6:   Soundings – A journal of politics and culture

This three-issues-a-year journal – of 150 to 200 pages – celebrated its tenth anniversary last Autumn with Issue 31, on the theme of ‘living well’, and included the essay by James Robertson reprinted here on pages 3-7, among its usual collection of thought-provoking essays, generally ‘socialist’ in outlook. Its previous issue, on ‘living well’, opened with a ‘Commentary’ by its editor, Jonathan Rutherford, in which is noted the growth of consumer debt, now over £1 trillion, as well as the growth of the affluence of the richest 1%, from around 6% in 1980 to 13% by 1989; he surveys the related growth of violence, stress and depression, and argues for ‘a politics of social transformation’, ‘to structure the conditions which optimise individual well being’. It also includes an article by Andrea Westall, Economics as if people mattered, referring to the ideas of Karl Polanyi, J S Mill and Ruskin, as well as Buddhism, Ghandi and E F Schumacher, then commenting on James Robertson’s ideas, anticipating his essay in the following issue, as well as the next article in this one, by Molly Scott Cato, ‘Buy your own job, own your own life’, in which she argues that we need to take more control of our working lives.

Soundings is published by Lawrence & Wishart, and subscriptions are £35 for individuals; the titles of its contents back to issue 23 can be viewed at, where individual essays can be purchased online.

Brian Leslie