Working with various Left think tanks and policy experts I am bringing people together in a series of seminars to discuss the questions that may be able to influence the climate for the debate about Labour’s future.

If we aim to transform our society we need leaders and a movement made up of members who understand the economy and society we operate in and how it has evolved in the recent period.

The recent exciting work of the Left think tanks has explained how the overriding dominance of finance capital has financialised our economy so that rent seeking has largely displaced production as the prime mover of the economy, creating grotesque levels of inequality.

Through its concentration of wealth and power, finance capital has exerted immense influence and control of the politics of countries across the globe.

In the last 20 years it has formed a new alliance with the emerging powerful data/media corporations. Technological advance has meant that new capitalist formations have evolved to reflect the new players and resources on the block.

We have entered the era of the finance, data/ media complex, capable of combining the traditional financial clout over economic decision making by governments with the ability to use its ownership and influence of the various media platforms to decisively influence decision making and even elections.

Elections can be decisively influenced by the dominating ownership and control of the main stream press, the resultant permeation of the broadcasting media and the purchase of overwhelming influence via social media and use of data targeting to protect its distribution of power and wealth from any radical challenge.

So the question is how can change be brought about in the face of the resistance to real change by this powerful new capitalist formation.

So far the Left has failed to develop a successful strategy but some lessons are pretty obvious.

First, move on from the traditional political party and start building the party into a social movement, arising from the grassroots within geographical communities with a sense of place or communities of interest with a sense of mission or grievance or identity.

Second, recognise that to change the world you need to understand it. Groups like ”The World Transformed” have demonstrated how to transform political education and the discussion of ideas into an exciting social activity.

Third, appreciate it is a culture war in which every potential weapon of mass communication has to be used and as one media platform becomes colonised by opponents and less effective for us, be ahead of the game and move on to create or utilise new platforms and outlets with creativity in conveying our message.

Fourth, accept that nobody said changing the world would be easy. But one thing is certain. If you don’t try you never will. So enjoy trying.

Our best assets are our smiles and solidarity.

John McDonnell MP




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