What happened on March 26?

Thomas Jones

Escalate, an anonymous 'collective of writers and activists from around the University of London', has just published a stimulating Marxist analysis of the TUC march against the cuts:

What happened on March 26? The official answer is clear: hundreds of thousands of ‘people from all walks of life’ marched for an ‘alternative’. Who in fact were they, and what are their interests? And what material recourse do they have against their managed impoverishment? Among all the cloddish asininities emblazoned in grim edible pinks across a million A6 flyers, not once does the TUC mention class. Its current agenda is one of banal inclusivity... ‘Unification’ will be useless so long as it involves the subordination of all political fractions to the ‘middle classes’. At bottom, the pre-eminence of middle-class ‘values’ is the pre-eminence of bourgeois property rights.


  • 7 April 2011 at 4:23pm
    loxhore says:
    why does the prose here remind me of keston sutherland

  • 8 April 2011 at 12:51pm
    lostlit says:
    So...I think it's pretty clear by now that if you want an order civil structure - that is, not a society in which people roam around and do whatever - then a class system naturally results. People are too self-interested and variously so to not fight for more than the other; and there will always be those who don't struggle for as much and therefore don't have it. We in America deny that there is a class system here; and, while there may not be much "class" in the higher classes here, there is a hierarchy of privilege and power no less. Until the day that all people are born with the interest to share themselves and our resources, and not hoard or obstruct then won't we have an equal society! We all know that will happen no time soon. Do these Escalate kids really think their "Marxist" analysis is soooo insightful? Please.

  • 8 April 2011 at 1:04pm
    outofdate says:
    Imagine being these people. Just thinking about their socks is enough to break your heart. And the padded grey Oxfam anoraks they have to wear through the nine-month winter, and the grey sagging faces, and no skill, and no joy, and no wit, and no beauty to relieve the abject misery of the Seven Sisters Road, and the awful hair, and the damp flat, and the squealing ungainly child, with the snot and the diarrhoea, and the hangovers worse every day, and nothing to wake up to all their lives but their loathsome inescapable selves.... Yet they can no more stopper the flow of hopeless bullshit out of their mouths than a bird can cease to sing. Imagine.

  • 8 April 2011 at 7:40pm
    loxhore says:
    delong's funny on marx

  • 12 April 2011 at 9:54pm
    simonpawley says:
    Stimulating? It's simply ludicrous. The fact is that most of UKUncut really are campaigning ('only') for an effective system of taxation (worth remembering that the inspiration came from articles in 'Private Eye', which is many things but never anti-capitalist). And that most students really are campaigning to preserve funding for university tuition and EMA.
    The clincher comes in section 7: "The protesters at Fortnum and Masons required heavy treatment because the economic damage done to that shop was greater than a smashed window (even if it took 100 people instead of one or two). The mass arrest shows that it is not the protest tactic of violence or non-violence that matters to capital, but the contours of economic damage." This is nothing short of fantasy. Windows were being smashed, and arrests needed to be made. Those in Fortnum and Mason were easy to round up. Lazy journalists eagerly complied in equating their number with the window-smashers, which left their readers with the impression that the violent protesters were the ones who had been arrested ('Scenes of violence... 200 arrests made').
    It's little wonder nobody is keen to put their name to this stuff...