Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Blue Labour

I would like to draw your attention to a new intellectual movement on the (British) left that often goes under the heading of 'Blue Labour'.

The leading figure here is a London-based political philosopher - Maurice (now Lord) Glasman. Glasman's philosophical position his interesting because he is an Aristotelian - and he develops of critique of capitalism based around Arisotelian conceptions of virtue.

His views represent a critque of 'Fabian socialism', that understands socialism as techocratic state-centric transformation of society (New Labour was a Fabian project, in a small way). Fabianism is in a good deal of intellectual trouble now, but it won't go without a fight (that looks like it is just about to begin).

Blue Labour is closer to what is sometimes misleadingly referred to as 'the social entrepeneurship model' of socialism, that sees communities and mutual associations - such as the Co-op movement - as the real agents of social change.

I think that this idea is going to be important - so it is certainly one to keep an eye on.

Neil Turnbull