10 things I learned in 2016

1) Gramscianism, as interpreted by the New Urban Left in the 196os and still pervasive in the British left was dead before 2016 as a productive political direction, but now it’s really, really dead.

2) The left must now start anything it seeks to do from a different place in a different world. ‘Post-truth’ is the word of the year for good reason.

3) For the left to recover its position as something of hope for those now beset by the brutal impacts post-truth politics, the old ‘truth to power’ strategies, which will not win, will need to be superseded by political practices geared to truthfulness.

4) Truthfulness is not the same as truth-telling. Truth telling only works when truthfulness is accepted. This is what Corbynism offered, though not consciouslly – Corbyn was an unwitting cipher. But the moment for that is now lost, squandered by the sub-Gramscians (see 1)

5) Political practices geared to truthfulness must be implemented in the knowledge that people are ill from worry. Ill people are hard to work with. Nevertheless, a range of associational and everyday democratic options remain open to us, many of them forged in the 20th century and still fit for purpose with only mild tinkering.

6) Brexit may not happen, as there is a middle course to steer via Single Market retention which will make Brexit redundant.

7) But it may do, and it may be ‘hard Brexit’. In this case, the economy will crash and burn, probably from mid-late 2017. It will be awful.

8) Nevertheless, a Labour party that positions itself well in advance of the crash and burn may be in a position to work with a new generation on the creation, via an appropriate process of collective guilt and atonement, of a humbler, properly post-colonial country in which institutions are re-legitimized and people take a quiet pride in civic and state renewal.

9) However, we may be too late, and liberal democracy may, to all intents and purposes, collapse.

10) Time is short. Shorter than I thought in Jan 2016. And I thought it was short then.

Author: paulinlancs

Councillor for the Socialist Republic of Bickerstaffe. Interested in making things happen, except when there's cricket on. Sadly, there's never cricket on.

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