Neil Davidson interviewed by George Souvlis. George Souvlis: By way of introduction, could you explain what personal experiences strongly influenced you, politically and academically? Neil Davidson: I was born in Aberdeen, the regional centre of the North-East of Scotland, in 1957. Of all the major cities in Scotland, it was the one which retained the closest links to the surrounding countryside well into the twentieth century. The greatest of all North-Eastern novels (and an outstanding work of Marxist Modernism), Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song, is essentially about the end of the local peasantry in the aftermath of the First
Sara Farris Interviewed by George Souvlis George Souvlis: Would you like to introduce yourself by describing the formative experiences (academic and political) that strongly influenced you? Sara Farris: I grew up in a little town of 12,000 people in Sardinia (Italy). I was politicized there and it was definitely in this period – between age 12 and 18 – that I had some of the most formative political and academic experiences of my life. I come from a working class family; like many of their generation, my parents invested strongly in education in order to secure the social mobility
by Paolo Mossetti Last March, a party launched by a consumer-oriented blog eight years before topped opinion polls for the first time in its history. Mixing fruitfully the rage against political elites and the sanctification of common citizenry, the Italian Five-Star Movement (Movimento Cinque Stelle, from now on ‘M5S’) and its founder (Beppe Grillo, a comedian with a four decades-long career) have earned the trust of roughly one out of three potential voters, and are projected to remain the most innovative political actor of the 2010s.
by Shane Burley Even though the banquet hall was equipped with an open bar, a few attendees kept streaming down into the hotel lounge, buzzed on cheap-wells and jokes stolen from the forgotten back-alleys of 4Chan. After several conference attendants had gone up to the bartender asking if they have ‘Seen Kyle,’ stretching their arm out in a Roman Salute, the one-upmanship that has characterised the Alt-Right kicked in. A conference goer using the handle ‘Imperial Eagle’ decided to enter the bar in his homemade Nazi uniform, complete with antique WWII-era combat medals. If that did not get the
Gareth Dale Interviewed by George Souvlis George Souvlis: By way of introduction, could you explain what personal experiences strongly influenced you, politically and intellectually? Gareth Dale: It’s the proto-politicization of childhood that interests me most—the way in which psychological individuation occurs in relation to socialization, and the construction of social circles which simultaneously involve relations and attitudes of domination and oppression.
by Andrea Gibbons A place to call home. A simple thing. Labour once had a vision that there should be housing for everyone, though what makes a home is perhaps not so simple. As Kim Dovey writes, home is deeply intertwined with our identity. It centres the relationship between ourselves and the earth, centres our connection to community and culture and society, to our past with its memories, and to our ability to grow into our full potential with the power to define our future. A home should be a place of strength and safety. A home should not
by David Broder Does Italy’s crisis owe to mummy’s boys too attached to the apron strings? Does it need a new Blair, a Macron, or just to ‘clear them all out’? Is Berlusconi going to make one last comeback? Are the Five Star Movement going to come to power? This and more.
by Rory Scothorne They make a desert and call it peace —Calgacus In 1968, a few months after Winnie Ewing’s shock victory for the SNP in a by-election to the hitherto safe Labour seat of Hamilton, Tom Nairn sought to get to grips with Scottish nationalism in the pages of the New Left Review. The Scottish National Party did not come off well. They were, he wrote, ‘lumpen-provincials whose parochialism finds its adequate expression in the asinine idea that a bourgeois parliament and an army will rescue the country from provincialism; as if half of Europe did not testify
by The Editors ‘Obedience to the force of gravity. The greatest sin.’ — Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace ‘Things can only get better. Can only get better, if we see it through.’ — D:ream An uncharacteristically subdued President Trump described the result of Britain’s snap general election of 8 June as ‘surprising’. The Guardian went further, calling it a ‘shock result’. The redoubtable Jon Snow for Channel 4 News was closer to the mark, that this was ‘one of the most remarkable election results in modern British History’. This was astonishing, staggering, extraordinary.
by Tithi Bhattacharya In 1990, I watched the Polish film maker Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Blind Chance (1981/1987) without registering the paralyzing potential of a particular scene. The protagonist, Witek, meets an old Communist by chance on a train. As a result of that meeting Witek decides to join the Communist Party. Later, again by sheer chance, he runs into an ex-partner, also his first love. A beautiful, tender and fierce sex scene follows. In the calm of the after, Witek, almost absentmindedly, whistles the Internationale. His partner murmurs something approvingly. And then Witek says ‘How would you like it if