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Labour and the Dark Knight: why the left should choose moral pluralism over purity

An email exchange between Chris Clarke and Neal Lawson, discussing “The Dark Knight and the Puppet Master”—Clarke’s critique of the myths underpinning left populism

By Chris Clarke & Neal Lawson  

Photo: Andia / Alamy Stock Photo

30th January 2021

Dear Neal,

I hope you’re well. I wondered what you thought of my book, The Dark Knight and the Puppet Master, now you’ve had a chance to finish it?

As you know, the book takes on three left populist myths—which I call the Dark Knight, the Puppet Master and the Golden Era. The first refers to the idea that the political spectrum is a moral spectrum, with politics seen as a fight against an evil right-wing enemy. The second describes the notion that society’s problems mainly exist because they’re authored, with powerful figures pulling…

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