Category: In Print

None Shall Pass: Trans and the Rewriting of the Body

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

read more

Class and Brexit: Or, Why We Should Stop Worrying About the Working Class and Focus on Capitalism

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

read more

Disaster Islamism

by Jamie Allinson Of what is Islamic State the name? Since September 2014, the self-styled caliphate and its adherents have captured and then lost thousands of square kilometres of territory in Syria and Iraq, killing – and in many cases enslaving and torturing – thousands of people in the process; faced aerial bombing campaigns by both the US and Russia; established affiliate groups in at least eight countries; and carried out (or won the allegiance of the perpetrators of) at least seventy attacks outside of Syria and Iraq. In the summer of 2016 alone, ISIS, or people claiming affiliation

read more

Celebrity Apprentice: Notes on the US Election

by Benjamin Kunkel The acute capitalist crisis of 2008 has in the years since developed into a chronic complaint, to be managed but not overcome. In wealthy countries, ultra-low interest rates prop up consumer spending and, for investors, inflate the value of stocks, bonds, and other paper or digital assets. Swollen private portfolios induce luxury spending, and the size of the resulting wealth effect, as Alan Greenspan liked to call it, does a lot to determine what volume of crumbs spills from the banquet table in the form of worker’s wages. Because the rich spend a smaller proportion of

read more

SERF ‘n’ TERF: Notes on Some Bad Materialisms

by Sophie Lewis As I sit down to write this, I am haunted by images circulating in the wake of another brutal murder. In one of them the person in question, still living, has the gloved hands of a Turkish riot cop on her arm. Hande Kader, may she rest in power, was a sex-working trans woman of colour whose life we have, once again, collectively allowed haters and the state to take away. To say ‘rest in power’ is obviously the very least we can do. Now Kader becomes another of our foremothers. A friend is starting out

read more

Salvage Perspectives #4: Order Prevails in Washington

by The Editors Not since 1943 has there been a better time to be a fascist. The ‘liberal order’, the demise of which has been the subject of ruling-class hot takes for some years now, does indeed appear to be in a shabby state. Trump’s election – on which more within this issue – follows on from the vote for Brexit as a body blow to the politics of the ‘extreme centre’ in the very lands in which it was born. Victory for the far-right Freedom party in Austria’s presidential election was very narrowly averted: should Marine Le Pen

read more

Finance, Economics and Politics

by Tony Norfield The financial system accentuates all the absurdities of capitalism, but it does this in a way that can make finance appear to be separate from the capitalist economy, rather than an inevitable outgrowth from it. Almost every observer of capitalism makes a distinction between the ‘real’ and the ‘financial’ economy. Even those who would claim to be anti-capitalist often advocate policies to save the capitalist economy from the vagaries of disruptive financial markets. A division between a ‘real’ and a ‘financial’ economy can seem to make sense, especially given the extravagant rewards of financiers who seem

read more

White Overseers of the World

by Zachary Sell For Cedric Robinson, capitalism has been characterised by chaos which cannot be captured by a unifying language.i If that is the case, it is not for lack of trying. In the mid-nineteenth century, abolitionist discourses sutured diverse geographies by interpreting the world within dichotomies of slavery and freedom. While this imagination enlivened abolitionist struggles against slavery in the US and beyond, it also elided the forms of colonialism and expropriation that visions of free labour rested upon. By foregrounding what Jairus Banaji has called the ‘incoherence’ of free labour, this essay considers the ways in which

read more

Technically Female: Women, Machines, and Hyperemployment

by Helen Hester Femininity, Technologies, Work In an advert for Recognition Equipment in 1966, a young woman with a charming smile places an arm around her male colleague’s shoulder, and rests her head gently against him as he tries to read some very serious and important paperwork. The tagline declares, ‘Our optical reader can do anything your key punch operators do. (Well, almost.)’ It’s limitations? The copy informs us that the machine ‘can’t use the office for intimate tête-à-têtes’ or ‘be a social butterfly’. All it can do is its job, reading and computing data at the rate of

read more

The Political Is Political: In Conversation With Yasmin Nair

by Rosie Warren ‘In a world of left-wing discourse that has become enamored with a kind of shit-eating tween preciousness’, writes Fredrik Deboer, ‘Yasmin Nair’s voice is serious without being dour, and playful without being cute. Her writing is invested with quiet, unfussy power.’ She is someone who ‘absolutely will not tolerate getting hip checked by some adolescent from the Twin Cities area who looked up intersectionality on Dictionary.com last week and now has “bell hooks gif ” in her search terms.’ High praise. One of Nair’s blog pieces caught my attention; a short, playful, razor-sharp piece about the

read more