From LARB, philosophers have exhaustively theorized an inherent relation between politics and real world occurrences through the concept of the “event”. A pre-history of post-truth, East and West: Postmodernism was conceived largely by the Left as a safeguard against totalizing ideologies — yet today, it has been appropriated on behalf of an encroaching neo-totalitarianism of the Right. Julian Baggini on how Jean-Francois Lyotard’s work was the best of postmodernism: The school’s degeneracy into post-truth was never inevitable. After the afterlife of theory: Lucy Ives on the remains of a discourse, from the liberal academy to the authoritarian Right. Christian Haines (Dartmouth): Eaten Alive, or, Why the Death of Theory is not Antitheory. You can download Theory is like a Surging Sea by Michael Munro (2015).

Gregory Jones-Katz (CUHK): XYZ, or, the ABCs of Deconstruction. From Derrida Today, Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz reviews Theory at Yale: The Strange Case of Deconstruction in America by Marc Redfield. Derrida’s quarrel: Birger Vanwesenbeeck on “La Differance” at 50. Two’s a crowd: Zany and earnest, political yet puckish, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari were philosophy’s most improbable duo. You can download The Non-Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze by Gregg Lambert (2002).


Ryan Murphy (SMU): The Rationality of Literal Tide Pod Consumption. Ben Mylius (Columbia): Three Types of Anthropocentrism. Three states are pushing Medicaid reforms that discriminate against black people. Kanye West is wrong: Free thinking, not blind loyalty, drew black voters to the Democratic Party. Elizabeth Nolan Brown on how the “Intellectual Dark Web” is just rehashing old p.c. controversies in new media. Why I escaped the “Intellectual Dark Web”: Alice Dreger on how pissing off progressives isn’t intellectual progress. Why the Supreme Court just opened the doors to legal sports betting in America. The first chapter from To Dare More Boldly: The Audacious Story of Political Risk by John C. Hulsman.

From Vox, the controversial US Jerusalem embassy opening, explained; and “it has to do with burning lakes of fire": Sean Illing interviews Elizabeth Oldmixon on why evangelicals love Trump’s Israel policy. Republicans’ apocalyptic fantasies are now playing out in the Middle East: Trump is tossing a lighted match into a lagoon of gasoline. Robin Wright on Trump’s new, confrontational foreign policy and the end of the Iran deal. The art of the regime change: Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal has one goal in mind — and no plan to achieve it. “Not the Onion: US officials demand Iran continue complying with the nuclear deal even after they themselves rejected it”.


As the “king of debt”, Trump borrowed to build his empire — then he began spending hundreds of millions in cash. “A Trump building project in Indonesia is receiving millions from Chinese government. How is this not emoluments?” If Trump is laundering Russian money, here’s how it works. “The only promises he has kept are the ones that put money in the pockets of Trump and his cronies”. A merger of political corruption with the tactics of organized crime. It’s time for Trump voters to face the bitter truth: Republicans elected a president who promised to take on D.C. — instead, Trump has presided over an extraordinary auction of access and influence.

The swamp thickens: Chris Lehmann on what the Michael Cohen story tells us about Trumpian corruption. The GOP is no longer the party of Reagan — it’s the party of Michael Cohen. The price of getting inside Trump’s head: Michael Cohen has profited from it, but we’re all Trumpologists now.


From the Journal of Democracy, a special section on China in Xi’s new era. How China made it: Zhang Weiwei on the political philosophy behind the world’s most remarkable success story. From Philosophy and Public Issues, a symposium on The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy by Daniel A. Bell. Barry Eichengreen on China and the future of democracy. “Everyone will become rich”: In China, the newly wealthy live in contrast with the old rural poor. A dream of grey mansions: An excerpt from Chasing the Chinese Dream: Stories from Modern China by Nick Holdstock. China’s middle class is pulling up the ladder behind itself.

Chang Kyung-Sup (SNU): China as a Complex Risk Society: Risk Components of Post-Socialist Compressed Modernity. Chinese economists say Big Data can replace markets in planned economies. How “China’s MIT” Tsinghua University drives the country’s tech ambitions. How do you control 1.4 billion people? China’s social credit system, which becomes mandatory in 2020, aims to funnel all behavior into a credit score. China’s dystopian tech could be contagious: The PRC’s “social credit” scheme might have consequences for life in cities everywhere.


Helaine Olen on the crisis in journalism that’s helping Trump. “Baby Breitbarts” might be the future of local newspapers. She tried to report on climate change — Sinclair told her to be more “balanced”. Yes, Sinclair Broadcast Group does cut local news, increase national news and tilt its stations rightward. Mark Feldstein on how Sinclair became the most insidious force in local TV news. M. Scott Mahaskey on the new conservative media establishment. The crisis of pro-Trump journalism: More influential than ever, the right-wing media is now facing increased scrutiny — but will it make a difference? Jeet Heer on the scourge of Trumpism in conservative journalism. If good reporting was in any way useful to conservatives, they’d already be doing it.

Tim Alberta on the deep roots of Trump’s war on the press: Long before cries of “fake news”, there was Brent Bozell and his Media Research Center. Church of The Donald: Never mind Fox — Trump’s most reliable media mouthpiece is now Christian TV. The case for Fox & Friends: In a time of broken norms, the norm of sitting opposite the president with a stack of “hard-nosed questions” is also broken. Is the Trump-Fox News-Wall Street Journal unholy alliance starting to crack under the President’s lies? Donald Trump and Sean Hannity like to talk before bedtime: Olivia Nuzzi on life inside the bunker of Fox News’ resident Trumpleganger. Greg Sargent on alarming new revelations about Trump’s addiction to Fox News.

