Joseph Kay's blog

Where is politics?

This question might seem odd to some. To seasoned libertarian communists, the answer ‘everyday life’ trips off the tongue without a second thought. But it seems like a productive question to work through in light of recent events, from the parliamentary expenses scandal to the August riots to the #occupy movement. So, where is politics?

The tendency of state legitimacy to fall

This blog has been planned for ages, but has somewhat been superseded by the shift to ‘technocratic’ rule in Greece and Italy. Nonetheless, hopefully it’s a useful hypothesis on state legitimacy.

‘Anarchists are like Tories’ and other fairy tales

Political compass: anarchism and conservatism are diametrically opposed

Anarchism has been getting a lot of attention lately, including some oft-peddled but easily refuted myths.

Charting the class struggle

I was looking into the historical data on strike days in Britain for a feature in Catalyst, but there's a lot more to discuss than we could fit in the paper, so I've extended it to a blog post.

What makes a revolutionary union revolutionary?

Red and black and that

A discussion document (2/2) I wrote a few months back, which may be of interest in light of the 'Direct Unionism' debate.

Thinking about unions: association and representation

Association means getting organised

A discussion document (1/2) I wrote a few months back, which may be of interest in light of the 'Direct Unionism' debate.

Liberalism, realism and the class struggle

Class struggle realism?

A discussion I've been having with friends lately is whether opposing liberalism from a class struggle perspective is just another form of political realism, liberalism's main rival in mainstream political theory. This seems to rest on the relationship between ethics and power in both doctrines, so here's a provisional answer. This isn't just an academic question, as it has implications for class struggle anarchist critiques of liberalism and Leninism/social democracy, which aside from anarchism are the principal ideologies of the current anti-cuts movement.

The penguin history of Brighton SolFed-thought

The evolution of Brighton Solfed, if Banksy drew it.

A brief and incomplete account of the evolution of ‘Brighton SolFed thought’, so if you don’t get what we’re on about you might have some context.

Pragmatism as ideology

Whenever I get into a political discussion these days I find myself accused of ‘dogma’, ‘ideological blinkers’, ‘detached ultra-left purism’ and so on. Now maybe that’s true.

Beyond good and evil: the Gaza massacre

Leftists often erroneously compare Zionism with Nazism

The left's response to Israeli atrocities in Gaza provides a case study in ressentiment. If we want to stop such slaughters rather than participate in the spectacle of them, we need to stop fetishising distant victims and start trying to exercise power over our own lives so that meaningful solidarity becomes possible.

Reproduction; social and sexual

This blog is partially the product of ongoing discussions within the Solidarity Federation over the relationship of 'Anarchy, Sex and Freedom,' but also the reliance among the wider left on dated theories from the 1960s whenever the question of sexuality is raised. The following is a speculative attempt to fill in some of the gaps.

Anti-semitism and the left - redux

This has been a hot topic on the forums of late, prompted in part by the spate of discussions in relation to Israel's assault on the Gaza strip. Here I'll try to pull together some of the arguments and provide a bit of background to try and understand the phenomenon.

The politics of affirmation... or the politics of negation?

What is it that defines communist politics from the politics of the rest of the left? This blog argues that communist politics are a politics of negation; a movement to abolish the present state of things.