We are living in an extraordinary crisis of liberal market capitalism. This historical moment belongs to the left, but the left did not play any role in the ideological defeat of its nemesis. Liberal market capitalism was the architect of its own downfall. There are no collective agents of change ready with a political alternative. The left lacks a story that defines what it stands for. Liberal market capitalism might have lost its credibility, but it remains the only story of economic life on offer.
But the financial crash might just signal the beginning of a period when – given that the weaknesses of market fundamentalism are now so glaringly obvious – the left is able to become more confident about offering an alternative to neo-liberalism. This means offering both an alternative political economy and an alternative set of values. Today’s selection of edited articles on LabourList, from the forthcoming issue of Soundings addresses both these themes.
Soundings has been publishing its critical ideas on culture, society and political economy since it was set up in 1995 by its three founding editors, Michael Rustin, Doreen Massey and Stuart Hall. Its purpose is to explore critical resources for the renewal of the left. The journal reflects an open, plural democratic politics and is part of a network which includes other groups and journals such as Compass, Renewal, the New Political Economy Network, Red Pepper.
You can find our more about Soundings, our online debates, the e-books we’ve published and the articles available to read at our website.