In particular they were not found at the state where the passive public turned

In particular they were not found at the state where

This preview shows page 64 - 65 out of 281 pages.

were incapable of being able to respond to the new stakes of radical politics. In particular, they were not found at the state, where the passive public turned to resolve the crisis. I will now go on to examine how in recent years significant parts of the radical Left have also tended to prioritise raising awareness of our ethical responsibilities, over capturing state power . I am going to say that it is important to create this awareness. However, in an effort to draw attention to the stakes of politics as we find them now, post-2008, I will also point out that we should not place too much faith in this approach alone. Against the backdrop of what I have just been saying, it is important to remember that while much attention is focused upon President Obama, in many other parts of the world the Right and fundamentalism are gaining strength through capturing state power. The perception that the USA has changed is accompanied by a sense of relief among many radicals. However, the European Elections of 2009, the largest trans-national vote in history , heralded a continent-wide shift to the Right (and far Right) in many places—in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portgual, Slovenia, Spain, Romania, as just some examples (Wall Street Journal, 2009). Despite Obama’s election and a near depression, neo-liberalism continues to be implemented through a world spanning apparatus of governmental and intergovernmental organisations, think tanks and trans-national corporations (Massey, 2009; Castree, 2009). The power of the Right in countries like Iran, while checked, remains unchallenged by the Left. Albertazzi et al. (2009) draw attention to how a disconnected Left is leaving power in the hands of the Right in many other countries nationally, like Italy for example . Reflecting upon contemporary radical politics, the British Labour politician Clare Short (2009, p. 67) concludes: In the fog of the future, I see a rise of fascistic movements . . . I am afraid it will all get nastier before we see a rise in generous, radical politics, but I suspect that history is about to speed up in front of our eyes and all who oppose the radicalisation of fear, ethnic hatred, racialism and division have to be ready to create a new movement that contains the solutions to the monumental historical problems we currently face. So, the stakes of politics are clear. The Right is on the rise. Neo-liberal ideology is still dominant. How is the Left responding to these stakes? I have already discussed how some from the radical Left are placing too much faith in civil society organisations that seek to withdraw from the state. I will now turn to how others have too much faith in the power of raising awareness of our ethical responsibilities. Post-crisis, the increasing popularity of David Chandler’s (2004, 2007, 2009a, 2009b) work reflects the sense that radicals too often celebrate the ethical individual as a radical force , at the expense of wider representational programmes for change .
Image of page 64
Image of page 65

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 281 pages?

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture