There must some way out of here: Political mindfulness and the Crisis of the Left

Epigraph or Epitaph? On the poetics of  hope in difficult times

I would like to start these reflections on  Labour’s  historic electoral defeat with two poems. The first is by a Moroccan poet, Abdullatif Laabian, an activist of the Arab Spring, who spent time in prison and now lives in exile in France. The poem is entitled  ‘In Praise of defeat’, but it is , as you will see, not at all defeatist. This is the final stanza :

Oh losers of all time

the moment for your

humble message

is at hand

Do not take a notion

to write history

Leave that to the victors.

Tell instead

what we have lost

in the labyrinth of blindness.

Do so by means of enigmas

tales, riddles, charades

In little rhymes or prose

Write nothing

But instead recount

Let speech walk in step with breath

and fill your mouth.

Let it pour from your lips

like honey

Restore speech’s vigour

to shattered memory

preserve it

And then propagate

pass along the message

Speak beyond hate

beyond rancour,

Cover these with your prophetic voices

With the embers of this planet

which is dying

for want of love.

The second poem is one of the most famous written by Emily Dickinson , who led an intensely private life and whose poetry deals with the currency of  personal rather than political defeat. In this poem she deals with the problematics of hope which enable set backs  to be lived through and survived.

‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers-

That perches in the soul-

And sings the tune without the words-

And never stops-at all-

 

And sweetest- in the Gale-

Is heard-

And sore must be the storm-

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm-

 

I’ve heard it in the chilliest land-

And on the strangest  sea-

Yet – never- in Extremity,

It asked  a crumb – of me

Both  poems in their different ways ask us to suspend   the comforting  clichés of  optimism and  pessimism which characterise our bi-polar political culture, oscillating as it does between mindless jubilation and equally mindless defeatism, accompanied by  facile prophecies of doom or new dawn. Instead of irritably reaching for the demographic facts of Labour’s defeat,  in order to use the statistics to underwrite  the  recriminations  and disavowals  which have come to pass for public debate,  Abdullatif Laabi  counsels us not to foreclose the debate by rushing to premature judgement, but instead to explore its enigmas by using  the arts of indirection -‘ tales, riddles and little rhymes’- in brief,  to cultivate what Keats called a ‘negative capability’. This  does   NOT  mean adopting a   position of superior, hyper-critical   detachment   from the follies of the world, but, as Keats put it,  the ability to   ‘remain in mysteries and doubts’, for as long as it takes to explore the deeper  reaches of thought and feeling in which a more strategic – and realistic- appraisal of our situation might be anchored.

If hope is a feathered thing.as Emily Dickinson suggests ( feathers being both soft to the touch and strong  on the wing)  enabling us to  get our bearings in even the chilliest landscape,  then we will have to look for its principles in our everyday intercourse with our fellow citizens not in some pie in the sky bye and bye. If we are to restore speech to the shattered memory of Friday 13th 2019, and speak beyond the rancour  and hate generated by Brexit, then, as Laabi suggests, we have to resist the drive to reach foregone conclusions.  In particular I think we need resist  the peer pressure, especially strong in the conviction  politics of the Left, to continually double down on our existing positions and indulge  in strenuous displays of virtual signalling. So in place of the militant mantra ‘Don’t Mourn, organise’ which only leads to hyper-activism as a kind of manic defence against  the pain of defeat, let us make a New Year resolution to take time out to look and think  before we leap into another round of strategizing.

 The politics of mindfulness

My hope  is that we might begin  to map out  a  dialogic space in which a more or less  sociological imagination of a shared prospect for the Left  might take shape,  not as refuge in the past from a difficult present, but as a space in which we take back the future from its present capture by the Right with its promises of a new golden age, and ten years of Brexit boom time (Daily Express headlines). This has to be a space free  from  the profound  political  disenchantment, cynicism and paranoia  that is currently fuelled by the all too easy reversal of Utopian dreams for a better world  into dystopian nightmares. Acid Corbynism may gone down a treat at Glastonbury but it  proved corrosive of what was left of the trust between the Labour Party and its heartlands. Its vision may have been powerful but it seemed like a flight of fancy to those who were immured  to the grim everyday realities of living in Austerity Britain.

