Weekend Reading

May 23rd 2021

Is the sexual counter-revolution coming?

This week I’ve been reading the very interesting Mary Harrington, sometimes called a “reactionary feminist”, who argues here in The Spectator that young professionals are turning against the sexual revolution and opting for younger marriage and more traditional sexual manners. She may well be right. There had to come some intolerable level of disgust with our pornhub dystopia strong enough to manifest in a backlash. The cost of liberation has always been paid by those who can’t afford to buy their way out of the social chaos progressive elites create and unfortunately elites usually get to decide what horrors of social engineering are foisted on society, so if she’s right that elites themselves are changing then to me that signals something that could be very significant. We’ll see.

Fazi and Streeck, still correct

When the British left was making its electorally disastrous decision to oppose Brexit, a few spoke up when it mattered and made a very compelling pro-labour case against the EU. It should never be forgotten just how vicious the people who destroyed the left for probably a coming generation or more were, particularly toward trade union pro-Brexit voices like Paul Embery and the RMT’s Eddie Dempsey, who were predictably denounced as anti-cosmopolitan bigots.

Though we can’t undo what was done, and the people responsible for the fiasco who did all the name calling will no doubt just shamelessly continue their media commentator careers regardless, we should respect those who got it right. The Italian writer Thomas Fazi was one of them. This week he has a great piece featured in American Affairs, in which he explains why “Italy’s crisis is… a crisis of the post-Maastricht order of Italian capitalism, based upon fiscal austerity, welfare retrenchment, wage compression, and privatization, of which Draghi is one of the chief architects.” You can find it here. You can also read a number of other great pieces by him from previous editions like this co-authored one Make The Left Great Again. (They didn't). I recommend his book Reclaiming The State with the same co-author William Mitchell.

Another economically left wing Eurosceptic, Wolfgang Streeck, can be found regularly now at New Left Review’s shorter form Sidecar here. His latest is on why, after Merkel, “one must not underestimate the pressures for continuity in German politics, with or without Merkel. Some national interests endure regardless of who’s in government.” Streeck’s second last book How Will Capitalism End? had an enormous influence on me and everyone should read it.

Interview

I enjoyed doing this interview with Leila Mechoui and Alexander McKay on their podcast Red Star Radio in which we talked about art, Blairism, and many other things. They have also co-authored this piece on why, instead of reviving Ehrenreich’s “professional managerial class” or PMC, they argue the old fashioned terminology will still do just fine.