Reclaim Modernity

Around April 2011, I think, Mark Fisher and I started work on a pamphlet for the lobbying, campaigning, policy organisation Compass. We finally finished it this year and it was published last week. Here’s a link to the short intro I wrote for the Guardian’s Comment is Free page, which also links to the pamphlet and to details of an event on November 11th to discuss themes emerging from the pamphlet and my last book.

White Noise: New Labour, New Lads, ’Britpop’ and Blairism 

I wrote White Noise either at the end of 1996 or early in 1997. It’s about the ethnic, national, class, sexual and gendered character of ‘Britpop’ and its implications for understanding the politics of Blairism on the eve of its great political triumph.

 It was the text for a pamphlet/‘discussion paper’ that was published by the Signs of the Times group under the 

It was then included (in a slightly updated and expanded  form) as the chapter ‘Pop, Politics and Populism’ in a book called The Moderniser’s Dilemma, edited by Anne Coddington and Mark Perryman, published by Lawrence and Wishart a couple of years late. 

 I’m posting it today just because the media are suddenly full of incitements to remember the supposed anniversary of Britpop, along with some excellent well-deserved mockery of that hideously embarrassing phenomenon (e.g. http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/arts-entertainment/nineties-generation-to-make-formal-apology-for-britpop-2014041085596).

I would still stand by every word of the analysis here,and in particular I think it was pretty prescient about the implications of the Britpop-‘New Lad’ formation for the future of gender politics in the UK. 

 Here it is anyway

 

 

 

 

Common Ground: A discussion with Lawrence Grossberg about my latest book

This is the text of an exchange between myself and Lawrence Grossberg following the publication of my book Common Ground: Democracy and Collectivity in an Age of Individualism (Pluto 2013).

It particularly covers issues such as the concept of ‘infinite relationality’, the politics of ‘horizontalism’ and vital materialism, and the relationship between political and cultural strategies at different levels of operation.

It’s also pretty much the only place I’ve publicly reflected on the (non?-)relationships between my political and musical activities.

I haven’t edited it at all except to remove a few typos and personal asides.

Thanks very much indeed to Lawrence Grossberg for initiating and participating in the exchange and for agreeing to allow its publication

Jon Cruddas MP interviews Mike Rustin at #changehow

Here is the audio recording I made when  Jon Cruddas, the very interesting MP who is currently leading the Labour Party policy review, interviewed hero of the British New Left, the mighty Mike Rustin, at the Compass ‘Change – how?’ conference, November 30th, 2013. There were other recordings being made at the time some of which might have ended up better quality, but for the impatient, and for the ages, here it is.

The session is introduced by Compass chair, Neal Lawson. The audio quality gets a lot better after Neal’s introduction, which is very short, so don’t be put off if that bit is hard to hear.

The Unfinished Business of ‘New Times’ : Reflections on the political legacy of ‘Marxism Today’

This essay was published in the December 2011 issue of IPPR’s journal Juncture. It was a special issue reflecting on the legacy of the highly influential magazine Marxism Today, which had a significant impact on the British Left in the 1980s and early 1990s, popularising the analysis of Thatcherism and post-Fordism, and introducing a broad public to concepts such as hegemony and postmodernism, as well as launching the public careers of Geoff Mulgan and Charles Leadbeater.