In my view an alternative futurology would need to be grounded  in  the resources of political mindfulness.  By no coincidence my new book, Waypoints, is subtitled  ‘towards  an  ecology of political mindfulness’. Mindfulness is currently all the rage. On all sides we are urged to cultivate resilience and mindfulness   as a way of seizing and surviving the present moment, with all its attendant insecurities, material as well as ontological. Mindfulness in particular has been popularised as a kind of do-it-yourself therapy, a way of promoting well being by enabling people suffering from chronic anxiety or depression to become more aware of internal mental states and their relation to external circumstances. As currently promoted, it consists in a mishmash of cognitive behaviour therapy (is that glass of water half full or half empty?), a variety of body therapies and with just a dash of Zen Buddhism and existentialism for those who like an exotic philosophical edge to their therapeutic culture. It is subject not object related and its core self-he lp message is to forget about the past and future, and instead concentrate on living fully in the present. [i]

The massive take up  of mindfulness  indicates that it  does address a very real need, experienced by many people  in these precarious and uncertain times, to find some solid and common ground on which to build meaningful  lives. There was a recent  report  which suggested that the Brexit  mess is having a detrimental effect on many people’s mental health, not only EU citizens and other immigrants who are living in the UK and worried about their future status, but on those  areas, where a majority may have voted leave but which are especially vulnerable to the economic impact of leaving the customs union[ii]. In an ironic footnote to Marx’s view of religion  we have seen the spectacular rise in opiate addiction and related mental health issues   in these  ex-industrial areas where  once upon a time  the chapel was  a pillar of working class community life, and one of the springs of  struggles for social justice. By no coincidence populations in these same areas are currently being targeted by the NHS with mindfulness programmes as a cost effective way of dealing with the psychological fallout from the hollowing out of community support systems by neo-liberal policies.

Given these caveats  about the mindfulness industry  I  began to cast around for another way of understanding and using the concept.With a little help from  Heidegger, Gramsci and Gregory Bateson  it seems possible that instead of applying it to the adaptive strategies of an individual psyche, we can   extend it in the opposite direction.We can use it to refer to the articulation of public and private matters of concern through patterns of feeling and understanding which inhabit us by virtue of our location in particular times and places. In that form  it is not about filling our heads with more and more information, or emptying our minds of everything that would distract us from the task in hand.  Rather it is a way of  focussing  more precisely on stresses and strains within the body politic as these affect us in everyday life – for example, in understanding more concretely how the various ‘isms’ of race, sex and class become internal schisms,  personal and political fault lines which undermine our capacity  to connect different forms and sites of struggle against social injustice into a counter hegemonic force..

  

Mind the gap

How could such a perspective  be brought to bear on the present  conjuncture? We could spend a lot of time and intellectual effort examining  the minutiae of the election campaign for the one key moment, the tipping point which explains the outcome; or sifting through the rubble of the so called red wall  for  clues to discover how it fell; or going to the other extreme and  either treating the whole event as an epiphenomenon, the contingent materialisation of pre-existing but hitherto dormant forces in society, or (for the teleologically  inclined)  a disaster waiting to happen. In contrast to these approaches I would suggest that a properly mindful standpoint  would be genealogical :  we should try to trace, through the unfolding of events, an  immanent trajectory of meanings which also go beyond the events themselves, meanings which have to be uncovered in relation not just to  the past but the future.

