by Serban V.C. Enache
In his essay, “The Precariat: Today’s Transformative Class?”, Guy Standing tries to set up a historical context, a categorization of current class identities and class dynamics, and puts forth several measures to achieve a brighter future. It’s great that he talks about reclaiming the commons and taxing economic rents – albeit he forgets to stress that regressive taxes should be abolished while doing so.
I will now begin to challenge Standing’s sectionalist take on class dynamics. Since my political nose tells me I’m dealing with a rat, the form of this article is that of a pamphlet. I strongly urge the audience to take in Standing’s essay before reading this article.
In his essay, Standing doesn’t mention illegal immigration once; in fact, he doesn’t mention the word immigration at all. He only refers to ‘migrants’ and implies that they are a class entitled to steer a sovereign country’s own affairs of present and future. [Note: the Windrush generation is a different story and what this Tory government has done to them is a crime that must be redressed.]
I put it to Standing that sovereign nation states are neither obsolete ideas nor obsolete vehicles – quite the contrary, they are de jure and de facto reality. Guy refers to the “Atavists” (a faction belonging to the so-called Precariat) in a subtly snide manner. By the way, I dislike this term “the Precariat” – it sounds so pompous and there’s a lot of venom in it. I prefer the NINJA generation label (No Income & No Jobs).
According to Standing, the Atavists are dregs, although he can’t say that openly in his writing without breaking PC norms. To quote of friend of mine (of mixed descent), every time you call someone a Nazi, you create another Republican. People who believe a country has the right (conferred by pragmatic politics, tradition, as well as Natural Law) to formulate her own immigration rules, expel illegals, and defend her borders are NOT fascists. You know who wished they could have had a say on immigration into their own territory? Palestine under British Mandate! Hell, the very existence of countries is based on this simple prerogative. For more on this, read “Historical and Socialist views on Immigration.”
Some of the migrants and minorities are NOT part of the so-called Precariat! They are upper class bourgeois liberals, who like to moralize (they constantly virtue-signal plebs to death, especially poor whites) and are completely out of touch with reality at the grassroots. Some of them are not liberal on social issues but quite regressive, and have managed to save up money, buy property, and ensure incomes from rents (i.e. becoming rentiers). See the UK town Slough’s economics and demographics, for example. The Atavists most definitely hate the upper class identitarians more than the poor, working class tanned-skins. Why? Because the former are constantly in the papers, on radio, on the tele and on the internet, bashing poor whites, calling them stupid, narrow-minded, sexists, racists, etc.
Next, Standing talks about the Progressive faction within the Precariat. He talks very highly of them, but in a way that is full of self-praise. This air of superiority is what makes ordinary people hate the liberal elites, the preachy literati class. However, this group, the NINJA Progressives, are not monolithic. In fact they are deeply fractured and have opposing views among themselves about economics – what constitutes regressive economic policy vs progressive policy; what constitutes sensible civic rights as opposed to the state legislating mass delusion and censorship according to the whim of ultra-minorities; and even over Brexit.
It’s no coincidence, in my opinion, that Guy Standing refers to the so-called Precariat as “The Dangerous Class.” After all, he did give a speech in 2017 at a Bilderberg group meeting. Standing is clearly pursuing a political agenda that’s hardly about uniting the three factions of the Precariat. In order to unite antagonists, you have to be a neutral party, yet Standing is pushing the Progressives as the alternative. Standing claims that progressives have already broken the mould, shown by the Occupy movement and the success of Podemos in Spain, the Movimento Cinque Stelle (MS5) in Italy, Bernie Sanders in the US, and Jeremy Corbyn in Britain.
Wishful thinking. Podemos didn’t break any moulds. The Eurocrats simply gave them the fiscal leeway they didn’t extend to everyone else. Bernie Sanders bowed down to the DNC (since he was a strawman from the get-go) and many of his followers have lost all enthusiasm for him. But to give credit where credit is due, Sanders did start out with the correct economic narrative – open immigration is NOT a socialist policy, it’s a policy that benefits capitalists, especially trans-national capitalists. The SJWs, who have no critical social or economic understanding of globalism, cowed him into changing his tune. Nevertheless, Sanders got it right the first time.
In turn, in Britain, Corbyn and McDonnell are showing a lot of vulnerability; poor PR, poor decisions, inability to reach the traditional working class – this against one of the most catastrophically inept Tory Governments in history. While Corbyn is to be praised for criticizing (Apartheid) Israel and Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian leadership never ceases to betray their own. What has Abbas done? He extended words of strong solidarity toward the Crown Prince AND eternal support for Saudi Arabia. Hamas (originally helped into being by the Israelis, in the latter faction’s logic to be a counter to the secular PLO) as well as the Palestinian Leadership, are infiltrated by both the Saudis and the Israelis. Oligarchic factions simulate dissent in public and count their moneys and privileges behind the scenes. But I digress…
Standing hopes the Progressives are going to be a vanguard. Please. Lenin knew how to run a vanguard. He ran it by killing dissenters; which, orthodox morality aside, is the fastest way to impose leadership, eliminate rivals, achieve order, and create an environment from which growth can happen. These Progressives are not a moral or political vanguard, however. They can NEVER be IT, so long as they support open borders immigration and transnational government. Standing and the bleeding-heart liberals never mention the other half of the balance sheet. The countries from which these people are coming from are bleeding youth, brains, and skills – the latter two elements the products of their own states’ investment. The countries who receive these immigrants receive a free lunch from those investments, a boon for the capitalist and rentier classes.
