Politics & Economics

Oil production in Iran, 2013.

Inhabiting the Oil World

Laleh Khalili

4 August 2022

Geopolitics is never untethered from political struggles and the world’s prime mover isn’t located somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, even if so much malignant power has emanated from Europe and North America. Oil, money and democracy aren’t always about the calculations of a few powerful governments.

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John Lanchester

4 August 2022

Outsiders never get to locate the exact point a legitimate business crosses the line and starts cheating. That’s a pity, because it would be interesting to know what’s running through the mind of a . . .

Stagnation Nation

William Davies

4 August 2022

As​ Boris Johnson limped towards his final prime ministerial disgrace, his supporters in the Conservative Party and the press believed they had hit on a strategy for weathering the mounting economic . . .

Where the North Begins

Rory Scothorne

4 August 2022

‘There is a natural and perfectly viable kingdom of the North between the Humber and the Forth-Clyde isthmus,’ the historian Frank Musgrove claimed in 1990. It wasn’t the best moment to use the present . . .

Chinese Exclusion

Andrew Liu

21 July 2022

In​ 1852, a group of Chinese community leaders in San Francisco published a pamphlet taking issue with claims made by California’s governor, John Bigler, who had characterised the state’s 7520 Chinese . . .

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: At Blair’s Gathering

David Runciman, 21 July 2022

There was a film of Condoleezza Rice interviewing Larry Ellison about what could be learned from the vertically integrated corporate model being pioneered by Elon Musk at Tesla. Barring Blair’s, Musk’s...

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Diary: Shanghai Shelf Life

Mimi Jiang, 21 July 2022

New group chats have sprung up to share the latest intel on which spots are secretly open. The best coded advertisement was for a badminton gym: ‘Due to Covid restrictions, our gym is not open to the...

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Johnson’s Downfall

James Butler, 21 July 2022

The next prime minister will most likely be chosen by an electorate of two hundred thousand wealthy geriatrics and small-town Poujadistes, who nurture obsessions with Europe, taxation, migrants and other...

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Shades of Peterloo: Indecent Government

Ferdinand Mount, 7 July 2022

Each of the five Acts of Parliament is intended to increase government control: over Parliament, over elections, over the courts, over immigrants and over public demonstrations. How it all brings back...

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Short Cuts: Petro Wins

Gwen Burnyeat, 7 July 2022

IN​ one of the many videos circulating on social media of people celebrating the results of Colombia’s presidential election run-off on 19 June, a man bursts from a door onto a small...

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The legacy of two decades of war can’t be measured just by the number of abandoned airbases and military installations, or by the tens of thousands of Afghans killed. In these years of suicide bombings...

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On the Disassembly Line: Dirty Work

Katrina Forrester, 7 July 2022

The internet was supposed to be different. The new technologies central to contemporary capitalism offer the possibility of improving our working lives, even if they do so partly by eliminating our jobs....

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Diary: The Plutocrat Tour

Iain Sinclair, 7 July 2022

Silence is the defining quality of wealth. Private security operatives whisper into their fists while patrolling a zone of distrust. Silence repels unexplained outsiders who dare to trespass on the shaved...

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The corruption allegations against Lula may have been hazy, but those against his party were well-founded and damning. This fact is often lost in a soup of accusations and counter-accusations, and the...

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Lea Ypi recovers the sensory world of communist Albania: its privations, its ecstasies, but also its banalities. Young people in Albania fretted over what to wear to school just like children elsewhere....

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Cheap palm oil is part of an interlocking late capitalist system. When we say there is a demand for RBD palm oil, we mean there is a demand for instant noodles and foamy shampoo in plastic bottles and...

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Not War Alone: 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...

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Democrats were so overjoyed at defeating Trump that for a time they failed to notice that the election returns called into question the demographic determinism which in recent years has led many Democrats...

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While orthodox Marxists had long argued that the purpose of racism was to divide workers, Black and white workers in South Africa already had different relations to capital. Apartheid racism was essential...

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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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Bring out the lemonade: What the Welsh got right

Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, 7 April 2022

Who’s to say that one version of Welsh nationalism is more ‘true’ than any other? The claim that ‘Wales is a nation’ isn’t a descriptive statement: it is – or aspires to be – an illocutionary...

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Things fall from the sky

Tom Stevenson, 7 April 2022

Russian forces near Kyiv have made little progress in the past week, but are dug in at their positions. In Mariupol and Kharkiv Russian forces chose encirclement and bombardment over the occupation of...

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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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