Berfrois

The United States has always had an intimate relationship with clandestine commerce…

The United States has always had an intimate relationship with clandestine commerce…

In the years before the American War of Independence, Colonial merchants were leading players in the Atlantic smuggling economy, most notably in the illegal importation of molasses from the West Indies for distilleries in New England.

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Magicians, Unite!

Magicians, Unite!

by Dave Mesing “Together, we might be able to do dangerous subversive things, mischievous things.”1 Such is Andy Merrifield’s opening promise in his recent book Magical Marxism: Subversive Politics and the Imagination. Merrifield situates the work between two poles of people: those who are more or less orthodox Marxists...

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Is communization theory a kind of political sideshow?

Is communization theory a kind of political sideshow?

Exit-communism is politically to the left of Badiou and Negri and the current debate on the Communist Idea. Although it draws on the same anti-statist and post-party connections as Badiou and Negri, its critique of political mediation is defined by an uncompromising non-identitary revolutionary politics.

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Sues Race

Sues Race

Helprin’s latest novel, In Sunlight and in Shadow, can be read as an elegy for the American Century. Helprin’s emphasis on invidividual responsibility, as well as his backwards-lookingness, over-the-topness, and magical thinking, give us a window into the Republican Party he supports.

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Coffee and Bollinger

Coffee and Bollinger

Lady with Her Maidservant Holding a Letter, Jan Vermeer, 1667 From Eurozine: It appears that government in the twenty-first century has rekindled a long exhausted genre of power – epistolary government, which has been in decline at least since the epistolary novel began to lose its popularity. Thus, a...

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Blighty’s Far Right by Roger Eatwell

Blighty’s Far Right by Roger Eatwell

Since the late 1990s, immigration has been a far more important issue in Britain than in almost any other European country. Indeed, for much of the new millennium it has been the issue which most troubles voters.

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Adam Staley Groves: Four More Years

Adam Staley Groves: Four More Years

American political narratives failed this election. It seems the political media was befuddled as sayers and intelligentsia failed to provide wise counsel (save Nate Silver’s 538). Yet not just ‘they’ it’s ‘we’ machine users, participating in this representation process and sharing in derision. How to read what was immediately...

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Rove Rejects Reality

Rove Rejects Reality

The Simpsons, 20th Century Fox by Elvin Lim It is tempting now that the election returns are in for us to want to plow forward and forget the spectacular silliness we just traversed. But before we move on, it is critical that we call out those who had predicted...

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Fireside

Fireside

I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking — with the comparatively few who understand the mechanics of banking but more particularly with the overwhelming majority who use banks for the making of deposits and the drawing of checks.

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Adam Staley Groves: Large Cavity

Adam Staley Groves: Large Cavity

ronically or not it seems lost on those in the news business that information tends to standardize what is ‘diverse’ among us: the ability to question. Political media standardizes thinking capacity by the material it is composed of: speculative information based on polling data, based on nothing.

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Shifting Winds

Shifting Winds

by Elvin Lim Everything is political at this time of the electoral calendar, so there is no use pretending that Hurricane Sandy will not have an effect on the presidential race. President Obama has been given a new life line. Forced to take politics out of his campaign, he...

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Boca Raton

Boca Raton

by Elvin Lim Mitt Romney barely passed the bar on Monday night’s debate. He was tentative and guarded, not just because he was being strategic, but because he wasn’t, understandably, in command of the facts of foreign policy as a sitting president would be. Barack Obama “won” the debate,...

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Giorgio Fontana: Berlusconism

Giorgio Fontana: Berlusconism

"Sorry for being a bore," is how Silvio Berlusconi commented at the end of his dull speech at his party's congress in Milan, some months ago. A bore: a trick or a sincere acknowledgment? Whatever it is, it's true: Berlusconi doesn't make the news like he used to do.

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Hempstead

Hempstead

by Elvin Lim The second presidential debate tells us about the candidates’ readings of their own campaigns. Both Romney and Obama were fighting for air time, trying to break out of the impasse of “he-said-she-said.” Women were mentioned about 30 times in the debate, because Romney knew that he...

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Danville

Danville

Paul Ryan did a good job at the vice-presidential debate; but Joe Biden did a little better. Biden came off condescending in the initial part of the debate with his laughter, but he mellowed out toward the end. He was aided in part by the fact that Martha Raddatz,...

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What the Debates Mean by Adam Staley Groves

What the Debates Mean by Adam Staley Groves

A close friend asked “does anyone actually pay attention to these debates?” Consoling, indeed. The forming consensus is that President Obama lost the first of three debates to Former Governor Romney. In fact, some polls indicate a wipe-out. Obama looked like he had ring rust, often looked down and...

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¿Super Mario Pres. 2?

¿Super Mario Pres. 2?

Mario Monti by James Walston The Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Monti, has recently hinted that he might stay for a second term at the head of his mostly technocratic and nonpartisan government, on the condition of not having to face the voters in the upcoming election. But for how...

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Denver

Denver

by Elvin Lim President Obama had a bad night. The key to succeeding in a presidential debate is recognizing that it is not a parliamentary debate. The rules, the moderator, and even the immediate audience (since they are not permitted to applaud) do not matter. Instead, candidates should bare their...

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‘Even independent voters don’t want to hire a doomsayer for president’

‘Even independent voters don’t want to hire a doomsayer for president’

A Barack Obama bobblehead is launched into space by Elvin Lim The Obama campaign, by fortune or by wit, has peaked at the right moment. Early voting has already started in Virginia, and starts in Iowa and Ohio next week. This means that the polls telling a uniform story of...

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