For sure the political landscape is changing under our feet, we have to learn to think quicker on them and not bury our heads in the shifting sands of a time which is fast  running out or in clouds  of rhetoric. There is an emergent ecology of meaning not to be found on the existing maps drawn by political scientists which we need to explore. It is tempting then  to reach for geological metaphors, to  talk about earthquakes or youthquakes, to use lurid imagery of  volcanic irruptions and seismic shifts to get some purchase on what is happening. I think  the lure of such tropes   should be resisted,  because although it may register  the profound sense of shock  we have felt, it does not actually correspond to how history is made, which is through countless small acts which suddenly coalesce into something  qualitatively different in scope and scale. I don’t think it helps us to track  the relays of this process  to represent it either as temporal acceleration of existing tendencies  ( for example  a growing  disenchantment with the political class leading to a switch in  party allegiances),or in terms of a spatial model where changes in surface patterns ( viz of voting behaviour ) are seen to be caused by deep structural processes ( viz  class re-composition), without any mediation.

And in the search for mediations it does not help to  introduce a  conceptual deus ex machina borrowed from some grand narrative about globalisation or neo-liberalism, or  fall back on what Marx called dumb generalities and dogmatic abstractions, in order  to  reach foregone conclusions. Instead we  need to undertake the risky but ultimately more rewarding task of concentrating on  how an electorate is assembled  and dissembled, through specific modes of  political address  ( e.g. variously as the backbone of the nation, or a race part,  as a  people or a class,  as citizens or denizens, as leavers or remainers,) . We need to look at how in the process  the body politic itself is being configured  and re-configured, de-territorialised and re-territorialised as an apparatus of representation, not only through the immediate electoral process, the campaigning strategies and so on, or   by the interventions of corporate and social media, but  through  myriad social  and institutional interactions. These  include the  everyday conversations with family, friends, neighbours and workmates,  the small acts through which the groundwork is laid for a specific formatting of a specific political project.   It is here that the battle for hearts and minds is won or lost   and which overdetermines how  those who are not affiliated to any political party or organisation  vote : angrily in the case of protest voters including  people who spoil their ballot papers and those who  positively abstain;  enthusiastically by those who vote out of ideological conviction; reluctantly or ambivalently by those who feel they are confronted with a undecidable choice, and choose the lesser of two evils;  cynically or circumspectly by those who vote out of calculated self interest; tactically or sceptically   by people who want  our voting system to be  more representative of the democratic will; conscientiously by those who have no skin in the game but believe that voting is a civic duty.

There are many more ways to vote than is allowed for by psephologists, who are only interested in who puts their cross where on the ballot paper.  These high priests of mindless prediction treat the focus group as if it  were a do it yourself confessional and  the exit poll their moment of absolution before the sudden death result. Perhaps fortunately the current volatility of the electorate  requires a wider angled view to grasp what is going on.

 

Generation Games

Psephologists  claim that  age is now a better predictor of voting intention than socio-economic status, and  that the younger you are  the more likely to vote labour or support progressive policies if you vote at all- a very small percentage of first time voters actually do; conversely  the older you are the more you are likely to vote and to vote Conservative. If this is correct then it is extremely bad news for the Left, given that the UK demographic trend is for   elders (over 65s)   to far outnumber young people  and outweigh them in the electoral calculations  of the main political parties.  But is it correct?

