Hatred of politics & the Left’s complicated bereavement

by · September 4, 2013

Definitely not 1993 all over again

Definitely not 1993 all over again

My major essay on the recent trajectory of the Greens will be in the Overland print edition next week, but you’ll all be able to read it online before the election on the journal’s website. Meanwhile my latest piece at the Overland site, on the strange mood afflicting the Left during this election campaign, came out last Friday and resulted in a spirited debate in the comments.

How [the] crisis of authority plays out at the top and bottom of society is the central dividing line in Australian politics today, more important than the ossified Right-Left divisions that Abbott seems intent on being the last committed practitioner of. The key division is between an insider political establishment and the millions of people who feel shut out of political life; to whom the old ideological fixations are a symptom of the problems they face, not a solution. For the Left outside the ALP to orient around those old divisions therefore makes little sense and risks dragging us into further debacles like the Greens’ alliance with Gillard, which served to prop up unpopular neoliberal governance rather than mobilise opposition to it, and saw many on the Left complaining that the government’s record was being ignored by an ungrateful electorate. It means recognising the progressive element in the popular hatred of politics and not being seduced by the idea that we need to return to a time where official politics had greater authority.

Read more at the Overland site.

Discussion1 Comment

  1. […] Whatever the particular shapes that emerge from these dynamics, what is clear is that the material weight of Laborism has receded, and will continue to recede. There will certainly be at least a rump ALP at the end of this process, however, it is far from clear that Laborism in anything like the form we have previously experienced it will survive. This means the days of the Left being able to exist in the shadow of, or mainly in relation to, Labor, are numbered. We must as a Left work through that “complicated bereavement”. […]