Luke Andreski is co-founder of the @EthicalRenewal and EthicalIntelligence.org cooperatives which came into existence in 2018. EthicalRenewal sometimes describe themselves as a counter-propaganda unit for the eco-humanist Left.
Luke is a campaigner for social justice and the environment, a writer, philosopher and poet with a keen interest in politics and ethics.
His books include:
- Short Conversations: During the Plague (2020), which focusses on the political and environmental failings of our society and how to address them
- Intelligent Ethics (2019), which elaborates a moral code suited to the 21st Century, and outlines the radical social change required by an ethics of this kind
- Ethical Intelligence (2019), a handbook for resisting the propaganda and spin of our corporate media
- To The Bridge (2018), a novel about marriage, illness and redemption
- Being Left Behind (2017), a book of poetry exploring abandonment and loss
Many of his articles have been published on independent news media such as Dorset Eye, Dangerous Globe and Critical Mass.
|Which book do you think all socialists should read?||The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin. It’s a science fiction classic which portrays the difficulties of ‘getting it right’ when it comes to socialist nation-building, and the dangers of conformity and ideological compulsion. It also eloquently describes the seductive nature of capitalism, its strengths, and the malign undercurrents which sustain it. It portrays the struggle between capitalism and socialism in a deeply personal and engaging way, and, what’s more, it’s a brilliant read.|
|What was the most important event in the history of socialism?||I’m no historian, so I can’t answer this question as an expert, particularly as there are so many pivotal events to choose from. The French revolution, which demonstrated that societies can be radically altered at speed? The publication of the Communist Manifesto or Marx’s transformative Das Kapital, where he highlighted, among so many other things, the self-destructive nature of capitalism? The fall of the USSR? Or the slow rebuilding of socialist hope that we are seeing in so many countries today? (Though this is starkly overshadowed by the cataclysm in which capitalism threatens to engulf us….)|
|Who would you rate as the outstanding political leader of your generation?||Again, I lack the academic expertise to venture an opinion on this internationally, though Fidel Castro, even if a little before my generation, stands out as having created a long-lasting socialist state, though massively undermined from a moral perspective by its character as a dictatorship.|
As far as the UK goes, I’d have to answer ‘None’.
The justification for this harsh conclusion?
Well, Aneurin Bevan was before my time, but he was probably the last socialist leader to delivertangible and lasting alterations to British society which moved us towards the type of nation I would want to see our children grow up in.
I admired Tony Benn, Arthur Scargill and, briefly, Ken Livingstone, and I continue to admire Jeremy Corbyn, but none of these politicians – or the many other very decent socialists of the last few decades – have been able to deliver the radical social change which our society (and for that matter, our species) so desperately needs.
I currently admire Zarah Sultana and a few of her colleagues in Labour’s Socialist Campaign Group, Mark Drakeford in Welsh Labour and one or two others in other political parties (excluding, of course, the Tories, who disqualify themselves through the immoral nature of their ideology) – but we have yet to see if any of these are able to deliver or precipitate the truly radical, redistributive, just and lasting social change we need.
Having said all this, it may not be ‘a leader’ that’s required. Perhaps we’re really looking for ‘a movement’ – and one which is able to disrupt and engage an ultra-propagandised and yet apathetic nation.
|Which film should socialists watch?||Dumb and Dumber, starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.|
a) Because it’s sometimes good to laugh in the face of a hazardous future for humankind;
b) Because it encapsulates the profound stupidity of much of today’s political elite and the corporations and oligarchs who’ve corrupted them.
|Which single political event was most instrumental in your political development?||Jeremy Corbyn’s election to leadership of the Labour Party. It gave so many of us hope – a hope which, despite everything, has not been extinguished. I once again became an activist, after many years of focussing on other things.|
|With which historical socialist do you most identify?||Karl Marx. Not because I’m a Marxist, an expert in Marxism or even confident that Marx got everything right – but simply for his immense breadth of vision, his attempt to rigorously analyse what makes modern society tick, and his ability to beautifully communicate his insights.|
|Which single reform could make capitalism work?||Democratisation of the media, separating it from the influence of corporate interests, oligarchic wealth and centralised government control. Without a corrupted media propping it up we would no longer have an overwhelmingly capitalist system. Unfettered capitalism has too many disadvantages for ordinary people, and too many advantages for elites, for it to be able to survive if there were truly a free press exposing its weaknesses.|
|Have you ever been on strike, if so, did you win?||I’ve never been on strike against an employer – but I strongly support unionisation and the right to strike, and I would never cross a picket line.|
|Do you think we can get socialism through the ballot box?||I think it’s possible in principle, but would require the preliminary democratisation of the media. In fact, if the news media were truly democratised and separated from the influences of wealth, government and other powerful interests, then I believe socialism via the ballot box would be inevitable – because socialism is all about protecting the interests of the many against the few. With eyes wide open, free from the propaganda of powerful and wealthy elites, who wouldn’t vote for that?|
|What do you do when you are not doing politics?||Family stuff, exercise, read, write, watch rubbish TV.|
|Do you ever feel like giving up politically and why don’t you?||I don’t ever feel like giving up politically:|
a) Because I think everything is political, including apathy, so you can’t really ‘give up on it’
b) Because hope is a tactic, not just a state of mind, and to give up on hope is to give the power-hungry authoritarians yet another advantage. Why would you do that? They have advantages enough.
|Are you an optimist or a pessimist when you think of the future for the left?||I’m neither. I black-hole the future. Whatever the future holds, we have to act as if there’s the chance of a decent, sustainable and compassionate outcome – and strive for that. The likelihood of our success is irrelevant. Working towards that success, in whatever way we can, is what we have to do. Morality demands it of us.|
|Is socialism inevitable?||Nothing is inevitable. But decentralised, democratic socialism is profoundly desirable, both morally and in terms of species survival. It’s unquestionably something worth striving for.|
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Socialist of many years. Former Labour member. Currently presenter of The Socialist Hour.