Voices from Russia

Sunday, 2 July 2017

SHAME on Conservatives Who Ridicule Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders

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Socialism attracts young people because they reject the immorality of corporatism. Conservatives should find solace in this… not ridicule it. For at least 20 years, the mainstream Western political and academic narrative was that socialism is a failure. Many cite production deadlock, strikes, riots, and a punitive taxation system to justify these claims. However, the system that ended up supplanting socialism both as a governing economic force and as a viable mainstream opposition platform in the West has also failed and failed more miserably than any prior socioeconomic system. Corporatism, a logical result of neoliberal economics, rejects the cottage-industry style capitalism of people like Ron Paul and the classical Austrian economists. Therefore, in a true sense, it’s unfair to call it “capitalism”.

Unlike with Austrian economics, corporatism places no value on individual liberty, nor does it decry endless rules, regulations, and bureaucracy either. Corporatism is to capitalism what the Manson Family is to a Norman Rockwell family painting… it’s a sick perversion. Likewise, corporatism doesn’t value the growth of a national economy, the steadying of national wealth, or the protection of national wealth from foreign hands. It’s unlike traditional market-protectionist economics or neo-mercantile thinking or what many now call sovereigntist economics. In this sense, it’s different from what I call conservative socioeconomics.

Corporatism is a series of interlocking oligarchic global corporations where production often occurs on different continents from where the profits are stored; furthermore, products themselves are often sold in multiple third locations. Corporatism has plenty of regulations and bureaucratic red tape, but all of it works in the favour of giant multinationals that often end up paying less tax than struggling middle-income individuals and families oppressed with socialist high taxation, whilst receiving none of the benefits of a real welfare state. There isn’t a moral, a national, or an individualist component in corporatism. In this sense, it rejects the morality of socialism, protectionism, and classical capitalism simultaneously.

While occasionally corporatist economics can result in a trickle-down effect for some ordinary people, if this ever happens, it’s generally short-lived. Corporatism’s Great Recession in 2007-08 was a testament to this phenomenon. The result has been that many middle-income middle-aged people turned to sovereigntist/protectionist conservative politicians who reject the multinationalism of corporatism and the collectivism of socialism equally. In addition, people in all age groups have begun to revisit classic capitalism as defined by the Austrian school of economics. Generally, the connection this school makes between individual liberty and economic liberality attracts these people.

Socialism has had a revival too, and one of the biggest constituent parts of this new socialist coalition has been the young, although it’s a very different kind of youth than those who previously voted for classical leftist parties. Throughout much of the 20th century, leftist voters came from the heart of suburban industry and, of course, the urban proletariat also. In the USA, this was the so-called “Rust Belt” states and in Europe, this was generally in the big industrial cities outside of the more urbane capitals (Marseilles, Calais, Birmingham, Glasgow, etc). It was only logical that working-class voters would vote for parties with an emphasis on the morality of treating working-class people with economic and social dignity and fairness.

However, today’s socialist core voters are very different. Although what remains of a western industrial base still often vote for politicians like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, an increasing amount of young people from struggling middle-income families are turning to ideas that previously had appeal among the working-classes and those of other classes who for moral, intellectual, or spiritual reasons turned to socialism. These young people aren’t classical socialists, but they’re victims of corporatism. They’ve found that the first proper job in life hardly pays enough to make it worth considering and that the comfortable middle-income jobs of their parents’ generation have either gone overseas or become reserved exclusively for a highly connected upper-middle-class set, beyond simply having a decent income and ability to work hard for an honest first-world pay-cheque.

They’ve found that the neoliberal myth that having a university education guarantees good employment was simply a lie to force young people to take out insanely high loans to pay a university, which was, in fact, a business disguised as a place of learning. They’ve also come to the realisation that many of the comforts of middle-income life were because working-class people created wealth. Now, that wealth comes from foreign factories. All of these factors have led young people to turn to socialism for moral and personal reasons rather than more broad economic beliefs.

It is difficult for socialism to work in a non-industrial society. Socialism relies on working-class labour to create wealth in the same way that conservative economics relies on investment into national (rather than global) industry to initially create wealth. However, a healthy working-class is indispensable to proper moral conservative socioeconomics also. One must remember that conservative policies didn’t create the Irish famine of the 1840s and 1850s, but rather the adoption of liberal free trade by the British state, which ruled Ireland at the time.

With few Western countries having any national wealth and with millionaires conveniently and legally offshoring their money, it’s difficult to see how socialism can achieve anything in the 21st century West unless it takes the crucial step to use the resources of the state to build new factories and pass protectionist laws to keep the wealth they generate flowing on the home front. However, these longer-term economic issues are of little consequences to many young enthusiastic supporters of people like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, who unlike Sanders, will almost certainly attain the highest political office in his country. These voters are drawn to the moral message of socialism and this should not be condemned callously, even by conservative protectionists like myself. Instead, we should praise it.

The only way society can ever retain its traditional values is by embracing anyone who rejects the immoral ideologies of globalism, liberalism, and corporatism. While I personally prefer a mixed system, what Deng Xiaoping called “market socialism”, I’m nevertheless sympathetic to those who turn to classical socialism, even though I fully reject the dogma of radical wealth distribution and the rejection of traditional conservative values that many socialists preach. However, in this case, socialism is a healthy first step towards rejecting neoliberalism and allowing a path back to conservatism to form. In many ways, it’s the opposite of the Marxist historical world view, where we have to go back from corporatism to socialism to then step back to conservatism, in each case along the way one must realise our return to past values while combining such thought with contemporary realities. In this sense, one can be both a reactionary and a pragmatic modernist simultaneously. This is the essence of any mixed socioeconomic system rejecting the dogmas of progressive thinking for the sake of modernity alone.

This obviously assumes that it isn’t full communism but full corporatism that is the final “end” of economics. Here, Marx got it wrong; Oswald Spengler (a conservative) got it right. History has proved this; it isn’t a theory. After Russia attempted communism between 1917 and 1991, Russia then turned to corporatism for the remainder of the 1990s. Today, Russia is taking certain socialist elements of the past such as higher pensions and better funding for public services vis-à-vis the 1990s, while ultimately returning to a modern version of patriotic conservative socioeconomics.

If the West is to attempt to save itself, it must follow the same path. Whilst my view is that the October Revolution was a crime against humanity, I nevertheless wept in the 1990s at photos of old women, too thin for their age, carrying photos of Stalin as they protested the piratical liberal economics of Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais. Indeed, if Russia were ever to return to a fraction of its pre-1917 conservatism, both conservatives and those holding placards of Stalin while protesting the Yeltsin régime would have to oppose the liberal corporatists of the 1990s.

This is why conservatives who ridicule supporters of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn ought to really step back from their position of arrogance. The young people voting for Sanders and Corbyn may often be odd in their appearance and the idea that they’d want to radically redistribute wealth might be horrifying. Their lack of God is also deeply sad for conservative believers. However, in finding Corbyn, these young people are rejecting the same immoral Godlessness inherent in neoliberalism that true conservatives reject. They’re looking for morality, they’re looking for ethics, they’re looking for community, and they’re looking for family. The authentic conservative solution is the best way to find each, but if they support socialism, which for all of its faults is still endlessly more moral than liberalism/corporatism, then we should wish them well whilst respectfully offering them a respectable conservative alternative.

1 July 2017

Adam Garrie

The Duran

http://theduran.com/shame-on-conservatives-who-ridicule-supporters-of-jeremy-corbyn-and-bernie-sanders/

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