Reading on the Right

Reading on the Right is a new piece for Discover Society. It’s about getting outside your own political echo chamber. Discover Society is published by Social Research Publications, a collaboration between sociology academics and the publisher Policy Press. Its remit is essentially live and public sociology. You can find it online here:

http://bit.ly/1IhM9Jj

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2 thoughts on “Reading on the Right

  1. As posted on Facebook …
    Thanks, Steve. A really interesting and useful essay – if I might call it that. It immediately got me thinking about the lazy, ‘intellectual’ anti-neoliberalism which appears to be the default of most academics and much of academia, certainly in the social sciences. The paragraph ‘scripts are all resources from the past …’ is particularly resonant: much academic writing is exclusive and obscurantist – perhaps deliberately so. Indeed, I might go so far as to describe it as a form of mutual intellectual frotting. I’ve come very close to quitting my PhD research on more than one occasion just because these academic mastubatory cliques simply piss me off.
    Your thesis is quite right, the ‘left’ – in the UK at least – will only return as a viable, vibrant political and cultural force if it divests itself of its romantic, class-obsessed ‘heritage’ (it sometimes seems to me that the Corbynites are living in some sort of utopian socialist theme park, and more Disneyland than Dismaland) and cricitically engages with neo-liberalism in the way that you suggest rather than spitting at the ‘enemy’ and shouting them down as ‘Tory Scum’.
    To my mind, the left has to grow up, discover its imagination and think and act creatively; it also has to extricate from a mindset in which, like a petulant child, it covers its ears and shouts loudly whenever it’s faced with right-wing rhetoric. For better or worse, I’m not sure it has the capacity to do so.

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  2. A much more supple, powerful, strong and nuanced ‘left’ could emerge from counter-intuitive practices such as reading on the right.

    Like

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