After Corbyn’s hour

The appeal to me (see below) of Corbyn’s socialism lay in its moral, as opposed to scientific-critical, character.

Why was the appeal so forceful at that moment? Firstly, it was during a general election, when party loyalty gets you behind the leader, the one who leads opposition to the callousness of the Conservative Party. Second, there had been two terror attacks. I warmed to his response to these attacks: calling for a less war-like engagement in the Middle East; urging peaceful unity in English cities. Furthermore, he mounted a disarmingly unapologetic rejection of nuclear weapons in the TV debates.

Looking back, the confluence of the final two points was particularly affective: he was unabashedly re-employing the concept of peace, and pacifism came on my moral horizon.

Corbyn does not fully espouse pacifism, but it seems intrinsic to moral socialism to me. However: if we consider “the state” as being represented by the sword, why should “moral socialism” (i.e. Christianity) concern itself with attaining the power of the state, be it through an election or any other means? It mustn’t: rather “the state” (sword) must concern itself with attaining the power of the ploughshare (“the worker”). That is the central question for moral socialism.

So my enthusiasm for Corbyn – “moral socialism” – ebbs again, because it is indeed the power of the state which he, which socialism, seeks, and so lapses, in the end, into violence.


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