Breaking the Leftist Myth and GE2017

With any political piece, especially one made at this time of a 5 minute news cycle, one can recognize that points made in this post won't mean much a few days after this has been published. However, like the words of the late Tony Benn, we hope that our words will remain relevant - or be remade relevant at some point in time. Clarity of positions means  more than a reactionary vision of our current times.

There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.
— Margaret Thatcher
We can repeal all of Thatcher’s politics in one day, but her ideas that she has injected into our society (I think evil ideas) will last a generation.
— Tony Benn

As an American-born Greek living in London, I recognize that much of my political lens does not fit in with the vast majority of the voter in my host country. I do, however, see that stark similarities in ideology shared by the two countries of the 'Special Relationship'. Both has shared the transformative successes of the neoliberal model implemented by the Thatcher and Reagan governments. They shared great triumph and blunders that changed the political and economic landscapes, until now.

Most are unconcerned by it. And being too young knowing the faults of the Keynesian world before it, but old enough to see what our communities and lives were upon it's seismic shift - I can see the validity in wanting to go back. Most millennials have profited immensely from this system of a globalized culture and economy, making us more knowledgeable, more inclusive, culturally-aware, and mobile. Ironically, it has also made a segment of this same generation equally imprisoned by its debts, lack of training, and lack of work. Making us all the same, the most susceptible to radical though, both economic and political (left and right), nationalistic and religious.

As Theresa May has been quoted to say, "if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what citizenship means." And that's exactly the point. We are a generation that has been fed both individualism and globalism. Social Darwinism and self-determination. Yet, the most heavily criticized for embodying these exact values. Mostly, due to our debts, our lack of opportunity, and our inability to acquire capital, we have no means to settle down in any on place, to put down roots and create real communities. No wonder no one goes bowling anymore. 

My perspective its purely leftist, as that is my point of view. I firmly supported Bernie Sanders for the Democratic primary, as did many of my contemporaries in the United States. Not necessarily for ideological reasons, but for a 'new way forward'. As a Labour supporter (a Corbyn supporter at that), I am thrilled by policies brought forward for the snap election. If you haven't ready them, please do - you will likely be pleased.

Many criticize our generation for harking back to the policies of the 1960s-70s. A time when workers had more power, wages were at their absolute peak in real terms, and our training and  education was accessible to all. 

The Leftist Myth

Our generation is too young to remember the 70s and 80s. The truth is the Labour and Democratic politics of those times did favor the worker. But it also was a product of 40 years of Keynesian economics. It was a time when the system was completely gamed. Kleptocratic union bosses, corrupt nationalized company workers, and productivity at an all time low - it is true, there were downsides to the system. The fail safes were not there to prohibit the usury of the very system that sought to ensure the rights of workers, not end them. And it is important to remember that now.

Upon writing this we are at a profound moment when a genuinely left-wing Labour government may come to power. Sanders is equally rallying support for the 2018 elections for a slew of left-minded Democratic candidates. Even the Conservative government has begun to abandon much of their economically liberal policies for more centrist positions. 

But it is important to remember what got us here. What set of 40 years or so of neoliberal agenda that has finally been gamed. It was us. We were the one who gamed the system, and we are the ones who broke the new system. It would be wise to listen to the words of the elder  leaders, as it is interesting that Corbyn, Sanders, McDonnell and other have taken up these positions. They are correctors, but they will not be around forever - it is up to us to ensure it doesn't get gamed.