This book examines the impact that nostalgia has had on the Labour Party’s political development since 1951. In contrast to existing studies that have emphasised the role played by modernity, it argues that nostalgia has defined Labour’s identity and determined the party’s trajectory over time. It outlines how Labour, at both an elite and a grassroots level, has been and remains heavily influenced by a nostalgic commitment to an era of heroic male industrial working-class struggle. This commitment has hindered policy discussion, determined the form that the modernisation process has taken and shaped internal conflict and cohesion. More broadly, Labour’s emotional attachment to the past has made it difficult for the party to adjust to the socioeconomic changes that have taken place in Britain. In short, nostalgia has frequently left the party out of touch with the modern world. In this way, this book offers an assessment of Labour’s failures to adapt to the changing nature and demands of post-war Britain.
imaginary but palpable distended and
aggrandizing West/Europe as modernity – for all those awaiting
its second coming in prior places, anachronistic spaces, lagging in
In artistic, intellectual, and aesthetic arenas,
modernism(s) in South Asia have variously, often critically, engaged
with these projections and presuppositions: but they have also been
unable to easily escape
‘Flow and boundary’ – a suggestive image for a new
constellation of border crossings. (Habermas, 2001 ) 1
From its conception to the referenda of 2005 where it
met its end, German philosopher Jürgen Habermas wrote in support of the European
Constitution. An account of his efforts must, however, be more than a catalogue of texts. For
his status as the last of the great system builders of European philosophy, comparable with
Hegel in the breadth and explanatory power of his thought
developmental idea of a supersession of the past is crucial to modern
imaginaries. This is true of academic assumption and everyday
understanding, and also underlies the mutual articulations of modernity,
modernization, and modernism. Such splitting of the past from the
present is simultaneously temporal and spatial. Here the singular
temporal trajectory and the exclusive spatial location of
expressed in history, others would continue shortly after in the
modernist arts, literature, poetry, music and philosophy. A second wave of radical modernism emerged in Marxist politics, political economy, liberation theology and indigenous movements.
Engagement in the cross-currents of history
Modernism arose at the turn of the twentieth century as a movement of artists, philosophers, writers, poets, musicians and activists (Schelling, 2000). In
a short time, they remedied the positivist cultures that had denigrated Latin
America and venerated European
Modernism and postmodernism
O gentlemen, the time of life is short!
If life did ride upon a dial’s point,
Still ending at the arrival of an hour.
And if we live, we live to tread on kings.
William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1 5.2.82–7.
So we should not expect Foucault to give us a philosophical theory that
deploys … notions. Still, philosophy is more than theories.
‘Foucault and Epistemology’ by Richard Rorty in David Couzens Hoy
(ed.), Foucault: A Critical Reader1
Foucault: the catcher in the modern rye
When discussing modernity, one
Muslims in Europe as colonialist occupiers. It’s easier therefore for Muslim Europeans
who have found it hard to integrate to identify with the Palestinians.17
As Ajami concludes, the encounter with the West, with modernism and with
freedom of expression is very painful. What is perceived as the non-integration
of Muslim migrants – the ‘dish cities’ of many TV satellite dishes tuned to Arabic
or Muslim channels – is a result of this encounter. In painful, even cruel words
Ajami focuses on some of the ruins and disasters of this encounter:
There is an Arab
system are to be reduced. ‘Inflation of rising expectations’ and
‘ungovernability’ are the slogans of a policy that aims at a greater detachment
of administration from public will-formation . . . Third, cultural policy is assigned the
task of operating on two fronts.
On the one hand, it is to discredit intellectuals as the social bearers of modernism ... On
the other hand, traditional culture and the stabilising forces of conventional morality,
patriotism, bourgeois religion, and folk culture are
Fiqh al-Aqalliyat (Muslim jurisprudence on minorities); Dina de-Malchuta Dina (the law of the kingdom is the law); Dar al-Islam (abode of Islam); Dar al-Harb (abode of war)
has nothing to hope for from God – except in self-defense.’ (Koran 3:28).
Islam contributed much to the rise of European medieval culture, but its
contribution was much less during the post-medieval era. The emergence of
modern European and Western philosophies, liberal democracy, modern social
achievements and scientific discoveries occurred largely without Muslim contributions. Jews, by comparison, have been a built-in element, part and parcel,
and in certain areas the fulcrum, of modern European cultures and civilisation.
Notwithstanding historical, and in
, European novels and other relevant texts are looked at,
both as descriptions and embodiments of the Zeitgeist – in them are discerned
‘cartographies of disenchantment’, vying accounts of the causes, consequences and
agents of rationalisation. Habermas’s Frankfurt School predecessor Leo Lowenthal engaged
in a comparable exercise, though with an orientation to social, rather than cultural,
Löwenthal’s studies of drama and fiction in the nineteenth
century served to show in detail that the