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Faisal Devji

About the author
Faisal Devji is associate professor of history at the New School for Social Research.

Our biggest obstacle was the Left. In its efforts to defend and at most reclaim some of the welfare state’s vanishing benefits, the Left had come to represent the most conservative and, quite literally, reactionary force in modern politics. Unable to imagine a future that was not theological and indeed monotheistic in its linear and redemptive utopianism, the Left’s dead hand had to be lifted before new forms of political thought and action could emerge. But this only happened by accident.

When as a result of the continuing financial crisis, the BRICS countries decided to cut their losses and switch from the US dollar to the Euro as a reserve currency, the immediate consequence was to wrest economic power from the grip of nation states. This made for a geopolitical realignment, where Europe’s newly buoyant currency translated not into the EU’s political dominance, but rather its greater dependence on Asian markets and industry. 

Betrayed by Europe’s abandonment of the dollar, and faced with the refusal of Asia and Africa to underwrite her debts, the United States lost economic dominance. This meant that it suddenly became possible to think about human inter-connectedness by way of a more egalitarian politics. Did this mark the victory of capitalism? If so it was a victory for Leninism as well, since what then commenced was the withering away of the state. New kinds of struggles and new forms of political consciousness could now emerge.    

 

Picture from Bahrain


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