In the post-liberal battleground, the politics of belonging must not be ceded to the right

Twenty sixteen was the year when the ghosts of liberal capitalism came back to haunt the establishment. Hatha yoga youtube intermediate After the vote for Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory in the US election, the liberal world lies in tatters as reactionaries rise. Yoga poses for back pain strength building Trump mobilised the industrial working class that Hillary Clinton took for granted, and his triumph has shattered the consensus at the heart of American politics around free trade, immigration and the worldwide promotion of liberal democracy.


Together, the Brexit vote and Trump have buried the idea that liberal globalisation ­heralded the “end of history” – the conceit that the Western brand of market capitalism is the only valid model because it produces more winners than losers. Svaroopa yoga youtube Gone with it is the promise of progress for every generation. Power yoga According to recent studies by the Pew Research Centre, the US middle class is the majority no longer. Prenatal yoga reading ma In Britain, the government’s social mobility commission, chaired by the former Labour MP Alan Milburn, found in its annual “state of the nation” ­review that the children of the Thatcher generation who grew up in the 1980s are the first cohort since 1945 to start their career on lower incomes than their parents.

New Labour’s forward march to the tune of “Things Can Only Get Better” ended with rising levels of inequality and waves of mass immigration that deepened divisions. Yoga teacher training goa 2015 Tory cuts since 2010 and a lack of investment after the recession of 2009 have led to the worst decade for improved living standards in seventy years. Yoga practice youtube Brexit and Trump have given the economic losers political victories over the economic winners for the first time since the Second World War, and liberals have been ejected from power.

This crisis is nothing new, but at every juncture liberals have failed to recognise the limits of their world-view. Yoga one The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria have exacerbated the threat from Islamic fundamentalists while shredding the West’s moral standing. Sivananda yoga centre delhi The financial crisis of 2008 destroyed the “Washington consensus” of free-market fundamentalism, yet the liberal elites rewarded greed and failure by bailing out banks while workers lost their jobs and communities struggled with debt.

Faced with the threat of demagogic nationalism, liberals persist in offering a quick fix of retail policy offers, ignoring the pain of economic dispossession and cultural loss. Gentle yoga sequence youtube When Clinton dismissed half of Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables”, she revealed the contempt in which the Democrats held their own base.

Brexit and Trump are just the latest exam ples of revulsion against dogmatic liberalism and its apologists – the progressive modernisers on the left and the right who brought us job-exporting trade deals, free movement and the deregulation of finance. Yoga exercises for lower back These liberals patronised or ignored those for whom free trade, open borders and multicultural societies have resulted in economic hardship and unnerving cultural compromises.

Are these new times post-liberal? People are certainly pushing back against market fundamentalism and permanent cultural change in favour of a politics that combines greater economic justice with more social solidarity. Pilates ballard Theresa May understands this but her ambition to break with four decades of market liberalisation may be thwarted by Brexit, further free trade and sweet deals for the City of London. Yoga hong kong sheung wan This will likely hurt the same working families May aspires to protect with her pledge to build “a country that works for everyone” – and that is besides the threat of a slide into the nativist populism peddled by Ukip and some Tories.

Liberalism faces an existential crisis, caught as it is between market anarchy and the technocratic state. Yoga exercises youtube So far, the dominant response is a fusion of plutocracy with demagogic nationalism: think of Trump and his fellow strongmen in Russia and China.

If the left is to avoid permanent irrelevance, it must abandon dogmatic liberalism in favour of a politics committed to family, decent work, contribution, the love of one’s country and an internationalist outlook. Mandala yoga budapest The new politics of belonging must not be ceded to the right and far right.

My means of entry to ­Christianity was singing in a choir. Yoga richmond ky As a boy chorister, I grew up with Ancient and Modern, the evening canticles, versicles and responses, and carols. Mysore ashtanga yoga shala Each December, in cassock, surplice and ruff, I sang my way through the top ten – endless nowells, and oriental royals, and vigilant shepherds; and the less well-known but much-preferred Advent carols, especially those based on austere plainsong or French folk tunes; and the ones that I don’t imagine a choir would have a go at today, such as the “negro spirituals” in which Dixieland approximations of African-American speech were sung with guileless gusto.

Nearly half a century on, the appeal is not quite extinguished. Postnatal yoga I still feel a spike of anticipation when “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” strikes up and, in these andropausal years, I am unexpectedly moved by “Away in a Manger”. Agni yoga But in some churches, the carol services begin in November and continue until the New Year, by which time the glitter has rather come off the tinsel.

