For all its loathing of Trump, the US liberal elite shares with him a common delusion: that US hegemony can persist in the 21st century. Trump is not the cause of the disruption but a consequence of it, writes the sociologist Norman Birnbaum.
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On modern fables
Popular anthropology has recently questioned assumptions about the role of farming in the emergence of the bureaucratic state and the inevitable connection between inequality and urban life. But while it is important to challenge doctrines of civilizational development, their origins must also be examined if conventional knowledge and its blind spots are not to be reproduced.
What started thirty-five years ago as an informal meeting of European editors became the basis for Eurozine, founded in 1998 as an online cultural journal and editorial network. To celebrate this double anniversary, Eurozine has published a print anthology spanning the project chronologically, thematically, generically and geographically.
Automated technology and the digital economy have revived old fears about mass redundancy, but also inspired visions of a productive symbiosis between human and mechanized labour. Economic historian Robert Skidelsky surveys both the pessimistic and optimistic traditions of economic thought on mechanization and asks how policy can offset the effects of the rapid technological changes underway today.
Feminists have long criticized the adequacy of consent in defining non-coercive heterosexual sex. In order to comprehend the grey area between unwilling yet consensual sex, and outright sexual assault and rape, the concept of ‘unjust sex’ is increasingly used. As Ann J. Cahill argues, unjust sex is sex that a woman is pressured into having, but in which her agency still plays a role.
The use of magazines by the German far-right to integrate its ideology into acceptable political discourse goes back to the transformation of former National Socialist networks into the so-called New Right. Emphasis on the democratic function of the public sphere has caused far-right magazine publishing to be overlooked.
Populists vs the elite, the elite vs populists
The key feature of populism is said to be its claim to speak exclusively for the people. But by placing populism beyond the pale of respectable politics, this definition reinforces liberal prejudices, argues Philip Manow. More useful for forming a response to populism is to take into account ideological and geographic variance.
Diversity, common characteristics, and challenges
In 1968, West German students protested against the monopoly of the Springer Press. Does the campaign have an equivalent today? Given the power and ubiquity of social media, Claus Leggewie doubts it. Like the ’68ers before them, a genuinely alternative European media must create its own means of production.
Brexit has been driven by an English nationalism combined with extreme globalization – but also by EU overreach, writes openDemocracy co-founder Anthony Barnett. A second referendum is hypothetical at best and a different result far from certain.
The judicial reforms in Poland and the ruling of the ECJ
On 19 October, the European Court of Justice issued an injunction on Polish laws that the European Commission claims undermine the separation of powers in the country. On the political substance of a highly complex, legalistic assault on democratic institutions and the question of how far the ECJ ruling is likely to put a halt to a process well underway.
An interview with Louise Amoore
Artificial intelligence and its deployment in settings as diverse as commerce, policing, politics and warfare requires that we rethink our understanding of human agency, argues political geographer Louise Amoore. AI amplifies longstanding prejudices circumscribing access to the political public sphere and is changing our relations to ourselves and others.
‘Human Flow’ is Ai Weiwei’s film on the plight of refugees in 23 countries. The artist goes further than Picasso, who never got as far as Guernica himself, but did Ai Weiwei lose his way whilst making the film? Georges Didi-Huberman insists that human suffering on this scale calls for a much bolder critical spirit.
As the social and economic violence of inequality intensifies, contemporary French literature is charting new territory in the face of the partial failure of social activism and the conquests of aggressive economic liberalism, writes Nicolas Léger. Collective utopias may be done for; humour, the carnivalesque and gestures of solidarity remain.
Liberal feminism has completely overlooked class and other axes of inequality and subjugation, says Metka Mencin Čeplak, as the economically and politically imposed commodification of women comes to the fore, warns Mirjana Ule. What is to be done? In interview, two leading Slovenian feminists consider the options in light of a century of feminist thought.
The decree recently approved by the Italian government restricting the right to asylum is the terrestrial counterpart to the criminalization of NGOs operating in the Mediterranean. The climax to Matteo Salvini’s ongoing campaign against humanitarianism, it will have a fundamental impact on the management of migration within the country.