The War of the Public Intellectuals: A Review of “Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Vidal” (2015)

When and how did the polarization of political opinion become so mainstream in the US? When was acrimony institutionalized? When did it become acceptable to deny a political opponent’s right to exist, and to commit oneself to the destruction of one’s opponents? When was incivility validated? Why are personal attacks, smears, and character assassination legitimized […]

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Cultural Appropriation, Cultural Exploitation, Cultural Genocide: Problems of Neoliberal Diversity Management

In Canada, “a yoga instructor…says her free class at the University of Ottawa was cancelled because of concerns over cultural appropriation….‘There were some cultural sensitivity issues and people were offended’,” this despite the fact that yoga was deliberately spread to the West by Indian gurus and was meant to be shared. In Lethbridge, Alberta, high […]

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The Dying Days of Liberalism

How Orthodoxy, Professionalism, and Unresponsive Politics Finally Doomed a 19th-century Project What a sight to behold. These are the dying days, counting down soon to the final hours, of the defeated political project of liberalism, inherited from the 19th-century. The centre—if there ever was one—could not hold after all. What a thing it is to […]

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101 Things We Learned from WikiLeaks’ Podesta Emails

US voters have been given a rare, even unprecedented opportunity to look at the machinery inside an electoral campaign and a foundation, as presented by the insiders themselves. Being afforded this privilege motivated one columnist to assert: “Those voting for Hillary Clinton, defending Clinton and supporting Clinton without reading the information reported by WikiLeaks are […]

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Cosmopolitan Imperialism: Obama Does Anthropology in Laos?

“Obama, the cerebral son of an anthropologist”—this is how the Associated Press touted soon to be ex-president Barack Obama on his visit to Laos this week. The AP went even further, declaring Obama’s approach “soft diplomacy”. One has to wonder where all of the “soft diplomacy” was in the seven brutal wars simultaneously fought by […]

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Immigration and Capital

Immigration, rightly or wrongly, has been marched to the frontline of current political struggles in Europe and North America. Whether exaggerated or accurate, the role of immigration is situated as a central factor in the Brexit referendum in the UK, and the rise of the “America First” Trump movement in the US. It seems impossible […]

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The New Victorianism

“A man…lives not only in the spot which he personally occupies, but in every spot to which he may extend his action, or to which he may conceive it possible that his action should be extended. And so, wherever over the world British influence penetrates, or can conceive itself penetrating, there, and not in the […]

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The Ultimate Proletarian and the Neoliberal Condition

“Proletarian” has acquired many layers of meaning over the centuries, possibly in part because the many, historically changing situations of proletarians became more complex. Since the advent of western European capitalism in the sixteenth century, proletarians were defined as “members of the lowest class”. By the mid-1800s, they were “the lowest class” composed of “indigent […]

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An Anthropological Preview of the Post-9/11 World

I accidentally came across this piece by Thomas Hylland Eriksen, a Norwegian anthropologist, titled “The Paranoid Phase of Globalisation.” It was published in openDemocracy just a little over a month after the 11 September 2001 attacks in New York and Washington D.C., and it was interesting to note Eriksen’s predictions at the time: Imagine this […]

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