On the future of the Left : A global perspective

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Patomäki , H 2021 , On the future of the Left : A global perspective . in I Ristić (ed.) , Resetting the Left in Europe : Challenges, Attempts and Obstacles . Institute of Social Sciences Belgrade , Belgrade , pp. 54-85 . < http://idn.org.rs/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/RESETTING_THE_LEFT_IN_EUROPE.pdf >

Title: On the future of the Left : A global perspective
Author: Patomäki, Heikki
Other contributor: Ristić, Irena
Contributor organization: Political Science
Doctoral Programme in Political, Soci­etal and Regional Change
Publisher: Institute of Social Sciences Belgrade
Date: 2021-08-20
Language: eng
Number of pages: 32
Belongs to series: Resetting the Left in Europe
ISBN: 978-86-7093-245-6
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/334557
Abstract: The crisis of the Left has many reasons and causes, some of which are understandable in terms of classical rhetoric: ethos, pathos and logos. Yet this crisis has real causes not reducible to language and rhetoric alone. Attempts at “modernization” of social democracy have eroded hope, while the supposed Soviet legacy has continued to haunt the more “radical” Left movements and parties. Over time, collective memory shifts and political audience changes. The two recently most-successful leftist parties have emerged from social movements: Syriza and Podemos have consciously adopted left-wing populist stances. A problem is that the story of “people versus the dominant elite” loses part of its emotional appeal if the representatives of the “people” appear to be enmeshed with “elite” practices either in one’s own country or elsewhere. The fate of Syriza reveals also how difficult it is to make even a moderate and cautious turn toward the Left, unless there is a broader European or worldwide movement behind it. It is here further argued that there is no automatic or mechanical Polanyian “double movement”. Rather, world history depends also on agency. The discrepancy between territorial states and global capital is an obstacle that can be best overcome by globalizing democratic-socialist politics. It is argued that far from being exhausted as a project or in terms of pathos, a grand task awaits the Left. Social freedom can be increased. Obstacles can be removed. Existing global political economy contradictions and global problems can be resolved by means of rational collective actions and by the building of more adequate common institutions. An experimentalist leftist vision can inspire hope and optimism about our future possibilities.
Subject: 5171 Political Science
Peer reviewed: Yes
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion


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