Sunday, March 29, 2015

James Levy March 29, 2015 at 11:45 am

When one group of people own and control everything in society not directly under government control, it is mighty hard to rule without them. This is why right-wing parties are the natural rulers of society; it’s not that the Left “doesn’t want to govern”, as has been thrown around on this site, but that the Left has to either govern with those who already own and control most of society or they have to displace them, and nowhere is there a consensus to displace them. If you’re the Labour Party in Britain and you move into Number 10, you will see that the land, the banks, and the corporations are owned and controlled by perhaps 10,000 people, and they are well aware of what their interests are. You can either divide them (tough but at times it works), negotiate with them, capitulate to them, or dispossess them. Those are the options. If they are feeling particularly paranoid or angry, then you are faced with a crisis of governance, and most of the time if you live under the rule of law and support the idea that people have a right to the things they own then you’re over a barrel and will have to give in. Leon Blum was a really nice guy and ostensibly a Socialist but when he needed to boost armaments production in the run-up to World War II he knew he could either follow the path of least resistance by giving the capitalists what the wanted (an end to the 8 hour day and a rounding up and silencing of the “troublemakers”) or he could take them on directly and face a repeat of what was happening in Spain at that very moment. He turned on the working class and gave the capitalists what they wanted and they gave him his weapons. I don’t like this reality, but it clearly is the reality we live in.

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