I started this blog because I want to see discussion about what it means to be left-wing in the twenty-first century. To define the Left requires understanding and repudiation of its opposite: the pseudo-left, as well as argument with and against other forms of reactionary and conservative outlooks.

The Left has always supported Progress and rejected those who claim that humanity is too greedy, or that we have exceeded the natural limits of the planet. I reject that view, whether it is expressed by popes, princes or pseudo’s. I still support the old slogan ‘Abundance for all!’, as I did nearly 50 years ago. So, I identify with a ‘red left’, which means I have no time at all for the reactionary ‘green left’, which represents no left-wing tradition or outlook.

The other pillar for defining a Left is where it stands in relation to the oppressed in the world. In other words: ‘Which side are you on?’ The pseudo-left and other right-wingers are vile in their support for dictators and fascists. A left-wing position supports struggle for democracy everywhere. Yes, including state capitalist China, the Castro Brothers’ Cuba, fascist Assad’s Syria and the bizarre non-communist ‘theocracy’ in North Korea. And, yes again, we supported the US-led Coalition of the Willing in its invasion of Iraq which overthrew the region’s worst ethnic-cleansing dictator and allowed the Iraqi people to establish an embryonic democracy.

Locally, a genuine left stands up for free speech and in defence of state incursions on liberty, such as the new anti-terror security laws, attempts by the former government to filter the Internet and Section 18(c) of the Racial Discrimination Act. The slogan, ‘Let a hundred flowers bloom’ was not intended to apply only to ideas with which one agrees.

I do NOT support a one-party state. With the experience of democracy now covering most of the globe, the issue is how to defend and extend democracy and that includes support for multi-party competitive electoral systems.

My kind of left-wing outlook maintains that capitalism has had its day in the advanced industrial countries but may still be of use to places emerging from feudalism or in need of capital investment to spur on growth. However, the condition of C21st advanced industrial societies is ripe for socialism, from a Marxist point of view. This is something I hope others, with a better grounding in economics, may contribute to the blog. The problem is two fold: (i) how to repudiate the pseudo-left as not being really left-wing when the mainstream media persists with presenting it as such and (ii) to develop a plausible and practicable platform for socialism that will gain support.

I welcome debate and argument on my blog and believe that it is only through argument that the ‘wheat can be sifted from the chaff’. I share Marx’s motto: ‘Question everything’.

6 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Deindustrialization or Post-Industrialization? | Revolutionary Democratic Socialism

  2. Pingback: Bill Leak (1956-2017) – ‘waking up with a roaring fatwa’ | C21st Left

  3. When it comes to states as China, Cuba, Syria or North-Korea for that mather, it is necessary to understand what created those countries and their respective political systems. just a small note. Asad and the Ba’ath party was first put in power back in 1963. That happened at the same time as the ba’ath party was put in power in Iraq. Why? and by whom? both countries had a religious blossoming as a consequence of the former colonial opression, and the west didnt want any leaders with ties to religion or to the socialist Soviet. Another thing, Iraq-Iran war was wanted by whom? USA, they pushed for that “cleansning”. Just as they support Saudi Arabia in doing the same in Yemen. When they invaded Iraq in 2003 it was a stable country, there was a noflight zone and Saddam couldn’t hurt his people, the Kurds had their own goverment and weren’t subjected to Saddams rule. He had no power in his own land. Now we have hundreds of thousands dead and millions on the run. That you see US military as any kind of help in the world, makes me wonder, because I consider every military and most commercial inventions as imperialism. The Arab spring of 2011 was due to food prices. “We” just turned up the price for corn and especially milk(milk powder and turning raw milk into powder helps keep the price on fresh milk down. Because the huge stocks of powder creates an overfed marked and thereby a lower salesprice for producers (farmers)), that made people hungry and when hungry you revolt. By the way, saying a “green” left and a “red” left don’t go hand in hand is also all wrong. Where I live we have at least two parties (depending on how you classify “green” and “red”) elected to the parliament that can. Besides, socialism is all about working together.
    Well, this has turned into quite a rant, but I guess a blog is for discussing matters yes?
    But back to my point, to understand those countries we need to understand the relations that made them. That is a relation with us, the western world, where we by far have been the one dominating the other. What they have been taught they’ve been taught by us. If you haven’t read it, give Frantz Fanons “The Wretched of the Earth” (1963) a try. He tries to imagine what the consequences of colonialism would be, and how it would affect our world. Western involvement doesn’t bode good for any country. A final point to leave it of would be to remember which was the biggest financial power prior to the Opium wars between England and China? China, we used drugs to ruin a more wealthy country.
    I guess the fear of Chinese statecapitalism goes to its efficiency. I guess what we really fear is how they use capitalism and gives us a good dose of Chinese “freedom” to shop endlessly cheap on wish.com here in the west. Besides China is probably the one country that has managed to increase the general living conditions of the people the most during the last 50 years. So this leads back to the relation between China and the West. Did China invent capitalism? No they learned that one in a relation with us. We taught them how, now they do it back.
    I hope my English is of an understandable quality

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with both of Dennis’s points and would add a third quibble:

    1) Your rejection of a Red/Green approach – or at least in the way you have presented it – merely defies physics and alienates allies. 100 years ago Socialism or Barbarianism was apt enough as if we’d achieved Socialism then, we would have automatically evolved a green dimension to a socialist economy as part of meeting the needs of its people, as we realised the harm caused by fossil fuel extraction and monocultural / factory farming. In the current context It’s eco-socialism or barbarism. If you think all green approaches are reactionary it’s probably because you are misinformed. Abundane for All is perdectly combatible with many economies envisioned by degrowth advocates – so long as notion your of abundance doesn’t include lots of cheap goods that require frequent replacement or expensive ones with built in obselesence. A good life for all is not only accessible via a red/green route, it is probably ONLY available that way.

    2. Supporting Democracy everywhere, regardless of whether those struggling for democracy are anti-US empire or not or if they claim some trappings of socialism, in an authoritarian or anti-democratic context if folk are struggling to get more democracy it seems reasonable and pretty much self evident that socialists would support it. But supporting invasions by not very democratic countries to instil democracy in another country where there is little, no, or different variants of democracy just doesn’t wash and invariably ends up doing more damage than good. The problem with your oversimplification is ‘support’ can mean anything from posting a meme on facebook to a full scale military invasion. Then there’s the questions of how democratic and how authoritarian.

    I look forward to reading some of your posts,


    • Just happened to notice this by accident. (Am subscribed to comments but was unaware there were any on the About page until just now).

      This site desperately needs serious debate so I hope you do read and comment on posts (comments on current posts most likely to be noticed but as all these issues are related it is reasonable to link back from a less relevant current post to an earlier post on which your comments are more directly relevant so that those belated comments might be noticed and replied to).

      Always subscribe to the post when you do comment or you won’t know about belated replies.

      Sorry I won’t be able to engage for quite a while due to other current preoccupations but I hope others do.


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