Left populism will eat itself? A reply on populism, elections and the Party of Order

Cautiously pessimistic

Daphne Lawless, of the New Zealand/Aotearoa-based group Fightback, has recently published a kind of post-mortem or autopsy on left populism after the near-simultaneous collapse of the Sanders and Corbyn projects. As with some of her previous work, there’s a lot in her critique of the left to agree with, but also some troubling points: she rightly attacks the “anti-imperialists” who see Russia or China as a lesser evil to the US, or those who think Trump could be a lesser evil than the Democrats, but sometimes falls into a kind of “campist” mentality of her own, defending liberals, the EU and Joe Biden at the expense of trying to argue for a genuinely independent working-class alternative. By the way, this critique turned out to be pretty long, but the piece I’m replying to is longer.

One example comes early on, in her presentation of Sanders’ defeat in the…

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