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Ill Fares the Land

Allen Lane
 — 2010


Review:

I want to thank Judt for defending with such clarity, eloquence, and passion the concept of social democracy – the modern welfare state and its set of associated freedoms. He identifies the failures of the new Left that have allowed the ideologies of the Right (wealth accumulation and privatization) to come to so dominate the political conversation that the tremendous gains of the early 20th century – the New Deal, the Great Society etc. are being systematically destroyed. He shows how the rise in inequality between the rich and everyone else is leading to a sick, uneducated, often imprisoned underclass. He then argues that the values of the pre-1960′s Left – equality, trust in government and between citizens, a belief that the public sphere was an important and effective way to solve problems – are cut out of the public debate. To begin to move away from this sad state of affairs we need to regain the ability to speak in moral terms and develop a coherent narrative of the Left.

A deeply moving work that is fundamentally optimistic and practical. Should be read by every citizen.

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