Name: Acid Corbynism.
Appearance: Big fish, little fish, ballot box.
Age: Just a number.
Can you keep it down please, we’re trying to have a serious debate next door about PFI nationalisation in hospital trusts. All right, grandad.
What is that repetitive beat Clive Lewis is dancing to anyway? Acid Corbynism is the future of the Labour movement.
Is it? It’s one possible future. Certainly, it’s enough of a thing for Momentum to hold a three-hour seminar-plus-rave on it.
Whatever happened to the good old days when the Labour fringe was just tobacco lobbyists and anti-Zionist conspiracy theorists? Gone. This year, Momentum has been hosting its second fringe event, alongside the Labour party conference, which has set itself apart by occasionally being fun. The World Transformed features “clay-modelling, DJ sets, experimental clothing design, and a pub quiz hosted by former Labour leader Ed Miliband”.
Acid as in house? Almost. The late theorist Mark Fisher had been working on a book called Acid Communism at the time of his death in January. Not a raver, Fisher deployed the term more in a Herbie Hancock way – as a free improvised spirit, and a route out of the authoritarianism implied by socialism. This month, his friend Jeremy Gilbert wrote a piece about it in the leftist-green journal Red Pepper. Then Matt Phull and Will Stronge (who should definitely have a Cannon and Ball-style double-act), wrote a follow-up, sub-titled Building a Socialist Dance Culture.
Yes, but how did the rave compare to a 3am Bicep set at Egg? Well, judge for yourself, but mainly like one of those gruesome fantasy sequences from Father Ted. Or maybe Spaced.
I’ll go with that. So how can I build a socialist dance culture while off my face on the balcony at Ushuaïa? As with most neo-Marxist theorising, no one is quite sure and, indeed, to point to a clear answer is probably to lose the game. But the basic notion is that acid house was bottom-up – it was people coming together in non-hierarchical ways to events that allowed them to be extremely individual and creative, while still contributing to a deeply collectivist ideal.
At M25 raves run by arch-capitalists such as Tony Colston-Hayter and Paul Staines? Um, precisely.
Do say: “Night Slugs were all over the post-crisis anomie as far back as Jam City. It’s just remix culture at this point.”
Don’t say: “Repetitive bleats?”