I ‘f we are unable to confront reactionary ideas in our own movement, we will always be inhibited in pursuing our ultimate aim: the socialist transformation of society.’
Daniel Randall’s book is a socialist analysis of left antisemitism, which asks: ‘How did the political left, a movement apparently committed to equality, become a site of antisemitism, and how can antisemitism on the left be overcome?
Randall traces left antisemitism’s origins to primitive critiques of capitalism that conflated Jews with capital; Stalinism’s “anti-cosmopolitan” and “anti-Zionist” campaigns of the 1950s onwards; and a form of “anti-imperialism” which designates any opposition to western imperialism, including Israel, as necessarily progressive.
He argues that, far from representing a logical continuation or inevitable endpoint of left-wing ideas, left antisemitism represents a distortion of them, and that by re-anchoring the socialist project in a class-struggle politics of solidarity and equality, the left can confront and overcome antisemitism within its own ranks.
As Keir Starmer's Labour leadership launches a new wave of proscriptions and expulsions, Randall argues that these administrative responses are inadequate at best, and counterproductive at worst. He argues that only a political-educational campaign, targeting the ideological roots of left antisemitism, can overcome it.
This is the second original title published by No Pasaran Media and comes as debates about the response to antisemitism in the Labour Party continue, and after a spike in antisemitic incidents following an escalation of violence in Israel/Palestine in May 2021.
"‘A timely, authoritative, and engaging book that is a must-read for anyone attempting to better understand antisemitism generally, but especially antisemitism on the left.’"
Labour MP for Norwich South
‘Daniel Randall offers a pivotal intervention that is committed to advancing the intellectual culture of those seeking progressive societal change.’
Dr. Camila Bassi,
Senior Lecturer in Human Geography,
Sheffield Hallam University
‘My father Steve Cohen, with his book That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Antisemitic, challenged the left over its views on antisemitism in the 1980s, using history and polemic in equal measure. In this book, Daniel Randall continues this narrative, and this challenge.’
son of Steve Cohen,
author of That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Antisemitic
‘Daniel Randall's book is not just a warning about the destructive power antisemitism has on movements for liberation, it helps show us a way out. It sees the fight against antisemitism as a key part of the left's mission to eradicate all oppression and sets out to reclaim this terrain and make an effective fighting force against encroaching antisemitism.’
author of Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It
D aniel Randall is a railway worker, trade union representative, and socialist activist based in London. He is a member of the Labour Party, and a supporter of the revolutionary socialist group Alliance for Workers’ Liberty (AWL). He has written extensively about antisemitism on the left, and edited the pamphlet Left Antisemitism: What it is and How to Fight it.
The AWL and its predecessor organisations have engaged in a critical analysis of left antisemitism for over thirty years. Members of Socialist Organiser, the AWL’s immediate antecedent, helped promote Steve Cohen’s That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Antisemitic on the British left when it was first published in 1984.
Randall was raised in a liberal Jewish community in Nottingham; while his Jewish identity and experience inevitably informs his work and analysis, he endeavours to avoid an identitarian frame, and attempts to approach the question of left antisemitism historically and theoretically.
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