DYSTOPIA REIGNS. Clearly … There is something about Blade Runner, the movie rather than the Philip K. Dick’s original story, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, on which the film is based, that is unnerving.
Is this what we are heading for? Is Ridley Scott a clairvoyant of some kind? Probably not; I very much doubt it.
The film is set in 2019 — ooh, not too far off — and the climate looks grim. It rains all the time, there would never seem to be any natural light. Ironically, migrants — whether they are so because they are seeking asylum or education — are 2015’s ‘replicants’ and they are being ‘retired’ in boats in the Mediterranean sea or off the coast of several South Asian countries. This isn’t just un-humanitarian it is grotesque.
Is this the society we want to live in? I don’t have any magic solutions. I wish I had. I think that I would look quite cute with a sparkly wand in my hand.
Let us return to the subject in hand: a “new type of modern socialist party”. ‘Internationalism’ would seem an appropriate avenue to stroll down. Britain, as a whole, has been sold a distorted, myopic view of the world. It starts in school; we are taught/told that Britain once ruled a great empire. It’s as if the millions that died, the robbery of natural resources, the plunder of historical artefacts never happened. All we are meant to celebrate — Michael Gove-style — is the fact that this country once ruled a third of the planet. Forget all that ‘mumbo-jumbo-lefty-gibberish’ about the human and other costs just look at how important this country was. Talk about collateral damage …
Let’s face facts: Britain is part of a relatively small archipelago of islands floating (just about) in the North Sea off the European mainland. Does Britain need to ‘get-it-up’ or get its metaphorical dick out (I sincerely hope not)?
• Could Britain become a country more suited to the size of its petite boots and change?
Don’t forget that people, in Ukraine, are laying flowers at a statue of Lenin and then moving off to lay flowers at the foot of a statue of the last Russian Tzar. Get it?
Could a country such as Britain meet its international obligations but as a genuine peace keeper? Could Britain stop ‘strutting’ its anachronistic historical boots and join with other nation states in a new alliance; a new alliance in which armed forces (we are unlikely to see the end of them in the short-term) are not mobilised to bomb the shit out of people but are mobilised to aid and defend people. This would be a genuinely massive shift in conception; armed forces that were not aggressive killers/invaders but a ’defence force’. Imagine … British armed forces that (literally) built bridges, houses and made sure that sanitation was adequate.
Is that too tall an order, too utopian? Unfortunately, they will still be ‘armed-to-the-teeth’ — there is even some, sadly, inevitability to that — but it can’t be an impossibility. Groups, such as the so-called Islamic State/ISIS, will be opposed. I have heard, with my own dodgy ears, ISIS jihadists claim that adequate sanitation is an immoral ‘western’ conception. Lets all shit in public!
• Alliances, alliances … I just can’t get enough of them. Let’s go beyond that.
The Fourth International was founded in 1938; today, it is not the International of those times. A good thing too; many of the disputes of the ‘70s and ‘80s would make you want to head for the bedroom and hide. Nonetheless, and, perhaps, crucial is that supporters of the FI are today proactively involved in organisations such as SYRIZA (Greece) or Podemos (Spain) and in similar organisations in other parts of Europe. In fact, Fourth Internationalists on many other continents are proactively involved in building a new type of socialist-left party. Not as ‘entryists’ and that is what is, perhaps, crucial; an internationalist socialist current that doesn’t dictate. It may have a viewpoint but it is not going to thrust it down anybody’s throats ✪
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