Hutton on Labour splits

Daniel F. Vukovich vukovich at
Sun Dec 27 20:04:07 PST 1998

At 05:01 PM 27-12-98 -0500, you wrote:
>Chris Burford quoted Will Hutton:
>>How Blair responds will be decisive. Mandelson's fall is a warning that a
>>Labour leader must keep his moderate Left onside to succeed; if he does
>>not, the tensions at the top of New Labour can only grow.
>If Clinton is any precedent, Blair will piss on the Labour left - and
>should Blair hit a rough patch, the left will be among his strongest
>defenders. Of course, Britain is a different country....

Seems like a safe bet to me. I'm dead tired of the whole Clinton scenario, but I have to say that I am fairly disgusted by the cerebral left's support of him during this whole impeachment show. I just don't get it: despite his war on the poor and working class, despite his Helmsmanship of the American Empire, despite his sycophantic pragmatism in general, still he garners support from cerebral leftists in academe and moreover from less trivial leftists in the media and in civil society. Is this simply b/c he is arguably less sexist and racist -- in his heart of hearts anyway -- or is Rorty right in claiming that the distinction b/w "left" and "liberal" is anachronistic in our late bourgeois world over here? That, wily nily, marxism and socialism are dead? I think Rorty is a joke, but he also might be one at the expense of the so-called real left as a whole -- of those who fancy themelves a bit more left/radical than what he so unashamedly espouses. For is is clear that we are all rather trivial in a structural sense -- and moreover, if there is not even a symbolic, or principled difference b/w "us" and "him" in terms of where we stand vis a vis something like the Clinton-show, then really, what is "left" (so to speak)?

Ack, excuse my gloom....blame it on the Adorno references. But I do think that, while we might have a bead on what Thatcherism and Reaganism meant, Clintonism may well turn out to be equally pernicious.


---------------------------------------------------- Daniel Vukovich English; Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory University of Illinois Urbana, IL 61801 vukovich at ph. 217-344-7843 ----------------------------------------------------

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