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Neoliberalism and its dependence upon oil

From Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore’s A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things loc 2651-2699: When the United States abandoned the gold standard in August 1971,80 international capital sought refuge from this “Nixon shock” in commodity purchases. At the same time, the Soviet Union—following poor harvests—traded its […]

The neoliberal social contract

From Aaron Bastani’s Fully Automated Luxury Communism loc 373: While neoliberalism, which emerged with the Thatcher and Reagan governments, led to higher unemployment and lower wage growth, for more than a generation this was mitigated by access to cheaper goods and services–by relocating production to countries with lower wages–as well […]

Digital capitalism and the global police state

My notes on Robinson, W. I. (2018). The next economic crisis: digital capitalism and global police state. Race & Class, 60(1), 77-92. This paper places digitalisation in historical context, framing the current boom in terms of the fallout from the 2008 crisis. We are seeing a restructuring grounded in digitalisation and militarisation […]

The meaning of Jair Bolsonaro

This is a insightful reflection from Glenn Greenwald on the meaning of Jair Bolsonaro. He takes issue with the notion that Bolsonaro is Brazil’s Trump for three reasons: he explicitly advocates military dictatorship, he is subject to weak constitutional constraints and he is from an older far right rather than the contemporary alt-right movement. A […]

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 […]