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1960s counterculture offered a fleeting glimpse of an alternative form of civil society, and the spirit of ’68 continues to inspire the quest for a more open, participatory and democratic society. Some see it as having prepared the way for neoliberal consumerism and individualism, others regard it as the great disseminator of popular and anti-authoritarian politics.
Richard Kuper, Brendan McGeever, Lynne Segal, Nira Yuval-Davis, Jamie Hakim, Ben Little
Arguments about antisemitism need to be understood in the context of the current political conjuncture - a time of increased racism in the wider society, but also a time when the issue has been weaponised in order to attack Corbynism. There is a need to acknowledge the existence of antisemitism in the left and Labour Party, even while calling for recognition that it also exists in other parties.
Two poems by jennifer Lee Tsai
David Featherstone, Daryl Leeworthy
David Featherstone reviews Stefan Collini, Speaking of Universities, Verso 2017. Daryl Leeworthy reviews Hywel Francis, Stories of Solidarity, Y Lolfa 2018.
We are still failing to protect our mental health services and the people who deliver them. One central reason for current problems is the overwhelming focus of the service on Increased Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), the NHS’s largest mental health programme. This annex to Elizabeth Cotton's article on The future of mental health services provides a model for 'Survival Surgeries' designed to help and support those working in mental health services.
If the Labour Party wants to transform Britain’s political economy, we need detailed strategic analyses of what needs to be done and who may stand in our way. We need a movement that does not default to tribalism or purism, but is capable of debating the merits of strategic compromise.
Brexit has placed the Irish border at the centre of European politics. Westminster urgently needs to wake up to its histories and complexities.
Michael Jacobs, Carys Roberts, Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, James Stafford
The IPPR’s Commission on Economic Justice published its final report, Prosperity and Justice, on 5 September 2018. Based on two years of research, and led by a group of twenty-two Commissioners from across business, trade unions, activism, churches and academia, the report is a uniquely authoritative statement of an emerging new paradigm in British economic policy. The report sets out an analysis of the deep-seated problems with the UK’s economy, and offers a transformative plan to ‘hard-wire’ justice and sustainability into Britain’s economic model.
The left in British electoral politics has become more fragmented, particularly in the past decade; those with economically left values are increasingly divided by cultural attitudes. It will be vital for Labour to find ways to bridge this growing divide if the party is to be electorally successful.
Labour’s new economic consensus is based on taking power away from capital and returning it to our communities.
Filippo Menozzi introduces a special issue of New Formations which celebrates and reconsiders Rosa Luxemburg.
Rosa Luxemburg’s The Accumulation of Capital, which spurred intense discussion and debate from the moment of its publication in 1913, has taken on new resonance in light of the global expansion of capitalism, the destruction of indigenous cultures and habitats, and capital’s reconfiguration of public and private space. No less important is a series of additional works by Luxemburg that address these themes, but which have received far less attention.
This article recapitulates Rosa Luxemburg’s considerations on the capitalist penetration of non-capitalist economies as a condition for capital accumulation, as well as her arguments about the limits of social reform and the shortcomings of claims for national self-determination.
Ben Highmore, Andrew Dewdney , David Wylot, Ben ware
Marie-Louise Berneri was a revolutionary writer, editor, public speaker, and psychologist active in London during a period when Europe was engulfed by war and fascism (1937-49). Articulate, insightful, and accessible, Berneri had a readership that spanned the globe. Her influence as a significant critical thinker, radical, and humanitarian continues to this day. What follows is a short reprise of her biography.
Marie-Louise Berneri was well placed to argue that the USSR was no utopia, not only because of her firm conviction of what socialism should truly look like, but also because of her knowledge of utopianism. In Journey through Utopia, appearing posthumously in 1950, Berneri was the guide on a comprehensive tour of the history of utopian thinking from Plato to Huxley. Arguing that – in an era defined by the ‘compromises’ of modern democracy and the ascendancy of the ‘practical men’ of technocratic politics – re-acquaintance with the radicalism of utopianism was a tonic, she nevertheless discerned a dual current in the history of utopias.
Contemporary readings of Franz Kafka’s works often remark on the affinity between the ideas present in Kafka’s texts and those of postmodern philosophers such as Michel Foucault. Through an examination of some recent Foucauldian readings of In the Penal Colony and The Trial, this article argues that Kafka’s engagement with anarchist theory, particularly that of Peter Kropotkin, Mikhail Bakunin and Gustav Landauer, may be considered an unacknowledged source for the well-documented ‘postmodern’ aspect to his work.
Anthony Painter considers whether the left's ‘institutional turn’ will extend freedom and empower individuals and communities, or tend towards bureaucracy and paternalism.