Activists are set to stage a protest against the tax status of U2 during the band's headline performance at Glastonbury festival this evening. Adding to the tax-centred criticism of Bono, Verso presents an extract from The Bonds of Debt by Richard Dienst that exposes further hypocrisy. Dienst untangles Bono's problematic relationship with George W. Bush over the war in Iraq, as well as his deeply misleading claims to represent the people of the Global South.
Over the course of 2005, Bono's image took on a new ubiquity, especially during the media blitz surrounding Live8 and the Gleneagles G8 meeting. As Jamie Drummond wrote, "Live8 and the G8 Summit garnered this year more than 2.7 billion media impressions in America alone according to our best estimates." It is striking that Drummond speaks as if Live8 and the G8 meeting were the same event. It is hard to know what a "media impression" is-let alone what kind of significance 2.7 billion of them might have-but let us take note of one televisual event: Bono's appearance on Meet the Press on June 26. Bono's face and voice were being transmitted from Dublin to the studio in Washington, so that Tim Russert could interview him "live." Just moments before, Russert had interviewed Donald Rumsfeld about the war in Iraq.
The new issue of New Left Review (NLR 69 May/June 2011) is out now. Highlights include:
* Andrew Bacevich tracing the origins of the Bush doctrine of preemptive war to the thought of Albert Wohlstetter.
* Robin Blackburn, whose latest book, The American Crucible, examines the relationship between the struggle for emancipation and the discourse on human rights, reviewing The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History by Samuel Moyn.
* A study of Spain—last frontier of the Eurozone crisis and recent site of mass resistance to the austerity project—in which Isidro López and Emmanuel Rodríguez track the development of the Iberian bubble economy.
* A review of François Dosse’s biography of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari by Peter Osborne, author of The Politics of Time.
* ‘On the First Socialist Tragedy,’ an article from 1934 by Andrei Platonov, in which he reflects on man, technology and the dialectic of nature.
* Tariq Ali, whose book The Obama Syndrome is out in paperback soon, reviewing Manning Marable’s biography of Malcolm X.
For information on how to subscribe, visit New Left Review.
Owen Jones will be answering questions about Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class on the discussion board on Tuesday 28 June, from 12 noon (BST). Post your questions here in advance and please join us on the day.
In his review of my book Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class for the New Statesman, Michael Collins suggests that the "chav" word is somehow outmoded. I strongly disagree. Its usage remains prevalent: whether in daily conversations or internet forums. But above all the use of "chav" caricatures—whether the actual word "chav" is invoked or not-is still rampant. The idea that we're all middle class, apart from a feckless, work-shy rump living on "sink estates" is embraced by politicians and journalists alike. The reality of Britain's working-class majority remains absent from our TV screens, newspapers and from our politicians' speeches.
Alice Clegg's Financial Times review of Ross Perlin's book includes a handy do's and don't s list for interns and, drawing on interviews with recruiters, interns and lawyers, discusses what makes an internship good, bad or downright illegal:
When does give and take tip over into exploitation? In the UK, it boils down to whether an individual falls within one of four exemptions to the National Minimum Wage Act: volunteers; voluntary workers; work-shadowing/work experience; and students on course placements. Simply labelling someone an intern is not a get-out, says Alison Clements of Lewis Silkin, the law firm. What matters is whether “they are performing real work” and are obliged to work fixed hours.
Just prior to NATO’s military intervention in Libya, Joseph Peschek reviewed Paige Arthur’s Unfinished Projects for the journal New Political Science. Peschek first applauded Arthur for exploring an aspect of Jean-Paul Sartre seldom examined:
Among the vast array of Sartre studies, topics such as Sartre’s standpoints on Stalinism and the Soviet Union, and his related debates with Albert Camus and Maurice Merleau-Ponty on morality, violence, and history, have been prominent. In this fine book Paige Arthur systematically examines from a fresh perspective a second political engagement of Sartre’s: as a critic of colonialism and neo-colonialism and as a supporter of Third World liberation struggles.
From there, Peschek summarized Arthur’s “four phases in the development of Sartre’s understanding of decolonization,” which spanned from 1945 to Sartre’s death in 1980.
However, Peschek didn’t end there. He hoped to deduce from Arthur what Sartre would say about current Western military interventions.