The political conjuncture in which a particular cohort comes of age and which may mark their own advent to history clearly has an effect on their  values  and commitments, but is it always a lasting effect or a general one?  Many middle class youth were radicalised by their participation in  the student,  anti-war, feminist,  gay, anti-racist  and environmental protest movements of the 1960s and 70’s  and/or through the  alternative life styles which formed around them. Some  seem to have conserved a version of their youthful  idealism as they grow older, and continued to support, if not provide the backbone of,  a whole spectrum of political activisms  up to the present day; however  their peers of the proletarian public realm, which was undergoing   rapid de-industrialisation over this period, followed  quite a different trajectory. As the  links between growing up, working and class were attenuated,  there opened up  spaces for distinctive youth subcultures around music, dress and style: mods, rockers, beats, skinheads, goths, ravers, chavs ; these young people   were learning in a whole variety of ways how to play it cool, especially when it came to politics, while sustaining an in- yer- face attitude to authority. This  stance   stood them in good stead when it came to living through the Thatcherite counter-revolution  which was led by those who most definitely did not take  part in 1968-and-all- that and which  saw the final destruction of the labourhood as a site of collective identification and action. The succeeding generations  who grew up in the 1980s and 90’s   with the mantras of neoliberal  individualism  ringing in their ears: ‘Be what you wanna be’ , ‘the Sky is the Limit’, ‘Live the Dream’, ‘You are the authors of your own lives’,  found themselves  dubbed Thatcher’s children  and Blair’s babies whether or not they earned or identified with that soubriquet; much public commentary   characterised  them as withdrawing from civic engagement and political activism  into purely privatised and  apolitical realms of aspiration and  fulfilment.  The children of these  Millennials  have been  cast in a  different mould:  radicalised by the  impact of austerity  in frustrating their middle class ambition, locked into chronic precarity   and animated  by identity politics around issues of race, gender and sexuality,  and most recently caught up in  xtinction rebellion bringing together the demands for economic and environmental justice in a new Green Deal. Welcome to the Woke Generation, at last a cohort of young people their still agitating grandparents can be proud of  as they  pick up the torch of struggle and join Momentum….. Meanwhile on the other side of the class and race tracks, the  tribes and territories  of the informal drug’ n’gig economy still rule OK,  creating another kind of labourhood, an alternative market place, offering a parallel form of  apprenticeship or career for sections of marginalised black and white youth, especially when  linked to the  drill and grime music scene which it has helped to politicise.

We must hope that this generation stays woke long enough to stop  us all sleep walking into climate catastrophe, but I still  think there are problems with reading political conjunctures through the prism of generations.These correspondences between personal and political histories are too glib. They belong in a folk tale which begins  ‘once upon a zeitgeist’  and ends by reducing the lived complexities and contradictions of actual biographies to certain stereotypical features popularly  associated with this or that  conjuncture. The baptismal naming of generations is purpose built for such speculative generalisations.

The real issue here is whether it is more or less possible for any cohort  to sustain a life long commitment to a political cause , and to have the psycho-social  resilience to overcome set backs, without having  any sense that history is on their side;  now   that the teleological narratives which hitherto guaranteed final victory are no longer  credible and the onward march of Labour seems permanently halted well this side of New Jerusalem, what alternative story lines are available?  Does  their absence  mean that any political project of the Left has to go for quick hits in order to prevent the collapse of popular support? How does such short termism square with the simultaneous need to develop long terms strategies to reverse the damage inflicted by over four decades of neo-liberalism?

 

Changing  political culture and its Other Scene 

If we are to change our political culture for the better, we need to pay attention to its  ‘Other Scene’. By this I mean those  matters of public and/or private concern that are marginalised,  those actors or voices  that are excluded, those needs, demands and desires which are  repressed in the dominant discourses of Social Democracy. This Other Scene gains in salience whenever issues  of structural inequality and existential belonging  are not easily addressed because they challenge the existing policy  frames and are not easily fixed, certainly not in the short term and not through the existing forms of  State  intervention or civil society activism. These are  issues which nevertheless return  to haunt  any Left project, casting  a long shadow of equivocation  and undermining the coherence and appeal of its  narratives of social transformation.

