Reads
Greed is the Word

Greed is the Word

The only wheels which political economy sets in motion are greed, and the war amongst the greedy – competition. More»

Summer Reading for Imperialists

Summer Reading for Imperialists

Daniel Silva’s series of thriller novels featuring Gabriel Allon, an Israeli spy, are a phenomenon among bestsellers. Millions of English-language copies from this have been sold in the sixteen years this series has been in print, and translations are available in dozens of languages. A new novel appears near-annually, and in a short time, hits the top of the New York Times bestseller lists. More»

Punk is History

Punk is History

People warned me about punk, two in particular. The first was Judith, who was two years older than me and whose father taught computer science at the liberal arts college in eastern Washington state where my father was the dean of the faculty. More»

Looking for Judith Butler

Looking for Judith Butler

I enjoyed Molly Fischer’s recent piece about Judith Butler for New York magazine, but I think it misses something significant about her ongoing relevance. Fischer concludes by suggesting that discourse about gender has moved beyond the performative theories Butler expounded in Gender Trouble. But Butler still remains wildly relevant on college campuses, particularly for undergraduates. More»

From Mumbai with Love

From Mumbai with Love

Ten Pakistanis carried out a new form of terrorism when they landed on the shores of Mumbai in a rubber raft on November 26, 2008, armed with automatic weapons, makeshift explosives, and satellite phones. Or so the story goes. In ensuing months, counter-terrorism experts from all over the world expressed fear that a “Mumbai-style attack” would soon occur in their cities.  More»

Fundamental Ideas of Fascism

Fundamental Ideas of Fascism

Like every concrete political conception, Fascism is thought and action. It is action with an inherent doctrine which, arising out of a given system of historic forces, is inserted in it and works on it from within. It has therefore a form co-related to the contingencies of time and place; but it has at the same time an ideal content which elevates it into a formula of truth in the history of thought. More»

Bin Laden Was Here

Bin Laden Was Here

Seymour Hersh occupies a peculiar place in the American media landscape. As the guy who broke the story of the massacre at My Lai in 1969, and having been instrumental in exposing the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in 2004, Hersh is second only to Woodward and Bernstein in the firmament of investigative journalism. More»

The Envy of Privilege

The Envy of Privilege

One cannot help but wonder what author Andrew Solomon would have achieved had he been born into different circumstances. He sits across from me on a French-style couch in his private library, arms extended, seemingly afloat on a swell of cushions. More»

Why I Believe in Poverty

Why I Believe in Poverty

I make my living trying to edit the Ladies’ Home Journal. And because the public has been most generous in its acceptance of that periodical, a share of that success has logically come to me. Hence, a number of my very good readers cherish an opinion that often I have been tempted to correct, a temptation to which I now yield. My correspondents express the conviction variously, but this extract from a letter is a fair sample: More»

Misreading the Taliban

Misreading the Taliban

Since 9/11, Western security services have obsessed over jihadism, creating a new cadre of self-appointed experts on Islamic militant groups like the Pakistani Taliban. Unfortunately, most of it cannot be taken seriously, due to its overt racism and Islamophobia. How can we correct this? More»

Stopping Hillary

Stopping Hillary

After Doug Henwood’s My Turn, you’ll be well equipped to go up against liberals desperately circling the Hillary wagon right now. It’s strength is partly that it doesn’t require you to support a particular candidate. You just have to harbour suspicions about Hillary Clinton’s record. And the prospect of a Clinton dynasty does not inspire much enthusiasm. More»

The Peril of the Drug Habit

The Peril of the Drug Habit

It is human nature to wish to ease pain and to stimulate ebbing vitality. There is no normal adult who, experiencing severe pain or sorrow or fatigue, and thoroughly appreciating the immediate action of an easily accessible opiate, is not likely in a moment of least resistance to take it.  More»