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, 24 September 2012
David Priestland: Merchant, Soldier, Sage
In general, David argues, a 'caste-balance' is a good thing. In the 1920s, and since 1970s, buccaneering 'merchants' have been hegemonic, with inegalitarian and de-stabilising results. Priestland looks back quite fondly to the post-war golden age of rapid growth and welfarism (whilst admitting its grave problems). Then a coalition of worker and 'sage' held the quick-buck market at bay. (This is quite similar, though with different terms employed, to the analysis in Gerard Dumenil and Dominique Levy's analysis in The Crisis of Neoliberalism (2010); they spoke more of a worker/manger alliance against finance-capital, which they hope to see re-instituted.)
David treats of a lot of themes I look at in my book, though I stick to more of a 'class' framework (tweaked about). I'll not judge whether that this following is also a difference, but David's prose really zips along! He's particularly adept at using portraits of individuals to illustrate wider themes.
There's some very intriguing data employed. For example, David cites the work of Graham Turner, which claims that had Britain and America not let domestic debt rip between 1997 and 2007 (private and government both, presumably), consumption would have been 20 percent lower! (p. 243).
Anyway, it's an outstandingly interesting, well-written and thought-provoking book. Highly recommended!
David's also got an article in the Guardian for you to take a gander at.