Perhaps the simplest and most strategic way to define and address this Other Scene is by enumerating the disconnects  which were so starkly revealed by the election:

  • Between the Labour Party and its historical heartlands
  • Between big cities and small towns
  • Between London and the English regions
  • Between the new and old working class
  • Between the precariat and organised labour
  • Between the left/liberal intelligentsia and its chosen reference groups
  • Between communitarianism and internationalism
  • Between the politics of recognition ( based on  articulating injustice to difference)  and  the politics of representation ( articulating the struggle against injustice to  the common good )

There are a number of  challenges here for any reconfiguration of the Left which aims to overcome these disconnects and assemble a political coalition capable of putting a reformed and reforming labour party into power. Firstly, how best to support  the moral economy, those burgeoning forms of co-operation and mutual aid that platform capitalism both generates and marketises.  How can this culture of reciprocity, with its peer to peer pedagogies, and   networked communities of practice, its concentrations of emotional labour, both waged and unwaged,  be  effectively de-regulated? Can the moral economy  be freed from the constraints and distortions  currently imposed on its development by its embedding in  bureaucratic  frameworks of governance,  underpinned as they  still so often are by  patriarchal norms ? That also requires that  the market economy is re-regulated and re-embedded in a civic economy of worth,  strengthened through new forms of democratic accountability and intermediate structures of deliberation/decision making  like citizen assemblies and participatory budgeting.

The second linked  challenge is how best to transform municipal socialism so as to  address the predicament of those communities which tend to be  cast and sometimes see themselves –  as a race apart, no longer the proud backbone of the nation’s wealth creation, but dependent on humiliating  handouts from Brussels or Westminster. How can these wounded prides of place, which have been captured by  an exclusionary  and xenophobic narrative of nativism  be re-translated, and develop  a more progressive and inclusive slant?  How can the values of  civic patriotism, or what Hannah Arendt called nationalisms of the neighbourhood,  be pushed beyond  Nimbyism   and become properly trans- local ? For instance what does it  mean today to be a Geordie, or Scouse or Brummy ?  What do these  class inflected variations  of English identity still count for,  if anything at all,   in a post imperial island story in which they are strictly speaking redundant?  Could they be the building blocks of a future constitutional settlement of devolved power to the regions , or do they represent a  nostalgic retrieve of  once- upon- a – time memoryscapes, evoking a lost world  of instinctual solidarities that never really was.

More generally how can tribes (those avatars of collective affiliations once based on class) with their one-for- all -and –all- for – one logic of solidarity,  becomes  multitudes, working for the many who are different from them  not just  the few like them? How can we shift the axis of community development and capacity building from bonding to bridging capital?

Finally how best to reach out to the working class in uniform, not just the iconic figures, the nurses and firefighters,  but the police and armed forces, the hard hats and yellow jackets, all  groups   who in their different ways contribute to the safety, health, and maintenance of the physical fabric of our society and whose support is mandatory if anything like a Living Labour movement is ever  to re-emerge from  the death throes of England’s green and increasingly unpleasant and illiberal land..

There are no easy answers,  but we do know some possible lines of social experimentation which might lead us in a hopeful direction. They all involve transforming the Left’s political culture, eliminating its sectarian and authoritarian tendencies in favour of  genuinely democratic practices; it means abandoning high handed  claims to  know better in favour of dialogue ; it involves  rejecting   strident evangelism,  which only preaches to the converted, in favour of collaborative forms of social and cultural action; above all it means developing a new approach to  political education which does not reduce it to a transactional   propaganda and recruitment exercise.

For this purpose we need less subtle dialectics which magically turn defeats into victories, (viz  claims that  ‘we won the argument even if we lost the election’ ), and more crude thoughts   on how to  build sustainable coalitions around   an agenda of common interests, needs and concerns. The new Green Deal is the obvious platform to connect the economic priorities of  working class voters with  the ideological commitments of the professional middle class, as well as strengthening  inter-generational solidarities in the struggle for climate justice.   It’s the environment, stupid! But to do that successfully means no more parasitic piggy backing on single issue campaigns and social movements,  but  partnerships based on  leap frogging, i.e  allowing your organisation to be used as a platform of support for another’s agenda, provided they in turn reciprocate.

