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Issue 7-8




Publisher’s Note

I’ve boasted about Jacobin a bunch on this page. Beyond narcissism, it’s rooted in the feeling that our improbable success is symbolic of a wider intellectual shift. Qualify that with sober acknowledgement of the Left’s marginality, include token slaps in the direction of a certain mainstream commentator, strategically add “ youthful” profanity, and there you have it – a successful editor’s note.


Beyond November

Thoughts on politics, social movements, and the 2012 elections.

Marx wrote in The Civil War in France that every few years workers got to decide which members of the ruling class were to misrepresent them.

Working for the Weekend

Putting full employment at the center of a new left-wing strategy.

Last spring, as the U.S. economy entered another period of slowdown and unemployment levels in the Eurozone hit record highs, a Internet meme called “Old Economy Steven” started making rounds.

Sarah Lawrence, With Guns

We asked a former West Point professor about teaching literature at the nation’s most prestigious military academy. What he told us revealed the truth behind the country’s most elite warrior caste – and how liberal heroes like Thoreau and the Beats inspire the next generation of “Runaway Generals.

Eating for Change (print only)

In May, Michael Bloom­berg proposed a ban on the sale of sugary beverages over 16 ounces. If it passes, New Yorkers with an urge for a deluge of high-fructose corn syrup and caramel coloring will be forced to purchase multiple puny 12-ounce beverages.

Terror Verde (print only)

Of far more legitimate concern than the impending subversion of world order by greenwashed commie terrorists is, of course, that the fabrication of such threats contributes to a blanket delegitimization of environmental activism.

How the Left has Won

What happens when we refuse to answer leading questions like these, which contain conclusions that should be in contention? What happens when we stop looking for socialism in all the wrong places?

Happy Hookers

Sex workers and their would-be saviors.

The following books were not published in 1972: The Happy Secretary, The Happy Nurse, The Happy Napalm Manufacturer, The Happy President, The Happy Yippie, The Happy Feminist.

Dance Dance Revolution

Communal celebration has deep roots in human culture. Why shouldn’t the Left embrace it?

Plant a stake crowned with flowers in the middle of a square, gather the people together there, and you’ll have a festival.



Breuckelen Gentry (print only)

While bad gentrifiers see themselves as having little impact on their environment – they are simply maximizing their own self-interest by getting a good deal in an up-and-coming neighborhood – good gentrifiers are supremely aware of their privileged place in the urban food chain, and sometimes even feel guilty about it.

Designing Culture

Design plays a central role in cultural reproduction. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, for anyone.
Want to hear a really pretentious definition of design? Probably not, but I have to listen to this stuff almost constantly and misery loves company, so here it is: “Giving form to culture.


Special Topic: American Jacobins

The War of Northern Aggression

A leading Civil War historian challenges the new orthodoxy about how slavery ended in America. On 6 November 1860, the six-year-old Republican Party elected its first president. During the tense crisis months that followed – the “secession winter” of 1860–61 – practically all observers believed that Lincoln and the Republicans would begin attacking slavery as soon as they took […]

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