A welfare state can be used as a form of social investment that boosts employment and the economy, whilst funding good education, family and labour market policies. Providing accessible childcare enables more women to enter employment. Employment creates more employment, a virtuous circle increasing the tax base. All these achievements are real. They are not wishful thinking. Yet the neoliberal orthodoxy hides their accomplishments, and the entrenched interests of corporate elites have such influence on politicians that instead of moving towards such models, governments have been moving towards neoliberalism – even in the more socially democratic countries themselves.
Andrew Brower Latz reads Colin Crouch vs Neoliberalism.
“I got my first venereal disease from my first girlfriend. She got it from her third boyfriend, whom she was dating concurrently with her second boyfriend (me). Later she confessed that she’d been dating him before she started dating me, which chronologically downgraded me to her third boyfriend…”
New fiction and art by Roman Muradov.
At the fag-end of the 1980’s … writing’s anti-authorial, anti-purist, anti-linear, anti-referential and deeply linguistic character was something in the air then. It was an update of Joyce’s ‘polyglottal’ ‘Wake’ project, a sexier, more chic version … that works with and through language, a clash of two codes, textual and bibliographic, but with a further density to the polysemy and plurivocity added, that of a fragmented elucidation. Acker and others – Bill Burroughs was another clear example – were writing monsters of subversion where theme, narrative, character and plot were their targets. Words were no longer subject to the equation that they meant just one thing, or even one cluster of things. Meaning was now just an effect of language not of anything lying within or behind it. Authorial intention and determination was eroded and instead labyrinths of possibility and acrostic sampling were being produced in a kind of hip, punk slippage to indeterminancy. The improvisory, intermedial experience of reading became a biological-emotional state of hyper-real decision making and play.
Richard Marshall reviews the 25th Anniversary Edition of Stewart Home‘s Defiant Pose.
Drawing from the work of Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud, schizoanalysis is a revolutionary political process that seeks to expand upon Reich’s materialist-psychiatric critique of psychoanalysis so as to include the full scope of multiplicitious social and historical factors in its explanations of cognition and behaviour in order to map and thus undermine the causal groundings of fascism.
A.T. Kingsmith on Schizoanalysis.
I just got gripped by the central question of ethics, which Socrates poses so insistently: How should we live? While this is the central question of ethics, in my view answering this question also involves epistemology – since to know how we should live, we need to understand what we should believe, and how we should form and revise our beliefs in response to experience and reflection; and the question as I see it also involves the theory of rational choice or decision—since to know how we should live, we need to understand how we should make choices or decisions, and how we should revise our plans or intentions as we acquire new information over time.
Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Ralph Wedgwood.
Taken as a whole, the book reads as an alternative literary history, moving from slave rebellions in the early Americas to the development of Black Atlantic modernism before ending in a nightmarish vision of contemporary globalised suffering.
Tim Groenland reviews Counternarratives by John Keene.
Reacting against limitations is part of the Repeater Books philosophy. Their vision calls for a rejection of ‘capitalist realism’ in favour of writing which combines ‘vigorous dissent and a pragmatic willingness to succeed where messianic abstraction and quiescent co-operation have stalled’. They dismiss the idea of the artist existing on a plane removed from the everyday: ‘abstention is not an option: we are alive and we don’t agree’. In terms of style, they oppose the ‘fashionable cynicism, egotistical self-reference and nostalgia for the recent past’ which plagues 21st Century arts and letters.
By Thom Cuell.
Barthes, however, does not view the image as either harmful or beneficial. On reflection, harm-or-benefit is a binary too simplistic to capture the process whereby things mean something. Instead, Barthes seeks to understand how and why the very idea of semantic proliferation is constitutive of the formation and growth of human understanding.
Leonid Bilmes on Roland Barthes‘s Signs and Images.
Hume makes both a metaphysical claim and a psychological claim. The metaphysical claim is that the mind is in fact a complex bundle of different perceptions standing in causal relations to one another. A consequence of this is that, while the bundle may be made possible by a continuing but changing human brain, a person is not an immaterial soul or self underlying and in addition to the bundle itself. The psychological claim is that we ascribe unity (simplicity at a time and identity through time) to this complex bundle only because of the power of mental association operating on perceived relations of causation and resemblance.
Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Don J Garrett.
Painting by Mark Manning aka Z.
I knew that Pope, like many others, put sexual desire at the heart of human sociability: people are attracted to one another sexually, reproduce, discover the intergenerational contract that gives us an interest in loving children and loving parents. But I was surprised to see him present sexual desire as one of the appetites that is thwarted by scarcity of resources – but that need not be if things were only slightly different. Pope imagines an earlier stage in social life where nature’s resources are sufficient to satisfy all the wants of a community, including sexual wants. He says that ‘half the cause of Contest was remov’d, / When Beauty could be kind to all who lov’d.’
Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Tom Jones.
Painting by Mark Manning aka Z