Urgently relevant to current arguments about the crisis of austerity, the 1968 manifesto set out a new agenda for socialist Britain, after the failure of the postwar consensus. It sought to change the nature of the state, to drive a wedge between finance and empire, to stress the importance of a planned economy for all, and to detach Britain from the imperial goals to which it had long been committed. Today, the spirit of The May Day Manifesto offers a road map to a brighter future.
The original publication brought together the most influential radical voices of the era. Among the seventy signatories were Raymond Williams, E. P. Thompson, Stuart Hall, Iris Murdoch, Terry Eagleton, Ralph Miliband, and R. D. Laing. This edition comes with an introduction from Owen Jones, who brings a sense of urgency and hope to the contemporary debate.
“Arguably the founding text of the British New Left.”
“A genuinely collaborative project among a range of left-wing intellectuals of the day.”
“Only a confident, assertive, radical left that is prepared to go on the offensive can succeed. That is the spirit which runs through the 1968 May Day Manifesto. And its lessons and insights may belong to another era—but we have much to learn from them today.”
“The Manifesto sought to rescue and renew the idea that the purpose of the politics of the left—Labour and beyond—should be to further the long-term transformation of capitalist society in a democratic and egalitarian direction.”
“Reading Manifesto in 2018, it’s remarkable how methodical and far-reaching its analysis still appears, just as the problems it presents—and the answers it proposes—are still nowhere near being resolved today.”
“Explores the crisis of austerity, the burden of empire and the failures to control rampant capitalism, but … clears the path to a brighter and equal future”
“A timely reprint … the scope of the document is impressive and the new edition will serve as a useful introduction to the politics of the New Left for contemporary readers.”