Author Archives: Dara McHugh

About Dara McHugh

Dara is an amateur social critic and a professional pedant. He enjoys punctuation, science-fiction and beer.

Review: Do Religions Evolve?

David Sloan Wilson describes himself as an atheist, but, he insists, he is a “nice atheist”. The proviso is made necessary by the often acrimonious nature of evolution’s forays into religious study. In contrast to writers such as Richard Dawkins … Continue reading

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Anti-Capitalism: The Musical! – Interview with Deirdre Murphy, writer and director.

AC:TM is a crowdfunded project to produce radical theatre in Ireland. If you’d like to donate, their funding page is here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/anti-capitalism-the-musical Tell me about Anti-Capitalism – what is it and what is it intended to accomplish? AC:TM is an … Continue reading

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The tragedy of Walter White

In The Death of Tragedy (1961), George Steiner argued that tragedy was not possible in the modern world. The liberal worldview, he argued, is incompatible with tragedy, circumscribing the irrational and unjust suffering with an optimism for reform and justice. … Continue reading

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How do we get from here to there? Socialist strategy and political participation

Is there a clear path to a better world? All too often, the route is set from a single fork in the road; the old polemical division – reform or revolution. For those who emphasise immediate reforms, we go via … Continue reading

Posted in Critique of the Left, Politics | 1 Comment

European Left Summer University

The European Left Summer University was held between July 3rd and 6th. Organised by Bloco de Esquerda of Portugal, the University was a three-day series of lectures and seminars on the key issues facing the European Left, the party of … Continue reading

Posted in Proletarian politics | 1 Comment

The Politics of Bioshock Infinite – a review

“Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt”. With this instruction, Booker DeWitt is dispatched to Columbia, a sprawling city that floats above the United States after a political and geographic secession. DeWitt is a fomer Pinkerton and veteran … Continue reading

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Return to Babel

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said … Continue reading

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How does change happen? A review of John Gaventa’s Power and Powerlessness

Why, in a social relation involving the domination of a non-elite by an elite, does challenge to that domination not occur? What is there in certain situations of social deprivation that prevents issues from arising, grievances from being voiced, or … Continue reading

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War of Position/War of Manoeuvre

The following was a discussion document I prepared for the Irish anarchist organisation, the Workers Solidarity Movement in January 2010, written to shift the organisation’s response to the economic crisis. It set out to state clearly that revolution in the … Continue reading

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Against Adhocracy

Should we believe that we should organise outside of parties, outside of the State and outside of Left or Right? That with the right process people can come together as people and produce an impetus towards progressive social change? If … Continue reading

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Adam Kotsko’s Why we love sociopaths – I wish I could love it but I really can’t

This was a book that meets my interests almost perfectly – I’m fascinated both by the study of empathy and cultural representations of sociopathy. And I love watching TV. But Adam Kotsko‘s approach to the subject fits evidence to argument … Continue reading

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You don’t matter and other adventures in socialism

Sometimes when a lefty argument has been going for too long without any real progress or indeed any sort of relevance, I get a bit tetchy, leading to an outburst of ‘We don’t matter, this doesn’t matter!’. I think this … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Proletarian politics | 3 Comments