Beyond the Metonymic Left: Towards a Truly Universal Welfare State.

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Wayne Deakin


In this article, I develop the thesis that the “New Left” as it is currently conceptualized, has become metonymic. This has made it open to appropriation and mischaracterization, subverting its original political intent and semantic currency. I go on to claim that it has also become fetishized, shaking the philology of the original word to such a degree that it has become neutralized of its original value. I go on to contend that one of the consequences of this is that Liberal identarian politics, however attractively democratic, have appropriated this metonym, a process that has sufficed to further degrade the working alliances of the political Left. I then argue that both traditional Marxist and also Hegelian political economy strove towards a universal end; one with which we more than ever need to reconnect. This has been abandoned by the atomized discourse of individual rights-based political economy. I conclude by presenting the argument that phrases such as “Right” and “Left” are no longer fit for use, and that in the age of Neoliberalism, we need a new political vocabulary through which to articulate the needs of working men and women, regardless of their gender, religion or sexual orientation.

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How to Cite
Deakin, W. (2023). Beyond the Metonymic Left: Towards a Truly Universal Welfare State. Journal of Integrative and Innovative Humanities, 3(1). Retrieved from
Postcapitalism and the Humanities Section - Research article


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