Also big question marks must be put by the intitutionalization of the new left into the system and the general acceptance of their cultural reforms among the establishment. Appearently the bourgeoisie saw these ideas fit for their goals; which in my opinion means the "political-correct" left dominance in the cultural sphere, only exists by the grace of capital... That's a consolation prize if you'd ask me.

But it's inaccurate to view that as some sort of a political consolation prize, as opposed to an ideological program which directly assists in the process of capital accumulation. That a few New Left figures are utilized in this undertaking is incidental.

We are talking about monopoly-capitalism/finance-capitalism here. (globalist-)capitalism has long outgrown its national boundries and so the domestic markets (or nationstates for that matter) are of no great importance for "the capitalist without fatherland", who will simply shift production to another more profitable area. So national-capital is hardly a influence to be taken seriously in this context.  

There are plenty of industries which, as a result of their nature, are incapable of the sort of mobility regularly exhibited by financial institutions and capital-intensive corporations, and which materially benefit from an expansion of the labor market. Agriculture, retail, and businesses involved in the extraction of natural resources immediately come to mind; even the relatively competitive petit-bourgeois sector benefits. Taken together, they constitute an enormous segment of any given economy. Indeed, it is precisely those industries which stand to gain the most from immigration because international firms can simply relocate to geographic locations with cheaper sources of labor. Ergo the revolutionary left would do well not to exclude domestic capital from criticism, for it is culpable for much of the suffering the working class is currently enduring.

_________________
RSF Executive Committee (Chairman)
"The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', would be nonsense, if abilities were equal."
—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star
avatar
Celtiberian
________________________
________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 1523
Reputation : 1615
Join date : 2011-04-04
Age : 30
Location : Florida

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Rightwing-Populism: The failure of leftwing identity politics

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 :: General :: Theory

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum