Communitarianism doesn’t have to be regressive: the pre-war origins of social democracy hold lessons for today’s left.
“Rich navigates this exceptionally fraught and emotionally charged terrain with great sensitivity. But on occasion his focus on making plain the nature of leftist anti-Semitism leads him to understate or omit some important elements of the Israeli-Palestine conflict that motivate Israel’s critics.”
“It won’t work. May’s project will flounder. It cannot deliver the communitarian goals it strives for, and will damage Britain’s competitive position.” But: “In Scotland, things will keep going catastrophically nowhere.”
Though there is fierce disagreement about the extent of any Marxist revolutionary incursion into Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour there is less dispute – for both his supporters and opponents – that it is bad news. For most, it seems, Trotskyists are simply beyond the pale, distinguished by an unmistakeable whiff of sulphur. But why, exactly?
Nicola Sturgeon is about to launch the SNP’s much-delayed “summer” initiative to win over No voters to support independence and, maybe, #indyref2. But two books by two prominent Scottish professors, reviewed here, suggest she has a very steep hill to climb.
Six weeks to the Brexit poll and another test of constitutional and identity political feeling. Facts and logic may play a role but our sense of who we are will be decisive. And what we fear about the wider world.
In the second of an occasional series looking at the lively contemporary ‘postcapitalism’ debate about possibilities for a viable alternative to the current economic order, Justin Reynolds reviews a book charting the continued influence of a bold, brief-lived experiment that took place 145 years in the heart of a major European city.
On the centenary of the Easter Rising in Ireland politicians need to use its political imagery at their peril. Its lessons for nationalism as for fein ism are not unambiguous.
It’s now some seven years since the notorious ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ sign appeared. Owen Hatherley’s The Ministry of Nostalgia is a witty, exasperated and ferociously well-read exploration of the ‘Austerity Nostalgia’ phenomenon and its politicisation, with parties of both left and right drawing upon competing mythologies of wartime Britain to support their respective positions towards today’s austerity.
The National Museum of Scotland opens its monumental exhibition on the art and identity of the Celts this week. Lots of wonderful, almost unimaginable artifices. But who were the Celts? They didn’t leave any written record and we are none the wiser in truth.