NLR 66

Richard WalkerThe Golden State Adrift

Long at the forefront of US capitalism, the Golden State is now at the leading edge of its crisis. Richard Walker measures the dimensions of California’s slide—housing bubble, fiscal woes, rising inequality—as well as the underlying demographic and economic shifts.

Gopal BalakrishnanThe Coming Contradiction

Reflections on Fredric Jameson’s Valences of the Dialectic and its engagement with questions of historicity, narrative and time. Categories and concepts from Hegel, Marx, Sartre and Ricoeur, used to interrogate the impasses of the present—and to envision what lies beyond.

Ho-fung HungUncertainty in the Enclave

Portrait of Hong Kong’s contested political scene. With democratizing reforms blocked by an entrenched alliance of CCP and local magnates, an increasingly radical populace seeks to break the deadlock. Might the PRC’s hyper-capitalist region be its weakest link?

Michael DenningWageless Life

Origins of the figures of unemployment and the informal sector, and their inadequacy to contemporary forms of wagelessness. Michael Denning draws lessons from Marx, Fanon and the streets of Ahmedabad.

Asef BayatTehran: Paradox City

Walled citadel of the Shahs, hub of petro-modernity, post-Islamist metropolis: Asef Bayat on the history of struggles to define Iran’s capital, and the successive contests between elite projects and popular resistance that have shaped its spatial pattern.

Sven LüttickenPlaytimes

Once deemed extinct, the play instinct now pervades the worlds of work and leisure. Can it be turned to radical ends? Sven Lütticken seeks clues in Schiller and Debord, Neuschwanstein and computer games.

On Mao’s Contradictions

Tariq Ali on Rebecca E Karl, Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World. Level-headed exploration of the Great Helmsman’s life and legacies.

The Spectre of Analogy

Alberto Toscano on Luciano Canfora, L’uso politico dei paradigmi storici. Dissection of the uses of historical analogy, from Thucydides to Furet.