chapter  1
9 Pages

Introduction: Identity, politics and experience

POLITICS AND VISION In the last twenty years there has been a growing sense of the importance of sexual and personal politics. These questions have become central within contemporary politics and culture. People have learnt to take up quite different and challenging positions but within a shared sense of the crucial importance of these issues themselves. This is equally true on the political Right where issues of family, sexuality and morality have become critical. It could be said that Thatcherism in England and Reaganism in the United States took the initiative in moral and political issues that the traditional Left had too long marginalised as unimportant. These concerns were to be articulated within a Right libertarian language of rights and choice that was to provide a challenge to the statist conceptions on the Left. There is a growing feeling that socialism has to be redefined if it is to be able to make its own a concern with freedom, equality and community. It is important to learn from how the language of freedom was appropriated.