Berfrois

Kenneth Weisbrode: Tactical Representation

Kenneth Weisbrode: Tactical Representation

A few blocks from Lafayette Park, diagonal to the statue of Jackson triumphant on horseback, is a strange building, tall but thin, just about one office thick, and sandwiched between two standard Washington rectangular, concrete blocks. The windows of the building jut out at right angles, giving the impression...

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Ship Europe

Ship Europe

Film Socialisme, Wild Bunch, 2012 by Srećko Horvat Costa Concordia, the famous cruise ship that hit a rock in the Tyrrhenian Sea in January 2012 might furnish another aptly-named example for symbolizing the harmony and unity between European nations. Recently in Bucharest, I came across an apparently innocent map...

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Conventional

Conventional

by Elvin Lim The Democrats are enjoying a little bump from their convention last week, but it had little to do with Barack Obama, and a lot to do with Bill Clinton. The reason why Clinton’s speech worked was because he was specifically charged to address the substance of...

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Eli Evans: Wisconsin

Eli Evans: Wisconsin

Scott Walker crying during Paul Ryan’s speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention by Eli S. Evans Not long after Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan was announced as the Republican nominee for Vice President, a text message came in from a friend, a native New Yorker recently transplanted to somewhere...

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Curiouser and Curiouser!

Curiouser and Curiouser!

“Alice sitting between Gryphon and Mock turtle”, John Tenniel, 1865. From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, 1865. by Albena Azmanova The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear....

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A politics of purist nationalism is utterly unrealistic…

A politics of purist nationalism is utterly unrealistic…

The accounts, symbols and feelings that we have about national identity were largely imagined, created and popularized in the nineteenth century. The word ‘nationalism’ itself dates from the early nineteenth century and marked the increasing use of national identity in order to make political claims. So to argue that...

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Afraid to Speak Once Again

Afraid to Speak Once Again

I remember growing up in the Soviet Empire and my father always warning me not to talk too much against the authorities on the phone. “They are constantly listening to us and we may be arrested” – he used to tell me and we would cover our phones with...

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Time to Disarm Elite Power

Time to Disarm Elite Power

The County Election, George Caleb Bingham, 1851 by Ash Amin If democracy means rule by the people for the people, it has broken down. At pivotal moments in the past, altering the rules of the political has been a defining trait of the organised left, able to project a...

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Deborah Cameron: Grammar Alchemy

Deborah Cameron: Grammar Alchemy

The national curriculum for England and Wales, introduced at the end of the 1980s, made it mandatory for schools to teach English grammar. Yet the myth still persists that grammar has not been taught since the permissive 1960s. For politicians in need of a populist gesture, that belief has...

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Jeremy Fernando: DJ Obama

Jeremy Fernando: DJ Obama

A little more than four years ago, the phrase heard throughout the world was the catchy “Yes, we can.” A rallying cry of the best sort—devoid of any referentiality—“Yes we can” could refer to both anything and nothing at the same time. Not as if catachrestic metaphors ever got...

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Glittering Game Boards

Glittering Game Boards

The formula of the "99 percent" seems at once incredibly rhetorical and real. We are used to hyperbole; we are less used to an absurdly lopsided figure that is actually matched by a reality. Poetic figuration meets statistical validity.

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A. Staley Groves on Andrew Breitbart

A. Staley Groves on Andrew Breitbart

Illustration by DonkeyHotey by A. Staley Groves I admit a smile crossed my face when I read Breitbart was rushed to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and pronounced dead. Not because his children would lose a father, nor his wife a husband.  Rather that the iconoclastic boy-warrior was...

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Albena Azmanova: Critical Political Judgement

Albena Azmanova: Critical Political Judgement

It was in a moment of exasperation, one imagines, that Kant discovered what he named ‘the scandal of reason’ – reason’s tendency to get entangled in its own contradictions and thus degenerate into either dogma or uncertainty – a tendency that has haunted modern history.

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Disobedience

Disobedience

Ricky Gervais as David Brent in The Office, BBC, 2001 From The Nation: “I approach philosophy somewhat the way we approach art,” Havel once confessed. Despite his lack of method, he took a reading of Heidegger and a handful of homegrown metaphors and set forth in his writing powerful...

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Radical Chic and the New

Radical Chic and the New

Leonard Bernstein, his wife Felicia Montealegre and Don Cox, Field Marshal of the Black Panther Party in the Bernsteins’ Park Avenue penthouse in Manhattan, January 14, 1970. From New York Magazine. From Eurozine: A discussion of “radical chic” – a term used to denounce criticism and radical thought as...

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