#12: A Ceaseless Storm
Did Somebody Say Imperialism? Ukraine Between Analogies
The Salvage Editorial Collective
Yet another end of the end of history. The comforting limitations of old songsheets. For an anti-imperialism beyond nostrums.
The Harsh Discipline of Democracy
Stuart Hall and a cultural materialism for the present. Inoculating against assumed wisdom and iron clad certainties in our febrile era.
For a Marxism Without Guarantees
A defense of Marx, and a plea for a marxism, that starts from the admission that the old Moor offers more questions than answers.
The Family: In and Against
Spiked safety nets. Lift your eyes to a horizon from amid the shackles. (Snares that can also keep us – just – from falling into the void.)
Letter from Amman III 2017-201842
Poem. From Affiliation, Sad Press, 2021.
The Making of the Evangelical Anti-Abortion Movement
In the US, the anti-abortion right is winning. A blasphemous truth emerges from the history of their crusade: the Left, perhaps, has much to learn from them.
The Right Against the Rule of Law?
On the venerable conservative tradition of selectively venerating legal norms and institutions. Their hypocrisy is the point.
Hope & Glory
Bohemians and Déclassés
Extract from Revolution. On the uneasy, and uncomfortable
position of the socialist intellectual.
The Actuality of Counter-Revolution
A spotlight on the shadow that stalks freedom-to-come. A strange and necessary meeting with the enemy, the executioner.
Extract from ‘Poem (29 December 2020), after Bernadette Mayer’
Poem. From The Bow, published by the87press, 2021.
The Lebanese Symptom
Nadia Bou Ali
History and farce, pun and joke, returned repressed. Remembering the war, per the injunction, and/but failing not to repeat, in Lebanon.
The Ordinary is a Horror: Abolition, Hegemony, and the State
Abolition opposed to, totally separate from, and/but also within the existing state. Some contradictions and limitations.
The Meaning of Keir Starmer
Putting the Leader of the Opposition on the couch. Neither he nor we can enjoy his symptom, nor the symptom that he is.
Free Anthrogenesis: Antiwork Abortion
Is abortion a sine qua non of bodily autonomy, or is it murder? Yes.
Pianos That Play Themselves
E M Lamdan
From This Issue
What it means to pursue a hegemonising project, then, is to have the clarity to see what is actually happening in the present and to have the courage to respond not by reworking old and stale ideas to describe what is new and different, but with the ambition to struggle on many fronts and to seek to construct a new common sense, not simply advance a slew of policies – even if those policies are good, correct, and necessary.
Counter-revolutions are difficult to circumscribe because they belong both to the past that preceded the revolution and make the future that succeeds it. Or to put the issue in more prosaic language: when does counter-revolution begin? And, what does it counter – does counter-revolution simply restore the past, or make its own new present? What does counter-revolution preserve?
Starmer was both a mute object onto which working-class people were supposed to project their desires, and a speaking subject who would render them sufficiently enlightened to vote Labour. Expected to simultaneously say nothing and say something, his disquisitions grew ever more phatic, torpid, vacant.
Conservatives counterpose distant, alienated social forces against British ones. The way in which people can regain control over their lives – on this argument – is through authentically British institutions. This sense of Britishness can then easily be turned inwards: although the British judiciary is British ‘in name’ they act on behalf of these unaccountable forces, and so in substance are not ‘British’.
To imagine the welfare state and the family as unassailably good risks obscuring the connected everyday violence committed by their conjunction.
Frequently what is so disabling about the work of some marxist writers is that you know what is going to be said at the end before the investigation has begun, that the questions are phoney, that such writers are functioning on a closed terrain.
In his call for a ‘Marxism without guarantees’, Hall was attuned not only to the open-endedness of struggle, and the resources of the enemy on these diverse terrains, but also the possibilities for a new Left.
How did conservative evangelicals come to be so central to the anti-abortion movement? And how has the evangelical anti-abortion movement managed to wield such disproportionate political and cultural power, and without much effective opposition?
Whereas women’s liberationists fifty years ago fought for the repeal of all abortion laws, the best that Planned Parenthood can muster today is a vision of regulated legalisation. Whereas the Wages for Housework committee said that ‘every miscarriage is a workplace accident’ insofar as every place is an alienated gestational workplace under capitalism, there is no guarantee that, on a twenty-first century women’s march, one will see a single placard about Medicare for All, or free universal 24/7 childcare, or paid parental leave.
Ukrainian flags fly everywhere in Western capitals now – in London, government buildings in Whitehall have even hoisted them alongside the Union Jack – not because Ukrainians suffer (though they do, horrifically) but because their suffering makes sense within a story of European enlightenment, whose borders must be fortresses against the invading hordes.