Blogs

Pink Different

Before this week, you probably never gave much thought to where the Susan G. Komen Foundation gives its money. Not because you don’t care about ending breast cancer, which kills over 400,000 Americans each year, but because you were busy extricating yourself from a giant pile of pink consumer crap. Who has time to read […]

Issue 6: Praxis

Reality TV and the Flexible Future

After every long day at the office I go home to face my addiction: watching other  people work. Whether I’m gritting my teeth as elderly miners crawl through a tunnel to chip out coal, or cracking up as drag queens scurry to complete missions assigned by RuPaul (catch-phrase: “You better work!”), there’s nothing I’d rather […]

Socialism with Dutch Characteristics

The Socialist Party is an unusual organization, perhaps even unique. While its policies might at first glance give the impression of a kind of progressive social democracy, its pervasive grassroots activism reveals a different reality.

V. S. Naipaul and the American Right

Naipaul’s career developed at a time when Western reactionary intellectuals could still be formidable, dynamic and unpredictable; there was space carved out on the Right for reactionary talent like Naipaul.

Kautsky’s Ghost

“Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks!” blared the headline of an October issue of the tabloid Bild, Germany’s largest daily paper and the flagship of the right-wing Springer media empire. Since the onset of the Eurocrisis, the German ruling class has been pursuing a two-pronged strategy: a punishing regime of neoliberal austerity for Greece and […]

Against Chairs

If you hang out with industrial designers, one thing you may have noticed is that they’re really into chairs. In fact, tastes are predictable enough that you can often tell a designer’s favorite chair maker from his or her shirt. Black button-down? Mies van der Rohe. Black turtleneck? Peter Opsvik. Low-cut black V-neck and conspicuous […]

The Philanthropic Complex

In the fall of 2009 I was approached by Hal Clifford, executive editor of Orion Magazine, and asked to write an essay about American philanthropy, especially in relation to environmentalism. From the first I was dubious about the assignment. I said, “Not-for-profit organizations like you cannot afford to attack philanthropy because if you attack one […]

Yes Logo

American intellectual historians are no strangers to argument. But few have been as  defined by contrarianism as James Livingston. Where others have mourned the early twentieth century defeat of the Populists and the Wobblies, he has made a career extolling the radical potential of the corporate order which emerged at the same time. He has […]

The Case for Cinderblocks

Reading Astra Taylor’s n+1 essay “Unschooling,” I was reminded of my first   semester in a classroom. Like many student teachers, I’d been offended by the idea of myself as an authority figure. Standing in front of the class at the chalkboard felt like a lie. Was I smarter than my students? No. Did I know […]

Tom Friedman’s War on Humanity

Thomas Friedman, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times, once offered the following insight into his modus operandi: “I often begin writing columns by interviewing myself.” Some might see this as an unsurprising revelation in light of Edward Said’s appraisal: “It’s as if . . . what scholars, poets, historians, fighters, and statesmen […]

Against Law, For Order

It’s taken decades and millions of lives, but elite opinion is starting to move against mass incarceration. The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books ran detailed exposés on the scale and violence of the penal state. Conservative leaders like Grover Norquist have said that mass incarceration violates the principles of “fiscal responsibility, accountability, […]

Praxis

We can await Ezra Klein’s downfall, but the future may not have shit to do with us either.

Pink Different

Before this week, you probably never gave much thought to where the Susan G. Komen Foundation gives its money. Not because you don’t care about ending breast cancer, which kills over 400,000 Americans each year, but because you were busy extricating yourself from a giant pile of pink consumer crap. Who has time to read […]

Issue 6

Praxis