All easier said than done but it would, for example,  be quite feasible to train members of Momentum  in methods of participatory mapping and ethnographic observation, and to deploy them on a regular basis  in places where people actually congregate: pubs and clubs,  sporting events, street markets and shopping malls, not in  order to dish out leaflets or shout slogans, but to collect stories and listen to people’s  concerns  so that there is a better informed basis for particular courses of action; this local research can then be aggregated  to constitute an evidential basis for wider policy making.

Or to take another example,  the elements of a  progressive  urban  policy are relatively easy to enumerate and   include the following :

  • reverse the privatisation of amenity and expand the commons through public  investment
  • re-regulate rents and the operation of market forces
  • introduce a land value tax
  • reduce gentrification by creating community heritage  zones in inner cities
  • impose rigorous environmental controls on new developments
  • develop a green transport and energy system to reduce pollution and improve public health
  • improve tenant security and  promote estate  self management
  • support the growth of housing co-ops and  community land trusts
  • re-introduce direct labour forces to kickstart a massive programme of social house building
  • provide incentives for ecological initiatives

All this is common knowledge among urban professionals and activists but it has yet to become common sense  amongst the urban populace at large. For this to happen requires that  instead of trying to join up these elements through some top- down policy  initiative which plops onto peoples door mats in the form of  a  manifesto a few weeks before an election, ( and thus  seems like scarcely  credible  news from nowhere),  they  are geared up through  common deliberation amongst  different interest groups on the ground  over a considerable period of time , supported by educational initiatives in schools and community centres, and rolled out  in towns and cities across the country.

In one local  experiment along these lines, a new idea emerged unexpectedly,  as it were from Left field : a programme of  inter-generational housing, where senior citizens living on their own are enabled  to rent out  spare rooms to students and other young people who are in need of cheap accommodation.  Similar schemes  already operate successfully on a small scale ; there are  distant echoes here of the informal arrangements whereby apprentices  and other migrant young workers  could leave home  and get digs with a  family in the labourhood;  suitably scaled up through local state support, it  not only tackles a pressing housing need in a cost effective way  but  provides a framework of mutual aid and emotional support  for old and young , a space of ongoing social dialogue between the generations which  helps counter the  atomisation / virtualisation  of relationships promoted by digital capitalism. It is a concrete example of how the moral economy can work in tandem with a civic economy once both are disentangled from their  embroilment in global market forces.

 

Be careful what you wish for

Two things are  certain after  what happened on   Friday December 13th,  firstly the election result  was not just a question of bad timing and bad luck ( the blame it all on Brexit argument); and secondly  when Jeremy Corbyn finally calls it a day and looks around for something else to do  he is unlikely to get a job as Santa Claus. He auditioned for the part during the election, pulling one prezzie after another out of the manifesto bag, in a way that left many people confused and feeling that it was all just too good to be true after so many years of austerity. The  give away offers, without a connecting narrative thread that  resonated with popular disenchantment with the political class,   proved a gift for the Tories, who just updated their  traditional argument that Labour can’t be trusted with the economy.

As a result it was Boris, the trickster, the  shape shifting Spiderman with the genial bluster, who got to play Father Christmas heavily disguised as Bob the Builder, (Can we do it yes we can), as he bulldozed  the so called  red wall.

In the debates  that will go on around the election of  a successor, the positions taken up by the various candidates are inevitably polarized around the political project of Corbynism,  between those who blame  its failure to win electoral support  on external reasons beyond its control and those who see the problem as entirely internal to the project itself. Predictably those who believe the project was just too radical and should be abandoned favour a return to a political  centre ground which no longer exists, while those who believe it was not radical enough want to advance to a ‘vanguard democracy’ position which does not yet exist outside the intellectual hothouses of  the Dissident Academy and may never become sufficiently embedded  in civil society to serve as  an effective rallying point . Transfixed between  no- longer and  not- yet viability this  is the organic crisis of Social Democracy and one reason why such parties are losing the culture  war around  futurology  to  the  imagineers of  conservative  populism.

