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Hack the Planet

It seemed obvious that someone was coordinating the national crackdown on occupations, but I always figured it was the FBI or the Department of Homeland Security. The revelation of the truth – that a non-governmental organization called the Police Executive Research Forum has been hosting calls between mayors and providing advice based on anti-protest tactics […]

Civilization was once a popular subject.

The title is the fitting first sentence of David Bromwich’s review of Niall Ferguson’s latest, Civilization: The West And The Rest in the NYRB. I couldn’t read the whole piece because I don’t have a subscription to the NYRB, but I think the first line is probably sufficient. The same sort of (hilarious) lament hangs […]

Measuring the Generation Gap

Last week was a particularly bad one for inter-generational relations. First, on Monday, was a report from Pew with the self-explanatory title “The Rising Age Gap in Economic Well-Being: The Old Prosper Relative to the Young.” Tracking changes in wealth between 1984 and 2009, Pew found that households headed by people 35 and under saw […]

People Who Hit People

In the occupation mobilizations, there have been three consistent kinds of interpersonal violence between groups. Police on occupier has been the most brutal and prevalent, and the only one of the three to endanger human life. Occupier on police has been minor, both relative to its inverse and at least in part due to the […]

Baby, We’re All Anarchists Now

I got a certain amount of shit for cosigning this Cimethinc. “Letter from Anarchists” to occupiers, but what really strikes me is that anarchists and occupiers have become two distinct–albeit overlapping–groups. It’s become even more apparent in the streets. When I was at Occupy DC over the weekend, a guy who I would guess circles […]

Occupied Wall Street: Some Tactical Thoughts

I’ve been to the encampment at Zuccotti Park a few times since the 17th, but I have never stayed that long. It’s not just cause I’d rather sleep in my room in Brooklyn on which I spend the vast majority of my income, but because I’m just not that into it. Yet I’ve met some […]

Workers’ Day Against Work

Following Peter’s lead, I’m attempting a Labor Day post that involves as little actual labor on my part as possible. From Wayne Koestenbaum’s Humiliation, which I’m currently making my way through: “Employment is humiliating. Who hasn’t heard–or told–a story about workplace humiliation. My boss is a monster. My employees call me Fatso behind my back: I’ve […]

“That Secret Fire”: Italo Calvino & The Primacy of Labor

Note: This essay is the first in a short series I’m doing for this blog about the idea of “the party” on the left and its relevance at the current moment, inspired by Bhaskar’s post on Jodi Dean’s talk on “the communist horizon.” I start with the writer Italo Calvino and Italian lessons on the party […]

Looting And The Right to Luxury

Everyone is shocked – shocked I say! – by the looting happening in London. Where did these renegade youths learn to break into stores and snatch as much as they could carry? I have hazy memories of these commercials, of imagining what it would be like to walk through a store and take all you […]

Malcolm Harris

Malcolm Harris is the editor of Share or Die: Youth in Recession forthcoming from New Society Publishers in the spring.