Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

14

[...] it is not just about taking power for power’s sake or to win solely by parliamentary majority, but also about initiating a counter-hegemonic shift towards a fairer, more just society [...]

Introduction (11) missing author 3 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] it is not just about taking power for power’s sake or to win solely by parliamentary majority, but also about initiating a counter-hegemonic shift towards a fairer, more just society [...]

—p.14 Introduction (11) missing author 3 months, 2 weeks ago
33

[...] Everybody knows that Britain has been a vassal state since 1956. While I favour Brexit for good socialist reasons, it can’t restore sovereignty. The only truly sovereign state in the Western world is the United States. [...]

Corbyn’s Progress (15) default author 3 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] Everybody knows that Britain has been a vassal state since 1956. While I favour Brexit for good socialist reasons, it can’t restore sovereignty. The only truly sovereign state in the Western world is the United States. [...]

—p.33 Corbyn’s Progress (15) default author 3 months, 2 weeks ago
50

To imagine that Labour could overcome such odds by becoming bland, blurred and craven is to succumb to thinking that is simultaneously magical and despairing. Such dreamers argue that Labour has to recapture the middle ground. But there is no such place; no fixed political geography. The middle ground is a magic mountain that retreats as you approach. The more you chase it from the left, the further to the right it moves.

As the social philosopher Karl Polanyi pointed out towards the end of the Second World War, when politics offers little choice and little prospect of solving their problems, people seek extreme solutions. Labour’s inability to provide a loud and proud alternative to Conservative policies explains why so much of its base switched to Ukip at the last election. Corbyn’s political clarity explains why the same people are flocking back to him.

[...]

Nothing was more politically inept than Labour’s attempt before the 2015 election to win back Ukip supporters by hardening its stance on immigration. Why vote for the echo when you can vote for the shout? What is attractive about a party prepared to abandon its core values for the prospect of electoral gain? What is inspiring about a party that grovels, offering itself as a political doormat for any powerful interest or passing fad to wipe its feet on?

The Curator of the Future (50) default author 3 months, 2 weeks ago

To imagine that Labour could overcome such odds by becoming bland, blurred and craven is to succumb to thinking that is simultaneously magical and despairing. Such dreamers argue that Labour has to recapture the middle ground. But there is no such place; no fixed political geography. The middle ground is a magic mountain that retreats as you approach. The more you chase it from the left, the further to the right it moves.

As the social philosopher Karl Polanyi pointed out towards the end of the Second World War, when politics offers little choice and little prospect of solving their problems, people seek extreme solutions. Labour’s inability to provide a loud and proud alternative to Conservative policies explains why so much of its base switched to Ukip at the last election. Corbyn’s political clarity explains why the same people are flocking back to him.

[...]

Nothing was more politically inept than Labour’s attempt before the 2015 election to win back Ukip supporters by hardening its stance on immigration. Why vote for the echo when you can vote for the shout? What is attractive about a party prepared to abandon its core values for the prospect of electoral gain? What is inspiring about a party that grovels, offering itself as a political doormat for any powerful interest or passing fad to wipe its feet on?

—p.50 The Curator of the Future (50) default author 3 months, 2 weeks ago
143

The great difference between the liberal and the sociological models, however, is that the latter can at least explain the former. It is easy to understand where the idea of politics as marketing comes from and why it has so much support if we think about the fact that it essentially serves the interests of exactly the same groups that other forms of commercial marketing serve: the wealthy capitalist elite. From the other side however, the liberals of the political class are completely mystified by the emergence of another model of politics, and can only denounce it in the most confused of terms. Calling someone mad is not an argument, but an admission that you cannot understand what they are doing. If anything demonstrates the redundancy of their models of both politics and leadership, it is this inability to grasp the motivations and the objectives of their opponents.

The Question of Leadership (128) default author 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The great difference between the liberal and the sociological models, however, is that the latter can at least explain the former. It is easy to understand where the idea of politics as marketing comes from and why it has so much support if we think about the fact that it essentially serves the interests of exactly the same groups that other forms of commercial marketing serve: the wealthy capitalist elite. From the other side however, the liberals of the political class are completely mystified by the emergence of another model of politics, and can only denounce it in the most confused of terms. Calling someone mad is not an argument, but an admission that you cannot understand what they are doing. If anything demonstrates the redundancy of their models of both politics and leadership, it is this inability to grasp the motivations and the objectives of their opponents.

