Social democracy has made a political comeback in recent years, especially under the influence of the ‘Third Way’. Not everyone is convinced, however, that ‘Third Way’ social democracy is the best means of reviving the Left's project. This book considers this dissent and offers an alternative approach. Bringing together a range of social and political theories, it engages with some contemporary debates regarding the present direction and future of the Left. Drawing upon egalitarian, feminist and environmental ideas, the book proposes that the social democratic tradition can be renewed but only if the dominance of conservative ideas is challenged more effectively. It explores a number of issues with this aim in mind, including justice, the state, democracy, new technologies, future generations and the advances in genetics.
including books, pamphlets, periodicals, speeches, private papers and party documents. The historical signiﬁcance of the thought of particular individuals can
only be understood when compared with that of their contemporaries, and it is
in any case misleading to see political ideology as the product of isolated theorists
when it usually emerges from the collaborative efforts of groups aiming to inﬂuence public policy and public opinion. Accordingly, I will examine the egalitarianideas produced by a series of intellectually productive and politically
chief patron of Penguin’s vision, Richard Hoggart. 23
It is tempting to regard Penguin’s trajectory as evidence of social democracy’s retreat and Thatcherite advance. After all, it seemed to reflect the broader success of market values and the demise of those egalitarianideas that Lane embodied. But such a reading of Penguin’s development would conceal the complexity of Penguin’s journey. The arguments made by Mayer and his critics cut across the boundary that separated these ideological traditions. Nor is it appropriate to read the eclipse of left-culturism as a
, the only true eighteenth century revolution in the Western
The egalitarianideas present in American Christianity, even the free-will theology of the Baptists, did not therefore lead inevitably to its adoption as a form of
resistance any more than belief in the self-evident nature of human equality led
Thomas Jefferson to emancipate his slaves. That Christianity did form the basis
of black resistance in America needs to be understood as resulting primarily from
two unique aspects of American slavery. First, although North American slavery
by the 1970s, his instinctive centrism led him to be marginalised within his own party. A number of New Right intellectuals went as far as to identify him as a fellow traveller who had contributed to the advance of egalitarianideas. One of them was Rhodes Boyson, who, in October 1975, wrote a letter to Penguin that criticised the publisher’s editorial policies. Commenting on Penguin’s failure to publish Caroline Cox’s The Rape of Reason , a book that documented alleged attempts by left-wing groups to infiltrate a polytechnic institution, he argued that ‘Penguin
the EA’s activities were particularly important for explaining why it was attacked: a backlash from powerful interests against its legal work; a reaction from politicians and public officials against its support for complaints against the state; and a fear of its plans to conduct inquiries. The budget cut occurred within the wider context of a culture that was traditionally resistant to equality and has more recently been infected by a globally powerful neo-liberalism. These anti-egalitarianideas, deeply embedded in the capitalist economy, are endorsed by
. Marx and Engels had emphasised their importance, and Lenin described them as ‘the centres of the
economic, political and spiritual life of the nation … and the main motor
of progress’.3 It was specifically the organisation of urban life and urban
gender and housing in soviet russia
housing which was supposed to bring about a transformation in daily life.
As David Smith explains, it was meant to ‘promote collective sentiments,
as well as giving practical material expression to egalitarianideas’.4 These
‘always been obscurely acknowledged in government appeals to
Dunkirk spirits and ghostly “teams” rowing in unison: the tribute of
patrician vice to a missing nationalist virtue’ (1977: 299). Every initiative was still-born because the British state had experienced a form of
arrested development precisely because of its frustration of the egalitarianidea of the people. France, the ‘Other’ of Linda Colley’s Britons
(1992), had become the embodiment of this alien principle and its
alienness had helped to secure the old corruption of a monarchical
as Labour: 22,899 days to 12,096.
Even if we exclude the periods of coalition, the Tory advantage (16,475
days to 12,096) is pronounced. British politics might have been
dominated by collectivist and egalitarianideas – but it was
dominated by Conservative governments.
and unnatural love.
The struggle in the eighteenth century between the fraternal and the conjugal parallels the struggle between hierarchal and egalitarianideas of social
organization. If, as Catherine Gallagher asserts, healthy individuals equalled
healthy social bodies, then rivalry, and particularly incest, showed the decay
Siblinghood and social relations in Georgian England
of families and social bodies. Classification of siblings as equals did not match
with gender and age hierarchies, nor did they sit comfortably with masculine