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In 1941 Herbert Read – a British art critic, poet, novelist and political thinker – wrote an essay, to be published as a pamphlet in ‘The Democratic Order’ series, entitled ‘To Hell with Culture’. The essay sought to criticise the capitalist co-optation of culture, whilst simultaneously calling for a functional art within a democratic society.

The Acceptable Face of Feminism

In this book Maggie Andrews explores the WI’s relationship with feminism from the formation of the organisation in 1915 up to the eve of British feminism’s renaissance in the late 1960s.

The term ‘cultural turn’ is generally associated with a shift in leftist, socialist and communist politics after 1956. The upheavals of that year – primarily Soviet intervention in Hungary and Nikita Khrushchev’s revelation of the atrocities committed by Stalin – triggered realignments on the left, both within and without of the communist movement.

1956 proved to be not only a landmark for the international communist movement but a turning point in the Cold War. By the autumn of that year, the bi-polar world order that had been steadily forming since the second world war, had consolidated into diametrically opposed camps whose conflicting interests would dictate the course of history for the next three decades.

Close analysis of the nominations for Labour’s leader and deputy reveals a parliamentary party fracturing along sharper ideological lines than were evident in 2010.

Article

Ivor Crewe, Jon Cruddas, Marc Stears, Gregg McClymont, Emily Robinson

Autumn 2015

Taking the full measure of the 2015 British general election result, and its implications for the politics of the left, will be a lengthy and difficult process. Renewal presents here some initial reflections on the campaign, the result, Ed Miliband’s leadership, and Labour’s future direction.

The egalitarian achievements of twentieth-century social democracy have withered in the face of the neo-liberal onslaught. They must be argued for again and again.

This article looks at the ways in which structures of racism underpin the workings of neoliberal culture and society, both within the UK and internationally.

Platform, a group which campaigns on the social, economic and environmental impacts of the global oil industry, here analyses how deeply embedded the industry is within the structures of neoliberalism, especially the City, where BP and Shell between them make up 20 per cent of the value of the FTSE 100.

For most of us the election result was a shock, but in some ways it didn’t substantially change the nature of the tasks we face. We still need to find new ways of battling against an environmentally destructive and aggressively unequal capitalism - and the common sense that sustains it.

The Anarchist Critic first appeared in the Vancouver anarchist journal Open Road in 1982. Robert Graham, who was a member of the collective, recalls Woodcock subscribed to Open Road though he never joined its social circle.

'Art is antithetical to violence' – so claimed George Woodcock (1912-1995) in his opening editorial for the first edition of the literary journal Now, which he edited from late March 1940 to fall 1947.

Women Workers & The Trade Unions

In this highly-praised history of women’s battles in the workplace, Sarah Boston explores how women workers have often had to challenge their male co-workers and union organisers, as well as managers.

Gramsci's Political Thought

This book provides an account of Gramsci’s work which makes his writing accessible and comprehensible for the contemporary reader, and offers a guide to terms such as 'hegemony' and 'common sense'.

Resist! Against a precarious future

This is the third book in the Radical Future series, written by a collective of young activists and campaigners looking for ways to challenge the dominant political order. This book is available to buy as a print book and free as a pdf.

This online book is a continuation of Lawrence Grossberg’s analysis of the changing popular and political cultures – and the increasingly conservative and intensely capitalist vectors of change – of the United States during the last fifty years.

Article

David Featherstone, Deborah Grayson, Ben Little

Spring 2014

If the election on 7 May allows David Cameron to continue as prime minister it will be a disaster for the UK, but especially for the poorest and most vulnerable in society. Moreover it will sink any medium-term prospect of transition to a just and sustainable economy.

This article analyses the May 2015 UK general election from the perspective of conjunctural analysis – which seeks to understand how the deep structural movements in economy, society and culture are articulated together to shape any given political settlement.

Neither main party has a path to a stable parliamentary majority.

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