William Playfair bar chart, "Wheat and Labour," 1822 | Wikimedia Commons
CapitalismEducationEssaysFeature

A Radical New Approach to the Field of Economics

Anwar Shaikh has been teaching economics at The New School for 42 years. One of the world’s leading heterodox economists, he argues that the neoclassical models taught at most universities are bad tools for analyzing capitalism. He hopes that his recent book, Capitalism: Competition, Conflict and Crisis, can be the foundation for an alternate economic theory and pedagogy. He recently sat down with New School student Ebba Boye to talk about this work.

Why did you write this book? When I first entered economics it was with a wish to understand how the world works. I am from Pakistan, I grew up in a part of the world where disparity in wealth was enormous and growth was slow. My father was a diplomat who was posted in many countries so growing up I observed a diversity of peoples, cultures and economies. In Kuwait I observed how they had more money than they could count,  …

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Cairo food riots, 1977 © John McIntyre | Flickr
CapitalismEssaysFeature

The IMF Makes Class Warriors of Us All

On October 24, 1973, the Egyptian military, under the command of General Hosni Mubarak, and under instructions from President Anwar Sadat, dealt an unprecedented blow to the most powerful regime in the Middle East: Israel. As the Egyptian army crossed the Suez Canal and established bridgeheads in the Sinai peninsula, it changed the fortunes of a hitherto shaky Egyptian presidency. Until this victory over IDF forces, Sadat had struggled to appear as the legitimate heir to the iconic Gamal Abdel Nasser, but this victory, which wiped out the stain of defeat of 1967, in one stroke turned Sadat from a hesitant, accidental president into the batal al-‘ubur or Hero of the Crossing.This event and this moniker were all the more significant in light of what followed. …

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Butler Library Columbia University © Paul Bredow | Flickr
EssaysFeature

Hannah Arendt, The Man of Action, and She Who Watches

This piece is based on the experiences of Jane Kinzler when she was a student at Barnard College in 1967. We spoke several times, expanding upon her account, uncovering more details, before she passed away from cancer in November 2015. JJ (John Jacobs) was famous as a fiery campus radical on the Columbia University campus. He became one of the leaders of the 1968 occupation and strike, then one of the authors of the Weatherman Manifesto. He remained a fugitive while others in the Weather Underground surfaced, faced charges, rejoined the mass movement or …

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Sex © hrishikeshpanvel | Flickr
EssaysFeatureMedia & PublicsScienceSex & GenderThe Psyche

Libidinal Ecology: Sex and the Anthropocene (II)

The May 2015 issue of National Geographic features an article entitled, “Quest for a Superbee.” This piece is illustrated by a series of extreme photographic close-ups of bees with pieces of technology attached to their bodies. One caption reads: “A syringe places a minute droplet of phenotrin on a honeybee — sedated in a paper cup — to test the effects of the potent insecticide. . . .” Another photo shows a queen with a bright yellow number 87 on her back, with the caption, “Scientists are now developing hygienic . . . 

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Flooded makeshift latrines contaminating water in refugee camp in Bihar, India © Balazs Gardi | Flickr
DemocracyEssaysTheory & Practice

Ecology, Security, and the Death of Liberal Democracy

In a recent episode of the FX series Fargo, Minnesota Sheriff Lou Solverson answers a key witness’s refusal to accept police protection from a local crime syndicate by recounting his experience in Vietnam: “There’s a look a boy gets when he’s been shot, or a landmine takes off his legs, …

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