The creation of Corbynist organization Momentum was the way in which the wave of socialist revival in the UK tried to take an organizational form and work toward the transformation of the Labour party. The first-past-the-post system meant that the only realistic option for socialists was working within the existing mainstream left party, while at the same time developing a parallel structure to mobilize youth supporters suspicious of bureaucratic structures. However, as I argue in this article, ultimately the stubbornness of the Labour party bureaucracy used as a defensive redoubt by party centrists managed to successfully fend off attempts for deep party reforms, and once Corbyn resigned it was easy for centrists to undo the change in the internal balance of forces. The failure of the Corbyn movement in overcoming these difficulties highlights how party organization constitutes a strategic bottleneck for all transformative movements, and that the only way to reclaim existing parties is to radically reshape them as a matter of priority.
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October 1, 2021
Carlotta Benvegnù Niccolò Cuppini Mattia Frapporti Floriano Milesi Maurilio Pirone (Into the Black Box)
Research Article| October 01 2021
Momentum vs. Labour’s Bureaucracy: Why Corbyn’s “Assault on the Institutions” Stalled
South Atlantic Quarterly (2021) 120 (4): 916–922.
Paolo Gerbaudo; Momentum vs. Labour’s Bureaucracy: Why Corbyn’s “Assault on the Institutions” Stalled. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2021; 120 (4): 916–922. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-9443476
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