26.9.17

Acid Corbynism


Good piece by Jeremy Gilbert on Acid Corbynism.

When I met Mark in January last year he told me about the Acid Communism book idea. Really nice to hear a distinct absence of spite and anger in the article's tone. I guess that's what Corbyn's success has meant to some of the left; perhaps people no longer feel they're jammed against the barbed wire?

Interesting to hear Gilbert celebrating the counterculture. I just finished the Stuart Hall curated book "Resistance Through Rituals"; in the essay "Subcultures, cultures and class" the counterculture is gently patronised as a middle-class revolt. On the one hand it's suggested it is *without* the fangs of working-class dissent; but on the other possibly more destabilising to the status quo.

The counterculture is something I've been studying closely. I've just finished books by Theodore Roszak, Charles A. Reich and Ken Goffman. I'm coming from the perspective of its connections to health, mental and otherwise. Particularly adroit therefore to hear Jeremy discussing "techniques of self-transformation like yoga, meditation or even psychedelic drugs."

From a political point-of-view I am obliged to emphasise that the counterculture was not de facto Socialist. It contained an equal measure of the Libertarian. That's the answer to why many of its denizens turned right in the 80s. Jeremy seems to be aware of this: "These movements were libertarian, promoting an ideal of freedom, but they understood freedom as something that could only be achieved or experienced collectively."