On Populism, Again

Jason Frank writes: “Debating whether we should call such movements “populist” is a semantic distraction: it too often mires us in unproductive verbal disputes or obfuscates ideological differences that should be engaged on their own terms.” But this is odd. The forum (and the wider project it represents) seeks to rescue the concept of populism […]

The Truth of Impeachment

Something is awry in the framing of the argument to remove Trump from office. Advocates of removal have appealed to the Constitution, the framers’ intent (e.g., the Federalist papers), and moral principle. They’re imploring the public, if not GOP Senators, to choose country over party, democracy over authoritarianism, right over wrong. This all seems perfectly […]

The Trump Event

Alain Badiou’s work is both needlessly obscure and rather appalling. But the gist is that he argues for an ethics and politics of what he calls “the Event,” which is a kind of rupture in the normal run of things. The paradigmatic instance of an Event, in his view, is falling in love. He has […]

The Empty Iron Throne

So what are we to make of the fact that Jon is indisputably the sole rightful heir to the Iron Throne, and remains alive (after killing his only rival), yet is not even considered for the job by the lords? In the count of those who might serve as the monarch, the one “true” monarch […]

Yes, Aspirational Fascism Is Still Fascism

When Trump was elected, certain “radical” commentators tried to distinguish themselves from supposedly credulous academics and journalists by insisting, against all evidence, that he was in no way unusual, and far from a budding authoritarian. They soon fell silent, as the Trump administration indulged in an endless series of power grabs, both effective and futile. […]

Truth & Trump, redux

The most astute analysis of the fate of facts under Trump(ism) is offered by Masha Gessen. Simply put, his blatant lies and “alternative facts” are assertions of power over truth itself. This fits neatly into the broader GOP strategy of casting doubt on validity claims by associating them with the interests and motives of political […]

Justice, Efficiency and Neoliberalism

Wendy Brown explains that she regards neoliberalism as a governing rationality through which everything is “economized” and in a very specific way: human beings become market actors and nothing but, every field of activity is seen as a market, and every entity (whether public or private, whether person, business, or state) is governed as a firm. […]

Against Democratization

It’s become common to complain that social media have created “bubbles” and aided political polarization. It has also become common to object that the Internet has fallen short of serving as a public sphere, largely because of the ways commercial interests have shaped it. In this context, various technologies—from apps and online petitions to organizational […]

You Say You Want a Revolution?

Since the latest UN climate report, some friends and acquaintances have been saying (repeating, actually) that https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjodi.dean3%2Fposts%2F10156553770399277&width=500“>only a revolution can save us. This strikes me a not just wrongheaded, but dangerously so.   By “revolution,” these people generally mean something like seizing direct collective control of the means of production—of necessity on a global scale. […]