FeatureGray FridayLetters

Gray is Beautiful Revisited

On the Politics of Sex and the Crisis of Democracy at Home and Abroad

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EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionMedia/Publics

My Living Room as a Public Sphere

An Iranian experiment in free society

“I’m not certain that the ideal society should be religious. I start from the premise that the ideal society should be secular.” So spoke documentary filmmaker, Mehran Tamadon, in a conversation with the four conservative mullahs, advocates of the Islamic republic, he invited to be part of his new movie Iranian. The conversation consists of five men sitting in a living room in Iran, arguing about the ideal society: this is pretty much the plot.

Behind closed doors, the mullahs’ wives are relegated to the bedrooms as their children play in the garden; in the living room, the four clerics and the self-avowed atheist embark upon a fascinating experiment. …

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CapitalismLiberal Democracy in QuestionMulti MediaVideo

Andreas Kalyvas on the Critical Situation in Greece and Europe

A conversation with Jeffrey Goldfarb

Andreas Kalyvas and I sat down the other day to discuss the situation of Greece and Europe. He and I have been talking about politics for years, in Wroclaw, in Johannesburg, in New York. We understand each other as we differ. He is a leftist, committed to radical transformation. I feel a need to understand how transformations can be realized, and when it comes to revolutions, it’s the self- limiting kind that I saw up close in Poland that I think is most desirable. He is a political dreamer with the eye on the utopian (this is not a criticism), while my dreams are more rooted in experience. …

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EssaysRaceTheory & Practice

The Social Condition and the Ghetto

Jeffrey Goldfarb and Iddo Tavory (recently joined additionally by Tim Rosenkranz) have been trading pieces in this forum toward sketching the outlines of an existential sociology based on a concept they call “the social condition.” The social condition, if I understand them correctly, is the intrinsic potential for our lives and our projects to come up against impasses. Borne from the complexity of our existences as social beings, it is the impossibility of overarching, unproblematic narratives. It is the inevitably of indeterminacy and irreconcilability. …

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