On the French Socialist Party and rebuilding the French left

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“ It is difficult to say what the PS is today. Its figures, its staff, its members are not one single entity. Part of it has gone off toward Macron and En Marche. And it is also important to be clearly aware that the reason it got 6 percent was that it embodied defeat and had no prospect of winning after the Hollande years. There was a very strong sense of disillusionment (…) The Parti socialiste is no longer the leading force on the Left, but the Left is not yet in good shape. What really interests me is how we can accomplish the challenging task of rebuilding the Left. That means a Left that concerns itself with the March for Dignity and Justice, a Left that makes feminism relevant for our own time, and a Left that can bring the popular classes back onto the political terrain ”

Elsa Faucillon, ‘The Left Under Macron’, Jacobin Magazine

 

On far-right Breivikism

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“ While the far right has always been obsessed with Jewish people, today’s far right is fixated too with Muslims and Islam. After three Islamist terrorist attacks in just a few weeks, some believe that Muslims as a whole are a fifth column, an internal menace to western civilisation. And that’s what leads on to what you could call ‘Breivikism’. In 2011, the Norwegian fascist terrorist Anders Breivik launched an Islamophobic attack that did not target Muslims. Instead, he targeted young socialists, whom he believed were traitors responsible for mass immigration, multiculturalism and the Islamisation of Europe. According to this worldview, the left is the enabler of Islam, and therefore just as culpable for the destruction of the west ”

Owen Jones, ‘Far-right extremists are cornered and dangerous. They must be challenged’, The Guardian

On who the Italian Left should take inspiration from

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“ What model of the European left should inspire the Italian left? Should it be the English Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn or the French President Emmanuel Macron? The answer, in fact, is already contained in the question. If it’s the left we’re talking about, the model can hardly be Macron and for a simple reason: Macron is not a leftist ”

Davide De Luca, ‘Why Macron is not a leftist’, Il Post

On the distribution of political violent acts over the political spectrum

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“ The Anti-Defamation League recently reported that right-wing extremists have plotted at least 150 terrorist acts in the United States over the last twenty-five years, killing or injuring more than eight hundred people. An earlier ADL report found right-wing extremists were responsible for 74 percent of the 372 people killed in domestic terror attacks between 2007 and 2016 (…) Conservatives — and, it now appears, the mainstream press — love to complain about the ‘intolerant Left.’ But only one side of the political spectrum has been engaged in consistent, sustained, politically motivated violence for the last two decades ”

Branko Marcetic, ‘Whose Violence?’, Jacobin Magazine

On the divergent views within the Podemos movement

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“ The calculation of the Errejonistas is that after forty years of neoliberalism, it is unrealistic in our atomized societies to expect a high degree of popular mobilization or sustained political commitment. In contrast, the radical municipalistas on the council (and to large extent, the Pablistas at Podemos’ national level) are betting on a new wave of social struggle developing durable forms of popular association capable of challenging the power of the Spanish oligarchy ”

Eoghan Gilmartin, ‘Governing Madrid’, Jacobin Magazine

 

On the mainstream dislike of old-style socialism and the collapse of centrism in the UK

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“ The Guardian is a big influence, and it has to be said that both its comment writers and its news editorial stance have been about as pro-Corbyn as the New York Times was pro–Bernie Sanders — that is, not at all. And for the same reasons. These are the liberal elitists. It’s people who don’t like old-style socialism. All the identity politics around Corbyn, they’re different than the ones around Sanders, but they were there. Lots of mainstream feminists don’t like Corbyn. In the end, Corbyn has proved you can run a traditional left campaign and energize young people. The other possibility is so dire — a right-wing Conservative and racist UKIP alliance government. The Guardian, which I write for, has had this hope that some centrist party would emerge, a bit like Emmanuel Macron in Paris, or like the Clintonite Democrats. But that kind of politics has collapsed in Britain, and the Liberal Democrats, who are the small third party here, just have really not done anything ”

Paul Mason, ‘The Movement in Corbyn’s Wake’, Jacobin Magazine

On why we should go towards modernity, not escape from it

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“ Modernity is an open-ended process that ends badly usually only when someone declares it complete (…) In response to the miseries brought by the bourgeois modernity of a globalized elite, the answer increasingly comes in shape of demagogues who would drag us back into the past, to the isolating languages of tribe and race; the modernity of a high-tech prison or a giant border wall (…) Nearly all the lights of modernist literature, whether fascists such as Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis or socialists such as Richard Wright and Muriel Rukeyser, felt that a grand transformation of society was not just possible, but that it was the only inevitable solution for the decay of liberalism. Whether or not we have modernist authors on the Left who are willing to lead the way, the crisis is the same: we will have modernism or barbarism ”

Benjamin Balthaser, ‘Modernism or Barbarism’, Jacobin Magazine