Essays from Tariq Ali, Rachel Shabi, George Monbiot, Richard Seymour, Hilary Wainwright, and more.
The leadership election has come to an end with a huge victory for Jeremy Corbyn. He is given the mandate (again) to demand support from the Westminster rump that still resists his authority.
But even with this support, the future is no walk in the park. Since the attempt to force Corbyn to resign, followed by the extended contest, the polls have shown the electorate to be unenthusiastic about the Labour Party’s internal struggles. Widespread media coverage continues to drive home the message that the party will be unelectable in 2020 under Corbyn, when the next General Election seems most likely to occur. The collapse of the party in Scotland and the threat of future boundary changes make the prospects for success seem particularly dim. What is the Labour Party to do in order to present a credible alternative? There are no simple answers.
Corbyn and the Future of Labour looks back on an extraordinary year – in which the Labour Party and its membership changed almost beyond recognition – and offers a variety of prescriptions for what needs to be done. Already we have seen that the party is willing to move away from the centre ground for the first time in twenty years and beginning to offer an authentic alternative to the neoliberal doctrine of austerity. Perhaps the only thing the writers collected together here might agree on is that the road ahead is going to be hard.
Including contributions from Tariq Ali, Joanna Biggs, Rachel Shabi, George Monbiot, Jamie Stern-Weiner, Richard Seymour, Hilary Wainwright, Jeremy Gilbert, Alex Williams, Ellie Mae O'Hagan, Michael Rosen, Aaron Bastani, Lindsey German.
Also: download the ebook and within it you can activate a discount code to receive 40% off all the books on our Essential Labour Party Reading List.
1. Corbyn’s Progress - Tariq Ali
2. At the Rally - Joanna Biggs
3. The Coup - Rachel Shabi
4. The Curator of the Future - George Monbiot
5. Labour’s Fabricated Anti-Semitism Crisis - Jamie Stern-Weiner
6. The Labour Right’s Year of Misery - Richard Seymour
7. From Ralph Miliband to Jeremy Corbyn - Hilary Wainwright
8. The Question of Leadership - Jeremy Gilbert
9. Corbynism and the Parameters of Power - Alex Williams
10. What Next? The Corbyn Moment - Ellie Mae O’Hagan
11. Instructions for the Next Labour Leader - Michael Rosen
12. Recruit, Re-Tweet, Renationalise - Aaron Bastani
13. The Alternative to Empire: A New Foreign Policy - Lindsey German
From the 27 January edition of Daniel Mermet’s Là-bas si j’y suis. Translated by David Broder. Based on French transcript.
Frédéric Lordon: Well, the upcoming elections… There is something weird. For me, the prospect of this election awakens very mixed feelings. Very contradictory feelings.
I should say that as the years have come and gone — and it is a while since I stopped voting — I have truly come to consider the Fifth Republic’s institutions’ electoral pantomime as something empty, a dead end.
And from a certain point of view, what happened with Nuit Debout was the expression of this same frame of mind. Playing the game within these institutions is either a game lost in advance, or an entirely senseless one. And the only political question…
The Levellers have recently taken on a sudden political topicality. First, Theresa May accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of being a Leveller, and then UKIP's only MP Douglas Carswell attempted to claim the Levellers for the populist right. How can we situate the legacy and contemporary relevance of the Levellers?
In this piece John Rees, author of the recently published The Leveller Revolution, looks at the history of this 400 year old political insult.
The Leveller Revolution is currently 50% off as part of our end-of-year sale, with free shipping.
Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Benn (centre) with John Rees and Cllr Rania Khan at the unveiling of the plaque to Leveller Thomas Rainsborough in Wapping, 2013.
This discussion between Nancy Fraser and Andrew Arato, Dorothy Hart Hirshon Professor of Political and Social Theory at the New School, first appeared at Public Seminar.
Andrew Arato: Nancy we have had a conversation about the elections a week ago in Great Evremond, Mass, and one thing you said really struck me. If I can paraphrase you, you said something like ” the worst thing about this election is that because of Trump’s wild claims and assertions, and the attacks that focus on these, we are now completely neglecting the genuine issues that have merged with his candidacy, and with that of Sanders previously. What exactly did you have in mind? Can you outline what these issues are or were?
Nancy Fraser: Yes, you’ve captured my point exactly. I am struck by the sharp contrast between the invigorating debates of the primary season, which challenged the reigning neoliberal commonsense, and the lockstep moralizing of the present, which has shut down all such questioning under the guise of the need to combat the “grave danger” represented by Trump. I find this both demoralizing and infuriating.