We are all avidly following the progress of the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and beyond - combing the pages of the press, chasing down blog links, watching footage. But what recommendations would people make for a longer and more detailed view of the social, historical and economic context of the revolutions?
In response to Springtime
Edited by Tania Palmieri and Clare Solomon
Sukhdev Sandhu's revelatory forays through the London night give rich insights into the present-day reality of this accelerated, deregulated city. On his travels, Sukhdev took his battered copy of the book that inspired him: H. V. Morton's bestselling 1920s metrologue, The Nights of London. What other writing — about London or any other metropolis — best illuminates the urban night?
In response to Night Haunts
by Sukhdev Sandhu
Who pays for the crisis?
In the new edition of his acclaimed account of the financial crisis, Paul Mason shows how, for the last fourteen months, the illusion has been sustained that no matter how badly the world economy slumps, there is always a pain-free way out of it. With the realisation slowly dawning that there is not, and that the pain will be severe, the question is: who should feel it?
In response to Meltdown
by Paul Mason
Badiou and the state
Alain Badiou's political writings, such as his recent Communist Hypothesis, are marked by their association with his theory of the Event (characterised by some as akin to a miracle) and the notion of a politics "at a distance from the state". This has led to criticisms regarding the abstraction of Badiou's politics and the lack of organisational mediations.
For example, Luke Evans in Socialist Review says:
"Badiou's conflict between the "Event" and the "State" leaves no space for how the immediate struggle for reforms may change gradually over time and become a revolutionary movement as the working class begins to realise its own power. Rather Badiou's revolution is a sudden movement of force. Revolutions don't seem to be able to emerge as a result of the obvious struggles and conflicts that we all see and live through right now."
In the face of pressures pushing in the direction of political "realism" and even electoralism, is Badiou's stance a necessary corrective, or rather a replay of classic debates on abstentionism, ultra-leftism and so on?
In response to The Communist Hypothesis
by Alain Badiou