During July and August, I traveled to Europe with my family, spending time in Finland, France, Bulgaria, and the United Kingdom. In the UK, we were particularly struck by signs of social distress. Almost everyone we talked to complained about being squeezed by rising prices. The heat wave that hit Europe was brutal, and the buildings in the UK were clearly unable to deal with the strain of the extreme weather created by climate change. We also heard many complaints about the tawdriness of the Tories and the fecklessness of the the Labour Party under Keir Starmer.

To get a handle on the situation in the UK, I met up with Richard Seymour, a freelance journalist whose work I much admire. He offered a sweeping survey of the state of nation, criticizing the political class but also taking note of signs of resistance, as seen in the surge of wildcat strikes. Seymour is a prolific writer of books and articles on contemporary politics viewed from a left-wing slant. Of special interest to Nation readers will be his polemical critique of Christopher Hitchens. His work can be found on his Patreon site here.

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