14 October 2020

Ronan Burtenshaw: “Winning the argument on policy terms has never been enough. That argument has to echo through society; it has to become a story of what has gone wrong, who is at fault, and how it can change. Capital can impose its explanations on the people from above, we have to cultivate ours from below by building the kind of institutions which give us a presence in their everyday lives. It is through these that experiences are understood to be in common. Once this common understanding is in place, collective organisation becomes possible. Socialism is the project to socialise society’s wealth by building a coalition of working people to take on the concentrated power of ownership. Its potency comes from an ability to unite people across cultural divides on the basis of their common class interests. For decades, the Left has abandoned socialism for progressivism — the attempt to unite people across class divides on the basis of shared social views. Progressivism is not, and will never be, a threat to the system. Its function is to recuperate demands for change within the boundaries of capitalism. It is the politics which allows multinational corporations to embrace Black Lives Matter while paying black workers poverty wages, or women political leaders to impose austerity measures which close domestic violence refuges and force single mothers into foodbanks.”