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“Jettisoning traditional hierarchies”? There’s a term for that… May 22, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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This from a piece on the Brexit ‘party’ by Darren Loucaides in the Guardian is telling – charting the love affair between Five Star and Farage:

In March 2019, three months after leaving Ukip, his political home of 25 years, Farage launched the Brexit party. Ditching the tweed suits and pints of bitter that were his signature during the Ukip years, Farage has set out to lead a modern political movement. Farage’s new party has embraced slick digital ads and promised to save democracy by giving power back to the people. Supporters can apply to be candidates via an online portal, and the party has jettisoned traditional structures and hierarchies. Similarly to how Five Star is structured, the Brexit party is a registered company striving to look like a web-based mass movement – but it is controlled from the top by Farage.

Sounds like a near absolute monarchy to me. Ah, just like many a company actually. And Farage isn’t shy about that comparison:

At times, Farage has acknowledged that he is not leading a political party. “We’re running a company, not a political party, hence our model of registered supporters, and the fact that the chairman Richard Tice and I are not afraid to make decisions,” he recently told the Telegraph. But, like Casaleggio and Grillo before him, Farage is also claiming to offer a new form of politics. “We are going to directly liaise and have votes amongst our registered supporters to shape policy and shape our future direction,” Farage told listeners on LBC radio last week. “We will produce policy on the basis of what our supporters think.” This is the language of the new brand of digital populism, in which the director of a private company portrays his firm as the vessel for a democratic mass movement. At another point Farage said to the audience: “This is going to be the most open political party you’ve ever seen in Britain.”

Open for business.

Comments»

1. GW - May 22, 2019

I think CHUK is also a limited company, as far as I remember. Which goes with a complete lack of manifesto I guess.

This model of party as firm was pioneered by Berlusconi, of course, who learned a lot from the footie business.

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2. dermot - May 22, 2019

ChUK and BP are both (according to avps) throwbacks to the early 19th century ‘cadre parties’. Funny that people have been worrying about a return to the 1930s, instead they get one to the 1830s:

http://averypublicsociologist.blogspot.com/2019/05/case-studies-in-political-atavism.html

CHUKa and the Brexit Party resemble the old cadre parties that were common before universal suffrage. There were no memberships as such, just semi-formalised networks. As parties they were more caucuses of political elites who cohered around mixtures of ambition and interest. They sorted stuff out behind closed doors, and cycled through government in joke elections only small numbers were eligible to vote in. However, as universal suffrage was won one awkward step at a time, a widening electorate meant the cadre, clientelist party model tipped into crisis. Social democratic and labour parties led the charge, leveraging the collective strength of labour movements and workers against elite networks and the exclusion of a politics from below from nascent parliamentary systems. Number was something bourgeois and aristocratic politicians did not have, and we are many, they are few appeared to spell their political doom.

Given that it’s not impossible for BP in some scenarios to become the opposition or even get into government, a situation that would be far stranger than Trump – i.e., a private company taking over a supposed liberal democracy.

People have been too busy playing silly-bugger shadow projection, accusing anyone to their right or left of being Hitler’™ to notice.

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