Roadmap for Radicals — Red Pepper interview about Hegemony How-To


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.

How to Not Be an Activist – Smucker’s talk at PDF

In his recent talk at the Personal Democracy Forum, Jonathan Smucker expanded upon a key theme in chapter one of Hegemony How-To: why and how to avoid the “activist” label. He goes on to discuss how Lancaster Stands Up has been integrating this approach into its organizing practice  since the November 2016 election – with remarkable results.

Terrence McNally interviews Jonathan Smucker about Hegemony How-To

Since the November 2016 election, Terrence McNally has come out of “podcast retirement” in order to give attention to the new political moment and the new resistance. McNally interviewed Jonathan Smucker about Hegemony How-To, discussing how core concepts from the book apply to our current situation. The two also discussed Smucker’s current organizing in Lancaster, PA, where unprecedented numbers have been turning out as part of a nascent effort called Lancaster Stands Up.

Listen to the interview here.