The left is dead. Its ailments cannot be cured. The only way to resurrect what was once valuable in leftist politics is to declare the left dead and begin from the beginning again. Winlow and Hall identify the root causes of its maladies, describe how new cultural obsessions displaced core unifying principles and explore the yawning chasm that now separates the left from the working class. Drawing upon a wealth of historical evidence to structure their story of entryism, corruption, fragmentation and decline, they close the book by outlining how a new reincarnation of the left can win in the 21st century.
"Consistently brave, willing to broach a break with the old. The gusto with which the authors disparage contemporary agents of degeneration is to be savoured. Their “fundamental truth-telling” is in service of ridding us of a contemporary left that is ultimately conservative, and so is part of an essential project to build a force that can be true to the left’s original ambitions: that of creating a world more fit for humans." Alex Hochuli, political analyst and writer; host, Bungacast; co-author, The End of the End of History.
"A well-argued and deeply persuasive analysis illustrating how and why the British Left went so wrong. It should be on the reading list of everyone rooted in the labour movement or otherwise passionate about advancing the interests of working-class people." Paul Embery, author of Despised: Why the Modern Left Loathes the Working Class
“This is probably the most important book to emerge in the humanities and social sciences in the last two decades.” Tara Brabazon, Flinders University
"The most enlightening exploration yet of why the left died and how - or whether at all - it can be resuscitated" Thomas Fazi, journalist and economist
"Winlow and Hall tackle head-on the central political and social question of our time. Forthright and stimulating, this book is a must-read for all those interested in what comes next." Philip Cunliffe, Institute of Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL
“Combative, provocative and necessary, this book should be read by anyone interested in the plight of the working class.” Deirdre O’Neill, film-maker
"Hard to put down. A long, difficult and sad tale that needs to be told." Lisa Mckenzie, author of Getting By
“A much-needed wake-up call for the so-called progressives and latte liberals that patrol the borders of academe.” Keith Hayward, University of Copenhagen
“Too often, instead of instigating much-needed soul-searching, the left’s political failures are blamed on an electorate who failed to support them. This book is a much-needed corrective and elucidates the long path the left has had to tread to get to what might be its final resting place. At the same time, it is a hopeful and rousing call for humanity to retake the economic engine-room. Informative and clearly written, this book is a must-read for everyone across the political spectrum.” Ashley Frawley, Swansea University and author of Semiotics of Happiness
“A provocative post-mortem of the Anglophone left's ideological missteps that will spark fierce debate among activists, scholars and students.” Lee Jones, Queen Mary University of London
Simon Winlow is Professor of Social Science at Northumbria University.
Steve Hall is Emeritus Professor of Criminology at Teesside University.
Together, they are the authors of many notable works in the social sciences, including the recent The Rise of the Right: English Nationalism and the Transformation of Working-Class Politics.
1. The mortgage on the left’s future foreclosed
2. Democracy, without the people? The rise and fall of left populism
3. Wrong turns
6. The New Left
7. Postmodernism, neoliberalism and the left
8. Identity politics
9. The politics of nostalgia
10. A return to economics