Why liberal media need conservative columnists. Brian Beutler on Donald Trump and the media’s quest for a Goldilocks conservative. The liberal media can have ideological diversity without conservatives. “Liberal media” is fake news: While the majority of reporters identify as Democrats, conservatives have done a masterful job of gaining increasing control of the media — that changes the news we all read. Mainstream media, embrace your liberalism. Reversal of fortune: Progressive media in a Democratic White House. One reason we lose: Nathan Robinson on how to compete against right-wing media.


We need more government, not less, in the war on poverty: Mehrsa Baradaran on the myth of the “dependent” poor. Who’s able-bodied anyway? Emily Badger and Margot Sanger-Katz on the 400-year history of how we talk about the deserving versus the undeserving poor. If the poor must work to earn every dollar, shouldn’t the rich? Daniel Treisman on why the poor don’t vote to soak the rich. Americans living in poverty, yet proudly flying the flag: Tobias Carroll interviews Francesco Duina, author of Broke and Patriotic: Why Poor Americans Love Their Country. Colorado Republicans admit they hate poor people and explain why. Sarah Jones on why conservatives blame poverty on the poor.

Perpetuating the cycle of poverty: How the Republican Party’s proposals to reform the food stamp program will keep people down. John Cassidy on how the Trump administration targets the poor. The Trump administration is waging war on the poor. Trump’s war on the poor: The cruelty of these cuts isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. Politico goes behind Trump’s plan to target the federal safety net. Disrupting the conservative platform: Given today’s economic challenges, some on the Right are beginning to embrace a more robust safety net. A sweeping, multi-state anti-poverty movement kicks off in the age of Trump.


David Konisky and Stefan Carpenter (Indiana): The Killing of Cecil the Lion as an Impetus for Policy Change. Why would any decent person want to kill an elephant? Asian elephants are now being killed for their skin. Branden Jung (UNLV): The Tragedy of the Elephants. Virginia Morell on what trophy hunting does to the elephants it leaves behind (and more). Myanna F. Dellinger (South Dakota): Trophy Hunting: A Relic of the Past. Treachery for trophies: Anupam Katkar on how hunters destroyed a culture of people-predator coexistence. Why Americans — including hunters — are souring on big-game hunting.


Carole J. Lee (Washington): A Dispositional Account of Aversive Racism. Shamira Ibrahim on black loiterers, white lingerers, and Starbucks coffee. Starbucks, Yale, and the abuse of 911 against black Americans. When white people call the police on black people. White people keep calling the cops on black people for no reason — that’s dangerous: Calling 911 means different things to white and black people. Rakem Balogun spoke out against police brutality — now he is believed to be the first prosecuted under a secretive US effort to track so-called “black identity extremists”. Michael Harriot on the top 10 ways black people keep racism alive, according to wypipo.

Strange brew: D.R. Tucker on the Right’s pathetic denial of racism. Yes, Donald Trump is making white people more hateful: A new study finds empirical evidence of the “Trump Effect”. George Wallace tapped into racial fear — decades later, its force remains potent. Study: Overhyped media narratives about America’s fading white majority fuel anxiety. What is wrong with these people? Republicans have a “nonwhite” problem: Maybe if conservatives acknowledged that racism is still a serious problem and acted like they cared, lefties would feel more comfortable toning down their attacks a smidge.


Stuart Hargreaves (CUHK): “I’m a Creep, I’m a Weirdo”: Street Photography in the Service of the Male Gaze. Democrats have a plan to save the Post Office — and kill payday lenders. Deficit dummies: The debt and the deficit don’t really matter, despite what the media would have you believe. Brad Evans interviews Michael J. Shapiro on violence and the art of the political. Virginia Heffernan on when #MeToo and the Russia investigation collide. Who ordered Black Cube’s dirty tricks? Set adrift in the English-teaching industrial complex: Nick Slater on the millennials who wander the globe spreading English. Just how did Matt Lauer’s famous desk button work? Thread: “OK, time for some real talk on John McCain” (and more on the McCain slobberfest).


From The Point, a symposium on “What are intellectuals for?”, including Jon Baskin on D.C. think tanks, NYC magazines and the search for public intellect; Jesse McCarthy on American intellectuals and the black radical tradition; Anastasia Berg on “Cat Person” and the dark pleasures of empathy; Jonny Thakkar on being an arsehole, a defense; and Rachel Wiseman on Joseph Brodsky and the moral responsibility to be useless. The centrist grievance against “victim politics”: Moderate liberals and conservatives complain about the contemporary focus on suffering — but such activism is central to American democracy.

The free speech grifters: Why are some of the biggest public intellectuals so fixated with a small minority of liberal college students? The professor of piffle: The dangerous underside of Jordan Peterson’s crusade against the humanities. The ideas industry meets the intellectual dark web: What happens when thought leaders cannot exercise leadership? David Atkins on shaming the deplorable dark web. Michelle Goldberg on how the online Left fuels the Right: Trying to silence conservatives just makes them louder. This column will probably change your mind: New research shows op-eds really do persuade.

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