My name is Marc Mulholland. I am a Fellow (lecturer and tutor) in the History Faculty of Oxford University. My College is St Catherine's. I come from Ireland.

This is a blog relating to my book published in 2012 by Oxford University Press, Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear: From Absolutism to Neo-Conservativism.
Now on sale here and here. If you want 20 per cent off the price, I can arrange that! Send me a message or leave a comment, and I'll tell you how.

The thesis my book is examining was rather pithily summarised by Leon Trotsky in 1939: "Wherever the proletariat appeared as an independent force, the bourgeoisie shifted to the camp of the counter-revolution. The bolder the struggle of the masses, the quicker the reactionary transformation of liberalism." [Context is here]

However, my book isn't a defence of Trotskyism, or indeed any particular ideology. It's a study of an idea that took shape in Left, Right, and Centre variations.

This blog has tid-bits not included in the book, and other thoughts that occur.

You can see book details at the
OUP website.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Irving Howe on the 'New Left'

Irving Howe was of the American anti-Stalinist 'Old Left'. In 1966 he listed the main characteristics - negative, as he saw them - of the 'New Left':

1. An extreme sometimes unwarranted, hostility toward liberalism.

2. An impatience with the problems that concerned an older generation of radicals.

3. A vicarious indulgence in violence, often merely theoretic and thereby all the more irresponsible.

4. An unconsidered enmity toward something vaguely called the Establishment.

5. An equally unreflective belief in ‘the decline of the West’.

6. A crude, unqualified anti-Americanism, drawing from every possible source, even if one contradicts another: the aristocratic bias of Eliot and Ortega, Communist propaganda, the speculations of Tocqueville, the resentment of post-war Europe, etc.

7. An increasing identification with that sector of the ‘third world’ in which ‘radical’ nationalism and Communist authoritarianism merge.

[Irving Howe, ‘New Styles in “Leftism”’ in Paul Jacobs and Saul Landau, The New Radicals: A Report with Documents (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1966), pp. 291-2]

This was a harsh but not unreasonable charge-sheet.

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