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Donald Trump’s Words of Power

In an old essay about Heidegger’s conception of language, the philosopher Charles Taylor invokes the notion of ‘words of power’ to explain the power of Hitler’s rhetoric. Once we move away from a sense of language as an expression of individual meanings and purposes, we find ourselves somewhere entirely differently: […]

The Politics of an Uncertain Future

The rise of the robots is a recurrent theme of popular culture. Robots are often seen as a threat, heralding the prospect of human beings being replaced by their creations, perhaps to the extent of being deemed useless by them and attacked. Underlying this fear is the reality of automation: technology being […]

the ‘soft coup’ currently taking place in portugal 

A really interesting article about the current political turmoil taking place in Portugal and its implications for democracy within Europe: If this “soft coup” stands, taxes, interest rates, public ownership, investments, and economic strategies to control inflation and unemployment—long the battleground for conflicting ideologies—will no longer be issues to be […]

Cruel optimism in #highered

This powerful essay by Maria Warner in the LRB echoes what I was trying to say yesterday about the perils of passion: A university is a place where ideas are meant to be freely explored, where independence of thought and the Western ideals of democratic liberty are enshrined. Yet at the […]

What will neo-neoliberal ideology look like?

Do you remember compassionate conservatism? It seemed vacuous when promulgated by George Bush pre-9/11 and even more so when David Cameron was going through his ‘hug a husky’ phase pre-crisis. It still seems vacuous now, at the point of its purported resurgence, though much more interestingly so given the broader ideological context […]

Adopting a homeless person

Is my title unfair? Part of me thinks it is but I can’t shake the feeling that this is what HandUp effectively amounts to, even though it probably does have a positive impact on the lives of the adoptees “homeless neighbors in need”. The profiles are crying out for a content […]

The Incredible Disappearing Agent

Neoliberalism thoroughly revises what it means to be a human person.Classical liberalism identified “labor” as the critical original human infusion that both created and justified private property. Foucault correctly identifies the concept of “human capital” as the signal neoliberal departure that undermines centuries of political thought that parlayed humanism into stories […]

Public Sociology In an Age of Austerity – Michael Burawoy and John Holmwood in Dialogue

Michael Burawoy is president of the International Sociological Association and John Holmwood was recently elected president of the British Sociological Association from June 2012 onwards. In this dialogue recorded at the BSA conference in April 2012, they explore the challenges faced by public sociology in an age of austerity. Part 1: Neoliberalism Part 2: Higher […]