Critique of Wilsonism
The relatively stable equilibrium, which defined British politics and society for a decade, has now broken down. The crisis of the traditional English hegemonic class, under whose rule British capitalism has in recent years so visibly declined, threatens the long supremacy of the Conservative Party. It would be too much to say that socialists were prepared for this, poised for their own participation in coming events. Since its severe defeat at Blackpool in 1961, the Left has taken no major initiatives and launched no great debates. The rapid succession of crises and upheavals which began with the death of Gaitskell and culminated with the resignation of Macmillan, unfolded without any independent intervention by the Left. In two years, there has been a memorable bonfire of values in Britain. The Left did not light it. Will it benefit from it?
’My institution subscribes to NLR, why can't I access this article?’
By the same author:
The House of Zion
The fate of the Palestinians and the fortunes of Israel, after fifty years of occupation, and American and European collusion with it. Realities behind the official tropes decorating a ‘two-state solution’, and hesitations of nascent debate over a single state in the territory once ruled as a mandate by Britain.
With the collisions over Ukraine, the contradictions in Russia’s relations with the West have been sharpened by sanctions and economic crisis. Perry Anderson on the spectre of Great Power status that still informs the post-multinational nation—and why, despite all the Kremlin’s attempts at integration with the US–EU, the country remains indigestible.
Retrospective on the liberated life and work of Alexander Cockburn, whose last book, A Colossal Wreck, completes a dazzling triptych. Shaping influences of family, place and political epoch on a singularly radical temperament, and the keen-edged prose in which it found expression.
Deadlocks of American politics viewed within a longer optic, as outcomes of interlocking determinants—regime of accumulation, sociological shifts, cultural mutations, catalytic minorities—within an all-capitalist ideological universe.
Ronald Fraser, 1930–2012
Tribute to the author of Blood of Spain, locating the impulse behind his oeuvre in a commitment to explore lived experience. Reconstructions
of work, war, politics and subjectivity, from Napoleonic era to post-Fordist present.
After the Event
Replying to critics, Anderson renews his critique of European narcissism, before turning to the dynamics of the EU debt crisis, and Berlin’s role in producing and exacerbating it.
Homage to an outstanding figure of the European Left, who fought to preserve the link between radical thought and mass politics as Italy’s Communist tradition dissolved around him.
Perry Anderson on Patrick Wilcken, Claude-Lévi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory. Deciphering the life and thought of the anthropological mage.