Berfrois

X: A Machine to End All Machines

X: A Machine to End All Machines

Can you feel it coming? The machine? Can you feel it, can you see it from your high window, beneath the yellow sun, in the distance, furrowing beneath that black soil as it makes its way toward you?

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Helen Thomas talks Israel and Palestine

Helen Thomas talks Israel and Palestine

From Playboy: PLAYBOY: So is this how you pictured retirement? THOMAS: I’m not retired! I was fired. In fact, I’ll die with my boots on. I’m still writing and I’ll continue to write and ask hard questions. I will never bow out of journalism. PLAYBOY: Take us back to...

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Patterns in Presidential Politics

Patterns in Presidential Politics

Alaska Governor’s Mansion by Elvin Lim As the race for the Republican nomination warms up, it is too early to tell who would head the party’s ticket next Fall. But there is more to understanding politics than predicting the horse races, and for those ready to look, there are already patterns emerging...

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The replacement of “Welfare Queen” by “teacher” in Wisconsin is only the latest example of the transformation of class antagonism into culture war…

The replacement of “Welfare Queen” by “teacher” in Wisconsin is only the latest example of the transformation of class antagonism into culture war…

From N+1: After my parents got back from a weeklong vacation in Florida, funded in part by the pensions they receive as retired Wisconsin public educators, they went to Madison and, after enjoying lunch at the hip, local-food-oriented The Weary Traveler, took to Capital Square to protest Governor Scott...

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Peter Corning: Toward a New Social Contract

Peter Corning: Toward a New Social Contract

by Peter Corning The term “social contract” has a deep history in political theory.  Today it generally refers to the implicit bargain that exists in any stable society over social rights and duties, and the division of economic benefits and costs. In the U.S., the social contract has become...

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