Monday, June 21, 2010

The Meaning of David Cameron, reviewed

Thanks to Bhaskar Sunkara for this review:

Seymour’s first book, The Liberal Defence of Murder, was a sprawling, well-researched tomb that covered centuries of liberal apologetics for imperial crusade. It has been compared to La Trahison des Clercs with some justice. His latest—namesake courtesy of Alain Badiou—is more like a pamphlet, a concise political intervention written just prior to the May elections.

The length of the work belies its scope and ambition. Seymour covers decades of neoliberal transformation. Decades that have allowed reaction to cloak itself in the garb of modernity. The entire story of the contemporary British working class is outlined here: from the battle for the franchise to the fight for independent political representation through the vehicle of the Labour Party. Then that party’s clash with the absolute limits of parliamentary socialism and metamorphosis into New Labour. Like Cameron and Clegg, Blair and his coterie weren’t aberrations, they were the products of larger trends.

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To maintain my reputation as an irascible asshole, I should really find a few more qualifications, but The Meaning of David Cameron is relatively flawless. If the bourgeoisie was indeed a bit more classically conspiratorial and besieged, they’d stop the presses on this one.