Matthew Stanley – Ulysses S. Grant: American Giant

Link to a review of Ron Chernow‘s book Grant (2017) by Matthew Stanley:

“Ulysses S. Grant: American Giant”

 

Selected quote: “To the extent that it overturns reactionary narratives and underscores the radical potential of the American past, Chernow’s Grant should be commended as a gain for truth. But his stress on the importance of political rights without discussion of how the market renders those political rights vulnerable (or even futile) is the primary shortcoming of liberal accounts of the Reconstruction era — and of liberal politics today.”

 

Bonus links: Democracy in America? and Golden Rule and Trade, Development and Foreign Debt and Review of Lenin

Russell Mokhiber – Mark Worth on Corporate Compliance Fatigue and Being Fed up with the Monitor

Link to an article by Russell Mokhiber:

“Mark Worth on Corporate Compliance Fatigue and Being Fed up with the Monitor”

 

Bonus links: The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives and …And the Poor Get Prison and Trouble in Paradise and The State and Revolution

Paul Street – Shameless Hypocrisy

Link to an article by Paul Street:

“Shameless Hypocrisy: Lessons of the Great Khashoggi Kill Story”

 

Street (following Herman and Chomsky) is wrong to suggest that this kind of journalism is hypocritical.  Rather, Domenico Losurdo has explained how this disavowed politics of exclusion is central to the kind of liberalism that these sorts of journalists adhere to.  See Liberalism: A Counter-History (“The political criticism that Losurdo directs towards liberalism is based upon a precise philosophical analysis: he exposes the lack of universalism in this train of thought: its inability to go beyond representing the special interests of the strongest classes.”).

Liza Featherstone – Bad Romance

Link to a review by Liza Featherstone of Kristen Ghodsee’s book Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence (2018):

“Bad Romance”

 

But Ghodsee is open to criticism of the same sort Jodi Dean leveled at Naomi Klein: why is “unregulated capitalism” the problem rather than just “capitalism”?  Isn’t Ghodsee just making typically vague (left) populist claims?  We can critique that position by saying that “populism is simply a new way to imagine capitalism without its harder edges; a capitalism without its socially disruptive effects. Populism is one of today’s two opiums of the people: one is the people, and the other is opium itself. *** What remains of the passionate public engagement in the West is mostly the populist hatred, and this brings us to the other second opium of the people, the people itself, the fuzzy populist dream destined to obfuscate our own antagonisms.”

Meagan Day – The Gospel According to Mark Fisher

Link to a review by Meagan Day of the book k-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher (2004-2016):

“The Gospel According to Mark Fisher”

 

Bonus links: “What’s Wrong With Identity Politics (and Intersectionality Theory)? A Response to Mark Fisher’s “Exiting the Vampire Castle” (And Its Critics)” and “How to Begin from the Beginning” (endorsing Samuel Beckett’s line from Worstward Ho: “Try Again.  Fail Again.  Fail Better.”)

Ginger Jentzen – Minneapolis’ Housing Plan Rewards Developers, Punishes Working People

Link to an article by Ginger Jentzen:

“Minneapolis’ Housing Plan Rewards Developers, Punishes Working People”

 

Bonus links: “‘Poor Door’ Tenants of Luxury Tower Reveal the Financial Apartheid Within” and “The Corporate Steamroller of Gentrification is a Deliberate Process” and “Turning Libraries Into Condos” and “Capitalism Can’t Give Us Affordable Housing” and “We Can Have Beautiful Public Housing”

Daniel Zamora – Should We Care About Inequality?

Link to an article by Daniel Zamora:

“Should We Care About Inequality?”

 

This is really an article about historical battles for ideological hegemony.

Bonus links: Slavoj Žižek On Political Struggle and Trouble in Paradise and Making Money and The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives