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’.