Blue Labour: Forging a New Politics

Edited by: Ian Geary, Adrian Pabst
Foreword by: Rowan Williams

In the aftermath of the global economic crisis, and the worst recession for over seventy years, Britain has witnessed one of the most turbulent eras in politics since the Second World War. The dominant political and capitalistic system has come under close scrutiny; and the 2008 financial crash has cast serious doubt on the economic and social liberalism of both Thatcherism and Blairism. The Blue Labour movement addresses the fact that neither nationalisation nor privatisation has delivered lasting prosperity or stability. Critiquing the dominance in Britain of a social-cultural liberalism linked to the left and a free-market liberalism associated with the right, Blue Labour blends a 'progressive' commitment to greater economic equality with a more 'conservative' disposition emphasising personal loyalty, family, community and locality. Seeking to move beyond the centrist pragmatism of Blair and Cameron, this essential work speaks to the needs of diverse people and communities across the country. It is the programme of a vital new force in politics: one that could define the thinking of the next generation and beyond.

Learn more

Learn to Live without Masters

An Interview with Slavoj Žižek taken by Oscar Guardiola-Rivera, Naked Punch, October 3, 2009

1. Getting Rid of the Big Other.

OGR: It seems as if, in the end, your philosophical and political project is to break through the various impasses of extrinsic vs. intrinsic accounts of everything, from cinema to science and politics, without playing to the gallery of hysterics who want you to give them ‘the new law’. That would explain why your discourse (and your practice) cannot simply follow the conventions of the discourse of the university. Put otherwise, is this what you are getting at when you state that the task is ‘to get rid of the Big other’ in all its forms (including that of the ‘organic intellectual’)?

SZ: It was already Jacques-Alain Miller who elaborated the idea that democracy involves a kind of destitution of the big Other, with direct reference to Claude Lefort: “Is ‘democracy’ a master-signifier? Without any doubt. It is the master-signifier which says that there is no master-signifier, at least not a master-signifier which would stand alone, that every master-signifier has to insert itself wisely among others. Democracy is Lacan’s big S of the barred A, which says: I am the signifier of the fact that Other has a hole, or that it doesn’t exist.”
Read more...

On UN Charter Day, Ban Calls for ‘Deeper Cooperation’ amid Growing Global Challenges

26 June 2015 – On June 26th, 1945, the United Nations was born from the ashes and rubble of the Second World War as delegates from fifty nations came together to sign the UN Charter – the Organization's founding document and the bedrock of global peace and development.

Seventy years later, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is returning to San Francisco where the Charter was first signed to celebrate the UN's founding and call on the international community to renew their commitment towards the shaping of a better planetary future for all.
Read more...

Yevgeny Primakov Has Died Aged 85

The Moscow Headquarters of the WPF “Dialogue of Civilizations” and Russian Society of Political Scientists regret to inform that Yevgeny Primakov, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Honorable Professor of the Moscow State Lomonosov University, Honorable President of the Russian Society of Political Scientists died on June 26, 2015 in Moscow at the age of 85.

Yevgeny Primakov was a politician, public figure, and diplomat. He was one of Russia’s leading experts in oriental studies and a prominent scholar in the fields of the global economy and international relations. Mr Primakov contributed a lot to the development of the Political Science and supported the consolidation of the political expert community in Russia.

Women and the Interpretation of Islamic Sources

An Essay by Heba Raouf Ezzat, Professor of Political Theory, Department of Political Science, Cairo University, published at heba-ezzat.com

Can a feminist reinterpretation of Islamic sources be set in the context of Islamic theology? In other words: Can there be a feminist interpretation of Quran and Sunna? Was there one in the past, and if not…can we initiate one in the future?

These questions have appeared on the agenda of women’s debates in the Muslim world in the past two decades…stressing the “feminist” as different…currently absent and…urgently needed.
Read more...

Chaos and Counterrevolution

After the Arab Spring

A new book by Richard Falk, Just World Books, 2015

In 2011, an extraordinary popular protest movement swept North Africa and the Middle East. Mass demonstrations and public protests inspired a new generation to imagine a future without authoritarian rule. Yet, just a few short years later this sense of hope and possibility has largely given way to gloom and pessimism. In this unique collection of blog posts and essays, renowned international law scholar Richard Falk explores the political situations in the region, including Egypt, Libya, Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, pairing his reflections on developments as they unfolded with analysis of events today.

Learn more

Income Inequalities in Perspective

By Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Vladimir Popov, co-authors of Possible Futures book series

Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), Columbia University; International Labour Office, Geneva

Income and wealth inequalities in most countries – in the West, the former ‘communist’ economies and in the developing world – have been on the rise in the last three decades with some notable exceptions. Inequalities in the 19th century were much higher than before the Industrial Revolution. Following the rise of workers’ movements in the West and the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, the growth of inequalities of the previous century was reversed for over half a century until the 1980s as the threat of the spread of communism inspired welfarist redistributive reforms, giving capitalism a more human face. Such checks and balances have been greatly weakened in recent decades, even though improved economic performance in many developing countries, including sub-Saharan Africa in the last decade, contributed to some convergence of incomes between rich and poor countries.

Click here to read the Paper

From Bandung to BRICS: Two Styles One Objective

An Article by Beatriz Bissio, Head of the Department of Political Science, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), published at Latin America in Movement Online on June 12, 2015
 

"The despised, the insulted, the hurt, the dispossessed—in short, the underdogs of the human race were meeting. Here were class and racial and religious consciousness on a global scale. Who had thought of organizing such a meeting? And what had these nations in common? Nothing, it seemed to me, but what their past relationship to the Western world had made them feel. This meeting of the rejected was in itself a kind of judgment upon the Western world!"

Richard Wright - The Color Curtain. A report on the Bandung Conference. The World Publishing Company, Cleveland and New York, 1956.

The Conference that took place in Bandung, Indonesia, from April 18 to 24, 1955, brought together leaders from some thirty Asian and African nations, responsible for the destiny of 1.350 million human beings.  Sixty years later, in 2015, many of the problems that were analyzed and debated in that pioneer conference continue to challenge a huge part of humanity.  This observation justifies a reflection on the meaning and the projections of Bandung and invites us to think about the relevance today of some of the assessments and proposals made at that event, that constituted a landmark in the history of twentieth-century international relations.

Read more...

Operation Barbarossa: What Would Europe Look like if the Soviets Hadn’t Defeated Hitler?

By John Wight, RT, June 22, 2015

Never has a leader so catastrophically misjudged the character of an enemy as Hitler misjudged the Soviet Union and its people prior to launching his invasion of the country on June 22, 1941.

Hitler and other top Nazis were convinced that the Soviet Union would crumble under the weight of the largest military operation ever mounted, codenamed Operation Barbarossa. German and Axis forces comprising 4 million men, 3,600 tanks, over 4,000 aircraft, and 46,000 artillery pieces attacked the Soviet Union along a 2,900-kilometer front from the Baltic in the north to the Black Sea in the south.

Hitler’s grand ideological project of colonizing Eastern Europe, granting the German and German-speaking peoples so-called “lebensraum” (living space), destroying in the process the “degenerate” and “inferior” Slav peoples, untermenschen, while crushing the threat of “Jewish Bolshevism” to his vision of a racially pure Aryan Europe, was now under way. From the outset it was to be a war of annihilation in which millions would be slaughtered.

Read more...