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The photo of Vice Admiral H.P. ‘Spike’ Blandy and his wife gleefully slicing up an atomic explosion angel cake was taken on November 6, 1946.

Often overlooked in histories of abstract expressionism is the role that anarchism as a philosophy played in the art of postwar American painters like Barnett Newman. For Newman, anarchism was not merely a programme for revolutionary action but an experimental way of life that, much like painting itself, sought to imagine a life lived free from coercive authority. Through his signature painting style, which featured vertical stripes painted on coloured canvases, Newman put forth a radical political theology based on the writings of Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza and Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin. In his art, Newman presented what might be called an anarchist sublime, an aesthetic experience that opened up viewers to the expressive capacity of being itself.

The left must quickly recover the capacity to offer a radically different political economy or reap the consequences.

For too long the Labour Party has failed Syria. But there are policy measures that Labour could promote which would contribute to a just peace in the country.

Article

Marina Prentoulis, Katrine Marçal, Renaud Thillaye, Barry Colfer, Folke große Deters

Spring 2017

An international discussion of the impact of Brexit and the prospects for the left.

In political discourse in recent decades, class has been repositioned as an essentially cultural historical phenomenon rather than a dynamic, lived reality connected to the changing temporalities of British capitalism. This is visible in SNP rhetoric as well as in Labour’s current ‘culture wars’. But Labour must reconnect with an economic analysis of class, for it is this that could in fact reunite the culturally polarised elements of a Labour electoral coalition.

Book

Stuart Hall

Sally Davison, David Featherstone, Michael Rustin, Bill Schwarz

‘Stuart Hall was one of the great political intellectuals of our time – learned, perspicacious, provocative and wise. He was also a master essayist. This splendid selection, spanning more than fifty years, is a feast.’ Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley Read the introduction to this text for free - download the free chapter below.

This paper examines the London squatting movement and argues that it was a key radical social movement which redefined the ownership of space and politicised housing.

This article charts the history of widespread illegal ‘blacklisting’ of active trade unionists and socialists working in the UK construction industry. Blacklisting had long been a practice by employers in the construction industry, but it was escalated after the rise of the more militant rank-and-file shop stewards’ movement in the 1960s. The consequences of these events are followed through to the present day.

The September 2016 re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, with a renewed and increased mandate, was a significant political event, which should not be overshadowed by recent electoral successes by the populist right. On the contrary, these successes make it all the more important to understand the challenges facing the left.

An extensive critique of the market conception of health provision, combined with a vision for an alternative way of running the health service. The failure of market ‘reforms’ cannot be addressed by tinkering with new models of provision.

A personal account of key moments in the development of a black intellectual, and of the importance of the work of Stuart Hall in that development, told through ten ‘moments’.

Article

Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, James Stafford

Autumn / Winter 2016

It is rare to live through a year and to know, with some degree of certainty, that it will be a marker in scholarship and memory for generations. Rarer still, perhaps, to know this while also doubting whether coherent and truthful public reflection on politics will be possible for much longer.

Brexit offers an unexpected opportunity: to use the taxpayer’s stake in RBS to begin to transform our banking sector into a locally-based, locally-focused system that works for small and medium-sized businesses in the real economy.

The Conservative Party is now profoundly divided ideologically, into ‘hyperglobalisers’ and the more mercantilist pragmatists. Theresa May enjoyed a unique window of power when she first became PM to fashion a clear vision of the form of Brexit that ‘reluctant’ Tory Remainers like herself would favour. But May chose ‘safety first’, trying to balance the Remain and Leave camps in her party, while focusing on wiping out UKIP as a threat to the Tory vote.

23 June 2016: the EU referendum result is one of those moments that will be forever etched in my memory. Like the death of Princess Diana, it is a marker in time. I was working for Stronger In, the official Remain campaign, when the result came through. The rejection felt personal. It was a rollercoaster ride. The Leave campaign won, by the slightest of margins, but with a stench of toxicity that was more keenly felt if one was off-white like me.

Article

Neal Lawson, Mat Lawrence

Autumn / Winter 2016

Many see it as a ‘silver bullet’ policy innovation: the RSA is behind it, as is Compass, and support also comes from the Adam Smith Institute and Silicone Valley tech-utopians. Neal Lawson and Mat Lawrence debate Basic Income in theory and practice.

This paper explores various instances of Ceauşescu’s memorialization as reflected in contemporary art and living memorials inked on the skin (nostalgia tattoos).

The paper examines the phenomenon of yugonostalgia in Serbia. Nostalgia for life in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia throughout the ex-Yugoslav region has been acknowledged by scholars, but not thoroughly investigated, with most of the research focusing on publicly displayed narratives, such as those in film, books and other media.

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