Fully Automated Luxury Sell-Outs

Millennial socialists are the useful idiots of capitalism.

Philip Cunliffe

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Topics Brexit Politics UK

Although the Tory government lost its majority yesterday after Philip Lee defected to the Liberal Democrats, Britain’s opposition parties, including Labour, are still wary of calling a General Election. Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, announced this morning that the Labour Party will not support a parliamentary motion to call a snap General Election, despite his party having repeatedly and vociferously called precisely for this for many months now. This cowardice in the face of the electorate is hardly surprising, given that the most recent polls show the Conservatives are 10 points clear of the Labour Party.

Although the Labour Party’s opportunism and prevarications may be costing it support at the ballot box, it can nonetheless be confident in the support of a formidable new ally – global capitalism. Nothing illustrates this better than a remarkable recent editorial in the Financial Times that openly champions a Corbyn government as a way to stave off a No Deal Brexit because of the disruption it would bring to business.

The FT is not alone. Since that editorial, senior analysts at Deutsche Bank and Citibank have come out to argue that a Corbyn-led government would be less disruptive to investors’ interests than failing to broker a Brexit deal with the EU. Indeed, ever since the referendum in 2016, CEOs, bankers and business associations have lined up repeatedly to denounce Brexit as an act of economic vandalism.

Nor is this mere opinion: capitalists are also voting with their money. The FT reports that investors have withdrawn over £4 billion from the UK since Theresa May resigned in spring this year, as international fund managers shift their investments elsewhere to avoid the possible disruption of Brexit. In other words, capital flight – the only spectre that terrifies social democrats more than the voters – has already begun. This has not only dealt a serious blow to the governing Tories who pose as champions of business – it also signals international capitalists’ profound distrust of Brexit.

Leading millennial socialists have taken heart at the support of their powerful new allies in industry and finance. At Novara Media, Aaron Bastani tweeted excitedly about movements of the international currency markets, when the pound briefly rallied at the possibility of a Corbyn-led ‘national-unity government’ aimed at preserving Britain’s links to the EU. Writing in the US journal Jacobin – which, as its name suggests, flaunts its revolutionary credentials – Dawn Foster denounced the prospect of a No Deal Brexit as a ‘logistical nightmare’. Evidently, the millennial socialists’ revolution is not intended to disrupt the smooth flow of capitalism, whether that be the currency markets or industry supply chains.

That millennial socialists find themselves speaking so fluently on behalf of supply-chain managers and financiers more than workers and voters is less surprising than it might appear. In truth, beneath all the populist banker-bashing, Corbyn and his shadow chancellor John McDonnell have been assiduously building bridges with financial power brokers in the City for many months. McDonnell also made clear his party’s fundamental conservatism on financial matters when he committed Labour to a fiscal credibility rule in 2016. In the same year, he defended the independence of the Bank of England – one of the central pillars of modern technocratic rule – as ‘sacrosanct’.

Beyond these policies, the capitalist shift in Corbyn’s Labour Party also reflects the broader tectonic changes of the past decade. Capitalism has been restructuring itself since the crash of 2008. Since the peak of neoliberal globalisation, the global economy has become more fragmented, protectionist and regionalised. This is a process that requires new political representatives for a post-neoliberal world, and millennial socialists are scrambling to play this role. There are of course plenty of historic precedents for social democrats assuming the responsible management of capitalism. With its ‘Third Way’ politics, New Labour assumed the leadership of neoliberal globalisation. Before the rise of neoliberalism, Labour leader Harold Wilson rhapsodised industrial capitalism and the ‘white heat of technology’ in his renowned speech of 1963.

Today, we have another technocratic vision for super-charging British capitalism in the form of Fully Automated Luxury Communism, as promulgated by Aaron Bastani. With breathless rhapsodies to asteroid mining, gene editing and synthetic meat, ‘#FALC’ as its proponents like to abbreviate it, seems better suited to titillate an audience at Davos than to convince working-class voters concerned with wages, housing, public services – and Brexit.

