Berfrois

“If you look at any corner of Kentish Town…”

“If you look at any corner of Kentish Town…”

Selma James is an activist and a prolific writer on anti-racism and women’s rights, founder of the International Wages for Housework campaign, and current coordinator of Global Women’s Strike. The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community, co-authored with Mariarosa Dalla Costa, launched the ‘domestic labour’ debate.

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War, Neoliberalism and Scottish Labour

War, Neoliberalism and Scottish Labour

The institutional origins of the 2014 Scottish referendum can be traced to 1976, when Callaghan’s minority Labour government was struggling to cement a parliamentary majority while implementing draconian imf cuts—the onset of neoliberal restructuring in Britain.

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O, Scotland

O, Scotland

Many ‘No’ voters wanted what a plurality of Scots have wanted for nearly forty years: to govern themselves as other small nations do but, if possible, within the United Kingdom. They were cheated too. Devo-max, whose minimum version means full fiscal autonomy, would have suited them.

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Ashley James: Personhood

Ashley James: Personhood

It seemed that by the close of January this year, the entire country could recognize the face of Sergeant Cory Remsburg: Near the tail-end of his State of the Union address, President Obama recounted the man’s near death by roadside bomb during his 10th deployment in Afghanistan—“ comrades found...

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Fin de Régime?

Fin de Régime?

In France, since the European elections of May 2014, and Marine Le Pen’s breath-taking 25 per cent of the vote – to the ruling Socialists’ paltry 13 per cent – she has said very little. She does not need to; between them, the left and the right are opening...

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Europe’s Fascists in Suits by John Gaffney

Europe’s Fascists in Suits by John Gaffney

Earthquake metaphors have had strong currency, both political and journalistic, in the aftermath of May’s European Parliament (EP) elections. The most spectacular tremors were those caused by the British and French far-right. Each came first in their national competition, each gained a quarter of the national vote.

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Aye?

Aye?

Music Hall Buildings, Aberdeen, 1885 From Radical Philosophy: For socialists the question is about whether or not independence strengthens the working class. But the working class with which we should be concerned is not only British, still less only Scottish, but international. Furthermore, the question cannot be posed in...

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Occupybook

Occupybook

by Paolo Gerbaudo “Don’t they get it? Don’t they understand that Facebook and Twitter are part of the government surveillance machine?” Comments like this are a vignette of the evolution within online activism in recent years. They are often heard from the mouths of veterans of the anti-globalisation movement...

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Cannoned

Cannoned

Police using tear gas and water cannons at Gezi Park, Istanbul. Photograph by Alan Hilditch by Anna Feigenbaum Scrubbing away the white-wash of ‘less lethal’ riot control reveals a history littered with humanitarian disasters, weaponisation, inadequate testing, and corporate profiteering. What does a ‘public consultation’ on water cannon mean...

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Remembering Stuart Hall

Remembering Stuart Hall

Stuart Hall has died. The enormity of the loss cannot be exaggerated. There is little point trying to measure Hall’s importance against other significant figures: he himself would have abhorred the macho individualism of such a gesture. But it has been a long time since the intellectual Left in...

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Jenny Diski pretty much agrees with Russell Brand

Jenny Diski pretty much agrees with Russell Brand

The Court Jester, William Merritt Chase, 1875 by Jenny Diski It is the time of the comedians. Western politics as it is perceived by populations and portrayed by the media of every kind is in such a parlous state, that it is not a metaphor but a reality developing...

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Alexander McGregor: Marx in Japan

Alexander McGregor: Marx in Japan

In the cold war years, Japan forged a contradictory relationship with its erstwhile occupiers, the United States. On the one hand various capillaries of Japanese society burned with resentment towards a Western capitalism that forced upon it a new diet of humility and economic subordination – perhaps best represented...

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Oscar Wilde’s Socialism

Oscar Wilde’s Socialism

The chief advantage that would result from the establishment of Socialism is, undoubtedly, the fact that Socialism would relieve us from that sordid necessity of living for others which, in the present condition of things, presses so hardly upon almost everybody. In fact, scarcely any one at all escapes.

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Socialist Zionism ultimately meant socialism for no one…

Socialist Zionism ultimately meant socialism for no one…

From 5 Broken Cameras, directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi, 2011 From Jacobin: The Left has a checkered history when it comes to Palestine. For at least the first two decades of Israel’s existence, due in part to the attempted extermination of European Jewry, in part to the...

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Logan K. Young on The Replacements

I, myself, was barely six months old when Twin/Tone put out The Mats’ Let It Be. The day, they say, was Orwellian: Tuesday, October...

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Tyranny Is a Growth Industry by Vladimir Savich and Zachary Bos

Tyranny is a growth industry. Each day brings exciting new developments. These events imprint themselves upon the world in the form of newspapers, magazines,...

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Tjoa Shze Hui: 1920s

Of the many witticisms that make up The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, one voiced by Picasso really gets under the skin. He says...

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Elias Tezapsidis on Lorentzen, Batuman, Lerner, Smallwood and Stein

Contemporary narrators feel entitled to their own realities now more than ever. The internet has created this fascinating binary, one in which individuals can...

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Henry Giardina on Bob Hope

All mythical creatures need an origin story. The Bob Hope character springs into being, Athena-like, from out of the head of Preston Sturges in...

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Mattilda B. Sycamore: Yearning From Spurning

One problem with gentrification is that it always gets worse. But then I go into a Hooters, and it’s a vintage clothing store. A...

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Alexander McGregor
Alexander McGregor: Trauma

Following World War II, the German philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote, “Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch”: to write poetry after Auschwitz is...

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John Crutchfield: Chords

But music, even bad music, is a symptom of hope, is it not? Naturally one would prefer the music to be good, but any...

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Menachem Feuer on Robin Williams

Regardless of whether you are from Europe, the United States, Asia, or Africa, we can all agree that there is something special about the...

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Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

I don't know if I ever wanted to become a theorist. I struggle with this position. For me, it's a hystericized — and therefore...

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Albert Rolls: Which (Side) Are You On, Man?

James Parker begins his review of Inherent Vice with the quip, “If Thomas Pynchon were a stand-up comedian, and Inherent Vice his newest routine,...

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Keith Doubt
Keith Doubt on Serbia

The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural relativism is the principle...

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A Gosse in Woolf’s Clothing by Andre Gerard

On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows:...

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Andrew Gallix: Let’s Go!

Retro-futurism, as we now call it, came out of the closet in the late '70s due to the widespread feeling that there was indeed...

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