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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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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Michael Moodian: Debating Nixon

Michael Moodian: Debating Nixon

Richard Nixon by Michael A. Moodian The structure of the best tragedy should be not simple but complex and one that represents incidents arousing fear and pity—for that is peculiar to this form of art. —Aristotle in Poetics (335 BCE/1932, sec. 1452b) On September 29, 1945, Republican businessman Herman...

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More and More Bankrupt

More and More Bankrupt

by Irakli Zurab Kakabadze Once again, we can see that almost the entire world is trembling with the expectation of change. It looks like the world is refusing to suffocate itself with the single philosophy and single ideology that is already there for the last 20 years. Events are...

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‘Am I allowed to create this link?’

‘Am I allowed to create this link?’

DC Comics From Sign and Sight: The question of pro or contra the net or “intellectual property” is not being decided according to political parties but social criteria. It is important to understand that the lines drawn in the internet debate cut across all political orientations. There are internet...

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Thank You, Governor Scott

Thank You, Governor Scott

Illustration by DonkeyHotey by Charlotte Noble By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard the story. In October 2011, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott singled out of anthropology as a useless major, igniting a flurry of heated discussions about the utility of anthropology as well as other liberal arts majors. For...

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A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow

A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Sure, there’s the GOP symbol, but the real elephant in the room at any of the Republican debates since December has been the super PAC, the turbocharged political action committee able to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on political ads — as long as that spending isn’t...

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How dare they vote that way?

How dare they vote that way?

Betty Benevolence wants to save the world. Yet she has crazy ideas about how to do it. When she sees a starving child, she steals his remaining food. When she sees someone in pain, she kicks him in the shins. When she sees a drowning man, she pours water...

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We must question the validity of the Westphalian model as it applies to Greece…

We must question the validity of the Westphalian model as it applies to Greece…

Greece has a central position in the European imagination. Once modernity had established its legitimacy on the basis of antiquity, and a country such as Germany had constructed itself on a mystical affinity with Greece, it was impossible not to include Greece in the contemporary European scene.

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A. Staley Groves on Ron Paul

A. Staley Groves on Ron Paul

Ron Paul speaking to supporters at a “victory rally” following the 2012 Iowa Republican Caucuses in Ankeny, Iowa. Photograph by Gage Skidmore by A. Staley Groves What the republican candidatura conceals in its paradoxical movement is the questionable duration of the American State. This question is concealed by the...

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Cold Wise Man

Cold Wise Man

George Kennan From The New Yorker: Kennan thought that Americans were shallow, materialistic, and self-centered—he had the attitude of a typical mid-century European—and the more he saw of them the less fond of them he grew. “You have despaired of yourself,” he wrote in his diary after a visit...

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“Influence”

“Influence”

Northern Distribution Network From Foreign Policy: When people read a news website, they don’t usually imagine that it is being run by a major producer of fighter jets and smart bombs. But when the Pentagon has its own vision of America’s foreign policy, and the funds to promote it,...

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Steve Yetiv: Triangulated

Steve Yetiv: Triangulated

Michele Solmi by Steve A. Yetiv On November 7, 1973, Richard Nixon called for major proposals to deal with the energy crisis caused by the 1973 Arab oil embargo and for a grand national undertaking which, “by the end of the decade” would allow the United States to “have...

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Demand/Duration

Demand/Duration

#occupywallstreet general assembly, Zuccotti Park, New York From Harper’s: The nightly meetings of the General Assembly at occupied Liberty Plaza (officially, Zuccotti Park) in New York have been treated by the media mainly as a quaint footnote to the mass arrests and alleged police brutality attendant to the occupation....

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Ronald Reagan’s ubiquitous Americana is constantly recycled by neophytes…

Ronald Reagan’s ubiquitous Americana is constantly recycled by neophytes…

by A. Staley Groves 1. St. Reagan and the Return of the Storyteller The 2004 Republican National Convention was a significant event concerning language and aesthetics in contemporary politics. The Reagan myth appeared as a stellar aura of sentimentality that churned a cultic swoon. Among the polity this spectacular...

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Ruth Kinna on Guy Aldred

Ruth Kinna on Guy Aldred

Guy Aldred, c.1912 by Ruth Kinna Guy Aldred is an obscure but important figure in the history of socialist thought. He sometimes crops up in histories of British socialism, syndicalist and labour organisation, but rarely in discussions of socialist theory. His uncompromising commitment to activism perhaps explains this neglect:...

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No WMD

No WMD

From Granta: Consider that during World War II there were fewer than one hundred civilian casualties on US soil. No fire-bombing of Dresden, no London Blitz, no Hiroshima. Throughout the most deadly century in human history, US civilians remained remarkably safe from foreign aggression. The trauma of 9/11 for...

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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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