Category: In Print

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

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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

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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

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The New Swedish Fascism: An Introduction

by Shabane Barot ‘I think we have the potential to become the largest party,’ Sweden Democrats’ party secretary Richard Jomshof tells a Swedish news agency in December 2015. His comments follow the results of poll that the Sweden Democrats (SD), a party that emerged from the Neo-Nazi movement of the eighties, have the support of 20 per cent of voters. This makes them the third largest party in the country – the largest among male voters. ‘I am absolutely convinced that the party has benefited from the situation that has arisen in recent months, even if we do not

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BENGHAZI

by Sam Kriss Americans are afraid of Benghazi. The name, just by itself, sounds out an organised assault on Western values. BEN, the comforting tonal balance of a just and ordered world; Ben Johnson, Ben Franklin, Ben Kenobi. The sudden jolt of GHA, a descent into chaos, its throaty foreign consonant, its vowel trailing away into nothingness like a scream in a raging sandstorm. Finally ZI, total madness. Interstellar incoherence, the scrapyard of broken lines at the distant tail-end of the alphabet, cuneiforms leaking a viscous significance from the fractures in their exoskeletons. BENGHAZI. A horror story in three

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The Abasement of Trauma

by Jen Izaakson Inserting ‘trigger’ warnings above material that includes reference to violent content has become a notable tendency on the internet for at least the last two or three years. As the trend has grown, the nature of the material warranting a trigger warning – often abbreviated to TW – has broadened in scope. No longer reserved for citing or invoking characteristically traumatic events such as rape, trigger warnings began next to appear above discussions of sexism or racism. Then above texts referencing oppression, then above offensive or unpleasant content generally. They began to feature in relation to political

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From Choice to Polarity: Politics of, and, and in Art

by China Miéville In a rough landscape in central Africa, men are at work. They carry fire, haul industrial parts, wheeze under protective masks. They’re sweating and exhausted. When at last evening comes, they clock off and shower for a long time under cobbled-together plumbing. Then they rummage in battered wardrobes, bring out extraordinary clothes, and transform. Crocodile shoes; canary jackets; Savile Row shirts. Twirling canes, they set out through the dust to strike a pose. To perform. A strut-off in a late-night bar.

Corbyn Blimey: Labour and the Present Crisis

by John Merrick “The experience of three millennia has not made people any cleverer; on the contrary, it has made them more confused, more prejudiced, has driven them mad, and the result of this is the political state of present-day Europe.” Engels, ‘The Condition of England II: The English Constitution’ Over the past year there has occurred the most profound shift in the British political establishment since the landslide Labour victory following the end of the Second World War. In Scotland, a traditional Labour heartland, the Scottish National Party swept to an enormous victory taking fifty-six out of a possible

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Year V

by Hannah Elsisi There is this not-so-rare occurrence which academics dread: you write something, but before it’s finished, someone else publishes the exact same thing and you’re left with dead words and the ludicrous task of nit-picking the other author’s argument for no obvious reason at all, simply because you need to publish. You have to make that REF exercise, or you’re fired. This is the first non-academic piece that I have written in several years and it’s refreshing not to have to care. So I’m going to go ahead and open with almost the same sentence Alaa abdel-Fatah

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Salvage Perspectives #3: Or What’s a Hell For?

by The Editors ‘An atmosphere of deep unease is building’ in what ‘is likely to remain a bleak landscape’. The words are not those of Salvage – though we concur – but of a report into the British manufacturing sector from Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. The sector is in contraction for the first time since 2013, falling from a low base to 49.2. This occurs as UK construction sees its weakest expansion since 2013, and the Office for National Statistics reports a fall in UK GDP growth to 0.4 per cent in the

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