Monday, January 17, 2011

The Gall of Galloway

The job of Socialists is to bring the class struggle to an end, not to try and accommodate themselves with this system. Socialism is not milk-and-sops reform. It is not a vague concern with every opposition campaign or grouping within capitalist society.

George Galloway launched his campaign in Glasgow in his bid to win a Scottish Parliament seat saying it would be based on "real Labour values". Galloway will merely repeat the folly of Labour, in finding itself needing to run capitalism against the interests of the workers. He still thinks in terms of socialism being the control or regulation of capitalism in the interest of the non-rich. But that’s not socialism, but reformism.The message Galloway projects is hardly an advance for the working class. We don’t need another Labour party. Galloway and Tommy Sheridan and the rest of the Left, have learned nothing from the failures of both Keynes in the West and the Bolsheviks in the East. Both groups in a similar way, the latter, slightly more extreme than the former, thought that they could make capitalism work in a national-centric arena for the workers and call the result: 'Socialism In One Country' (whether British nationalism for Galloway or Scottish nationalism in the case of Sheridan). Surely Galloway has learned that one of the two big lessons of the 20th century has been that Labourism is a dead-end (the other lesson, of course, being that a state capitalist dictatorship such as in former USSR is not a way to socialism - even though Galloway still mourns for the Soviet Union and its demise). It can’t succeed. Not because its leaders such as Galloway are insincere or incompetent or not resolute enough. It fails because it sets itself the impossible mission of trying to gradually reform capitalism into socialism. This can’t be done, as experience, not just theoretical understanding, has confirmed. If the mistakes of the 20th century are not to be repeated the last thing that is needed today is the return to "real Labour values". We’ve already been there, and it doesn’t work.

Far from being a voice for the oppressed George Galloway is the voice of wealth and power in the Middle East. His primary purpose is to be a cheerleader for the ruling class in the Arab world against the ruling class in Britain and America - presumably in the name of some sort of anti-imperialism. His role in the workers' movement is to poison it. Ordinary people hear this poison and think it has something to do with socialism. He and his ilk are just as great an enemy to the spread of socialist understanding as any professed capitalist apologist.

George Galloway is a corrupt and corrupting man. Not corrupt in the sense in which a good capitalist would understand - grubbing for money in brown envelopes. His corruption is one of a sort more familiar to the workers’ movement: a man giddy on success and status born from his ability to be at the centre of things. Galloway is a living confirmation of the Socialist Party’s case of avoiding leadership and leaders in our movement.

No comments: