After predicting in the 1970s that disco was here to stay, I gave up all claims as a trend-spotter. Now I try to keep a low profile as an oracle so as not to embarrass myself again. But I do have an observation that may pan out this time.
There is a lot of talk about the crisis of the western left–which is not disputable, though I actually think the crisis is more international than that. Anyway, before social media it wasn’t easy, more often not possible, to have contact with activists & co-thinkers around the world, to see what others were thinking & doing, to learn so much from others.
With this new breadth & political panorama, the crisis of the western left isn’t such a sinkhole or impediment. The Eurocentric focus is diminished substantially. Political forces grappling seriously with life & death questions in other parts of the world take prominence & political leadership over the western, male-dominated crowd that doesn’t appear to have read any books or engaged in action since the 1960s. What it means is that political thinking has much broader experience to draw on for understanding.
What brings this to mind is seeing the work & writings of feminist & human rights activists & political thinkers in Kashmir & also in India. To be frank, as an activist in the US for several decades, I haven’t seen political work of that cogency & character for a very long time.
This seems to me to be a development of enormous importance & much more likely than my disco prediction. Though wouldn’t life be better if we were still dancing to “Saturday Night Fever”?