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Archive for May 14th, 2007

left hook

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A nice piece on the future of the left and the “social state” from Zygmunt Bauman in the journal Soundings (not a journal that I’ve seen before… but it looks interesting…) I’ll give away the end:

Contrary to the assumption of ‘third way’ advocates, loyalty to the social state tradition and an ability to modernise swiftly – with little or no damage to social cohesion and solidarity – need not be at loggerheads. On the contrary, as the social democratic practice of our Nordic neighbours has demonstrated, the pursuit of a more socially cohesive society is the necessary precondition for modernisation by consent. The Scandinavian pattern is anything but a relic of the past. Just how topical and alive its underlying principles are, and how strong its possibilities for inspiring human imagination and action, is demonstrated by the recent triumphs of emergent or resurrected social states in Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil and Chile. Gradually yet indefatigably they are changing the political likeness and popular mood of the Western Hemisphere. They bear the hallmarks of that ‘left hook’ with which, as Walter Benjamin pointed out, all truly decisive blows in human history tend to be delivered. And though this is a truth that is hard to perceive in a Britain that is sunk in the murky dusk of the Blairist era, it is the truth nevertheless.

Still, aren’t both Sweden and Denmark currently run by center-right liberalizing governments? Shouldn’t we be anxious that the Scandinavians themselves are starting to feel that the “Scandinavian pattern” is a relic of the past?

UPDATE: Uh oh…

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May 14, 2007 at 11:11 pm

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Sorry that I’ve been off my pace lately here. More is coming, I promise. But it might not be immediately. I have a very large and time-sensitive writing project that I need to bring to some sort of a firm stop by Wednesday or so. And there’s – of course – all the end of semester wrapping-up to do. And then I’ll be on vacation for two weeks. Which takes us to the beginning of June. If I can get access and time, I’ll likely throw some stuff up while I’m away…

Just don’t give up on me – I’ll be back.

For now, you can go visit the little conflagration I’ve started over on LS….

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May 14, 2007 at 12:38 am

Posted in housekeeping