Notes Towards a New Politics

New Strategies for People Power
20 January 2002

This briefing contributes towards theorising democratic, egalitarian and emancipatory politics that have for some time been struggling from below. Hilary Wainwright highlights practical lessons learnt from the experiences of labour and broad-based social movements in Brazil, the UK and the USA.

Many of us ’68-ers of various hues for too long took for granted what we considered to be a new left politics . Now, it is not simply that other members of our generation are in power, or at least in office, while we and our values are seemingly in permanent opposition, but also that many of the ideas, certainly the language, of new left politics has been hijacked and flown off to the land of privatisation, de-regulation and the market.

Familiar terms ‘community empowerment’, ‘civil society,’ ‘decentralisation’ - even the ‘third way’ or a ‘new left’ have decorated the speeches of politicians from Tony Blair to Thabo Mbeki, via Bill Clinton and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, as they acquiesce or enthusiastically pursue the agendas of the leading private corporations.

Pages: 16