Death of a Marxist

Vijay Prashad in The Hindu: On Sunday, August 12, Samir Amin died. With him went a generation of Egyptian Marxists who came of age in the time of Nasserism and departed with the world in tatters. Amin was born in 1931 in Cairo. He was doing his PhD in Paris when Gamal Abdel Nasser and…

It’s Not All Lightbulbs

W Patrick McCray in Aeon: [C]onsider the Otts. Somewhere in Kansas during the early years of the Great Depression, Bill Ott and his daughter Lizzie did something different with their car. By removing the rear tyre and adding a drive belt, they built a homemade car-powered washing machine. As an ‘innovation thought leader’ at Davos…

The Contesting Memory of African Philosophy

Richard Marshall interviews Tsenay Serequeberhan in 3:AM Magazine: 3:AM: You approach philosophy, and in particular African philosophy, from a hermeneutical perspective, a tradition that you place Heidegger as being an important (though personally odious) figure. So, can you first say why you think a Heideggerian and Gadamerian hermeneutics is the best approach to contemporary African philosophy, especially…

V. S. Naipaul and the American Right

Mark Ames in Jacobin: Although a reactionary, Naipaul was never a lackey like today’s right-wing “intellectuals”; he never shied away from describing the brutality of colonialism (unlike bootlicking scum like Dinesh D’Souza, who never missed an opportunity to glorify his white right-wing masters for colonizing India, despite the tens of millions of Indians who died…

Are Men Really Hard-wired to Take Risks?

Cordelia Fine in the Financial Times: In 2009, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the “Lehman Sisters” hypothesis was born. If only there had been more senior women in the banking industry, would the credit crunch have happened? Journalists, politicians and scientists speculated that the Lehman Sisters might indeed have saved us, on…

The respect deficit

Richard V Reeves at Aeon: The Indian economist and philosopher Amartya Sen observed that everybody is in favour of some kind of equality – the real question is, ‘Equality of What?’ (1979). Relational equality, based on equality of respect, is distinct from two other kinds of equality: basic equality based on equality of legal rights; and material equality, based…

Public Benefit, Incorporated

Lenore Palladino in Boston Review: The stakeholder model of corporate governance would redesign governance so that all stakeholders in our economy (workers, customers, and the public) have a chance to benefit as corporations create profit. It is simultaneously radical and incremental by promising to remake our economy with some straightforward legal shifts. Though there are…

Alfred Döblin’s Berlin

Adam Kirsch in The Nation: What is Alexanderplatz in Berlin?” asked Walter Benjamin in his review of Alfred Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz. As Döblin’s original readers would have known quite well, Alexanderplatz is a square in central Berlin that serves as a transportation hub and as the anchor of a commercial district. But for Benjamin, the key…