John Foster

John Foster is a librarian, writer, and musician based in Cleveland, Ohio. When not writing or attending shows, he can usually be found cursing at his television during Arsenal matches.


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Organizing for Tomorrow

Organizing for Tomorrow

Predictably, a lot of the talk these days on the American left has to do with dissecting how we came to be in such a horrible situation. With all three branches of government now firmly in the hands of the Republicans, there is a not unreasonable desire among their opponents to know how this happened and what can be done about it. More»

The Storms of the Future

The Storms of the Future

Kim Stanley Robinson is the most insightful speculative futurist writer active today. In novels like 2312, the Science in the Capital series, and The Mars Trilogy, Robinson has built his trade on looking forward at how the events and conditions of the present might play out over the course of years, decades, and centuries. More»

Thank Heavens for the Deep State

Thank Heavens for the Deep State

On the strength of Thursday’s news, we can reasonably assume that one of two things has happened. One possibility is that Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, decided to stage a piece of low-grade political theater in the hopes of somehow getting the Republicans ahead of a news cycle. More»

Refugees as a Weapon

Refugees as a Weapon

Perhaps the most difficult thing about trying to cope with the current state of politics in the United States is its utter ridiculousness. The ways of American politics have seldom been rejigged in such a revolutionary way, as is currently the case. More»

Trump's Mexican Standoff

Trump’s Mexican Standoff

For the last couple of days, the Mexican government been playing host to the redoubtable duo of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security chief John Kelly. They have been, it will come as no surprise, trying to pour oil on the turbulent waters of the current relationship between the United States and Mexico. More»

Keeping it Classy

Keeping it Classy

If there is one thing the Trump brand invariably conveys it is class. From this ineluctable truth it is possible to read the underlying (and heretofore secret) history of the executive order that the running dogs of the mainstream media (and practically anyone with better than a fourth-grade education) have had the temerity to dub a Muslim ban. More»

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

The dawn of the Trump Era was met with the sort of damp squib that might have suggested to a more thoughtful individual the brute realities of his situation. Habituated as he is to basking in the glow of the approbation outsized personal deference, the underwhelming crowd at his inauguration had the potential to act as a corrective More»

Returning to Capital

Returning to Capital

If I had a dime for every time some knowledgeable pundit has declared Marxism to be dead, well, I could spend a lot less time writing about capital and a lot more time enjoying it. The frequency of assertions of the irrelevance of Marx’s work varies directly with periods of calm in the global economy such as the so-called Great Moderation of the quarter century before 2007. More»

Our Brave New World

Our Brave New World

I am wont, in these days of political turmoil, to find myself lying awake in the empty hours of the night. At such times I often read and reread the columns of Lewis Lapham. This is not only because of his consummate skill as a writer of short essays, but also because his writing from the 1980s, through the early noughties, functions like a sort of core sample of American culture. More»

The New Dystopia

The New Dystopia

I have, from time to time, been wont to quote the opening passage of Horkheimer and Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment. It is perhaps the most compelling statement of the deeply unsettling character of the modern world. “Enlightenment, understood in the widest sense as the advance of thought, has always aimed at liberating human beings from fear and installing them as masters.” More»

The Downfall of American Democracy

The Downfall of American Democracy

Verso has recently published a collection of Lewis Lapham’s essays under the title Age of Folly: America Abandons Its Democracy. If a book more apposite to our current situation has been published in the last 18 months I am unaware of it. More»

The Trumpian Dawn

The Trumpian Dawn

The United States is at a crossroads, one that few on the left thought would arrive at as recently as last week. The election of Donald Trump to the presidency is the harbinger of the most severe crisis to face the democratic institutions of this country since the late 1850s. More»

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