Margaret Thatcher – An Obituary from Below

Incredible article at Jacobin by Richard Seymour:

"Obituaries are typically concerned with the accomplishments and worthwhile qualities of the deceased. Thatcher’s achievements are undeniable. She was a “Modern Prince” of the Right, intervening at a moment of crisis and great danger for the Conservative Party…

To describe Thatcher’s accomplishments in this way, though, is already to hint at the problem with the obituary format. Thatcher’s most important achievements were also what made her so vile, and reprehensible. Her energy, her ruthlessness, and her political guile were harnessed to such bigoted, class-supremacist ends, that it is hard to admire them…"

Richard Seymour’s concluding paragraph is quite something:

"…None of this is to argue that the British left needs its own version of Mrs Thatcher. The Left doesn’t organize in the same way as the Right, and shouldn’t. We do not have ranks of businessmen and think tanks offering us money and policy expertise. We do not have the state apparatuses on our side, and it would in fact be much harder to convert a left-wing agenda into the language of government policy. We do not have the media providing us with ideological legitimacy and cultivating our mass support. We do not have the IMF on our side. And we do not need a great leader: we have enough little generals without armies.

…a mass party. And that, we do need."

Read in full, it is excellent.

See also: Open Democracy’s ‘Thatcher – black gold or red bricks’

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