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Reflections on the present

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Abstract:

Drawing on a theoretical tradition that includes Gramsci, Althusser and Stuart Hall, Mike Rustin puts forward a conjunctural analysis of differences and similarities between the current crisis and the last major period of upheaval in British politics - the 1970s, when Thatcherism defeated the left. The key difference is that the current crisis is the result of neoliberalism collapsing under its own contradictions; there has not been a major political battle with a strongly backed alternative to challenge dominant narratives. New Labour has actively enabled, or been content to preside over, the continuing destruction of the forces that might have been marshalled to challenge neoliberalism. This makes it more difficult to mobilise behind alternative solutions to the current financial collapse.

Keywords: ALTHUSSER; CONJUNCTURE; DEBT; FINANCIAL CRISIS; GRAMSCI; STUART HALL; THATCHERISM; UNDER-CONSUMPTION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3898/136266209790424559

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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