Monday, 29 September 2014

To the right, and downwards

The above image from Kiwiblog reinforces, I think, what I was saying yesterday in my previous post. Over this time, Labour (and the global left in general) has progressively moved away from its working class, democratic socialist roots by attempting, unsuccessfully, to outflank the right on its own turf. The reasons for this are complex and multifaceted, but much of it has to do with the right's superior ability to promote its narrative as a result of its stronger ties with the corporate sector, and the financial and media might that comes with that. The unstated motto of the establishment left has become: "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

Frankly, I don't know how best to address that, but I suspect the answer lies in taking greater advantage of alternative forms of communication. The left can do a lot more to leverage social media and engage with grassroots activists on the ground (rather than joining with the right in uncritically denouncing them as radicals). I doubt, though, that it's possible for the left to truly re-establish itself as an active force for meaningful, positive change without concerted, organised efforts from outside the bounds of the parliamentary system; there's simply no incentive right now for those on the inside to rock the boat. Why risk your career in the short-term for something as intangible as long-term cultural change? Even those entering politics (and there are more than a few) who truly understand structural inequality and care deeply about addressing it will find their concerns swiftly sidelined by their party's more immediate electoral agenda - even though, as we can see, that short-termism actually compromises the party's long-term viability.

EDIT: Interesting to note, though, that National's trend is similar [link] - though not as steep.

No comments:

Post a Comment