So, let’s tally it up. You overpopulate one region of the globe, while depopulating another (in many cases bombing it too). You force domestic and foreign labour to compete within the same jurisdiction, driving down wages and putting immense strain of the social infrastructure where working-class people live – and then you have the audacity to claim “oh, you white plebs, you’re the problem because you’re racists.” These liberal elites who masquerade as socialists always invoke the 1930s and WW2. But they never invoke WW1 and the growing conflicts ahead of it, sparked by unruly minorities, unlawful treatment of minorities, and territorial claims. The idea of open immigration, while touted by Progressives as very enlightened and humanitarian, is in fact highly regressive and dangerous, if we actually bother to look at history. The virtue of tolerance, while a virtue nonetheless, has NEVER been strong enough to forge a civilization or prevent its collapse. I will not be complicit in the spread of this dangerous liberal fantasy, that a political faction (no matter how on point its economic platform is) is gonna get people of disparate faiths and backgrounds to hold hands and sing fucking kumba ya.
The Liberal Left and the Far Left (what little of it remains uninfected by the SJWs) are never going to unite the poor and the middle class without first deciding which boat they’re in. You’re either a supporter of globalism or a supporter of the sovereign nation state. There is NO middle-ground. There is no reforming globalization. Why? Simple. Because you need the sovereign nation state vehicle to do that. And so long as you oppose this vehicle by denying it the ability to expel illegal immigrants and regulate the inflow of immigrants, you can’t attempt reform. You can’t do anything without bargaining power and a contingency plan. The only way you can gain something from a negotiation with the globalist party is to show them that you fully know how to drive the nation-state vehicle, and that you have the willpower to do it and weather the consequences should the globalists refuse you.
Standing engages in drivel, telling us about the ancient Greeks (and doesn’t miss the opportunity to inform us that they were sexist) who distinguished between labour and work. Sadly, he fails to spell out the differences. What’s the difference between labour and work? They are perfect synonyms. He also attempts to engage in Marxist jargon. “The Precariat also learn they must do a lot of work-for-labour, work-for-the-state, and work-for-reproduction of themselves.” What the hell does “work-for-labour” mean? They work for people in traditional employment? All working people strive to obtain other people’s labour and the product of spent labour (capital) from which they’re able to derive their own output, sell it, and obtain their own wages and or profits. A lot of small business owners also work within the firm, so that makes them part of the working class too, and if their businesses are in trouble, so is the Precariat.
“For hundreds of years, the idea of putting everybody in jobs would have been regarded as strange and contrary to the Enlightenment.”
This is plain fucking bullshit. Back in the day, more so than now, when most of production was labour-intensive, there was MUCH MORE work to be done than people to do it. There’s nothing wrong with public works programmes. Nobody is advocating for people to work like drones for 14 hours a day and 1 day off per week. And if you want to play the culture game, the Enlightenment was shit compared to the Renaissance. Sensible criticism of the Job Guarantee is that pertaining to Government management of the scheme. Claiming that giving the unemployed paid work to do is an oddity, more so, a centuries-old curiosity and inherently undesirable, is nothing short of sophistry. I advise Standing to read up on Coxey’s Army. The claim also shows no understanding of working-class values and sentiments; the vast majority would welcome purposeful, fulfilling work.
For all his beating around the bush and hammering down the sectionalist narrative, Standing doesn’t touch at all on the role of the Intelligentsia, which played a pivotal role during the Cold War and still does. Standing is not an economist, but a sociologist. Sociologists never comment on the Deep State, and if they do it’s rare or non-critical. Ditto for most economists. The Intelligentsia’s role was and still is to sabotage working-class consciousness and working-class politics. The most effective post-war tactic has been to fracture it via sectionalism (identity politics), which is why they poured more than three trillion dollars into the effort to control various University departments, NGOs, activists, and entertainers. See Frances Stonor Saunders’ The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters, and John Potash’s Drugs As Weapons Against Us: The CIA’s Murderous Targeting of SDS, Panthers, Hendrix, Lennon, Cobain, Tupac, and Other Leftists.
I can’t help but judge Standing is dangling a shiny ripe carrot in front of us, all the while his way of framing the debate will prevent us from ever taking hold of that carrot. For this reason I chose the title of this article, “Cat, mouse and snake.”
Serban V.C. Enache is a Romanian journalist and indie author. Though interested in history, politics, and economics, his true passion is for medieval fantasy fiction. https://www.amazon.com/Serban-Valentin-Constantin-Enache/e/B00N2SJD6O/ He can be reached over Twitter. https://twitter.com/SerbanVCEnache