“On the barricades” — s02e51
The Left’s colossal failure in Europe and North America is undeniable. The weight of what is referred to these days as political debate is not between the Left and the Right, but rather between liberal elites and the majority of the population’s neo-traditionalist backlash. While these circumstances are undoubtedly frustrating for serious leftist activists and authors, it must be stated unequivocally that the Left is solely to blame. It is not the overwhelming strength of far-right groups that has brought us to this point; it is the Left’s complete ideological and strategic, and to some extent cognitive, plight. Worse, it appears that only a small portion of the Left is willing to critically reflect on itself and make significant changes. Despite the ongoing disaster, many on the left appear to be not only unwilling to revise their positions, but even doubling down! The outcomes are easily visible.
Paul Embery, a British leftist activist, author, and campaigner, explains this process in class terms by referring to the shift in the British Labour Party over the last two decades. Working-class communities in the United Kingdom, which have been impoverished and shattered by the economic events of the last two decades, have been looked down on whenever they protested in a way that challenged cosmopolitan liberal views. Paul Embery provides a detailed dissection of the growing divide between leftist activists and political leaders and the working class in a two-part discussion hosted by The Barricade’s Maria Cernat. He also makes some pointed criticisms of neoliberalism and the European Union.
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Maria Cernat is a graduate of the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences (FJSC) (2001) and the Faculty of Philosophy (2004) at the University of Bucharest. She obtained an MA from FJSC in 2002 and in 2008 she got her PhD in Philosophy. She is currently a PhD Lecturer in the Department for Communication and Public Relations at Titu Maiorescu University and at the Faculty of Communication and Public Relations, SNSPA. Since 2011 she has published articles on Romanian websites for political debates (CriticAtac, Cealaltă Agendă, România Curată, Gazeta de Artă Politică, etc.).