Tag Archives: society

The essence of neoliberalism

France’s pre-eminent sociologist and social theorist Pierre Bourdieu, who died not so long ago, did not pull his punches when it came to identifying the hegemonic economic system of the present, neoliberalism, ruthlessly as a “utopia of endless exploitation”. In an article titled “The essence of neoliberalism” (in Le Monde Diplomatique, December 1998) he puts…

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Brexit, capital as meta-body, and mytochondria

So it did happen in the end. Brexit. Against expectations, judging by the polls immediately before the referendum on 23 June. But looking back, it is not surprising that it happened. Most of those voting to leave are older voters, whose emotional ties to a Britain before the “free movement” immigration from European Union countries…

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Emerson, a much-neglected thinker

Ralph Waldo Emerson — the leader of American “Transcendentalism” in the 19th century — has a lot to teach the self-obsessed, narcissistic, smartphone-wielding generation of today. Despite the fact that his famous essay, “Self-Reliance” (1841; available here) is written in the excessively patriarchal language of the time — one might be forgiven for thinking there…

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The lie that society is founded on

In Living in the End Times (London: Verso, 2010) that inimitable Slovenian philosopher cum psychoanalytical theorist Slavoj Žižek performs a dazzling analysis of Christopher Nolan’s genealogical Batman film The Dark Knight (2008). What his analysis brings to light is something that, Žižek reminds one, John Ford also explored cinematically years ago in Fort Apache (1948)…

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Is this what our future looks like?

There have been all kinds of signs that the future of our societies will probably entail much higher levels of control than is the case at present. The National Security Agency’s illegitimate surveillance, not merely of American citizens’, but of other peoples’ private communications as well, is but one premonition of the shape of things…

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Why are public displays of sexual images so unacceptable?

This is a question I asked myself as my laptop froze while on a certain social media site and a particularly risqué photo filled my screen. As I fear judgment I must state that I had not purposefully clicked this link. The link title had been … misleading. I had been promised something far more…

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Dear Fossil Fuel, I want a divorce!

Dear Fossil Fuel, There is no easy way to do this, so I’ll just say it: I want a divorce! Writing this letter is very painful for me, but the contents will not come as a great surprise to you. Our relationship has been wondrous at times, with ups and downs like every marriage. But…

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Lennon and Laing – kindred spirits

John Lennon and RD Laing – two individuals who worked in entirely different cultural fields; the one a singer, songwriter and pop star, the other a psychiatrist (perhaps experimental psychiatrist), writer and radical thinker of the left. What they had in common, was arguably the fact that they were both utopian visionaries, and both were…

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