Friday, 31 October 2008

Propaganda or projects?

As I've mentioned here before, the small but vocal National Anarchist milieu is a good example of an anti-globalist current who's syncretic nature can appeal to potentially large numbers of people. But feet must be kept firmly on the ground. National Anarchists will achieve more if they present their politics as a philosophy and guiding set of principles for people to aim at, rather than taking on the ominous task of attempting to create a 'movement' in the traditional sense with drums, banners and loudhailers. National Anarchists have had some success in places attracting cadre from the various youth cultures, which although not wrong in itself does present the danger of National Anarchism creating its own sub-cultural ghetto - something that has befallen the leftist anarchists.

To widen their appeal National Anarchists could look toward creating Neo-tribalist projects where like-minded people can create informal networks promoting kinship and cultural bonds, as well as bartering systems, mutual aid and welfare systems and Friendly Societies each with a National Anarchist ethos.

While good ol' rabble rousing and agitation have their place, National Anarchism can gain ground by adopting a DIY attitude, with activists encouraging autonomy, self-sufficiency and local identity, either through their own example or by joining existing projects - Look how Freecycle schemes are a great success now.

Some National Anarchists including Dr David Michael advocate creating isolated intentional communities in remote areas, but although such ambitions are laudable and should be practically looked into, they only attract the pioneers and true believers of National Anarchism. This 'Head for the Hills' approach is very difficult to implement and can put off the more luke-warm of supporters. So creating 'halfway houses' like neo-tribalist initiatives can keep many of the less committed on board whilst providing a worthwhile alternative to consumerism and reliance on state and capitalism. The Afrikaner community of Orania in the Northern Cape is good example of an self-aware ethno-cultural community living semi-autonomously - inspiration enough for National Anarchists.

The National Liberal Party have a snazzy new website and seem to have demoted their Third Way label to a think tank. Rather ambitiously, they hope to stand 10 candidates at the next General Election against europhiles like Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg. Electoral politics can be a depressing old game and the field is increasingly crowded these days, but this blog wishes the NLP all the best in its new found vigour.

Next Thursday's Glenrothes by-election will see the now familiar sight of the once strong(ish)Scottish left going head to head - the SSP and Tommy Sheridan's Solidarity will both be trying to out-radicalise each other, but why no Green candidate? The party is the biggest of the minnows north of the border - at least in terms of representation. Surely finding a spare 500 quid can't be that difficult with The Greens raking it in from their two MSPs?

Don't hold your breath or anything, but the Convention of the Left is holding a recall conference on Nov. 29th, following on from September's inaugural gathering, which (by the standards of recent Left unity projects) went quite well. Can the Left prove this old fascist wrong and reorganise itself into something worthwhile? Well...

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Yeah, dude, no borders! (wtf?)

I choose my words carefully here - it is a real tragedy that the liberal-left took control of the Green Party of England and Wales in the early 90s. Of course, proud liberals in the party would say there was no coup d'tat, it was all carried out in the nicest possible way, democratic to the last. Me, I suspect it was a case of prevailing cultural Marxism. The Greens hated the Thatcherites, so they got into bed with whoever felt the same. That's how they've ended up in this leftist cul-de-sac.

During the 70s and 80s the party's economic policies were influenced by Distributism and Social Credit, ideas which still influence many Greens today, but why the current social-liberalism? Why the utterly barmy immigration policies?

The party is still strong on the economy, quite rightly declaring its reasoned critiques of rampant, unsustainable growth and the GP's emphasis on local grassroots decision making, self-sufficient, sustainable communities and economies can sit easily with any self-respecting anti-globalist...

So why, oh why does the GPEW have to spoil all this with its daft, cruel and dangerous policies on immigration and multi-culturalism? The consequences of these processes fly in the face of the Green vision, of small communities at ease with themselves. The Greens actually hit the nail on the head when it comes to immigration: Their Manifesto for a Sustainable Society states:

The Green Party's long term global vision is of an international economic order where the relationship between regions is non-exploitative, each region is as self-reliant and economically self- sufficient as practicable and the quality of life (social, political, environmental, cultural and economic) is such that there is less urge to migrate. Logically, in order to move away from the current level of immigration controls, we must create a fairer world.
MG101 The existing economic order and colonialism have both been major causes of migration through direct and indirect violence, disruption of traditional economies, the use of migrants as cheap labour, uneven patterns of development and global division of labour.

