Berfrois

Maps are expressions not only of power, but of desire…

Maps are expressions not only of power, but of desire…

A critical cartography is the idea that maps – like other texts such as the written word, images or film – are not (and cannot be) value-free or neutral.

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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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A Year of Hollande by John Gaffney

A Year of Hollande by John Gaffney

One year ago, on the day of François Hollande’s inauguration as the seventh President of the French Fifth Republic, May 15th, 2012, it poured with rain all day long. Inexplicably, no one offered him a raincoat or the protection of an umbrella. He spent the day’s ceremony drenched to...

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Ironoffspring

Ironoffspring

Margaret Thatcher, illustrated by Gerald Scarfe From The Guardian: When I was a kid, Thatcher was the headmistress of our country. Her voice, a bellicose yawn, somehow both boring and boring – I could ignore the content but the intent drilled its way in. She became leader of the...

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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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Oscillation

We recognise oscillation to be the natural order of the world.

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Menachem Feuer: Body

While Sarah Silverman jokingly tells us that her Jewish identity has more to do with her body than with the “responsibilities and limitations” that...

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Jeremy Fernando: Pink

An offering that might well remain in its being offered.

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Rosie Clarke Chats to Amelia Gray

I get the impulse to look to the canon, but I think we should try and challenge and squash the canon, too.

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Mario Carpo: Voice, Words, Memory

It all started with cellphones, a long time ago. No student, and few teachers, would make voice calls from class, but in the early...

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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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Colin Dickey: Time’s Resistless Stream

By now, we are all of us more or less apocalyptic. Our calendar is itself based on the apocalyptic return of Jesus Christ, counting...

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Mark Mordue: Curate. Content. Click.

Not that ‘the critic’ has ever been a greatly appreciated or understood figure. Some fat toad with a feather in his hat who thinks...

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Russell Bennetts
Street Fighter: Berfrois Interviews Tariq Ali

The extreme centre is a form of government that arose out of neoliberal economics and exists today in virtually the whole of Europe, North...

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John Crutchfield: Go West

Perhaps this is what finally draws me back to the Western. It is a fundamentally serious genre. It deals with serious questions, and it...

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Joel Gn on Henri Lefebvre

How may we speak of that which goes off the record in an age of digital colonisation?

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Volker M. Welter on Michael Graves

The designer Michael Graves, who passed away at the age of 80 on March 12th, was widely considered to be one of the founding...

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