Syria: The New Terra Nullius

SYRIA, seat of an Islamic Caliphate. Syria, site of the Middle East’s newest liberal democracy. Syria, socialist paradise. Syria, a corrupt and murderous dictatorship that practices genocide. Syria, a failed state. Syria a state that is too strong. Syria, soon to be partitioned into ethnic enclaves. Syria, a pawn of Iran. Syria, a tool of […]

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The Trade War is Here: Some of the New “Facts of Life”

In Madeleine Albright’s new book, dramatically titled Fascism: A Warning, she slams the anti-globalization crowd, claiming yet again that globalization is here to stay—it’s a “fact of life”. It must be another of those facts of life that we are seeing today, like “Donald Trump will never be elected president” or “UK voters will ultimately […]

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Trade War and the Nationalist Exchange: Trudeau Trails Trump

“These tariffs are totally unacceptable. For 150 years, Canada has been America’s most steadfast ally. Canadians have served alongside Americans in two world wars and in Korea. From the beaches of Normandy to the mountains of Afghanistan, we have fought and died together. Canadian personnel are serving alongside Americans at this very moment. We are […]

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This Does Not Represent the Views of the University

I know that I am not the first person to ask this, but when did universities start having “views”? When some professors indulge their rights to free speech or put academic freedom into practice, they can sometimes express views that some members of the public find controversial, distasteful, or reprehensible. In such cases, one frequently reads their […]

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Privilege: White, American, or Imperial?

To the extent that “white privilege” continues to exist in the US, is it the highest form of privilege? How might a focus on domestic race relations misdirect us from an examination of US society in its proper geopolitical context? Related to the last question: is this introverted, America-centric focus itself a sign of “American privilege”? In practice today the tendency […]

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Democratization vs. Liberalism in Canada

Many North Americans (leaving aside Mexico), would likely not know that the official acronym for “North Korea” is “DPRK,” and if they did then fewer still might realize what it stands for: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. An even smaller minority, we can assume, would take North Korea’ self-designation as “democratic” seriously. If anything, […]

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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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Videos: The Adventures of the Master Class Reconsidered

Here we return to the theme of the previous feature on “reality tourism,” and the promotional materials produced by the Razor’s Edge company. With this, we complete our collection of such videos from 1999. The newest addition features an interview/testimonial, with Robert De Niro in the spotlight as he converses with the Executive VP of […]

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Donald Trump, Empire, and Globalization: A Reassessment

“Hey, I’m a nationalist and a globalist,” Donald Trump recently declared, “I’m both”. The only way in which the two (seemingly contradictory) positions can be reconciled is by introducing a third term, one that is absent from Trump’s vocabulary: imperialism. Trump might not be conscious of the implication of his statement (nor would he be […]

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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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Anthropologists and “Illegal Immigrants”

In this second of two recent articles on migration I examine the writings of three anthropologists— Nicholas P. De Genova, Andrew Kipnis, and Luis F.B. Plascencia—concerning usage of the phrase “illegal immigrant”. The problem of labelling migrant workers is not one that anthropologists invented, but it certainly is one they take seriously, as they should. […]

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