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When Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote the first lines of The Communist Manifesto, they turned the conventional notion of haunting on its head, conjuring the “ghost”, not of something that had passed away, but of something that had not yet come to pass. Since the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, though, this has changed decisively. The world is haunted instead by the communism that was — and wasn’t. (More…)

The Ukrainian government, in an attempt to counter the narrative of the Russian-backed rebels, announced last month that it would be recruiting an iArmy of media volunteers. This is not an ideal means of countering biased narratives on Ukraine.  (More…)

Makuna is a 35 year-old self-made entrepreneur, running a cozy little shop in Tbilisi’s busiest tourist area. For several years, her idea to create unusual jewelry, clothes and original souvenirs blossomed into a lovely business, giving her plenty of time for herself and family, and as a steady income. (More…)

British tabloid coverage of Mohammed Emwazi (“Jihadi John”) has been predictably irritating. The SunThe Daily Mail, The Daily Star, and more have all printed obscene headlines about the man, with the clear objective of terrifying their readers into supporting counterterrorism. (More…)

Sometimes accidents of timing reveal what is no accident. The news media was preoccupied with two stories this past Monday: the letter that 47 Republican senators sent to Iranian leaders warning them that any agreement signed by the President might not outlast his term, and the outrage over footage of an Oklahoma fraternity singing a racist song that invoked lynching. (More…)

The al-Khansa Brigade, which has become infamous for recruiting female jihadists, released an Arabic-language manifesto on January 23rd. It is likely no coincidence that this was the same published on the same day as death of Saudi Arabi’s King Abdullah. It is obviously targeted at Arab women, hailing from the Persian Gulf.  (More…)

Last Saturday was the launch of The Homocaust, a 70th anniversary cabaret, organized by Never Again Ever! Late February marks the anniversary of when the Nazi Party launched its purge of homosexual (gay, lesbian, and bisexual; then known as “homophile”) clubs in Berlin, outlawed sex publications, and banned gay groups.  (More…)

I first started listening to punk and hardcore in 1988—not that music’s best period. Many of the great early bands, including the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, and Crass, had broken up a couple years before, and it seemed that the genre might be at its social and aesthetic end. The politics were fading while metalcore and straightedge hardcore bands were in ascendance. (More…)

Last May, I posted piece on the publication of the Schwarze Hefte, the heretofore unpublished notebooks kept by the prominent German philosopher Martin Heidegger. This event was getting a lot of press at the time, much more so than the emergence of unpublished works by a thinker few people have read and even fewer understand would usually do. (More…)

Few bands have a more problematic relation to novelty than Gang of Four. Persistently critical of postmodern capitalism’s relentless search for new sources of income, they still repudiated the nostalgia that has so often beset the modern Left, embracing electronic dance music when most of their fellow travelers looked down on anything that deviated from classic rock instrumentation. But that move looks a lot different now than it did in the early 1980s. (More…)

Former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov was shot dead as he walked from Red Square arm-in-arm with Anna Durytska, a 23 year-old Ukrainian model, just days before he was set to appear before an anti-war rally. The assassination has opened up an array of questions for Russian society, none of which will easily be ignored. (More…)

It has been a few months since a major attack on Army Public School in Peshawar. As a result, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has signed off on additional state violence through the National Action Plan for counter-terrorism, and a faction of Tehreek-e-Taliban has taken responsibility for an attack on Lahore’s police headquarters in mid-February. The pattern is predictable. (More…)