My first parish, Boston in Lincolnshire, was such a place, so the vicar, lest we become fatigued, had an escape route from the choir stalls to the vicarage, from where we were summoned back to church during the last carol by a phone call from the verger. Yoga studios vancouver bc Even so, the rota was relentless. 8 limbs yoga center When I remarked that I was flagging, an earnest colleague insisted on praying for me and asked our Heavenly Father to “grant Richard the grace to know that the worship of your Son is not burden but gift”. Power yoga for weight loss videos And also with you . . Ashtanga vinyasa yoga for beginners .

Between Boston and my present parish of Finedon in Northamptonshire, I was a curate at St Paul’s Knightsbridge, where we hosted 30 sumptuous carol services each December as fundraisers for, among others, Great Ormond Street Hospital, a prostate cancer charity, Macmillan Cancer Support and a group that donated goats to Africa that was run by a lady who was able to muster, through the sheer force of her personality, an extraordinary list of celebrity readers, including Rod Stewart and a mufti. Yoga poses for lower back pain Each year, hundreds of thousands of pounds were raised for charities – a justification, if you were looking for one, for Christian ministry in a rich parish, in a rich neighbourhood, in one of the richest cities in the world.

The thought of that did not, I confess, turn burden to gift as I faced 30 “Once in Royals”, 30 approximate high-E naturals as the herald angels sang and 30 inescapable descants for “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, the only thing apart from cockroaches certain to survive a nuclear holocaust. Patanjali yoga asanas for obesity Any song sung too often begins to tire the singer and the hearer. Hot yoga tips for beginners I sometimes think that Yeats arrived at the image of the rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem to be born by having heard “Little Donkey” once too often (the dates do not work, alas).

I now have a sense of the growing distance between adulthood and childhood, especially this year, following the death of my father, who loved to play Father Christmas all year round but especially at Christmas, which began with the discovery of a heavy stocking at the end of the bed and sooty footprints leading from the fireplace to the Morphy Richards radiogram, from where our offering of mince pies, carrots and a glass of dry sherry had disappeared. Yoga for asthma and wheezing After breakfast, we would have to wash up and then sing carols at the piano before we were allowed to open our presents.

It was my job to accompany this family ensemble, caught between my mother singing sharp and my father growling cheerfully with the tunelessness characteristic of his kind, so, by the time I was a chorister, ruffed and singing the solo to “Once in Royal”, the enchantment had already begun to fade.

When enchantment fades, what remains? The weirdness of the words; that once-a-year vocabulary – dight, wassail, colly birds, youngling, dinted, myrrh – dutifully sung, though ever more obscure; the peculiar phrases bellowed into the cold, ­candlelit church, “Lo! He abhors not the Virgin’s womb . . Yoga exercises for flexibility .” with a solemnity as inappropriate as the sniggers that the word “womb” still raises from choristers; and the mise en scène of pine forests and of snow lying deep and crisp and even, while the rain falls relentlessly on a sodium-bright A14.

What does it mean? It means that God is now incarnate, choosing to share our fleshly fate in order to rescue us from it, coming not with a fiery celestial cavalry to overthrow the powers of the Earth, but ignominiously, born to an unwed, displaced person in temporary accommodation. Baba ramdev yoga for high blood pressure hindi I cannot watch a school Nativity without seeing present-day predicaments of displacement and homelessness and powerlessness coming into focus, not at the edge of our experience and concern as a sketchy news item or an alarmist headline, but in a pool of light right in front of us, even if the three kings, Caspar, Balthasar and Melchior, are joined by Darth Vader offering his gift of a lightsaber in our weird candlelit tableau.

The right kind of weird: someone once told me how much she approved of a certain prelate for demystifying religion and I thought how much I want to remystify religion, to recapture its weirdness. Yoga dance flow God chooses to arrive among the poor and the insignificant and the politically awkward, so what are we missing when we overlook them? When we encounter strangers and fail to see in them a dignity the equal of ours, what are we missing? When we submit to fear and suspicion and meanness of spirit, even as light breaks on a dark horizon, what are we missing?

O magnum mysterium, o great mystery, unnoticed by us, but widening the eyes of the ox and the ass coming to the manger for a mouthful of hay, and finding God incarnate there instead.

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