NLR 33

Susan WatkinsContinental Tremors

Europe’s political landscape, revealed by the protest votes in France and the Netherlands. Mutation and dilation of the EU in the age of liberal hegemony, and lessons to be drawn from the unprecedented irruptions of discontent against it.

Jean BaudrillardHoly Europe

Meditation on the meaning of the No in the 2005 Euro-referendum as anti-consensual response to the authorities’ directive, ‘Say yes to yes’. The reversal of representative institutions to function from the top down, and capture of the hostage-citizenry by the state.

Bernard CassenATTAC Against the Treaty

Report from one of the unofficial headquarters of the campaign from below against the EU ‘constitution’, and dissection of its text as free-market manifesto for the 25-state Union. How long before Europeans are next allowed a vote?

Matthew GandyLearning from Lagos

Africa’s largest city not as chaotic laboratory of urban form, but end result of a specific historical trajectory. Beyond Koolhaas’s diagrammatic insights, the real context of spiralling debts, kleptocrat elite, infra-structural collapse and burgeoning informal sector as factors in Lagos’s expansion.

Régis DebrayA Pope for All Channels

John Paul II as actor-pope, and doctrine as screenplay—thoughts on the media’s sacralization of one of its favourite sons. Does resurgent religiosity in the age of fibre-optics demonstrate a need for communion far older than God?

Emir SaderTaking Lula’s Measure

Contested by popular movements from Buenos Aires to La Paz, the neoliberal model’s fate in South America’s most populous country. Emir Sader presents a balance sheet of the Lula government as it approaches the final year of its mandate amid continuing social iniquities, corruption allegations and comfort for finance.

Giovanni ArrighiHegemony Unravelling-2

In the conclusion to his major two-part essay on the new US imperialism, Giovanni Arrighi situates the contradictions of the current American ‘spatial fix’ for the problems of overaccumulation in the context of a longue durée of systemic cycles. Have Washington’s attempts to secure its world role through the invasion of Iraq instead hastened the rise of China?

Annals of Utopia

Tony Wood on Andrey Platonov, Happy Moscow and Soul. Recently discovered works by the neglected giant of twentieth-century Russian letters. The singular language and multiple ambiguities of Platonov’s style, and heroic impasses of his life and times.

Somatic Mind

Jacob Stevens on Steven Rose, The 21st-Century Brain. Complexity and plasticity of synaptic interaction, in a materialist challenge to neo-Darwinist models. Is it possible to account for the evolutionary heritage of the brain without compromising the autonomy of the social?

The Third Crusade

Richard Gott on Anthony Seldon, Blair. As ‘Iraq’ joins ‘Munich’ and ‘Suez’ in the lexicon of British foreign-policy disasters, does the Labour Prime Minister have his own neo-imperial programme?