Torino and the Left

Torino and the Left

Squatters busted by the cops. Defiant asylum seekers sticking it to the man. Denunciations of capitalism, imperialism, and the bourgeoisie. In Italy, of course. It’s so dated-sounding, Hugo Chavez might as well have scripted it. Typically provincial leftists, still stuck in 20th century. At the very least, they could be blogging this stuff. Someone call Russia Today. More»

McDonald's Takes Europe

McDonald’s Takes Europe

There are reasons for Europeans to feel antipathy towards the United States, just as there were in previous decades. But expressing these sentiments is not as easy as it used to be. The bait-and-switch move that reliably substituted cultural targets for political ones is becoming harder to pull off. More»

Free of London

Free of London

In only a matter of days, Scotland will decide on its future. The Left seems to have lined up behind the Yes-side of the referendum on independence. What is the case for unionism here? Surely, there has to be a progressive angle. After all, the Union stood firm against the rising tide of fascism in the early decades of the twentieth century. What makes it unworthy of progressive politics, now? More»

Latest entries
Barbarians at the Gate

Barbarians at the Gate

The headlines got it wrong. On May 13, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released the results of a global survey of 100 countries that found that 26% of those surveyed crossed ADL’s threshold for anti-Semitism. The ADL said that “The survey found that anti-Semitic attitudes are persistent and pervasive around the world.” After all, they said, that 26% represents an “estimated 1.09 billion people” worldwide. More»

Fighting the Euroskeptics

Fighting the Euroskeptics

The EU elections will be shadowed by paradox. Almost everyone agrees that the continent’s establishment parties will lose ground to insurgent ‘Euroskeptics’ on both the Right and Left, making it harder to conduct business as usual in Strasbourg and Brussels. If this happens, millions of people will have voted to devalue future exercises in supranational polling. More»

Fear of a Populist Europe

Fear of a Populist Europe

For weeks, the European press has been citing polls indicating that populist, anti-immigrant parties are poised to make major gains in EU parliamentary elections starting May 22nd. If the predictions turn out to be true, the far-right expects to take approximately 15 per cent of seats in Parliament. This is almost double their showing in the 2009 elections, and includes parties ranging from UKIP to Golden Dawn. More»

The Cost of Inequality

The Cost of Inequality

One morning in May of 2007, I entered onto a Manhattan subway platform, fearing I’d just made a bad decision. I’d just accepted a job at a local newspaper that covers labor, and a part of my beat covered transit workers. It wasn’t just because I was leaving a comfortable research gig at a union to “follow my dream” of journalism, but because I wondered if I had overestimated the importance of the stories I’d be working on. More»

Remixing Brussels

Remixing Brussels

Brussels without the EU. It’s a hell of a thought, particularly for the tens of thousands drawn to the city, to work for European political institutions and business. So omnipresent are Union offices and buildings that, for most visitors to the Belgian capital, they are the city. Never mind the medieval architecture, the longstanding immigrant community, and the beer and fries. More»

The Appeal of Russia

The Appeal of Russia

On March 27th 2014, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abstained from the vote at the UN General Assembly on a resolution on Crimea. It was de facto support for Russian aggression. The significance of this event may not have hit the mainstream just yet, but it may soon outpace it in its own trajectory. More»

Fattening the Beast

Fattening the Beast

The best political slogans aren’t those you chant ritualistically, like a machine, but the ones that stop you in your tracks for a minute and make you think. Take this sticker from Brussels: “Democracy is always capitalism getting fat.” What makes this formulation so provocative is the black-or-white worldview that it expounds. More»

The UKIP Muslim

The UKIP Muslim

UKIP Daily contributor Byron Sanford has written a revealing article called “Moderate Muslims Must Vote for UKIP.” Admittedly, I knew it would be offensive from the outset. After all, Sanford wrote a piece a few weeks ago that called halal Subway sandwiches “an affront to the common man.”  More»

Occupy in Jail

Occupy in Jail

In cities across the US, images of the Occupy Wall Street protests are filled with batons, tear gas and riot gear. These have become the symbols of state reaction. Scruffy anarchists tied in plastic bracelets corralled into buses. Women in tears from pepper spray. Bloody faces. More»

The Paper State

The Paper State

Fucked Up and Photocopied. It was an appropriate title for a book documenting the first generation of American punk flyers. Published in 2000, just as print ‘zines were giving way to online gig listings and, eventually, blogs, the coffee-table sized collection could not have been more timely. It was as though it were a concluding chapter to an era, which had not fully given way to something else yet – the Internet. More»

The Fourth Horseman

The Fourth Horseman

In a review of Emmanuel Faye’s 2004 book Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy, Harvard historian Peter Gordon wrote of the tendency of philosophy to trouble the public sphere “only when some outrage calls the very legitimacy of philosophy into question.” This specter has once again arisen with the publication of notebooks kept by the Martin Heidegger (the so-called Schwarze Hefte) between 1931 and 1938. More»

Is Green the New Brown?

Is Green the New Brown?

I do a lot of driving, most of it highly tedious. Two miles to the grocery store. Six miles to the mall. Twelve miles to work. The sort where every minute seems to count because the whole trip is so wearisome. In that context, it doesn’t take much to piss me off. I start stereotyping. Big pick-up trucks are driven by reckless assholes; European sedans by condescending elitists. More»