Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
15 December 2009

The mutualism solution

Or the John Lewis model for rethinking the state

By Jonathan Derbyshire

By way of an addenudm to my previous post on Tony Judt’s recommendation that the centre left set about rethinking the state, let me point you in the direction of Sunder Katwala’s post at Next Left on the recent fashion, on both left and right (the “Red Tory” right, at least), for mutualism. Sunder sees in the mutualist tradition a possible alternative to centralised command-and-control conceptions of the state. He also suggests that it offers the left an excuse to look back to thinkers such as G D H Cole “in search of a more empowering, participatory and decentralised idea of how society and state interact”.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Fantastic mental well-being strategies and where to find them