This episode discusses the work of British philosopher Bernard Crick, with a particular focus on is his seminal essay “In Defence of Politics.” In clear prose and with sharp insight, Crick sets out a definition of politics and an account of why and how politics is essential not simply to survive but to thrive. Community organizers, alongside many others, have turned to Crick's essay again and again to explain the meaning, purpose, and character of democratic politics.
I discuss Crick's political philosophy and the essay with Maurice Glasman, a political theorist, Labor peer, and a founding figure of the Blue Labor movement. The concerns of Blue Labour very much echo and resonate with those Crick outlines in his essay. As well as knowing Crick personally, Maurice shares an involvement in Labour Party politics with Crick. Prior to this involvement, Maurice was, for many years, involved in community organizing as part of London Citizens and Citizens UK.
Maurice Glasman is a Labour Life Peer and Director of the Common Good Foundation. He was educated at the Jewish Free School, a comprehensive school in East London, and then studied Modern History at Cambridge University. He went on to complete his Phd at the European University Institute. He has written two books, "Unnecessary Suffering" (Verso, 1996) and "Blue Labour: The Politics of the Common Good" (Polity, 2022).
Resources for Going Deeper
Bernard Crick, In Defence of Politics, 5th edn (Continuum, 2005)
Bernard Crick, "Civic Republicanism and Citizenship: the Challenge for Today," in Bernard Crick and Andrew Lockyer, Active Citizenship: What Could it Achieve and How? (Edinburgh University Press, 2010)
Maurice Glasman, 'Preface to In Defence of Politics' (2013)
All available to download from: https://ormondcenter.com/listen-organize-act-podcast