Berfrois

General Theory of Corbynomics

General Theory of Corbynomics

I noted a report in The Independent yesterday about comments that the shadow chancellor, Chris Leslie, had made about what he called Corbynomics. These are, I presume, the policies announced by Jeremy Corbyn nearly two weeks ago.

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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

Rather than creating an alternative internet, that is free, self-managed and non-commercial, contemporary tech activists seem much more concerned with harnessing the potential of the corporate internet, making use of the capabilities of gigantic corporate social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

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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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Outclassed?

Outclassed?

Despite not employing much of the jargon, Stephen Schryer is resolutely Marxist - and not New Left or post - Marxist either, but the old-style, “primacy of class,” bourgeoisie vs. proletariat kind. His excellent first book, Fantasies of the New Class: Ideologies of Professionalism in Post-World War II American...

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Remembrance of Translations Past

Although Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff’s translation of À la recherche du temps perdu is considered by many journalists and writers to be the best...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: LGBT Struggles in Albania

This morning I woke up to a rather surprising headline: "first gay marriage in Tirana." The article referred to the marriage ceremony recently held...

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Feroz Rather in Srinagar

Though the war was still going on, it was not a terribly sad time in my life; at least, I had the consolation of...

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Foucault’s Politics of Truth by Stuart Elden

The key figures are Cardinal Richelieu and Chancellor Séguier, and Foucault thinks it is important that he can discern the “first great deployment of...

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Menachem Feuer on Sarah Silverman and Lena Dunham

Elle called Silverman’s image of her wearing a shirt with several naked Lena Dunhams a “beautiful tribute.” Dunham, the article tells us, “seemed to...

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Mediamacro are very good at pretending…

A few weeks ago I was having dinner with David Cameron. Well, almost - we were at the same restaurant but on tables at...

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Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: One Little Room

A room with graffitied walls. Inside this room the dogs bark. A room cluttered with porcelain figurines. A room decorated with binary numbers.

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Jeremy Fernando
Jeremy Fernando on Tan Chui Mui

For, it is not as if films speak; nor are their filmmakers there—at the site where this alleged speaking to, speech, takes place —...

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David Beer
David Beer: Make Happy, Happy, Happy

As I read through William Davies’ engaging new book, I can’t help but wonder what Mad Men’s Don Draper would have made of John...

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Russell Bennetts: Coffee for 8 More

I might be the last person you should ask about St. Paul coffee in general. On an ordinary day I make do with drip...

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Emeline Edgewood
In X the Promise

X seems to want to be both the equivalent of The Giant and of Laura Palmer’s mother in Twin Peaks.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Municipal

Although there are also some independent candidates who may take a few votes here and there, the general opinion of the Tirana public and...

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En Liang Khong: Full Bloom

The cross-dressing Qiu Jin was emblematic of a revolutionary feminist current at the end of the Qing era, writing urgently on women’s emancipation: “While...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei
Very Much Like a Whale by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

They had obviously taken the pictures of the whale, and the group of people carrying it, out of curiosity. But still the images failed...

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