25 September 2013

Article: Steve Redhead, "This Statism We're In"

Sports media, subculture and accelerated culture theorist Steve Redhead takes a bite at British politics as a microcosm of current Western political tendencies in his digestible mini-report, "This Statism We're In".

Launching from claims of neoliberalism's death after the global financial crisis, Redhead argues that the state is now positioned as a crucial, albeit somewhat silent, actor in British policy frameworks:
"the reframing of the state’s role pervades all efforts to move beyond the contemporary laissez-faire philosophy and the dominance of the free market. ... [I]t is more than market versus state, more than market individualism versus state collectivism: it turns, radically, on perspectives on statism, anti-statism and all positions in between, 'Statism', and all of the conflict over the state and its extent, form and role, is a central battleground in this debate. 'Left' equated with statism and 'right' associated with libertarianism is a false dichotomy."
Upon entering such a stage of scrutiny, the question of role of the state unbalances those previously-assumed dichotomised positions we had once taken for granted; no longer left/right, liberal/authoritarian, minimal/big, positions now proliferate British government which challenge the political chequer board, encapsulating multiple seemingly antithetical ideologies. What is the state? Redhead comes to no conclusions, but posits that in the wake of current 'revisioning', what it means to theorise, critique and evaluate is also due for some serious reconsideration.

"This Statism We're In" can be found on Steve Redhead's website, at which can be found other small reports by this single-person think-tank. Topics include musings on Paul Virilio and Jean Baudrillard, politics and sports fanaticism.

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