—p.143 The Question of Leadership (128) default author 3 months, 2 weeks ago
146

We have a movement to build. In the process, we may lose the next two or three elections. As long as our enemies control the media, dominate workplaces and determine the nature of so many community institutions, they will always be able to frighten enough of the electorate into voting against us to prevent us from winning an election.

They will only allow us to come close to winning office if we simply remove all radical demands from our programme. We could do that – we could make ourselves ‘electable’ by becoming so ‘moderate’ that the existing elites they would be willing to let us form a government for a while. But to achieve that, we would have to abandon much of our support among the poorest sections of society, and would demoralise our own forces to the point where we would have lost more than we had gained. We might get into office, but all real power would remain in the hands of our enemies, and we would have lost the opportunity to build a real movement for social change.

We have to build our forces across culture and in civil society, in order to take our positions and deepen our networks, and in order to fight what Gramsci calls the ‘war of position’. We have to develop our own institutions, our intellectual networks, and above all our own media. Only then will we be in a position to form a government. This may take a decade – it may take a generation – but it is the only path open to us.

I think this is a hypothetical speech (written by Gilbert) that the Bennites could have made back in the 80s (but didn't)

The Question of Leadership (128) default author 3 months, 2 weeks ago

We have a movement to build. In the process, we may lose the next two or three elections. As long as our enemies control the media, dominate workplaces and determine the nature of so many community institutions, they will always be able to frighten enough of the electorate into voting against us to prevent us from winning an election.

They will only allow us to come close to winning office if we simply remove all radical demands from our programme. We could do that – we could make ourselves ‘electable’ by becoming so ‘moderate’ that the existing elites they would be willing to let us form a government for a while. But to achieve that, we would have to abandon much of our support among the poorest sections of society, and would demoralise our own forces to the point where we would have lost more than we had gained. We might get into office, but all real power would remain in the hands of our enemies, and we would have lost the opportunity to build a real movement for social change.

We have to build our forces across culture and in civil society, in order to take our positions and deepen our networks, and in order to fight what Gramsci calls the ‘war of position’. We have to develop our own institutions, our intellectual networks, and above all our own media. Only then will we be in a position to form a government. This may take a decade – it may take a generation – but it is the only path open to us.

I think this is a hypothetical speech (written by Gilbert) that the Bennites could have made back in the 80s (but didn't)

—p.146 The Question of Leadership (128) default author 3 months, 2 weeks ago
164

A fundamental flaw in UK left thinking for generations has been the abandonment of the long-term hegemonic strategy. With the election of Corbyn, a new opportunity arises for a historic re-engagement with an ambitious politics across the Left in the UK. This would, minimally, place an emphasis on long-term change. In addition, it would prioritise the focus of activism and party politics on key dynamic trajectories of the future. It must shift the terms for party politics beyond simply ‘winning state power’, and for activism beyond single issues and ethical localism towards a large-scale project to re-orient the entire platform of UK society. In so doing it should seek to transform the commonly understood ways of seeing – and feeling – what can and ought to be done. It is in the transformation of our political common sense, and the embedding of this new common sense in the UK’s institutions, which will enable the politics of Corbynism to create genuinely transformative change.

Corbynism and the Parameters of Power (156) default author 3 months, 2 weeks ago

A fundamental flaw in UK left thinking for generations has been the abandonment of the long-term hegemonic strategy. With the election of Corbyn, a new opportunity arises for a historic re-engagement with an ambitious politics across the Left in the UK. This would, minimally, place an emphasis on long-term change. In addition, it would prioritise the focus of activism and party politics on key dynamic trajectories of the future. It must shift the terms for party politics beyond simply ‘winning state power’, and for activism beyond single issues and ethical localism towards a large-scale project to re-orient the entire platform of UK society. In so doing it should seek to transform the commonly understood ways of seeing – and feeling – what can and ought to be done. It is in the transformation of our political common sense, and the embedding of this new common sense in the UK’s institutions, which will enable the politics of Corbynism to create genuinely transformative change.

—p.164 Corbynism and the Parameters of Power (156) default author 3 months, 2 weeks ago