Political ideas and strategies that make sense in one place and time do not necessarily apply to another. Many a political movement has failed because it sought to appeal to ideas and ambitions that were well past their sell-by date. We cannot shape our current political strategies and carve out our contemporary political ambitions to fit the defunct ideas of some long-dead political theorist. This does not mean there is nothing to be learned from a study of the past or that no advantage is to be had from drawing upon past memories and traditions for inspiration in the present. What it does imply is an obligation to write the poetry of our own future against the background of the rapidly evolving contradictions of capital’s present.
Image: William Blake, The Simoniac Pope, 1824-1827