MG102 We are aware that, in the 21st century, there is likely to be mass migration of people escaping from the consequences of global warming, environmental degradation, resource shortage and population increase.

Quite true, we have to build a post-global, decentralised world, if we want people to stay where they are. But, as far as the Greens are concerned, in the meantime, its C'mon Over to My Place, an open door. How on earth is this sustainable? Transient, rootless communities are hardly green. Public services, schools, hospitals and housing are all put under increasing pressure through immigration - a society hardly at ease with itself.

As a young leftist our stock-in-trade take on immigration was The Capitalists can move capital, goods and materials around the globe at the touch of a key - if it's OK for the money, it's OK for the workforce. But this isn't good enough. A bank balance doesn't need a roof, its kids don't need a classroom, its spouse doesn't need the local clinic. It need not worry about sticking out a mile because of it's language, dress, custom or religion. The stock in trade Green reaction to this is: Yeah, well there's billions and billions of quid the government could set aside for immigration - look at what they spend in Iraq! ...It aint gonna happen though is it. The Greens, unfortunately, suffer from that condition all too common on the left: wishful thinking. We've got to stop pigeon-holing ourselves into little ideological straightjacket's. A curse on definitions.

The understandable friction caused when different cultures are thrust upon one another, is all too often left to fester away causing social strife and resentment,ill-will and general unhappiness. The Greens want a love-in, the best way to ensure this is to have mono-cultural communities. The disaster of multiculturalism hardly lies easily with the the Green vision of happy, stable communities. Communities are happiest when they have a sense of self, belonging, shared identity and a common cultural bond. UK 2008?! Even the most flowery optimist must say 'no'. Greens - drop the liberal baggage, it doesn't make sense - and I promise not to scream Nazis! if you do.

If the Green movement took up REAL cultural diversity (i.e. when different cultures are left to develop independently of each other)it could forge lasting alliances with other anti-globalist currents. The Greens urgently need to debate immigration and its silly 'NO BORDERS' posturing, this political posing is counter-productive, contradictory, harmful and ultimately serves the interests of the globalisers. The danger is that any process of dialogue may result in a damaging split - and I'm not out to split the Green movement - but...ALLIANCE BUILDING BETWEEN DIFFERENT ANTI-GLOBALIST CURRENTS IS OUR BEST CHANCE - NO REPEAT OF THE LAST 100 YEARS OF IDEOLOGICAL WARFARE...please.

The credit crunch shows glaringly that their is no alternative to capitalism. This is because the traditional factions of left and right are redundant. All the disparate forces opposed to the way the world is run in 2008 need to fuse, unite, throw all their worldviews in the pot, mix them all up and fight together.

The English Democrats South West organiser Mike Blundell managed to get 93 votes in a local election in Bristol last week. You've got to take the rough with the smooth and generally speaking English Nationalist votes over the past couple of years have been comparable with what the old Socialist Alliance were getting a decade ago. Fear not though, proud patriots. English nationalism has a far bigger reserve pool than trotskyite transitional demands. Stick on in there, chaps.

One of the reasons I was so pro-leadership in the recent Green Party of England and Wales leadership debate is the media attention I thought having a leader would gain the party. So, this week we had a big story where Climate Change and Energy Secretary, Ed Miliband, announces a commitment to increase the cut in emissions from 60% to 80% by 2050 - GREAT! But where was Caroline Lucas? The BBC got a quote from a bloke from Friends of the Earth, so why not the UK's premier Green? PR dept needs an overhaul, I reckon. The Prime Minister's Speech to the party faithful in Manchester last month mentioned the British National Party. If a veritable minnow like Mr Griffin's outfit can get a mention from her Majesty's first minister, the Greens should be at least second paragraph when it comes to a climate change story.

Well, they may have lost their sole defector MP but the Canadian Green Party didn't do too badly in last week's Canadian general election. 940,000 votes and 6.8% of the national vote share (up 2.3%) The Quebec secessionists gained and are in a relatively strong position. The Western and other secessionists, however, along with the Anti-globalist Canadian Action Party, bombed.

WHEEL OF THE YEAR you're talking. This is my favourite time of year. Round my way, we had our first frost a couple of weeks ago - always a good seasonal marker. This is the time when I see streetlights switching off as I amble to work in the morning mist.

One thing I have noticed this Autumn, however, is the distinct lack of poppies...Where Have All the Poppies Gone... Have a safe dark quarter, dear reader, and a Happy Samhain for the 31st. Blessed Be!