NLR 113

Göran TherbornTwilight of Swedish Social Democracy

Hailed with relief for fear of a bleaker outcome, the SAP’s poor performance in the September 2018 election underlines the malaise afflicting social democracy’s global flagship. Therborn charts the country’s SAP-led neoliberalization—and rise of the far-right Sweden Democrats—against the backdrop of recession and refugee arrivals.

David KotzEnd of the Neoliberal Era?

Prognosis for the US economy, after a decade of unprecedented monetary stimulus. Does the distempered character of the recovery—soaring profits, feverish asset prices, anaemic wage growth—signal a structural crisis in the existing regime of capitalist accumulation, and transition to a new institutional framework?

Perry AndersonAn Afternoon with Althusser

Notes on a conversation in the summer of 1977, when the philosopher made an impromptu visit to the NLR office. Wide-ranging discussion on Althusser’s relations with the PCF, the condition of Marxism, the Chinese and Russian revolutions compared; Trotsky, Sraffa and the problems with Gramsci’s concept of hegemony.

Richard StallmanTalking to the Mailman

Growing domination of companies over users, malicious function­alities, tracking and widespread surveillance. The leading campaigner for software freedom discusses the present technological landscape and the political relevance of the campaign for free software.

Alice Bamford & Donald MacKenzieCounterperformativity

If speech can—in the famous argument of J. L. Austin—not only be true or false, but also do things, what about economic models? And what about when models go wrong, or actually undermine their own assumptions? Black–Scholes, gamma traps and gaming—a typology of the perverse effects of some key financial tools.

Metaphysicking the West

Dylan Riley on Heinrich August Winkler, The Age of Catastrophe. ‘The West’ as normative construct—and narrative telos—in a moralizing account from Berlin of the 20th century’s wars and revolutions.

Artwork as Critique

Zöe Sutherland on Marcus Verhagen, Flows and Counterflows. Comparative survey of how contemporary artists have engaged with the invisible dynamics of globalization through their work.

Beyond Redistribution?

John Grahl on Philippe Askenazy, Tous rentiers! Contra Piketty’s fiscal prescriptions, a French economist’s recipe for reducing inequality through re-mobilization of labour and critique of ‘propertarian’ ideology.