Leftwin is hosting a discussion on building a new politics in Aotearoa. Here is a contribution from Vanessa Arapko. Vanessa is an undergraduate student in University of Auckland majoring in Sociology. She’s involved in organizing and volunteering for various radical groups such as Student Housing Action Group and No Pride in Prisons.
Trump’s victory reinforced the failure of liberal democracy and its abandonment of the working class. This election demonstrated Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party’s total capitulation to capital and its neoliberal ethos. The same tradition of the working class abandonment by the liberal left in parliamentary politics is analogous in New Zealand.
With the adoption of neoliberal policies by the Fourth Labour Government in 1984, there has been an on-going continuation of free-market ideology within the dichotomy of electoral politics. All parties in government have failed to provide a counter hegemony to neoliberalism but moreover to capitalism which dictates class antagonisms. The so-called liberal democracy has long neglected workers and the oppressed, accompanied by a refusal to critique the operation of the market which must infinitely expand, accumulate and exploit. Instead of embodying a conscientious politics of resistance, the liberal left has relegated itself to administering the future of capitalism, and tinkering at the margins.
The perils of liberal democracy must therefore accept its perished state and instead, acknowledge the post-capitalist future as one determined by our capacity to organize, take action, revolt and make demands in the struggle against capitalism. Alternatively, not limited to parliamentary politics, a party led by workers and the unemployed can serve as a medium to provide a radical counter hegemony to capitalism. One which will be united in the international workers struggle and hold the capacity to make universal political demands while accounting for particularities in not merely immediate but mediated material conditions of people. Alas, anything short of the universality of these demands will lead to local privilege at the expense of others.
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Leftwin seeks to host a discussion on building a new left politics in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Be part of that discussion.