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Cover for: Bargain-basement nationalism

Marine Le Pen’s mainstreaming of the Rassemblement national involves cutting ties with radical elements and promoting defectors from other parties. The result is an incoherent mix of pragmatism, nationalist demagogy and even progressivism – and a party without a common culture.

Kit NG via flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/chemophilic/

Kitchen white goods – ubiquitous modern appliances revered for lightening household chores – are seen as a necessity. The fridge, in taking on bulky proportions, has transformed from basic food storage utility to luxury item. Has what was once practical, yet conceals greenhouse gases, become a guilty environmental consumer trap?

Cover for: Israel’s dead end

Israel’s devastating response to the Hamas attacks is based on the untenable belief that military supremacy translates into strategic advantage, and that security can only be delivered by permanently suppressing the Palestinians.

Cover for: Wording of trauma, recording memory

Writing is a known tool for healing trauma. And poetry lends itself to rapid responses under pressure. Forced into migrating to flee war, many Ukrainian women turn to the short form as a call of solidarity, a weapon and solace.

Cover for: Apocalypse now?

For the second year, Ukraine’s collective consciousness is exhuming mass graves and burying children killed by Russian missiles. While just beyond Ukraine’s borders, the world of the transcendent reigns.

Cover for: To save Europe’s rivers, it’s back to basics

Rivers can be used to combat the risks of flooding or drought, particularly in urban areas. But schemes can impact negatively on the environment and water quality. Opposition to an abstraction system on the Thames throws up the question of natural alternatives.

Image via fortepan. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/SOTE_%28ma_Semmelweis_Egyetem%29_Anat%C3%B3miai_Int%C3%A9zet%2C_el%C5%91ad%C3%B3terem._Fortepan_74189.jpg

A democratization of universities must recognize academic institutions as workplaces. Neoliberal principles in German academia are being challenged as a law on fixed-term contracts comes into force.

Cover for: Fascization

Fascization

Esprit 10/2023

Esprit on the French far-right: Why Marine Le Pen can’t shake off the radicals; how Vincent Bolloré’s media are going back to the ’30s; and what to do about fascist jouissance.

Cover for: Our enemy is not Tchaikovsky himself

Many Ukrainian musicians and institutions are boycotting the work of Russian composers, from the classical canon to contemporary pieces. While controversial, extracting scores, often long embedded in honed repertoires, is a deliberate post-colonial act, creating new openings and fresh interpretations on the Ukrainian music scene, at home and abroad.

Fortepan / György Gárdos. Link: https://fortepan.hu/hu/photos/?q=brno

Kundera’s homecoming

An interview with Samuel Abrahám

Until almost the very end, Milan Kundera refused to let his work be translated into Czech or Slovak. Now that is changing, he is being rediscovered by a new generation. Although his wish to return was unfulfilled, his work is experiencing a homecoming.

Cover for: The crisis of criticism

The crisis of criticism

Complaints of an editor

Art criticism today has become reliant on the system its job is to criticize. With little alternative to institutional advertising, art magazines are unwilling to upset clients, while the boundary between criticism and commercial marketing is increasingly blurred.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rassemblement-populaire-14-juillet-1936.jpg

Paris in the 1930s was a cauldron of political radicalism. The victory of the Popular Front seemed to some to signal the onset of revolution. But it was more a defensive alliance against the far right, whose enduring threat became a reality sooner than anyone could have imagined.

Cover for: Sleepwalkers

The case for de-escalation is obvious. But the obvious is the first casualty of the distorted politics of war. We are once again proving ourselves to be the dupes of violence

Cover for: Our human responsibility

Our human responsibility

Reflections on the war between Israel and Hamas

Any humane, responsible reaction to the 7 October Hamas terror attacks on Israel and Israelis must be directed towards de-escalation. That means avoiding inflammatory rhetoric as much as respecting civilian lives.

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