SA(S)R Syndrome Moves On
Short-Attention-Span-Radicalism has quickly recovered from its setback in Greece, finding solace in its own unique spin on Joe Hill’s supposed last words– “Don’t mourn, Don’t organize; Forget, Ignore, Repeat.” The SARs brigade made up of VIBs; SIPs; near, neo, quasi, democratic, semi, hemi, demi, erratic, mo, po, po-mo socialists is done sitting shiva for Greece and has moved on to its next challenge, its once and future failure, Britain.
“Greece? Oh, that’s so yesterday. Greece? What did you expect? Greece? We told you it wasn’t a revolutionary situation,” say our SARs. “We’re over Greece.”
The VIB, Richard Seymour, is once again waxing, and waning, eloquent in this demonstration of obsessive-compulsive behavior, this repetition in the service of failure. Opining on the candidacy of Jeremy Corbyn for the leadersip of Britain’s Labour Party, Seymour writes that Corbyn is the candidate the Conservative Party most fears. Absolutely correct, but the Tory fear is miniscule compared to that of the Labour Party itself. Seymour points out that the right-bloc of the party threatens a split, a coup, collective suicide, but not yet car bombings, if Corbyn wins.
Panicked by the flood of new members into the party, the “right bloc” [if such a thing can be said to exist in this party] has called for the election to be suspended until a proper check of the credentials of the new members can be vetted, highlighting how dangerous becoming the majority really is to the right-bloc of the Labour Party.
John Mann, Labour MP, has written that the election “threatens to become a farce” due to the return to the party of “some of the Militant-Tendency types,” proving once again that Labour may be “a big house” but it’s a mortgaged big house, a sub-prime ARM with a big fat balloon payment callable at the whim of the bankers.
Corbyn, loyal first and last, says he only wants “genuine Labour supporters” Says Corbyn, “I only want people to register as Labour supporters if they are genuine supporters and intend to stay for the longer course.” Word.
Really? Sure thing. Seymour says:
So, Corbyn could win. This does not mean that I am going to pay my £3 and join up as a ‘supporter’ in order to vote for Corbyn. There’s quite a lot of bandwagon-hopping at the moment – it was the same with the Greens last year – and joining the Labour Party just to have a vote and then leaving is pointless. Why vote for Corbyn if you’re not going to hang around and try to support him and try to reconstitute the Labour Party? He’ll be weak enough against the established power of the old right-wing bureaucracy, without a big chunk of his base fucking off the day after the polls close. Corbyn will not win by pulling in outside forces who have no interested in the Labour Party’s long-term future, and no identification with it; he will win by shaking up the Labour Party, and drawing in new members who are just becoming politicised.
Indecisiveness is essential to the manifestation, and maintenance of SAR syndrome, so a paragraph or so later, we get:
However, that tactical point doesn’t change the overall situation, and it doesn’t mean we don’t have a responsibility to support Corbyn’s bid…It’s not just the Labour Left that is weak. It is the Left as a whole. Yes, Corbyn would be relatively isolated at the top, and top-heavy successes are extremely vulnerable. Yes, he will be trying to shift the balance of forces in favour of the Left, in a situation in which our forces are incredibly depleted. But it is a structural aspect of today’s situation that in the growing vacuum created by the breakdown of the old party-base relationship, individuals and groups can suddenly project influence well beyond their actual social basis, if what they say finds an ideological resonance in lived experience. We don’t get to change that just be force of will. So we have to work with the grain of our few advantages. Corbyn has made a breakthrough, and that presents opportunities that it would be stupid and irresponsible to opt out of.
- To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
- Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.
- To market, to market, to buy a fat hog,
- Home again, home again, jiggety-jog.
- To market, to market, to buy a plum bun,
- Home again, home again, market is done