What does it take for an anarchist to step into politics? Comics luminary Alan Moore, whose aeon-spanning novel "Jerusalem" was released last week, made an eccentric announcement this morning when he endorsed current UK Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn to continue in that role -- despite Moore being an avowed non-voter himself.
"Now, in the 21st century, we begin to see a glimmer of re-emergence from political figures who appear to hold genuinely socialist ideals – Bernie Sanders in the U.S.; Jeremy Corbyn in the U.K. – only to be told that such figures are apparently 'unelectable,' despite their massive groundswells of popular support," Moore said on Momentum Northants, the website of Corbyn's "Momentum" campaign in Northampton. "If we sincerely believe that Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable, why bother saying another word about Jeremy Corbyn? In fact, why bother pointing out his unelectable status in the first place? It’s worth remembering that vested powers and authorities, throughout time and across the world, are always at their most vicious when they are also at their most frightened. To a degree, every media barb and embarrassing bout of inter-party recriminations can be seen as a measure of your man’s unprecedented success."
The leftist Corbyn was unexpectedly elected Labour leader in 2015 on an outpouring of support from Labour voters, but has struggled to wrangle to his side other Members of Parliament in his own party; following the Brexit vote, which saw Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron resign after the Remain side failed, Corbyn, whose Labour party also backed Remain, failed a vote of no confidence. He refused to resign as party leader, but is in the midst of a contest to remain in the post with MP Owen Smith. Ballots from registered Labour supporters are due Wednesday, and an announcement of the result will take place this Saturday, September 24.
"If figures like Jeremy Corbyn are emerging to propose a far more humane and workable direction for society, and if such figures are garnering enormous support from part of the electorate that’s been denied a voice for too long, then it may be that this is because people like Corbyn have become historically necessary," Moore wrote. "The previous drivers of our vehicle along the narrow, twisting mountain roadways of 2016 seem to be sleeping off a thirty-year cocaine binge, and now might be a good time for somebody functional to grab the wheel."
Of course, Moore also notes that, as an anarchist who "prefer[s] direct political action and comment without an elected intermediary," he does not himself vote in elections. "If I did vote, however, I would try to vote with the way that viable human history appeared to be going rather than against it."
The author signs off his missive with, "your sincere if understandably conflicted friend,