Mel Evans and Kevin Smith interviewed Jonathan Smucker about Hegemony How-To and the current political context for the latest issue of Red Pepper, a UK-based magazine of “left politics and culture.”
Jonathan summarizes two central interventions of the book:
One is that politics is not a clubhouse. Politics is messy. It is meeting everyday people where they are. It’s not an enclave. It’s not being the enlightened, ‘super‑woke’ people together, learning a special vocabulary, shaking our heads and wagging our finger at all these backward other people. That is a manifestation of the same social elitism that is actively structured by neoliberal society. Instead, politics needs to be woven into the fabric of all of our lives.
The other intervention is that we need power… if we are involved in politics, that is what we are signing up for. We are signing up for building, holding and wielding political power, and wrestling with all of the questions and quandaries that come with that. Broadly speaking, the project of the left is expanding who has political power. It’s saying political power should not be concentrated in the hands of the few, the wealthy, or an elite technocratic class.
Jonathan also discusses the “ninth chapter” of Hegemony How-To, which didn’t make it into the final edit of the book.
Read the full interview at Red Pepper.