CapitalismEssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in Question

Trump or Clinton: The Consequence of Anti-Intellectualism

The Oval Office is up for grabs between Clinton and Trump, and I can’t remember the last time that I, living in a capitalist society, as a consumer, somehow ran out of options. If I can get my beer non-alcoholic and my ice cream fat-free, surely I can get my presidential candidate non-corporate and scandal-free, right?

How did we get here? Trump is a shameless liar with no experience in political office; while Clinton has too much of the wrong kind of experience — for example, promoting fracking and selling arms around the world. We are trapped between Scylla and Charybdis. …

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CapitalismFeatureReviewsTheory & Practice

Friction

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing has just published a brilliant book on the global trade in a certain kind of mushroom. As much as I’d like to report on it, I feel like I have to get my head around a previous landmark work of hers before attempting it. Here I’m thinking of her book Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 2005). 

Tsing: “Capitalism, science, and politics all depend on global connections….

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EssaysFeature

The Tragic, Enduring Relevance of Arendt’s Work on Statelessness

While Hannah Arendt is most known for her reflections on totalitarianism and the banality of evil, eighteen years of statelessness (1933-1951) brought her philosophical questions of how one might be at home in the world into sharp relief. The fact that she was Jewish and German during the first half of the twentieth century profoundly influenced her life and writing. Given today’s refugee crisis, Arendt’s work is being examined anew in order to understand the ways in which mass statelessness has influenced the world since the twentieth century. As historian Jeremy Adelman wrote in The Wilson Quarterly: “Arendt’s voice is one we can turn to as we grapple with the spread of statelessness in our day. Camps and pariahs are still with us.” …

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EssaysEventsFeatureSex & Gender

Homonationalism, Heteronationalism and LGBTI Rights in the EU

This year’s pride marches in Europe have taken place under the shadow of a threat, compounded by the recent terrorist attacks in Western Europe (Paris, Brussels and now Germany) and the slaughter at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. We have been urged not to give in to fear, while at the same time we’ve been told that undisclosed security precautions are being taken. The route of the Paris pride march was drastically shortened, supposedly for security reasons. It’s not clear whether the attack in Orlando was motivated by religious fundamentalism or was more the product of anger and anguish about the attacker’s life and sexuality. Either way, it could be just a matter of time before a similarly murderous anti-LGBTQI attack takes place in Europe. …

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EssaysEventsFeature

Queer Reflections On A Summer Of Violence: Surviving Orlando Without Alibi

In a June 12, 2016, Op-Ed (“The Scope of the Orlando Carnage”) New York Times columnist Frank Bruni joined many pundits in cautioning against what he described as narrowly sectarian interpretations of the violence that was unleashed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on the previous evening. “Let’s be clear,” Bruni declared, responding to “complaints on social media” about the failure of the mainstream media and politicians to avow the homophobic motivations of the attacker, “this was no more an attack on L.G.B.T. people than the bloodshed at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris was an attack solely against satirists.” Extending this curious analogy between satirists and queer people …

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