Johanna Brenner interviewed by George Souvlis George Souvlis: By way of introduction, could you explain what personal experiences strongly influenced you, both politically and academically? Johanna Brenner: I grew up in a staunchly liberal family and remained politically liberal until I joined the movement against the Vietnam war, where I was introduced to anti-imperialist politics and then Marxism and “third-camp” socialism. In the late 60’s I was part of the student left that turned toward organizing the working-class. I was a student at UCLA. We organized student support for a teamster wildcat strike and we had a group called the
by Chris Armstrong ‘The age of party democracy has passed. Although the parties themselves remain, they have become so disconnected from the wider society, and pursue a form of competition that is so lacking in meaning, that they no longer seem capable of sustaining democracy in its present form.’ The campaign season for April and May’s French Presidential elections, now in full swing, requires some nuancing of, but does not fundamentally detract from, political scientist Peter Mair’s diagnosis.
by Jordy Cummings These with a thousand small deliberations Protract the profit of their chilled delirium, Excite the membrane, when the sense has cooled, With pungent sauces, multiply variety In a wilderness of mirrors. What will the spider do Suspend its operations, will the weevil Delay? TS Eliot, Gerontion 1. Roger Stone is a DC troublemaker of the old school. Stone was close to Lee ‘Willie Horton’ Atwater, supported the Contras and reaction more generally throughout the ‘New Cold War’ of the eighties. Stone and another backroom operator, Paul Manafort even lobbied for Marcos and for Mobutu,
Laleh Khalili interviewed by George Souvlis George Souvlis: By way of introduction, could you explain what personal experiences strongly influenced you, politically and academically? Laleh Khalili: I grew up in Iran in the 1970s and early 1980s and being the daughter of Iranian leftist revolutionaries –and later political prisoners and later still exiles– indelibly marked the way I look at the work. On the one hand, growing up in an intellectual leftist household meant introduction to a rich seam of literature and history – not only those of Europeans, but also of Russians and Latin Americans. It meant that
by Richard Seymour ‘Wanting’ has an obvious double meaning. To want something in the ordinary sense is to wish for it. But want is also lack. The two meanings are not necessarily separable. To want for nothing is not necessarily to have everything, but to be without nothing that one could wish for. Therefore if someone says, “I want a sex change,” they are both describing a wish and naming a lack. Paradoxically, naming is also a way of forgetting. As soon as we give a name to whatever it is that we are wanting, we can forget the
Dilar Dirik interviewed by George Souvlis George Souvlis: By way of introduction, could you explain what personal experiences strongly influenced you, politically and academically? Dilar Dirik: As a Kurd, you can never run from your identity, because your identity is essentially political and the level of your political consciousness acts as a self-defense as the only way to secure your survival and existence. That is why insistence on the free expression of your self-determined identity is portrayed as political controversy, nationalism, or terrorism by the capitalist-statist system.
by Kyle Geraghty In the aftermath of the shock Brexit result, discussions on its causes and consequences have been frankly bizarre. So far, the have focused on bygone folk stories about sovereignty, migration, and globalisation, disconnected from any wider understanding of capitalism or history. There also seems to be no clear solution to the monumental fuck-up that has resulted from the absence of any clear plan for leaving the European Union which works, alongside our political system which is incapable of handling a depressingly English form of parliamentary populism. In this piece I want to try to untangle some
Paul Mason interviewed by Malise Rosbech Capitalism is on its last legs. According to the British journalist, writer and activist, Paul Mason, capitalism develops in cycles of 50 years. For Mason, the 2008 financial crisis was the abrupt end to capitalism’s fourth wave and we are now in the fifth and final wave. Like Marx, Mason claims that capitalism will collapse under the weight of its own internal contradictions – postcapitalism has already begun. But it is neither the left or the proletariat which is the engine of socio-economic transformation; rather, it is information technology and the networked individual.
Kevin Gray interviewed by George Souvlis. George Souvlis: Would you like to present yourself by focusing on the formative experiences (academic and political) that strongly influenced you? Kevin Gray: My undergraduate degree was in Chinese Studies, although I quickly became aware of the limitations of Area Studies in terms of its methodological nationalism and its related tendency to try and explain all social, political and economic phenomena with reference to historical and cultural legacies internal to the country in question. While the thought of Mao Zedong, for example certainly contains within it influences of traditional Chinese literature and philosophy, this hardly
by Amar Diwakar The great normalisation has commenced. The universal belief amongst the establishment that Trump would be catastrophic for the Republic has given way to sycophantic supplications that the grandiosity of the highest office in the land will eventually mollify much of his incendiary proposals. Whether it is Hillary Clinton declaring that Americans “owe Trump a chance” in her post-mortem concession speech, or Nancy Pelosi promising to engage with him on policy issues related to infrastructure, childcare, and early childhood education.