There is however some common ground, a shared narcissism of minor difference. All sides   are frantically staking rival claims to  working class authenticity as a kind of inherited charisms – having a  grandfather who was a miner, or a mother who was on benefits, is now a sine que non for Leftists who want to  lead a Parliamentary Labour Party that is undergoing an existential crisis about its roots. Those who lack such credentials but are still  trying  to find a route back to power may have to make do with displays of professional competence and virtue signalling. If only Keir Starmer would surrender his knighthood, relocate to Sunderland  and have a sex change !  Ironically it is because he is so solid a member of  the metropolitan elite,  that he would win the support of large numbers of ex-labour voters in  the Midlands and North because he fits their received image of what a Prime Minister looks and behaves like, in a way that Corbyn never  could or did.

There is another point of convergence between Labour’s tribes, belonging more to what I have called Politics’ Other Scene. It has to do not with the rivalry but revenge. There is a widely shared but  disavowed desire on the Left, especially Remainers,   to see Brexit turn into an economic disaster, to ensure that the Tories  reap the bitter harvest of their surrender to the European Reform Group. But of course, those who will really suffer, who will lose their jobs  and sink even further into wage or benefit poverty and debt  will be those already deprived  communities who lent the Tories their vote to get Brexit done. There may also be some Lexiteers, who will not only rejoice at the prospect of the lifting the yoke of Brussels from the backs of the working class , but see  the  break up of Britain as an opportunity to create socialism in one country (England). But then Lexiteers tend to still  believe in the immiseration thesis promulgated by vulgar Marxism – that  the possibility of  uprisings,  general strikes and  socialist  revolution are to be found in the deteriorating material conditions of the masses.

Perhaps they need reminding of what happened in the 1930’s, when it was fascism not socialism which reaped the whirlwind of economic recession and only  the New Deal in the USA  succeeded in stabilizing  capitalism within a social democratic frame.   Today  Social Democracy is greatly weakened by its implication in neo-liberal policies. Across Europe  the Populist Alt Right  is poised    to exploit the insecurities generated  by global flows of information,  goods and  people across  the ever more fragile internal boundaries  and external borders erected  in the name of national sovereignty. The demand ‘to take back control’, for all its echoes of  anarcho-syndicalism, is more easily translated into a  racialised  version of the body politic, in which a line of blood is drawn between citizens who belong, and denizens who don’t. So be careful what you wish for – it  might just  come true. And  to return to my title, remember what the man said : Let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late…

Further Reading

Anthony Barnett The Lure of Greatness 2019

Etienne Balibar Politics and the Other Scene Verso 2012

Anthony Cartwright Heartlands (2010), Iron Towns (2016)

Phil Cohen Archive that,comrade: Left legacies and the counter culture of remembrance PM Press 2017

Waypoints : towards an ecology of political mindfulness eyeglass books 2019

Jane Commane Assembly Lines Bloodaxe Books 2019

Colin Crouch  The Globalisation Backlash   2018

Terry Eagleton Hope without Optimism Yale University Press 2016

David Graeber The Democracy Project Allen Lane 2014

Frederick Jamieson The Political Unconscious Routledge 2002

Joe Kennedy The authentocrats Repeater Books 2019

Abdellatif Laabi In Praise of Defeat:Selected Poems (trans D Nicholson Smith) archipelago books   2016

Mark Lilla  The Shipwrecked Mind: on political reaction 2016

Bruno Latour Re-assembling the social OUP 2007

Eugene McCarraher The Enchantment of Mammon:how capitalism became the religion of modernity Yale 2019

Ronald Purser McMindfulness :how mindfulness became the new capitalist spirituality ( Repeater Books 2019.)

Jake Schenker Now that we have your attention: the new politics of the people Vintage 2019

Nick Srnicek Platform capitalism Polity Press 2017

Jennifer Silva Coming Up Short :working class adulthood in an age of uncertainty OUP 2016

Valerie Walkerdine and Luis Jimenez Gender,work and Community after de-industrialisation  Palgrave 2012