Politics & Economics

The Four-Year Assault

Adam Shatz

21 January 2021

To call the explosion of the mob that took over the Capitol building an attempted coup, or an insurrection, is unfair to the plotters of coups and insurrections. Like the man who egged them on in a speech that morning, the revellers in DC were practitioners of what political scientists call ‘expressive’ politics, capable only of defiant stonewalling and destructiveness.

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The Limits of Caste

Hazel V. Carby

21 January 2021

In one​ of the glass cabinets in the central rotunda of the fourth floor of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC is a wooden canoe seat on which is carved . . .

Goodbye Europe

Perry Anderson

21 January 2021

The masses who voted for Brexit believed they were striking a blow at Brussels and the neoliberalism under which they had suffered for a quarter of a century. In reality, that neoliberalism – harsher . . .

Supreme Court Biases

Randall Kennedy

21 January 2021

The​ Supreme Court of the United States settles disputes between the Congress, the presidency and the judiciary, determines the meaning of federal statutes, allocates authority between states and . . .

Magic Beans, Baby

David Runciman

7 January 2021

Who​ was Barack Obama? The man himself seems troubled by this question and his notably introspective memoir offers up some surprising answers. Was he, for instance, the same person as Dmitry Medvedev . . .

Bolsonaro’s Brazil

Perry Anderson, 7 February 2019

By comparison with the scale of the upheaval through which Brazil has lived in the last five years, and the gravity of its possible outcome, the histrionics over Brexit in this country and the conniptions over Trump in America are close to much ado about nothing.

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Let Them Drown

Naomi Klein, 2 June 2016

Environmentalism might have looked like a bourgeois playground to Edward Said. The Israeli state has long coated its nation-building project in a green veneer.

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Where will we live? The Housing Disaster

James Meek, 9 January 2014

The government has stopped short of explicitly declaring war on the poor, but how different would the situation be if it had?

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What I Heard about Iraq: watch and listen

Eliot Weinberger, 3 February 2005

In 1992, a year after the first Gulf War, I heard Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense, say that the US had been wise not to invade Baghdad and get ‘bogged down in the problems of trying...

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Moderation or Death: Isaiah Berlin

Christopher Hitchens, 26 November 1998

In​ The Color of Truth*, the American scholar Kai Bird presents his study of McGeorge (‘Mac’) and William Bundy. These were the two dynastic technocrats who organised and...

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Why Fascism is the Wave of the Future

Edward Luttwak, 7 April 1994

That capitalism unobstructed by public regulations, cartels, monopolies, oligopolies, effective trade unions, cultural inhibitions or kinship obligations is the ultimate engine of economic growth...

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The Morning After

Edward Said, 21 October 1993

Now that some of the euphoria has lifted, it is possible to re-examine the Israeli-PLO agreement with the required common sense. What emerges from such scrutiny is a deal that is more flawed and,...

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Maastricht and All That

Wynne Godley, 8 October 1992

A lot of people throughout Europe have suddenly realised that they know hardly anything about the Maastricht Treaty while rightly sensing that it could make a huge difference to their lives....

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John Hume on the end of the Unionist veto in Ulster

John Hume, 2 February 1989

In recent times in Ireland we have been reminded of a lot of anniversaries. Remembering the past is something of an obsession here. The future, discussing it or shaping it, doesn’t seem...

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Ever Closer Union?

Perry Anderson, 7 January 2021

Can democracy, sovereignty and globalisation be happily combined? What American examples show is that European elites must make a choice, opting either for political union at the cost of national sovereignty,...

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The European Coup

Perry Anderson, 17 December 2020

The EU of today is neither the creation of a revolution, nor does it enjoy any homogeneity of culture or language, nor is it united by the intoxicating prospect of expansion. Moreover, and decisively,...

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Gosh, what am I like? The Revenge Memoir

Rosemary Hill, 17 December 2020

Sasha Swire has lived her whole life in the densely interconnected world of Conservative Party politics, and her decision to publish her diaries, as well as transcripts of private text and WhatsApp messages...

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A Regular Grey

Jonathan Parry, 3 December 2020

To​ have one brother killed by an African animal would be a misfortune. To lose two, at different times, is surely remarkable. Such was the distinction of Sir Edward Grey, who served as foreign secretary...

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What did Kissinger do in power that has given him such an extraordinary afterlife? He was a consummate showman, a master of the on-the-record and the off-the-record briefing, a darling of the paparazzi,...

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Failed Vocation: The Corbyn Project

James Butler, 3 December 2020

It is an intellectual vice on the left to think that because the world is best understood in terms of the operation of broad structural forces, personal qualities are less important. With regard to political...

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Blips on the Screen: Risk-Free Assassinations

Andrew Cockburn, 3 December 2020

The record of this year’s wars shows that although these weapons may not provide a decisive edge in combat they excel in self-advertisement, projecting an image of all-seeing omnipotence. Drones...

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Short Cuts: Troll Factories

Vera Tolz, 3 December 2020

Donald Trump’s​ press conference on 5 November, in which he claimed he had won the election and said there had been mass voter fraud, was like a scene from a dystopian movie. His...

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Diary: America is a baby

Patricia Lockwood, 3 December 2020

‘You’re not the only one,’ a friend assured me, and sent me screenshots of other people who couldn’t change their dresses or remove their ties until the official call came. At best,...

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Of all​ the world’s trouble spots few are more susceptible than the Middle East to being seen in terms of binary oppositions. One particularly murky dichotomy is between Sunni and...

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Mainstream Democrats have had more than a generation to respond to the simple question: what will you do to increase job opportunities here in Erie (or Warren, Dubuque, Lorain, Wilkes-Barre and so on)?...

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Why go high?

Adam Shatz, 19 November 2020

Trump will cast a long shadow, especially overseas, where America’s image has suffered a calamitous blow. Every country is at times reduced to playing a crude caricature of itself, exhibiting its...

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Warthog Dynamism

David Bromwich, 19 November 2020

Trump throws himself into a relentless salesman’s posture for whatever product he happens to be selling. The Democrats made the mistake of assuming that his vulgarity and ignorance were self-evident:...

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Syria Alone

Patrick Cockburn, 5 November 2020

Authoritarian elites, in Syria as elsewhere, are largely immune to embargoes and may even profit from them because they have the power to monopolise scarce resources. The poor and the powerless, the great...

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The Importance of Being Ernie

Ferdinand Mount, 5 November 2020

Ernest Bevin’s vigorous scepticism and his quick understanding of what other people were actually like – a rare quality in politicians, that race of incurable solipsists – went with an...

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Short Cuts: Fox News

Deborah Friedell, 5 November 2020

Trump is known to watch so much Fox News (up to seven hours a day, coded on his schedule as ‘executive time’) that some advertisers – farmers seeking subsidies, airlines opposed to foreign...

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Warfare State

Thomas Meaney, 5 November 2020

Democrats and Republicans across the spectrum are increasingly united in an anti-China front, whether on grounds of trade or human rights or strategic balance. They are Democrats v. authoritarians, though...

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Cronyism and Clientelism

Peter Geoghegan, 5 November 2020

Will politicians be willing to anger Silicon Valley or big banks if the same firms are likely to feather their nests almost as soon as they step away from the cabinet table? Is the implicit message that...

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