78, 79, Ignoreland and the relative obscurity of John Connor…

This from David Runciman, writing in the London Review of Books about a book called “Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century by Christian Caryl”

“The world that fell apart at the end of the 1970s had begun to unravel much earlier in the decade, in the succession of crises that included the demise of Bretton Woods, the Arab-Israeli war, the consequent oil shock and a world-wide recession. That confused and confusing period turned out to be the dawn of neoliberalism, though it wasn’t until much later that it became clear what had happened. Now that neoliberal order is stumbling through its own succession of crises. We are barely five years into the unravelling, if that is what is taking place. At the same stage of the previous upheaval the protagonists in Caryl’s book were still labouring in relative obscurity. If you had told someone at the start of 1975 that the architects of the new age were going to be the MP for Finchley, the bishop of Krakow, the exiled ayatollah and the ostracised apparatchik, you would have been laughed at. Apart from anything, they looked so powerless. So we shouldn’t be surprised if we can’t yet spot who is going to make the difference this time round. What we’re waiting for is the counter-counter-revolution, led by progressives who have learned the lessons from the age of neoliberalism and are unafraid to make use of its instruments in order to overthrow them. Plenty have started trying. Someone will get there in the end and maybe by the end of the decade we will discover who. But it is unlikely to be anyone near a position of power right now.”

And the REM song Ignoreland deserves a play at this (and, well, every) juncture…


About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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