Jonathon Shafi on the deeper crisis facing the British state – and the challenge it offers to left reformism.

1. The deep crisis of the British State is not simply the product of multiple scandals. It has much bigger a problem – with far more profound and far reaching consequences.

2. The Tory ‘government’ reflect a broader decline rooted in a decaying social, political and economic order.

3. Each and every calamity is leading not towards an increased unity of a beleaguered ruling class – but towards splits, faction fights and and shattering of confidence.

4. There is no road map for British capitalism. Privatisation, deregulation, and the supremacy of financialisation has failed. It is not just the left who are saying this. It is the experience of millions of people.

5. The major centres of capital no longer have a coherent political wing. Brexit has hard wired a split into the core of the UK establishment.

6. That overlaps with a pre-existing economic crisis – the religion of neoliberalism is over. They have lost their back bone. You can visibly see that their once assured certainty is fading.

7. Some put hopes in the likes of Emanuel Macron – himself the target of a mass protest movement. This is a hope for a miracle, not a strategy.

8. Others attempt to channel memories of Empire. And with it racism, scapegoating – the death agony of imperial decline.

9. Some – well outside the Tory party – are sure a sense of order will be restored, and that this is a blip. The world will reset somehow. But it won’t. History is on the march.

10. An earthquake in consciousness is taking place. Every contradiction that arises as a result of the system is unraveling and is the subject of polarisation. Gender, race, class, power.

11. Cynicism is the last vestige of comfort now for an ailing system. In its place we need: ideas, action, leadership, radical democracy, debate beyond the old paradigm and tenacity.

12. The left has a choice now. It will either see itself as a force to revamp the system – to in a sense give it new life and to restore faith in the old institutions. Or it will be bold enough to confront the decaying social order by building an alternative.

13. Can the latter can be achieved via the British state itself? Or must that state must be the subject of radical democratic overhaul and dismantled. The next decades will be as much a test of Left reformism as they will neoliberal capitalism.

 

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