The Decline of the French Intellectual

Originally published in Politico on 19/09/15 and written by Sudhir Hazareesingh.  One of the most characteristic inventions of modern French culture is the “intellectual.” Intellectuals in France are not just experts in their particular fields, such as literature, art, philosophy and history. They also speak in universal terms, and are expected to provide moral guidance about general social and political issues. Indeed, the most eminent French … Continue reading The Decline of the French Intellectual

Obama & Counterterror: The Ignored Record, Kenneth Roth

 President Barack Obama announcing his nomination of John Brennan, right, to head the CIA, January 2013 At his first inauguration, Barack Obama rejected “as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” On his second day in office, he announced plans to close the Guantánamo detention facility within a year and to end immediately George W. Bush’s authorization of the use of “enhanced interrogation … Continue reading Obama & Counterterror: The Ignored Record, Kenneth Roth

The Revolt of the Salaried Bourgeoisie by Slavoj Žižek

Originally published in the LRB 26 January 2012 How did Bill Gates become the richest man in America? His wealth has nothing to do with Microsoft producing good software at lower prices than its competitors, or ‘exploiting’ its workers more successfully (Microsoft pays its intellectual workers a relatively high salary). Millions of people still buy Microsoft software because Microsoft has imposed itself as an almost … Continue reading The Revolt of the Salaried Bourgeoisie by Slavoj Žižek

Occidentalism: The False West, Victor Davis Hanson

National Review American professors have long lectured to our students about purported Western biases and cruel misconceptions toward the “Other.” According to Edward Said and other postcolonial critics, much of our dim view of Arabs is a product of an “Orientalism” that was constructed by European intellectuals of the 19th century West — blinkered folk actively engaged as colonialists overseas, and conditioned by an earlier … Continue reading Occidentalism: The False West, Victor Davis Hanson

To save a generation from despair, it’s not enough to hassle them into low-paying jobs

Originally published in New Statesman, 10 January 2014, by Laurie Penny It is difficult to quantify despair. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever filled in one of those strange little forms that require you, with helpful tick-boxes, to rank your mood from sunny to suicidal. Nonetheless, the latest survey from the Prince’s Trust tells the public what youth campaigners, activists and anyone who … Continue reading To save a generation from despair, it’s not enough to hassle them into low-paying jobs

‘The Wire’ on education

You look in a ten-year-old’s eyes and you see promise, you see possibility, you see beautiful kids, and every kid deserves a chance, every kid deserves to be told they’re smart and can do anything, and a lot of kids are getting the opposite message. –Jim True-Frost, “Prez,” The Wire The HBO series “The Wire,” created by David Simon and Ed Burns, is widely regarded as one of … Continue reading ‘The Wire’ on education

The Campaign-Industrial Complex

Originally posted on Washington Monthly by Walter Shapiro. Reviewing Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop it by Lawrence Lessig.   Campaign costs are increasing faster than almost anything else in this moribund economy, including law school tuition. As recently as 2004, George W. Bush and John Kerry spent about $700 million combined on every aspect of their presidential campaigns. These numbers … Continue reading The Campaign-Industrial Complex