Berfrois

“If you look at any corner of Kentish Town…”

“If you look at any corner of Kentish Town…”

Selma James is an activist and a prolific writer on anti-racism and women’s rights, founder of the International Wages for Housework campaign, and current coordinator of Global Women’s Strike. The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community, co-authored with Mariarosa Dalla Costa, launched the ‘domestic labour’ debate.

Read More

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....

Read More

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...

Read More

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:...

Read More

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...

Read More

The cumulative dynamic is not so much egalitarian as extra-egalitarian…

The cumulative dynamic is not so much egalitarian as extra-egalitarian…

Second Soul, Episode 5, Season 1 of The Outer Limits, CBS, 1995 From New Left Review: Equality currently functions as a shared ideal in both political rhetoric and philosophy. No politician calls for ‘a more unequal society’, and within political theory philosophers of almost every persuasion advocate some form of...

Read More

Poised for 2012?

Poised for 2012?

The Next Election: The Surprising Reality | by Andrew Hacker

The New York Review of Books

The 2010 election galvanized the GOP. The party won seven new places in the Senate, as many new governorships, and took the seats of 720 Democrats...

Read More

Invisible Hand, Iron Fist

Invisible Hand, Iron Fist

A GEO Group prison by Loïc Wacquant The increasing penalization of poverty is a response to social insecurity; a result of public policy that weds the “invisible hand” of the market to the “iron fist” of the penal state. How and why has the prison returned to the institutional...

Read More

Burke’s Wardrobe by William F. Byrne

Burke’s Wardrobe by William F. Byrne

by William F. Byrne Edmund Burke’s time has come. The idea that the eighteenth-century Irish-born British statesman and writer is especially relevant today, in an age that is often described as “postmodern,” may seem odd, or perhaps presumptuous. But it is largely because of the postmodern and late-modern qualities...

Read More

When Drones Strike

When Drones Strike

From Columbia Journalism Review: In the spring of 2009, New York Times reporter David Rohde was being held captive by Taliban gunmen in a house in Waziristan, a mountainous region on the Pakistan side of the border with Afghanistan. Aerial drones soared overhead, filling him and his kidnappers with...

Read More

Dan Caldwell: Technology and U.S. Middle East Policy

Dan Caldwell: Technology and U.S. Middle East Policy

Afghan Mujahideen with surface to air stinger missile, near Jalalabad, 1989, Steve McCurry by Dan Caldwell The development and advancement of technology has influenced reform and revolution throughout history, but arguably never more so than during the last three decades in the Middle East. The recent “Facebook revolutions” are...

Read More

Dostoevsky vs. Tolstoy (on humanitarian interventions)

Dostoevsky vs. Tolstoy (on humanitarian interventions)

 Capture Grivitskogo redoubt at Plevna, Nikolai Dmitriev-Orenburgsky, 1885 by James Warner Dostoevsky was in favor of military intervention in the Balkans, Tolstoy opposed to it. The arguments they put forward are surprisingly relevant to our own current wars. A little background – in the summer of 1875, Orthodox Christians...

Read More

James Madison and the Corporations

James Madison and the Corporations

James Madison, Corporations, and the National Security State | by Scott Horton

Harpers

James Madison stood between 5'3" and 5'4" tall and weighed barely more than one hundred pounds. He was the most diminutive of the American presidents. He had no skills...

Read More
Logan K. Young on The Replacements

I, myself, was barely six months old when Twin/Tone put out The Mats’ Let It Be. The day, they say, was Orwellian: Tuesday, October...

Read More
Tyranny Is a Growth Industry by Vladimir Savich and Zachary Bos

Tyranny is a growth industry. Each day brings exciting new developments. These events imprint themselves upon the world in the form of newspapers, magazines,...

Read More
Tjoa Shze Hui: 1920s

Of the many witticisms that make up The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, one voiced by Picasso really gets under the skin. He says...

Read More
Elias Tezapsidis on Lorentzen, Batuman, Lerner, Smallwood and Stein

Contemporary narrators feel entitled to their own realities now more than ever. The internet has created this fascinating binary, one in which individuals can...

Read More
Henry Giardina on Bob Hope

All mythical creatures need an origin story. The Bob Hope character springs into being, Athena-like, from out of the head of Preston Sturges in...

Read More
Mattilda B. Sycamore: Yearning From Spurning

One problem with gentrification is that it always gets worse. But then I go into a Hooters, and it’s a vintage clothing store. A...

Read More
Alexander McGregor
Alexander McGregor: Trauma

Following World War II, the German philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote, “Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch”: to write poetry after Auschwitz is...

Read More
John Crutchfield: Chords

But music, even bad music, is a symptom of hope, is it not? Naturally one would prefer the music to be good, but any...

Read More
Menachem Feuer on Robin Williams

Regardless of whether you are from Europe, the United States, Asia, or Africa, we can all agree that there is something special about the...

Read More
Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

I don't know if I ever wanted to become a theorist. I struggle with this position. For me, it's a hystericized — and therefore...

Read More
Albert Rolls: Which (Side) Are You On, Man?

James Parker begins his review of Inherent Vice with the quip, “If Thomas Pynchon were a stand-up comedian, and Inherent Vice his newest routine,...

Read More
Keith Doubt
Keith Doubt on Serbia

The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural relativism is the principle...

Read More
A Gosse in Woolf’s Clothing by Andre Gerard

On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows:...

Read More
Andrew Gallix: Let’s Go!

Retro-futurism, as we now call it, came out of the closet in the late '70s due to the widespread feeling that there was indeed...

Read More