Philip Alcabes – No Peace of Mind in Psychiatry

Link to a review by Philip Alcabes of the book Mind Fixers: Psychiatry’s Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness (2019) by Anne Harrington:

“No Peace of Mind in Psychiatry”

 

Bonus link: “Élisabeth Roudinesco Interviewed on the 30th Anniversary of Jacques Lacan’s Death”

Malloy Owen – Don’t Mourn, Repoliticize!

Link to an article by Malloy Owen:

“Don’t Mourn, Repoliticize!”

 

Bonus links:  Mladen Dolar on “university discourse” and Review of Domenico Losurdo’s Liberalism: A Counter-History and Slavoj Žižek On Political Struggle and Read My Desire (Chapter 6) and “Was I Right to Back Donald Trump Over Hillary Clinton? Absolutely” (“Democratic elections are a method to settle disagreements between people who already agree on the basics. When this agreement on basics falters, the only procedures at our disposal are negotiations or (civil) war.”)

Scapegoating Mountain Bikers

There is a small but determined group of people claiming to protect wilderness by scapegoating mountain biking and mountain bikers.  Their normal tactic is to highlight one or two absolutely true—but nonetheless isolated—facts about how mountain bikers are a threat to wildlife in particular areas to suggest that mountain biking should be banned to protect wilderness/wildlife.  On the surface, this seems appealing.  But the problem is that once you scratch the surface this is a highly chauvinistic approach that involves absolving hikers/backpackers/horseback riders/etc. from their own threats to wilderness/wildlife.  This can be detected even in the language that these self-styled protectors of wilderness use.  The best is “backcountry”.  This is a term that denotes at least limited openness to hiking/camping/homesteading!  When deployed in conjunction with words like “protecting”, what we see is not a plea to protect wildlife and wilderness, but to protect certain human uses in certain sparsely populated areas from certain other human uses thus reserving those areas for selected uses.  Here is an article that sums up this phenomenon:  “Griz Expert Says Mountain Bikes Are a Threat To Montana’s Bears.”  (actually, the headline was changed in response to some of the negative feedback).  It is worth reading the comments because people absolutely nail the author’s anti-bike bias (which the author explicitly denies!) and cite countervailing evidence that the author ignores or actively minimizes.  This article is not isolated, though.  People like George Wuerthner write similarly—for instance, he deplores the self-identities that mountain bikers and ATV operators cultivate but excludes from his scorn the self-identities that hikers, etc. cultivate (he does note in passing that hikers can also harm wilderness, but minimizes those admissions and quickly returns to biker-bashing scapegoating).  This is basically typical political liberalism: policing the line between the community of the free (the “good” hikers/backpackers/etc.) and those unworthy of liberal freedoms (the “bad” mountain bikers).  What is pernicious is that this is “discourse of the university”, that is, the advancement of normative political/ideological positions in support of a disguised mode of social domination.

Slavoj Žižek’s Influences

What follows is a brief list of major influences on the work of philosopher Slavoj Žižek.

The Big Three:

The Second Tier:

Others:

From the arts:

 

Fellow travelers (not influences as such): Alenka Zupancic, Mladen Dolar, Jodi Dean, Joan Copjec, Rex Butler

Michael Hudson – Food Blackmail, the Washington Consensus and Freedom

Link to an interview of Michael Hudson summarizing his essential books Super Imperialism and Trade, Development and Foreign Debt, conducted by Bonnie Faulkner:

“Food Blackmail, the Washington Consensus and Freedom” and

“De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire”

 

This interview provides an excellent summary of many of the main points of Hudson’s books.  For a latter-day treatment of a portion of these topics, see also The Global Minotaur and “Imperialism in a Coffee Cup.”

Peter Greene – Winners Take All, Education Edition

Link to a review by Peter Greene of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (2018) by Anand Giridharadas:

“Winners Take All, Education Edition”

 

Bonus links: “Social Service or Social Change?” and “Education, Jobs and Capitalism” and Summary of Dupuy on Social Hierarchy and Slavoj Žižek On Political Struggle and “Democracy Is the Enemy” and Oscar Wilde Quote and Review of The New Prophets of Capital and Critique of Cynical Reason and “Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas Review – Superb Hate-reading”