Category Archives: Culture

“Otherwise there is only one other point lacking, which, however, Marx and I always failed to stress enough in our writings and in regard to which we are all equally guilty. That is to say, we all laid, and were bound to lay, the main emphasis, in the first place, on the derivation of political, juridical and other ideological notions, and of actions arising through the medium of these notions, from basic economic facts. But in so doing we neglected the formal side — the ways and means by which these notions, etc., come about — for the sake of the content. This has given our adversaries a welcome opportunity for misunderstandings, of which Paul Barth is a striking example.” — Friedrich Engels, to Franz Mehring on 14 July, 1893

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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Avatars of the Advanced-Capitalist Psyche – Capitain America: Civil War

My 11 year old son asked me what I thought of Captain America: Civil War, upon leaving the cinema. What follows is approximately what I told him (and consequently, perhaps such questions are a mistake he will not make again). … Continue reading

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Why autonomists make good journalists

Much loathed and admired within the leftist community, autonomists represent a small but mixed bunch. With their focus on the daily, small-scale class struggle, their squats and auto-reduction, and their sometimes incomprehensible jargon they elicit both fascination and contempt from … Continue reading

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The Many Prongs That Lead to Ferguson

There are a number of strands that can be picked up from the recent, much-publicized events in Ferguson, Mo. Ferguson is a suburb on the innermost ring of St. Louis’s quite extensive “fat belt”, a European term for the series … Continue reading

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Notes on Ideology, Power, the Media and the Irish Crisis

An introduction to the study of ideological power structures and their relevance in the Irish economic crisis (Notes from a presentation to the Dublin Left Forum 10/05/2014) Introduction Since the onset of the crisis that the Irish state thus far … 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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An End to Musical Chairs: A Rumination on the Basic Income

Since everyone is welcome aboard the train of life, don’t we all deserve a ticket? I was walking toward the central transit hub of my town recently, when, shortly prior to passing over the railroad tracks that the train I … Continue reading

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Dictatorship of the Queer: Universal Solidarity as a Precondition of Revolution

“As soon as the situation calls for the total transformation of the social order, the masses must participate in it directly, and they must have an understanding of what is at stake and what must be won. This is what … Continue reading

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Production and consumption: differences in orientation

A previous article on Spirit of Contradiction dealt with the issue of types of revolutions drawing the fundamental distinction between insurrection, socialisation in production and communisation in consumption. Some of these ideas were expounded on by earlier Marxists when confronting … Continue reading

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Review – Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus: A World-System Biography – Georgi M. Derluguian

The title of this book by itself could already warrant a read, yet there is much more to find in this book, its interesting title aside. The work mainly deals with the question of the Soviet Union and particularly its … Continue reading

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Against the Grand Narrative: on postmodernism

Without recapitulating the entire history of postmodern thought, which beginning we can, for our purposes, anchor at the publication of Dialectic of Enlightenment, it is safe to summarise its development as stemming from a justified distrust of the liberal project, … Continue reading

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“I Had Weird Educational Experiences”: Interview With Noam Chomsky

Spirit: Alot of theorists, I think of EJ Hobsbawm in particular, in the book  On History, separate the concept of “biography” from that of “history”. You’ve been more concerned, it is apparent, in your career, with the latter rather than … Continue reading

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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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