Politics & Economics

The Price of Wheat

Tom Stevenson

12 May 2022

National grain supplies are an emotive subject: they are a test of the basic competence of the administrative state. An empty central granary once meant imminent political collapse. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and US sanctions on Russia have severely disrupted grain exports from both countries. Between them, Ukraine and Russia produce about 15 per cent of the world’s wheat. The International Fund for Agricultural Development estimates that the area around the Black Sea is the source of 12 per cent of globally traded caloric intake.

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Democratic Party Blues

Eric Foner

12 May 2022

‘I’m  not a member of an organised political party,’ the American comedian Will Rogers declared. ‘I’m a Democrat.’ When Rogers made this remark, in the early 1930s, the party was just emerging . . .

Things fall from the sky

Tom Stevenson

17 March 2022

In Lviv the curfew was still in effect, but I found a driver with a car that was not quite falling apart who was out in the dead of night regardless. He took me through the empty streets at speed until . . .

Black Marxism

Kevin Okoth

7 April 2022

The title​ of Cedric Robinson’s Black Marxism is misleading. Shelving it under ‘Marxism’ never seems right for a book that questions the compatibility of Black radicalism and Marxist politics . . .

What the Welsh got right

Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite

7 April 2022

Charlotte Williams imagines a Welsh identity that is not based on ‘land, language, lineage’ but is progressive, open and diverse. This is Richard King’s project too, and his book is an attempt to . . .

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 – it was a key part of the Zionist ‘back to the land’ pioneer ethos. And in this context trees, specifically, have been among the most potent weapons of land grabbing and occupation. 

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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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Short Cuts: Destroying the Asylum System

Frances Webber, 7 April 2022

Refugees are rarely able to get visas: you aren’t classified as a refugee under the 1951 Geneva Convention until you are outside your country and unable or unwilling to return. And once outside it, you...

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Paper Cuts

Malin Hay, 24 March 2022

In February, the price of coated papers was up 78 per cent from last year. The manufacturers may have wanted higher prices, but dramatic hikes are bad for the industry’s stability as well as for buyers....

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LRB contributors

LRB Contributors, 24 March 2022

Responses to the invasion of Ukraine by Sofia Andrukhovych, Neal Ascherson, Ilya Budraitskis, James Butler, Andrew Cockburn, Meehan Crist, Sheila Fitzpatrick, Peter Geoghegan, Jeremy Harding, Owen Hatherley,...

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Before the War

Tariq Ali, 24 March 2022

No one​ knows how this will end. Putin’s reckless adventurism has backfired: an attempt to mimic the US on a GDP of $1.5 trillion, smaller even than Italy and minuscule compared to China...

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A UK Bill of Rights?

Tom Hickman, 24 March 2022

There is nothing wrong in principle with a new bill of domestic rights. It has been the policy of each of the three main political parties at various times over the past two decades and can be done consistently...

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The EU claims it runs a ‘fully autonomous sanctions regime’ in the service of ‘safeguarding EU values’. But for the most part its sanctions, and those of the UK, are applied in conjunction with...

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Diary: In Portadown

Susan McKay, 10 March 2022

‘I’ve been to a right lot of rallies over the years,’ she said. She thought things had got worse. ‘Bit by bit they have taken it all off the Protestant people. We have nothing left. They say we...

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Coup-Contrecoup

Rahmane Idrissa, 24 February 2022

The struggle for sovereignty against shape-shifting imperialisms naturally takes many forms. What Malians want is ‘libération’ – a popular word among supporters of Assimi Goïta’s junta – not...

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Éric Zemmour’s obsessions are those of the French political class, as well as many public intellectuals and media pundits. He is aware that he is offering a heightened version of what much of France...

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A Tiny Sun: Getting the Bomb

Tom Stevenson, 24 February 2022

Intentional use is not the only danger. Nuclear strategists systematically underestimate the chances of nuclear accident: it has no place in the logic of strategy. But there have been too many close calls...

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Bad Judgment: How many people died?

Paul Taylor, 10 February 2022

Estimated weekly excess deaths in England and Wales in 2021. One of the tactics​ used over the past few weeks by Boris Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions, and by loyal MPs and...

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Machu​ Picchu is not very old. Despite giving the impression of great and mysterious antiquity, the construction of the site was roughly contemporary with Brunelleschi’s completion of the...

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To Own Whiteness

Musab Younis, 10 February 2022

Any psychological approach to racism ‘entails an immediate recognition of social and economic realities’, Frantz Fanon argued, because ‘the black man’s alienation is not an individual question.’...

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Tazmamart was a place of darkness and banishment: not only were inmates cut off from their families and lovers; they were exiles from history. Aziz BineBine recalls a couplet from ‘Recueillement’ in...

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In the face of climate change, the long run – which remains the sacred temporality of economics – is a misleading guide not only to current affairs, but to the long run itself. There is no reason to...

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To Serve My Friends

Jonathan Parry, 27 January 2022

A lot may depend on who succeeds Johnson as party leader. In any case, it’s a fair bet that ‘Boris’, the beneficiaries of his patronage and his media cheerleaders will come to be seen as symbolic...

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Fishing for Potatoes: Nissan Rogue

James Lasdun, 27 January 2022

Carlos Ghosn’s story might not offer quite the deranged immediacy of watching John DeLorean agree on camera to transport $24 million worth of cocaine in order to get his beleaguered factory out of a...

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In the Superstate: What is technopopulism?

Wolfgang Streeck, 27 January 2022

For the new conservatism, crises arise from disorder, not from a wrong order, and their handling should be entrusted to technicians in command of special knowledge, whether scientific or magical, or both...

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