‘Fully Automated Luxury Communism’ will be the ideological froth for the Corbynista vision for the state-led, technocratic modernisation of the British economy. Capitalists will increasingly see the advantages – and state subsidies – in Corbynomics. Meanwhile, millennial socialists will promise the world to the workers – nationalised utilities, a ‘green new deal’, even jobs mining asteroids. Everything except the thing they actually voted for – Brexit.

The slogan of millennial socialism is now everything for the workers, except democracy and self-determination. After all, we would not want the supply chains to be disrupted.

Philip Cunliffe is an academic and one of the co-founders of the Full Brexit.

Picture by: Getty.

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Comments

John Taylor

5th September 2019 at 1:42 pm

For Nazi Industrialists And Hitler’s Banker “All Was Forgiven”

Worth a read. https://www.globalresearch.ca/for-nazi-industrialists-and-hitlers-banker-all-was-forgiven/5445790

Jerry Owen

5th September 2019 at 12:57 pm

Witty article with a subtle hint of sarcasm.. my favourite type !
Didn’t that other socialist party in Germany some decades ago flirt with big capital , such as Mercedes Benz , Porsche, Siemens and many capitalist businesses ?
Labour with it’s rising anti semitism and flirtation with big capital seems to be headed somewhere very dark indeed.

Michael Lynch

4th September 2019 at 8:58 pm

Spot on, Phil. If Momentum are hoping for their wet dream of a Marxist paradise they needn’t bother looking toward Corbyn to achieve it from now on. The Remainer elite of the Labour Party have finally tamed him. He’s now Blair lite and is only too keen to cosy up to the European champions of globalism and big business. If he was able to win a GE, something I very much doubt, he now has no intention of Leaving. He should have stuck to his principles, sided with the working classes who voted for Brexit and deselected the insufferable snobs that really control the Party. If only he’d been brave like Boris!

Dominic Straiton

4th September 2019 at 7:21 pm

While the snowflakes of the Uk support tyranny the Iron rain of Hong Kong support freedom.

A Game

5th September 2019 at 12:57 am

Dominic Straiton:
Perfect. The people of Hong Kong have truly shown up the pseudo credentials of the establishment supported Antifa milksops.

Jane 70

4th September 2019 at 7:15 pm

Word from the Square Mile: support for Corbyn? No , not in a million.

Francis Lee

4th September 2019 at 3:40 pm

The Brexit Referendum was a strange business. It was a vote the outcome of which was known already. It went something like this. The vote would go in favour of the Remain camp, or horribile dictu, if it went the wrong way, then it would be reversed – EU style – by an incessant campaign of fear, procrastination, delay, and muddle presided over by big business, the government AND opposition parties, the BBC and private media corporations, including most importantly the Economist, The Financial Times and the Guardian. Even Obama came over and told us which way to vote. The upshot of this will be a rerun and reversal of the original vote. This was obvious the very day after the Referendum result. Order will have been restored. As for universal suffrage, that died a tragic death. People must either learn to vote the right way, or they will be disenfranchised. Like I said outcome of this election was wholly expected and these working class oiks have been shown who is boss.

Of course this might mean the collapse of the Labour vote in the forthcoming second referendum and subsequent elections when the disenfranchised take their revenge. But hey, good riddance to this rubbish. They will have joined other social-democratic Judases, like Syriza, PS (France) PASOK (Greece) SPD (Germany) PSOE (Spain)

Social-democracy a Remainer bloc all over Europe is pretty much a busted flush. It never had the backbone to put up and effective opposition to globalization/neoliberalism, and simply fell into line. Three bags full sir. If there is a silver lining to all this the electoral bases of these parties seems to be collapsing; not surprising as the people they were supposed to be standing up for have been left high and dry to face the depredations on international finance capital.

The millenial airheads – H.G.Wells’ Elois from the Time Machine – will soon drift away to play with their Smart phones whilst a new dispensation takes place. We live in dangerous and volatile times.

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