Tag: politics

I’ve long been drawn to accounts of the everyday lives of politicians. This isn’t so much a matter of biographical curiosity, as much as a preoccupation with temporality. It is not that the temporal character of our lives moulds us but rather that the things which do are always inflected through temporality. I’m convinced you […]

Much of the reaction to Labour’s election success last week has been framed in terms of their ‘rewriting the rules’. One particularly explicit example of this can be seen in an article by Jonathan Freedland, an enthusiastic critic of Corbyn, pontificating that Corbyn took “the traditional political rulebook” and “put it through the shedder”. What […]

How has social media contributed to the growing success of Corbynism? In asking this question, we risk falling into the trap of determinism by constructing ‘social media’ as an independent force bringing about effects in an otherwise unchanged world. This often goes hand-in-hand with what Nick Couldry calls ‘the myth of us’, framing social media in […]

In his wonderful memoir, Adults In The Room, Yanis Varoufakis reflects on the frustrations of politics and how they compare to academia. From loc 5504: Possibly because of my academic background, this was the Brussels experience I least expected and found most frustrating. In academia one gets used to having one’s thesis torn apart, sometimes with little decorum; […]

Ever since I was a philosophy student, I’ve been interested in how we conceptualise individuals and groups. The two are connected in my mind because, if groups are composed of individuals, our concept of individuals is going to condition our concept of groups and vice versa. However discussion at this level of abstraction can seem […]

How widespread is this? From The Confidence Men, by Ron Suskind, pg 585: Emanuel, with his day-to-day focus on “getting points on the board,” scrambled for quick results, trying to win each day’s news cycle. As Bob Rubin told one of his many acolytes in the White House during a phone call, “Rahm’s more inclined […]

This is disturbing and skilful stuff. A performance of populism quite unlike the rhetoric of it which we’re much more familiar with: “The other night in the debate,” he told thousands in Manchester, “they asked Ted Cruz a serious question: what do you think of waterboarding? Is it OK? I thought he’d say absolutely, and he didn’t. And […]

There’s a really fascinating article on Tech Crunch describing the political views of start-up founders in Silicon Valley. It makes the point that there’s a communitarian streak, albeit a very strange one, underpinning the politics of digital elites. To describe them as libertarian misses the ideological specificity of a cohesive current of opinion that has […]

Earlier today Tony Blair gave a speech in which he finally took the gloves off. As someone with a growing interest in theorising post-democracy, I found it oddly intriguing. To anyone acquainted with the writing Anthony Giddens was spewing out in the 1990s, it was familiar stuff. Despite the fact his politics would long since have placed him […]

Wonderful quote by Edward Said featured on Corey Robin’s blog: Nothing in my view is more reprehensible than those habits of mind in the intellectual that induce avoidance, that characteristic turning away from a difficult and principled position which you know to be the right one, but which you decide not to take. You do […]

Reading this excellent paper in the Sociological Review reminded me of this video which I’d not seen for ages: The comments on the video would be interesting to analyse in the terms Malcolm James adopts in the paper: Back when Pro Green was a G. Now he’s makin tunes to ensure he gets that energy […]

I recently started reading the Ian Fleming novels for the first time. While I expected some unpleasant sentiments in them, I’ve been surprised by quite how vitriolic Bond’s misogyny is: And then there was this pest of a girl. He sighed. Women were for recreation. On a job, they got in the way and fogged […]

I recently stumbled across this old* Huffington Post article by James Bloodworth, editor of Left Foot Forward, speculating about what a British fascism would look like. I don’t think it’s actually very good but it’s a fascinating question to ponder. And yet, were a far-Right government ever to win power in Britain – and never […]

Because we’re leaving them to their own devices The poorest are making all of the sacrifices – The cost of living crisis, house prices, the cost of a deposit, I don’t give a shit But yes of course we should address it So we will blame the deficit on people claiming benefits And as we […]