If you are having trouble with the NLR website, please provide details here, and we will try to improve the site accordingly.
Russell Jacoby has a good line in gloomy titles. Social Amnesia and Dialectic of Defeat were followed by The Last Intellectuals, which has now been joined by The End of Utopia. There is, of course, a good deal for the left to be gloomy about, despite the comrade who sanguinely announced at the Socialist Workers Party summer school last year that there had ‘never been more revolutionary opportunities’. Quite what it is the left should be glum about, however, needs closer specification. Has utopia come to an end because of apathy, as the book’s subtitle suggests, or because the left is in retreat, or because history is going downhill, or because it has slithered to a halt? These grounds are not mutually exclusive, but the relations between them need examining. Is the left in retreat, for example, because history is going downhill, or is it the other way round?
Subscribe for just £35 and get free access to the archive
Please login on the left to read more or buy the article for £3