When I was 18 years old and just starting at University I sought out, amongst other things, the socialist club and paid my $5 fee to join up.
I had some knowledge of socialism and a vague idea about communism, Lenin and a love of the great design of post revolutonary Russia and the art of Mayakovsky. But at 18 what really interested me was the brand of socialism, not that I would have put it that way then.
Socialism was entirely other to the demands and constraints of a society which appeared to expect a clear choice between Accountant, Doctor, Lawyer or Nick Cave.
Socialism as a brand offered a rock n roll politics. The red membership card was a dramatic contrast to the royal blue of the Liberal party and the insipid blue and red of the Labor party. It identified me as an independent thinker, a slightly dangerous ideas man, a man fighting for a better society. And it was very useful in pubs when trying to impress like minded 18 year old girls.
It is in this light that I have been interested in the move to the left in the major world economies as they respond to the credit crisis. The right wing dominance since Thatcher and Reagan is dead. Bush’s version of Reaganomics has flushed the US economy down the toilet. Ideology is back!