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The Labour Party

Keir Hardie, founder of the Labour Party, was born to a servant girl out of wedlock. He was known as a difficult character, even within the party he founded—while most trade unionists and labour men had no interest in votes for women, Hardie associated with suffragettes and threatened to resign if the party didn’t support suffrage (in the end a compromise allowed the party’s MPs a free vote on the issue).

Hardie illustrates the dilemma around leftist politics—for the believer, he is “the typical working-class lad” and Labour is “the party of the working class”. Yet another way to look at it is that Hardie was a very anti-social man—his father was clearly someone who was prepared to flout social rules, abandon the mother of his child (at a time when that meant economic hardship and social disgrace); and so we know what he was in the blood—a bad guy.

Put this way, Hardie was just a quarrelsome and anti-social person who stirred people up and liked to break social conventions—and he was so anti-social that he was even prepared to flout the consensus of his own party, of “the working class”, as regards women’s suffrage (perhaps he felt that way because he was only brought up by his mother, and so naturally took the female side).

If you think about it, though there were women’s sections and feminists involved in Labour from the first, there is no real connection between your interests as a manual worker and the interests of women—unless it is asserted, through a belief, that you are both “oppressed”; and, even if that were true, there is no necessary connection between two oppressed people or groups of people.

In a similar vein, trade union activists could be seen as trouble-makers, bullies, and difficult men, like Hardie, who stir people up or bully them into actions they wouldn’t otherwise take.

This is then called “representation of the working class”—even though 1/3 to 1/2 of the working-class electorate reliably votes Tory. Aha, but they are unenlightened, deluded by capitalist propaganda, readers of the Murdoch press (yes, even today, antediluvian socialists still talk about “the Murdoch press”, when that was all swept away by the Internet 15 years ago at least).

Trade unions never benefit anyone, if you think about it. The man who owns a business wants to turn a profit, to keep it in business—the decisions he takes aim to achieve this goal (unless he is irrational). The trade union, by contrast, attempts to frustrate that goal—this can only make the business less competitive, and that in turn means fewer opportunities to reward people through higher wages and opens the possibility that the whole business might go bankrupt.

So trade unions never make any sense, even in your own interest—if you think about the long-term picture. But, as we shall see, that’s not what motivates trade unionists.


This whole situation sums up the difference between leftist and rightist explanations—rightist explanations derive from nature “he’s a bad ’un, takes after his father”, whereas the left says “it’s all due to society, and society must solve these problems”. Each side claims the other throws dust in the eyes of their support base—the workers are either deluded by “the capitalist media” or “misled by trouble-makers and their socialist theories”.

It’s innate—people have a certain character, and certain characters gel with certain ideas (it’s dialectical, there’s an interplay between belief and nature—you can’t seperate them; perhaps the error in both sides is to think “it’s just nature”, “it’s just society”).

It’s like if you read an analysis as regards who voted for the NSDAP—well, lots of agricultural workers, lots of servants, lots of suburban manual workers who commuted to the cities, lots of manual workers who work alone.

For the leftist, this is explained by “relation to the means of production”—if you own a little property, if you work as a German peasant under some Junker-appointed estate supervisor, if you work with your hands but on your own then your consciousness is altered so as to think about “the nation” as the collective entity you identify with, not the class.

The rightist explanation is that people end up in those occupations due to their character (which you can give a scientific explanation for via personality traits, if you want)—the right’s explanations are “emergent”, work out from nature, whereas for the left people “float around” and are formed by society with apparently no volition of their own (ironically, they’re formed “from above”).

To think in emergent terms is synonymous with cybernetic thought—which is ultimately the science of the command and control of organisms (hence natural); and so it’s no surprise that the Soviet Union banned cybernetic thought as incompatible with Marxism (though they relented because the generals needed it for their missile systems).

So in the “organic account” disagreeable and individualist people with a certain intelligence level end up as manual workers in jobs where they work on their own (taxi drivers, bouncers, long-haul lorry drivers); and these people like parties like the NSDAP which are about individual heroism, the concrete collective entity that is the nation, and also conflict (difficult people).

Another sub-set are rural peasants who remain peasants under the overseer’s direction because they’re passive people who enjoy the structure and discipline—perhaps they’re not so bright, so it makes them feel safe; they need someone to tell them what to do (more intelligent people migrate to the towns).

Conversely, agreeable and matey people go to work in large factories where, in turn, they are easily browbeaten into membership in a trade union or socialist organisation—perhaps by narcissistic or anti-social people like Keir Hardie.

This is then called “the working class” or “the interests of the working class”—but that’s just a belief imposed on the situation; ultimately, it’s religion all the way down—previously, these people worked in the idiom of non-Conformism, then they worked in the idiom of socialism, today they talk about “white supremacy”.

The notorious building site showdown between Hitler and the site’s trade union officials, where they threatened to chuck him off the scaffolding, sums up the divide—the individualist just refuses to toe the line, yet, of course, his determination and individual nature explain his success (even if, say, like his father, he just worked his way up the bureaucracy).

This personality type is then explained by the left, being purely environmental, as being due to his relation to property or social relations.

I mean, yes, if you read Labour histories by Labour Party supporters they talk about “the interests of the working class”, “the party of the working class”, and so on—but that is just a belief they assert, as a fact they never carried all the working class with them (they conflate their normative assertion with the facts—“because we believe we speak for these people, we do”, but that’s just what you think or like to tell yourself).

The alternative interpretation is that these are anti-social or quasi-criminal people who fix on more agreeable or sensitive people and browbeat them into agreement with plausible theories and ideas—often narcissistic and detached from reality; indeed, funnily enough, the priority for the first “full” Labour cabinet in 1945 was to call for a propaganda campaign to address the issue that many people had voted for Labour on the expectation of “less work, more pay” wherever did they get that idea?

A further irony is that Keir Hardie is revered as “the father of the Labour Party”—the current Labour leader, Keir Starmer, is even named after him, just as many Soviet children were called “Lenin”. So you’re saying that history is made by exceptional individuals, irreplaceable, who were the right man at the right place at the right time in an almost mystical…No, no! It’s all collective, it’s about working together—hard-working families together—it’s not individual at all.

The reverence for Hardie exposes the fact that he is “the paramount leader” of old—the Moses, if you like (though he didn’t live long enough to bring down the holy tablets—“Clause IV”, the Labour Constitution). The reality, that history is made by extraordinary individuals, is revealed in the current Labour leader’s name—the only issue is whether the man in question is a hero or a villain, and you can tell which he really is when you find his followers are hypocrites.


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