is Verso's renowned series of punchy, polemic titles attacking the apologists of neo-liberalism and Empire. From Hitch to Bono, no sacred cow or globe-trotting celeb is immune to the excoriating verdicts of these often amusing, always trenchant books.
To mark the latest in the Counterblasts
series, Japhy Wilson
's book on Jeffrey Sachs,
we're offering the chance to win all the books in the series to one lucky entrant. We will also be offering a copy of Jeffrey Sachs
to three runners up. Other books in the series include The Frontman: Bono (In the Name of Power)
, Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens
, The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work
, The Impostor: BHL in Wonderland
, and Michael Ignatieff: The Lesser Evil?
Jeffrey Sachs is famous for forging the doctrine that came to be known as 'shock therapy'. Shock therapy is both an economic and political strategy, which entails the sudden implementation of a set of reforms designed to shock an economy from one based on state planning to that of free markets. To read more about the strange world of Jeffrey Sachs, check out our abridged extract from Wilson's book.
To enter the competion simply answer this question: On 2 January 1992 in which country was Jeffrey Sachs' programme of shock therapy implemented?Email your answer with your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use the subject line JEFFREY SACHS. The deadline is 5pm GMT on Friday 6th June and the winner and three runners up will be chosen at random from the correct entries.
Today, on a blog run by Kyrenia-based academic Cengiz Erdem
, Alain Badiou weighed in on the uprising currently ongoing in Turkey. Calling the moment a "rebirth of History," his insight is also an open letter asking the Turkish youth to expand their movement as to incorporate the broad popular masses. In order to create true innovational change, Badiou asserts there are certain requirements:
They must create the means of living with the broad popular masses, of sharing the thoughts and practical innovations of the new politics with them. They must give up the temptation to adopt, for their own benefit, the "Western" concept of democracy, meaning: the simple, self-serving desire for a middle class to exist in Turkey as an electoral and falsely democratic client of an oligarphic power integrated into the world market of capital and commodities. ...Without it, the admirable current revolt will end in a subtler and more dangerous form of subservience: the kind we are familiar with in our old capitalist countries.
Journalist and author of The Imperial Messenger
Belén Fernández provided a dispatch from Turkey in Jacobin
, recounting her recent experiences in Istanbul, where riot police engaged in full violent force against the protestors. In the whirldwind of rhetoric and analysis currently surrounding the situation, Fernandez points out that the heart of the matter "can be understood without the invocation of previously-labeled phenomena: they are, quite simply, an assertion of humanity in the face of inhumanity".
Visit Erdem's blog
to read the articles in full.
Recently in Al Jazeera, Belén Fernández, author of the searing critique The Imperial Messenger, interviewed award-winning author and essayist Pankaj Mishra about his new book From The Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia. In his book, Mishra discusses the political awakening of Asia and challenges Western-centric narratives, referencing Thomas Friedman’s own delusions of Western grandeur as a prime example of neo-colonial journalism:
The other thing that influenced me was the post-9/11 political climate in the West. How such a wide range of politicians, policymakers, journalists and columnists could re-embrace the delusions of empire—those you thought had been effectively shattered by decolonisation 50-60 years ago; how they could bring themselves to believe that the Afghans and the Iraqis were just longing to suck on the big sticks proffered to them by American soldiers, as Thomas Friedman inimitably recommended...
In conversation with Fernandez, he goes on to offer further criticism of Friedman’s support for free trade as a be-all and end-all cure for poverty, stating:
I think to answer that one has to examine, in addition to individual trajectories of journalists like Friedman, the synergies that developed between politicians, businessmen, academics and journalists in recent decades: how each of these figures came to boost the other, how policymaking and opinion-making came to be complementary, how intellectuals came to be professionalised, Davos-ed and Aspen-ised and ended up whispering advice to power, and how defective but profit-maximising knowledge was produced and then widely disseminated.
Visit Al Jazeera to read the interview in full.
On the occasion of what appears to be one of Tom Friedman's most batshit crazy Times columns
yet—its title: "Syria is Iraq"—Belén Fernández, author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work
, curates the history of Friedman's imperious gut and what crises and hypocrises arise when we follow foreign policy initatives bred from organs unrelated to cognition.