Tuesday, April 09, 2013

What I'm celebrating

This is a great and glorious day.

Margaret Thatcher was an old woman, who had no more power. Her death will not change anything about politics. I doubt it ever would have, even if Patrick Magee had succeeded history would not have looked much different. As Russian anarchists found out if you kill the Tsar there's always a new Tsar.

In some really fundamental ways there is nothing to celebrate because Thatcher won.  She described 'New Labour' as her greatest victory - and she wasn't wrong.  Neo-liberalism is now the norm, and she died with a Tory government in power doing its bit to take from the poor and give to the rich.

I'm still celebrating. Margaret Thatcher was not just the harbringer of neo-liberalism. Margaret Thatcher wanted to crush all dissent.  Her aim was to destroy all the institutions of resistance in the country she governed.  She thought that there was no society, just atomised individuals who only cared about themselves and she aimed to make it so.

By celebrating her death we prove that she was wrong. Every person who went to  a street party tonight to rejoice at her passing shows that the culture, world-view and resistance that she wanted to crush lives on.  In the week before she died there were protests against the bedroom tax all over Britain.  Thatcher may have died at a time of Tory power, but she also died at a time of resistance.

Thatcher's legacy is real and horrific.  She managed to destroy whole communities with a long and proud history of resistance.  But she didn't destroy that resistance. The struggle for a better world isn't going to be fought and won in the short term.

Woody Guthrie used to tell a story about rabbits on the run from some foxes. They ran and ran through the forest  And when they could run know longer they hid in a log while the foxes barked at either end. "What'll we do?" one rabbit said and the other rabbit replied "We'll stay here til we outnumber 'em"

It's not her death I'm celebrating today. It's our survival.

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