Wednesday 4 March 2020

Give Politics Theory Other Your Money

As long as capitalism persists, there will be a radical left to challenge it. But how strong and how successful it is depends very much on us. What has been remarkable about the last five years is for the first time in a long time, the vast majority of the left has had a common focus thanks to the Corbyn moment. And now that has passed and there is always the danger we could become something less than the sum of our parts by fragmenting completely. Having experienced sectarianism and ineffectual squabbling for the first 20 years of my active involvement in politics, it's not something I recommend the movement should repeat.

The left over the next few years will not be as disciplined and univocal, but there's no reason why we should be at each other's throats. We have to build institutions that can act as clearing houses for ideas and experiences, and we must put our networks on a firmer footing. Crucial to the project of cohering ourselves is the building of a new media. This means finding people who are willing to do it, and give them the means to make a living from it. This is why I'm asking readers to help support Politics Theory Other.

For the last two years, Alex Doherty has put out his must-listen podcast. Each episode is a decent length interview with left activists and thinkers. Unlike the tedious gotcha style of establishment journos, Alex's informed questioning gives his subjects the space to bring out the nuances and complexities of their ideas. Politics Theory Other therefore renders a service by making accessible what might otherwise be tucked away in an obscure corner of the internet, or specialist academic journals.

Alex has recently launched an appeal so the podcast can expand. As he put it recently in Tribune, he wants the show to be able to respond to breaking news, expand coverage to become truly internationalist, and produce more in-depth pieces on special topics - like the rise of the far right, and climate catastrophe (check out the recent run of shows on the 2019 General Election). This requires money, and Alex has set an ambitious target of 1,000 supporters on Patreon. I hope you will consider supporting his target.

You can become a patron for $3/month, which more or less works out as a couple of quid. Please support Politics Theory Other here. And what do you get, apart from the nice glowing feeling you get from helping power the heft of the 21st century left? You get access to patron-only content, which are typically shorter interviews. Here, for instance, is a recent teaser from the episode with Owen Hatherley looking at the appeal of Keir Starmer:

I know money is tight for some readers, so if you can't afford it do not worry. You can support the reach of the podcast by following it and amplifying its publicly-available episodes via social media. Please follow and retweet generously on the Twitter, and the Facebook.


James Semple said...

I once had to produce a dissertation involving quantitative aspects of psychology - in particular,the concept of a construct. In this idea, a number of different aspects of behaviour are observed to cluster loosely together, and this cluster is considered to exist as a real entity rather than a random statistical association. Thus we construct a single entity from a group of separate observations. Construct is both a verb and a noun in this usage.

The best known construct is Intelligance Quotient (IQ) - supposedly a single, intrinsic aspect of mind which determines most if not all mental capabilities. Taken together with the criminal deceptions of Sir Cyril Burt this led to the social and educational fracture of the British nation, the 11-plus.

Reading our host's remarks above on the LEFT, I wondered if he is not using another construct, and so laying himself open to some of the dangers associated therewith. We all know of the Left-Right axis: is it like the IQ axis with a single point above which you go to Grammar School, or are there other axes orthogonal to L-R, just as were demonstrated with IQ?

DFTM said...

"As long as capitalism persists, there will be a radical left to challenge it."

Radical left, do me a favour. You couldn't give a shit about Assange for example. you say next to nothing about global issues. You are just an Yvette Cooper loving centrist.