Do we need a left-nationalism?
In a previous piece from March 2019, I largely ignored the role of national ideals in motivating hard-Brexit politicians, whose motives I explained in material terms. The vulgarity of this analysis was pointed out to me, so I shall try to fill in the gap a little bit here. While I am happy to aspire to a world where nationalism is mostly denuded of political significance, I am not sure that a viable strategy here and now can ignore the mobilising power of these kinds of communitarian identifications or, more specifically, of the affective bonds they can involve and succeed only on the basis of, say, class identification.
This is a post from a few months ago that I originally posted elsewhere.
I predicted this. For real! Since the immediate aftermath of the referendum and ever since, I have predicted two things: that there would be a soft, largely symbolic Brexit and that it would all go down to the absolute last-minute wire. Soft Brexit remains at least possible and, as of today, we don’t know what Brexit will look like, when or even if it will happen. OK, I admit, my prophetic skills have not been proved flawless; I thought that some kind of bespoke soft-Brexit, the single-market and customs with some bells and whistles, would be actual government policy, forced through in the face of enormous Brexiter opposition in the name of sanity, compromise and the close result of the initial vote. So I did not quite predict that we would be where we are now. But where exactly is that?