Sometimes you read an article that draws together some of your thoughts in to a clearer understanding, it says some things better than you could yourself. Though I don't embrace every word in this particle article, I certainly think it is well worth reading in full.
A little further on, on the rise of Corbynism:
Faced with the overwhelming power of capital and the escalating violence of the state, stuck between the institutional inertia of the old left and the ephemeral spontaneity of the new, the opposition remains impotent and confused. Evidently, it is not the “historical inevitability” of the capitalist law of value, but the left’s own lack of internal coherence and the conspicuous absence of visionary post-capitalist perspectives that keeps it stuck in an endlessly repeating present.As the future collapses in on itself and the left’s revolutionary aspirations wither on the vine, it is the weakness of our clenched fist and the paucity of our collective imagination, far more than the “natural laws” of their invisible hand, that now makes the end of the world appear more likely than the end of capitalism. It has become painfully clear that, if the left is to truly to chart a way out of capitalist barbarity, it will have to first reinvent itself.Let the dead bury their deadWhat could such a “reinvented left” look like? Clearly, it will not come falling out of the sky, nor can it be conceived on paper by the high priests of radical theory. Rather, its political imaginary, organizational forms and strategic orientations will all have to be constructed through collective processes of political agitation and firmly rooted in the structural contradictions and periodic crises of contemporary capitalism; in the material conditions and lived experience of ordinary working people, oppressed minorities and marginalized communities; and in the concrete materiality and revolutionary potential of actually existing struggles.
Closing with a wee look to the future:
Democratic socialism, by contrast, appears to have been staging a cautious comeback in recent years, especially in its various left-populist forms. Buoyed by the collapse of social democracy and the constituent impulse of recent mobilizations against neoliberalism and austerity, a raft of leftist forces has been on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic—ranging from the progressive governments of the Latin American Pink Tide to the radical left parties in Greece and Spain, on to the self-declared “socialist” candidacies of Bernie Sanders in the United States and Jeremy Corbyn in the United Kingdom.But while the emergence of electoral alternatives to neoliberal cynicism certainly marks an advance compared to the shallow theatrics of electoral politics prior to the crisis, the defeat (and subsequent cooptation) of the radical left in Greece and the gradual receding of the Pink Tide in Latin America clearly reveal the limits of the once-vaunted model of “21st century socialism”, whose dependence on global capital and international financial institutions remains woefully undiminished.
Rather than exploding the tensions between the "old left" and the "new left", I believe the "old left" has to abandon its tried and failed ideology, and throw its lot in with the anti-parliamentarian left of the streets, there's where success for the people starts and eventually culminates in success.Yet it often seems that the future remains trapped between the internecine squabbles of two seemingly irreconcilable “lefts”: an old one centered narrowly on taking power, and a new one still struggling to come to terms with its own potential. Beyond the haughty impotence of the former and the apparent perplexity of the latter, the theory and practice of building power offers fertile and expanding political ground for a new anti-capitalist politics. We must now explode the tensions between them into a common project that can begin to give a concrete and democratic organizational form to the restive constituent potential that is craving to assert itself from below.As we gather force and move along the process of construction, we will gradually notice the horizons of possibility expanding: the higher we rise, the farther we see; until, one day, all that meets the eye is the glorious sight of rebel cities everywhere rising up against the common enemy, humanity resolving at last to “throw its revolutionary broadsword into the scales.” Until then, you will find us in the streets: preparing the ground, laying the foundations—building power.