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NLR 111 was mailed out to subscribers on 30 July

CONTENTS

  1. Robin Blackburn: The Corbyn Project Given the imbalances of the UK economy—overblown financial sector, gaping current account, delirious levels of debt—what structural changes might a Corbyn government effect? Robin Blackburn discusses prospects and proposals for an egalitarian shift.
  2. Simone Weil: Meditations on a Corpse Cool post-mortem on the 1936 Popular Front government in France, written while it was still technically alive. Centrality of consciousness and importance of timing, in politics as in music—and Machiavelli as a better guide than Marx.
  3. Kareem Rabie: Remaking Ramallah From Arafat’s pharaonic tomb and Dubai-style luxury apartments to sweltering refugee camps and landless, beleaguered villages: greater Ramallah as synecdoche for post-Oslo Palestine—and triumph for Israel’s fragmentation strategy.
  4. Troy Vettese: To Freeze the Thames Are there hints of a solution to climate change in the Little Ice Age? Offering a critique of ‘steady-state’ ecological economics, green nuclear and artificial geo-engineering, Troy Vettese proposes the thought-experiment of a ‘half-earth’ alternative: agricultural land left to nature, egalitarian eco-austerity, green services and veganism.
  5. Jiwei Xiao: Belated Reunion? One of China’s greatest modern writers, Eileen Chang reframed its traditional fictional forms to grapple with post-1919 realities: decline of the Qing aristocracy, price of female emancipation, devastation of the Sino-Japanese war. Jiwei Xiao asks how publication of her long-suppressed last novel alters understandings of Chang’s work.
  6. Marco D'Eramo: Rise and Fall of the Daily Paper The historical arc of print journalism, from its emergence as the instrument of a rising bourgeoisie through a twentieth-century heyday, buoyed by consumer advertising—and coming retreat to a subscription-only luxury market under the new oligarchy.
  7. Tariq Ali: Yemen's Turn Tariq Ali on Helen Lackner, Yemen in Crisis. A social anthropologist on the background to the 2011 uprising and devastating US–Saudi war.
  8. Alexander Zevin: A Critical Conformist Alexander Zevin on Edward Luce, The Retreat of Western Liberalism. Indictment—and illustration—of liberal complacencies.
  9. Leonardo Impett: Prometheus Wired Leonardo Impett on Max Tegmark, Life 3.0. Symptomatic preview of a machine-run world from a mathematical cosmologist.

Articles:

  1. Simone Weil,
    ‘Meditations on a Corpse’ Cool post-mortem on the 1936 Popular Front government in France, written while it was still technically alive. Centrality of consciousness and importance of timing, in politics as in music—and Machiavelli as a better guide than Marx.

Editorials:

  1. Which Feminisms?, The American anti-discrimination paradigm, generated in the 1960s to neutralize the threat of radical black protests, has provided the palimpsest for global feminism for the past twenty years. How will it be challenged by the eruption of new gender protests, from Buenos Aires to Warsaw, Washington to Rome?
  2. Erdoğan’s Cesspit, As the AKP’s crackdown on political dissent continues and Erdoğan’s autocratic ambitions become ever more apparent, his Western apologists lament the fall from grace of a man—moderate and liberal-minded—who never existed.
  3. Portugal, How and why has Portugal differed from Spain since the downfall of their respective dictatorships in the mid 70s? The course of political and economic development since the Revolution of 1974 was contained, and its current discrepant outcome: a conventional social-democratic government obliged to break with Euro-austerity under the pressure of a pact with the radical left.
  4. The French Spring, How did Emmanuel Macron become President of France virtually overnight? What are the likely consequences of his rule? The long epoch of collusive alternation between Centre-Left and Centre-Right, and its abrupt ending; the realities of Le Pen’s Front National, and the riposte of Mélenchon’s La France insoumise. Has neo-liberalism finally arrived in force in Paris, and if so what are the implications for Europe?
  5. Casting Off, How to assess the latest set-back for the European Union: the vote to leave by its second-largest state? Complex determinants of the Brexit protest—party-political contingencies played out against topographies of class and sub-national disaffection—met by single-minded condemnation of it by the global elite.
  6. Oppositions, After years of economic crisis and social protest, the cartel parties of the extreme centre now face a challenge to their dominance from outside-left forces in a number of Western countries. Contours of the emergent left oppositions, their platforms and figureheads, from Tsipras to Corbyn, Sanders to Mélenchon, Grillo to Iglesias.
  7. Europe, Debt, deflation and stagnation have now become the familiar economic stigmata of the EU. But what of its political distortions? A survey of the three principal—and steadily worsening—imbalances in the outcome of European integration: the oligarchic cast of its governors, the lop-sided rise of Germany, and the declining autonomy of the Union as a whole in the North Atlantic universe.
  8. Annexations, After decades of connivance with territorial seizures from Palestine to East Timor, the West rediscovers the principle of state sovereignty in Crimea. The actual record of 20th-century land grabs, and the cross-cutting geopolitical pressures bearing down on Ukraine.
  9. 2011, Echoes of past rebellions in 2011’s global upsurge of protest. Against a backdrop of world economic slump, what forces will shape the outcome of contests between a raddled system and its emergent challengers?
  10. Arab Concatenation, From Tunis to Manama, 2011 has brought a chain-reaction of popular upheavals, in a region where imperial domination and domestic despotism have long been entwined. A call for political liberty to reconnect with social equality and Arab fraternity, in a radical new internationalism.
  11. Wall Street Crisis, Against mainstream accounts, Peter Gowan argues that the origins of the global financial crisis lie in the dynamics of the New Wall Street System that has emerged since the 1980s. Contours of the Atlantic model, and implications—geopolitical, ideological, economic—of its blow-out.