I share the chill, especially now that I have followed you into some of these ‘radical’, ‘anti-establishment’ spaces. The question is how we differentiate left and right radicalism – and ensure they are differentiated in the mainstream media, which loves to equate them. I suggest we need to
(a) Defend the institutions of the liberal democratic state. We can be critical but we can’t be equivocal at this point in history. That means not only defending universities, but institutions like an independent civil service (e.g. Office of Budget Responsibility) and the High Court (euch!), because if we end up with a populist authoritarian government we are going to need them. Reformists are floundering because they thought that winning the cultural arguments (left liberalism) and keeping the welfare state tottering on would be enough. Revolutionaries never thought this was going to be enough. We have an analysis of capitalism in crisis and how it needs to pay for the crisis – so we are actually better placed to defend the economic gains of reformism than the reformists are (and we must work with them).
(b) Continue, as you are doing here, to trace the historical roots of reactionary ideas (neo or otherwise): whose interests have they served, how they have used the popular vote when they have managed to achieve it, what have the outcomes been for the poor, the unemployed, the left behind, the displaced? Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
(c) Build connections between people’s local grievances and struggles, and a big picture critique of late capitalism. This isn’t easy and it needs organisations that have local roots as well as international links, that persist over time, that have an ongoing analysis and sense of history. I’ve been back in the Labour Party since the last election. Critically (and equivocally), but it’s better than twitter.