I’ve explored the state of activism in the United States for several columns now. Today, I want to look at one of the most successful social movements of recent decades: the conservative movement.
The late twentieth century is chock full of important and flourishing movements. The African-American freedom struggle always comes to mind, but there’s also the gay rights movement, the environmental movement, the women’s movement, etc. However, arguably none of these movements have achieved as much as the New Right. I always tell my students that we have to think about conservatism as a social movement closely related to the movements of the 60s. The New Right came to prominence largely as a response to the 60s, while also borrowing heavily from their enemies’ tactics. Continue reading →
Within forty-eight hours we might have a picture of what the next five years will look like in the UK. Might. It could well be that we don’t even know how the UK electoral map has finally turned out. But in terms of the next Parliamentary session we have next to no idea what will happen now.
The background to tonight’s election result is phenomenal; Athens is burning under reaction to newly approved austerity measures while the DOW went into freefall, after what Paul Mason has described as ‘fat finger trading’. Meanwhile voter turnout has rebounded after historic lows, possibly due to the televised debates, and those voters have found themselves locked out and turned away throughout the country, their votes having little effect.
For me tonight began innocently enough, with reflection on the campaign to date. On Gillian Duffy the room drew inevitable parallels to The Thick Of It, trading jokes that would later be mirrored in Channel 4’s election coverage; on the debates each of us mimicked Brown’s “winning” “smile”; we critiqued the newspaper cartoonists; we drew up catchphrase bingo cards.