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The imagination, energies and will of the people: rereading EP Thompson > Juncture :: IPPR

April 7, 2014

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“In his work on the 18th century he unearthed a myriad of locally rooted struggles and the small but significant shifts in self-understanding which these engendered. This sense of the various unpredictable consequences of the empowerment of individuals and groups and of the wider lessons of the power of the smallest acts of resistance offer a powerful lesson for our own context where the gap between people and rulers has once again taken on Georgian proportion. Much of his historical work offered portrayals forgotten heroes and heroines and charged the virtues and vices that informed their attempts to deal with the pressing circumstances they faced. Put in philosophical terms he envisaged individuals as self-aware and morally informed agents, and regarded human flourishing as far more open-ended and more plural in terms of ‘the goods’ it comprised than almost any other socialist thinker of his generation. He believed too that the deepest forms of self-realisation depended upon the development of mutually supporting, reciprocal communities and a wider culture of popular self-government.”

Manuel J. Matos‘s insight:

Kenny got me hooked; I will be reading Thompson’s book quite soon.

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