By Suhail Mayor
Throughout time, literature has been replete with a wide variety of differing accounts on the concept of money. Through these theoretical versions of discourse most of them follow a common thread; they are intensely political in nature. Money has always been and will be a talking point in relation to its control and the role of government. While one side suggests that government and laws are crucial to the nature of money, others have come to believe that currency and economic activity can arise spontaneously without a centralized authority. Emblematic of a basic law in economics inferring that government intervention always leads to inequalities in the market. Continue reading “Bitcoin: The Politics of a Stateless Currency”
By Peter Marshall
“Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the domination of religion; the liberation of the human body from the domination of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclination” (p. 35)
Content Warning: Minor reference to sexual abuse and harassment
“My goodness,” I am sure you thought to yourself, “I did enjoy that article about Robert Owen but I wonder if there will be anymore?” How kind of you to ask, let us celebrate because there is another one! For those reading who do not know, I hope to introduce you to political thinkers who you are most likely not going to come across on your syllabus, and hopefully broaden your thought. I openly encourage others to do the same. This time I shall be exploring the 19th/20th century anarchist thinker Emma Goldman. I shall do this by briefly summarising her life before splitting her work into three sections. The first is anarchism, the second gender, and finally prison. I trust my reader’s ability to critique the work for themselves. Continue reading “Forgotten Ideas: Emma Goldman on Anarchism, Gender, and Prison”
By Peter Marshall
In our academic lives we will undoubtedly find new and exciting ideas that open our minds. I had this in reading Herculine Barbin, the diaries of a 19th century French intersex person by the same name, with the introduction written by Foucault. Foucault, however, is par for the course in political theory. Whilst being relatively theoretically radical, after this year I will have been taught about him for three years in a row. There are, of course, key thinkers to study in politics (Plato, Wollstonecraft, and Marx, to mention but a few), but what of the voices of those rarely heard? That is the idea of this article (and hopefully subsequent articles), to briefly explore the ideas of non-conventional thinkers and hopefully inspire you to read some of these texts once you have the time (as my 50+ unread books can attest to my not having time), as I hope they will broaden your intellectual horizons.
Continue reading “Forgotten Ideas: Robert Owen’s ‘A New View of Society’”
By Vladimir Ivlev
“I want to look at politics with an eye unclouded by philosophy.”
Hannah Arendt, “Zur Person”
It is way too easy for people swept in the typhoon of cultural change to keep themselves occupied by the surface level contradictions found within said paradigm shifts. Those who consider themselves to be in the trenches of the culture war often amass previously heard arguments into their political arsenal to avert themselves from experiencing the excruciating stigmata of self-doubt that losing an online argument often leads to. Either that or succumb to a self-destructive ideological leap of faith. But rarely do you find someone trying to embrace political ideologies that directly scare them or break their trance of idle conformity, for the sake of greater knowledge and self-actualization. I am however not putting myself on a pedestal by proclaiming that I fully comprehend the far-reaches of modern feminism, as it is just as ridden with sectarianism and surreal escapism as left-wing authoritarian philosophies (which is why more often than not they go hand in hand). But, by engaging with its advocates, I have pinpointed a certain underlying trend that not only justifies but necessitates their tactics of antagonism. This is not a conversion moment, I have not become a born-again intersectional feminist. In no way am I defending their tactics. But understanding the necessity of them provides insight into dealing with modern political discourse.
Continue reading “Feminism and Necessary Antagonism”
By Ovais Malik
In contemporary political discourse, doctrine and reality tend to be radically divorced from each other. We often hear from the New Right about the alleged glories of private enterprise; the wonders of the “free market”; and the incompetence of government intervention. When it comes to reality, however, sinister hypocrisies pervade this rhetoric. Continue reading “The New Right: Fictitious Yesterdays and Fabricated Tomorrows”
By Vladimir Ivlev
Peer through the lens of neoliberalism and you see more clearly how the political thinkers most admired by Thatcher and Reagan helped shape the ideal of society as a kind of universal market (and not, for example, a polis, a civil sphere or a kind of family) and of human beings as profit-and-loss calculators (and not bearers of grace, or of inalienable rights and duties).
– Stephen Metcalf, The Guardian Continue reading “Neoliberalism and Its Upheaval”
By Peter Marshall
ONLY A SITH DEALS IN ABSOLUTES
-Obi Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
There comes a point when using the wholly academic Wikipedia to make a point becomes as bad as the Reductio ad Hitlerum fallacy (saying “Yeah, but Hitler thought/did that”). Mr. Ivlev wrote a Despatch Box article on the 9th of March criticising identity politics (or the politics of the “Social Justice Warrior”) and how it is neither left or right, but a liberal agenda. The intention of this article is to go through the article and criticise the wholly inaccurate portrayal of the many concepts Mr. Ivlev explores.
Continue reading “A (sarcastic) critique of “Identity Politics and the Political Spectrum””