The World Cup controversy is portrayed as a clash of cultures. But the real divide
The short-lived Truss Government is in its death-throes, and in its final days of panicked pivot or miscalculation it has cemented “chaos” into its legacy. But amongst the chaos is order–Capital and its agents have been acting swiftly and decisively. Early on, the managers of financial capital caught the whiff of a Conservative Party in ideological disarray - the manifestation of broader intra-class bourgeois struggle. They sensed the split, between a profoundly reactionary Conservative membership, maintaining a parliamentary faction (Truss and other Johnson acolytes), and a resurgent ‘social conservative’ camp represented by new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. When ‘Trussonomics’ was presented in the mini-budget (incoherent through any lens beyond open class warfare, and unpopular to anyone outside the party membership) the City gave its assessment in the form of crashing markets.
Following U-turn after U-turn and the pound awkwardly climbing back upwards, Capital made plain its desires and the Tory party heard and answered the call. The 1922 Committee (an influential backbench group, often silently steering, or at least consenting to leadership and thus setting the general direction of travel for the party programme) put forward immense pressure to oust Truss. Who the replacement will be is uncertain, but we can already see that the Committee's preference is to avoid another protracted and messy leadership contest, in favour of a swift coronation. Beyond the Tories there are other forces in the balance, receptive to the needs of Capital. One such is the Labour Party, which Starmer has hoped to position as the new ‘natural party of government’ by attacking trade unions, courting the banks and talking up the monarchy. In this way, Capital is ushering in the prospect of a more “sensible” type of economic management. One that is optically more palatable and has a "softer" image. But also one that provides - with greater certainty - the gratuitous levels of exploitation and profit-making that they’ve enjoyed in recent years.
We see that bourgeois government gives many options for Capital. One analogy would be to characterise our political system as a many-headed hydra - but a better picture is that of Janus, with a single head that turns to produce different faces. As Capital is convulsed by the sum of its contradictions, as it continues to threaten its inevitable and terminal breakdown, the bourgeoisie further reveals its inability to respond. Combined with the incessant need to keep moving, to continue “growth”, we see it cycling through its faces, trying to find expression. As communists we’re not overly concerned with the politicking in the Tory Party or Parliament. But the fissures continue to yawn open, propagate and multiply. The current “chaos” needs to be navigated - and to do this we must understand the logic of capital in the neoliberal politics of our context, see it’s transmission as a manifestation of broader historical, political and economic phenomena, like the death of the Empire, and the current struggle to subordinate Russia to the US-led imperial pole.
From this viewpoint, we can see how Hunt's "softer" and more "sensible" conservatism will reason that there can surely be no help for the working class this winter. With the threat of blackouts, cold nights and empty bellies, the only thing on the table will be austerity - and it will be heaped on our plates. In a sense, nothing changes - Truss's overt pillage is replaced by Hunt's quieter grinding class war. So whilst the ruling class jostle and vie for position, we must organise our communities and workplaces to make them more resilient for the ever-more frequent crises and intensifying attacks on our class, from ever which direction they may come.