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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.
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.
Dominant global narratives on sustainability have a tendency to reinforce precisely the conditions that have produced the crisis. This is because an appropriate response would undermine the whole system. Unsustainable behaviour is framed in terms of ‘them’ (the unsustainable and badly behaved global South) and ‘us’ (the wealthy countries who are ‘helping’ them becoming sustainable - defined in terms of the adoption of western norms).
We are all dependent, none more so than the rich and powerful, who could not maintain their status without an army of servants, in spite of their contempt of the ‘dependency culture’ of the poor. Chronic illness is a common source of dependency. It forces people to rely on the state - and, if they are lucky, a network of good- hearted friends.
We live in a society which has become fearful of the future and of change, and instead seeks sanctuary in imagined and contested versions of the past. A highly successful Churchill industry taps into this mood, marketing and repackaging the man and his image.
Ben Campkin, Laura Marshall
London’s LGBTQ+ s communities are rapidly losing their nightlife premises. There was a stark drop of 58 per cent between 2006 and 2017, partly because of property development and processes of gentrification.
The strong commitment of Americans to public education has been under assault since the resurgence of laissez-faire economics in the 1980s and the decline of government commitment to racial integration. The right’s education reform movement has run an ongoing campaign to convince Americans that public schools are failing and win support for policies that transfer public resources to privately run schools.
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.
Further, adult and vocational education has always been marginalised, reflecting the divide between academic and vocational education, and the low esteem attached to the latter. This meant that in the 1990s it was possible to carry out neoliberal policies in the further education sector that would have been politically inconceivable in schools.
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.
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.