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In 2015, artist, architect and anarchist Adrian Blackwell contributed a sculptural installation, Mirrored Circles for Ba Jin, to an exhibition of public art by four Canadian artists curated by Yan Wu (‘Subtle Gesture’ was an offsite contribution to that year’s ‘Shanghai Urban Space Art Season’).

This article explores the conflicted relationship between creative activism and the art world, through an analysis of the Barcelona-based activist collective Enmedio.

In the wake of Karl Marx’s bicentenary, and the recent centennial commemorations of both the Great War and Russian Revolutions, Issue 54 of Socialist History serves as a retrospective on Marxism’s impact, legacy and possible future. Samuel Foster introduces issue 54 of Socialist History.

This article examines German communists’ efforts to construct a revolutionary political culture during the Weimar Republic.

John Kelly’s excellent study argues that while the British Trotskyist groups have been extremely unsuccessful in fulfilling their stated aims, principally building a mass revolutionary party, their main impact has come through involvement in wider social or political movements.

Jeremy Gilbert introduces issue 95 of New Formations.

In the last works of his life, especially The Hermeneutics of the Subject (1981-82) and The Courage of Truth (1983-84), Foucault turned again towards the possibility of seeking other rules of subjectification so as to play the games of power ‘with as little domination as possible’. His encouragement was to remember the philosophical strategy associated with Socrates, namely to attend to oneself through activating the soul’s contemplation of the actions of the self: thereby composing an ethical subject whose actions, through practices of freedom and truth-telling, are not enslaved by appetites; and whose ethos of care becomes extended through the conduct of relationships with others, including life (bios) itself. This paper extends Foucault’s expositions on ‘the care of the self ’ and ‘the courage of truth’ to affirm animist and affective activations of the soul silenced through the consolidated colonial universality of so-called western knowledge.

In this article, I explore the smile as regulatory mechanism installed in the face to organise a subject’s responses to neo-imperial/biopolitical capitalist governmentality.

Article

Michelle Meagher, Heejoo Park, Robert Spencer, Rob Lapsley

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.

Article

Richard Kuper, Brendan McGeever, Lynne Segal, Nira Yuval-Davis, Jamie Hakim, Ben Little

Autumn 2018

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

Article

David Featherstone, Daryl Leeworthy

Autumn 2018

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.

Article

Michael Jacobs, Carys Roberts, Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, James Stafford

Winter 2018

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.

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