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    Melissa Benn

    "Melissa Benn deserves—demands—to be read."—Will Hutton
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    Melissa Gira Grant

    “Hugely influential ... a must read.” – Chris Hayes
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    Benjamin Kunkel

    “Rigorous and unapologetically Marxist.– New York

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    Lynne Segal

    “A powerful manifesto for dealing with the march of time.” – Observer
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    Owen Jones

    "A work of passion, sympathy and moral grace." Dwight Garner, New York Times


  • David-harvey

    David Harvey

    “David Harvey provoked a revolution in his field and has inspired a generation of radical intellectuals.” – Naomi Klein




  • Arun Kundnani: The utter hypocrisy of Tony Blair's Middle East vision

    Tony Blair's speech this week at Bloomberg in London reveals a growing support for authoritarian regimes in the Middle East. In his keynote speech on Middle East, he blamed Islamic extremism for failures of western intervention in region:

    For the last 40 to 50 years, there has been a steady stream of funding, proselytising, organising and promulgating coming out of the Middle East, pushing views of religion that are narrow minded and dangerous. Unfortunately we seem blind to the enormous global impact such teaching has had and is having.

    Within the Middle East itself, the result has been horrible, with people often facing a choice between authoritarian government that is at least religiously tolerant; and the risk that in throwing off the government they don't like, they end up with a religiously intolerant quasi-theocracy.

    Insisting that the west had to take sides, he described Islamic extremism as: 

    not about a competing view of how society or politics should be governed within a common space where you accept other views are equally valid. It is exclusivist in nature. The ultimate goal is not a society which someone else can change after winning an election. It is a society of a fixed polity, governed by religious doctrines that are not changeable but which are, of their essence, unchangeable.

    Arun Kundnani, author of The Muslims Are Coming! wrote this comment piece on the many hypocrisies of Tony Blair's speech:

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  • EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT - Chapter One of Utopia or Bust by Benjamin Kunkel

    All this week we will be bringing you an exclusive serialisation of the opening chapter of Benjamin Kunkel's Utopia or Bust. In the chapter entitled 'David Harvey: Crisis Theory', Kunkel begins his examination of the world of Marxist thought and the basis of Western society today with an exploration of Harvey's body of work and contribution to post-Marxian theory.

    The deepest economic crisis in eighty years prompted a shallow revival of Marxism. During the panicky period between the failure of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 and the official end of the American recession in the summer of 2009, several mainstream journals, displaying a less than sincere mixture of broadmindedness and chagrin, hailed Marx as a neglected seer of capitalist crisis. The trend-spotting Foreign Policy led the way, with a cover story on Marx, for its Next Big Thing issue, enticing readers with a promise of the star treatment: “Lights. Camera. Action. Das Kapital. Now.”

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  • Melissa Gira Grant: Anti-sex work laws hurt the women they're meant to protect

    Former Tory MP Caroline Spelman has called for the UK to follow the 'Nordic model' on sex trade legislation (criminalising the purchase of sex and not the sex worker), and urged more male politicians to enter the public debate about the reform of prostitution laws. Do we really need to hear from more people who have never worked in the sex trade? In particular, more male politicians? Both Caroline Spelman and Mary Honeyball are doing a good enough job at not representing sex workers, and their basic human rights to work free from danger, as it is.

    In response, Melissa Gira Grant (author of Playing the Whore: the Work of Sex Work), wrote this piece for the Guardian:

    The vast majority of people who wish to prohibit prostitution through the rule of law have never sold sex, and the most vocal and informed majority of those who oppose anti-sex work laws are sex workers. In a society that truly valued the dignity and rights of sex workers, this would be enough, and such laws would be illegitimate.

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  • "A present defaults – unless the crowd declares itself": Alain Badiou on Ukraine, Egypt and finitude

    I will say once again that I think that the fundamental figure of contemporary oppression is finitude. The strategic axis of this seminar is to provide the means for a critique of the contemporary world by identifying something within its propaganda, activity etc. at whose centre is the imposition of finitude, that is to say, the exclusion of the infinite from humanity’s possible set of horizons. At each session, from now up until the end of the year, I want to give you an example of the way in which something taking place today, or some commonplace or constantly used category, can be represented as a figure or operation of reduction to finitude. As such, each of these things can be encapsulated in terms of the general oppressive vision of finitude.

    Today I would like to take the example of Ukraine, the way in which the historic events in Ukraine serve the propagandist consensus that both constitutes and envelops it (at our next sessions I will address two connected notions, which are similarly hegemonic and bask in consensus: the notions of the republic and of secularism – and what I call false invariants: what is assumed to be an invariant, a commonplace of thought, and even a proof of what it is that unites us).

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