• print • Spring 2024

    AARON BUSHNELL WAS a twenty-five-year-old active Air Force member, employed as a cybersecurity expert. After growing up in a conservative religious sect on Cape Cod, he joined the US military a few years after Donald Trump was elected. Soon after George Floyd was murdered, Bushnell had a political awakening, became critical of the military, and started participating in mutual-aid projects. An autodidact who eventually identified as an anarchist, Bushnell moved from San Antonio to Ohio, where he prepared to transition out of the military. You likely know how his story ended: on Sunday, February 25, 2024, he died by self-immolation outside

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  • print • Spring 2024
    *Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Council Bluffs, Iowa, November 8th, 2019.* Image: Wikicommons/Matt Johnson.

    WANT TO FEEL OLD? Some Americans born during the 2008 financial crisis will be getting their driver’s licenses this year. These youngest Zoomers have never known an America where serious people think that the free market can work without significant government intervention, and they’ve likely known the names Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for as long as they’ve been politically aware. They have never believed capitalism would deliver for them, never experienced the disillusionment of seeing it fail for the first time, and never known the thrill of seeing it challenged by upstart politicians or the disappointment of seeing

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  • print • Winter 2024

    AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGMENT, I opened Twitter on an evening walk. The first thing I saw was about a twenty-three-year-old Palestinian in Turkey who had died of a heart attack after being unable to reach her family in Gaza. I despaired, of course. There are many ways to kill a people without pulling the trigger. I thought of Etel Adnan’s words: “How not to die of rage?” When protests erupted globally as Israel escalated its bombardment of Gaza, comparisons to the Iraq war were everywhere; and so, as I witness unfathomable violence, and I ache, I remember Adnan’s In the Heart

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  • review • December 11, 2023

    For Naomi Klein’s admirers, and I count myself among them, there would never be any risk of confusing her with Naomi Wolf. For nearly a quarter century, Klein’s work has offered clarifying conceptual frameworks to understand the workings of power, guided by an investment in movement politics and an unapologetic anticapitalism. She has the capacity to make socialist principles accessible—meme-able even—without moralizing or sacrificing rigor. She also has a canny knack for capturing the zeitgeist, crystalizing ideas attuned to a given historical moment that serve to galvanize activists as much as scholars. Naomi Wolf, on the other hand, is a

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  • print • Fall 2023
    *_The Simpsons_, 1989–*, still from a TV show on FOX. Season 4 episode 13.

    WHEN HOMER SIMPSON wakes up gray in the face one morning, poisoned by a long-spoiled sandwich, it’s not because the ten-foot hoagie was never nourishing. It is Homer’s pathological reluctance to let go that pits him against his own stomach. Cradling the sandwich’s putrefied remains in the sickbed to which it has condemned him, Homer “can’t stay mad” at the snack so large it once seemed it would just keep giving. The emotional life of the political left, according to many of its theorists, can often, in this sense, feel Homeric. From Benjamin, Adorno, and Marx to Wendy Brown, Enzo Traverso,

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  • print • Summer 2023
    *Kim Kardashian's deleted Instagram post promoting EMAX tokens, June 2021.*

    CRYPTOCURRENCY’S BLEND OF OPAQUE TECHNICAL JARGON, obtuse regulatory schema, and flagrant gambling has, since its inception, made it a magnet for characters you could generously call “colorful.” This was the case in 1992 when a squad of anarcho-libertarian Neal Stephenson fans first started gossiping about the idea on the cryptography listserv “Cypherpunks.” It was likewise true in 2008 when someone (or multiple people) using the moniker Satoshi Nakamoto sicced Bitcoin on the internet. Nakamoto—speculated, at various points, to be a Rhodesian cartel boss, a Palm Beach County detective who died gruesomely in 2013, and a libertarian model-train collector with the misfortune

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  • print • Summer 2023
    *Marina Kappos, _172_, 2022,* acrylic on canvas, 36 × 36". © Marina Kappos, Courtesy of Shrine, New York City

    “WHAT DO RAPE VICTIMS WANT?” At the height of #MeToo, this question was asked a lot. “What’s really important,” we would be told, with the furrowed brow of someone seeking to assure us of their own seriousness, “is what the victims want.” The rape victim became an offstage moral authority, someone whose judgment could be deferred to. But most often, her supposed desires were evoked to lend legitimacy to somebody else’s project. On the far left, prison abolitionists told us that rape victims didn’t really want their attackers to be punished; instead, they wanted forgiveness, rehabilitation, a kind of virtuous, self-denying

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  • December 29, 2022
    Kerry Howley. Photo: Jordan Geiger.

    WHEN KERRY HOWLEY PUBLISHED HER FIRST BOOK, Thrown, in 2014, bookstores labeled it a “nonfiction novel.” Its journalistic bona fides were somewhat straightforward—Howley embedded with two real lesser-known mixed-martial-arts fighters for three years, documenting the lengths they went to hone and destroy their bodies in real professional combat. The “novel” addendum stemmed from the book’s first-person narrator—a woman identified not as “Kerry” but “Kit,” a philosophy student who wanders out of an academic Husserl conference into a “Midwest Cage Championship,” where she encounters for the first time the subject of her book. Kit is earnest, pretentious, and not self-aware; that

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  • Dec/Jan/Feb 2023
    *Paul P., Untitled, 2021*, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 9 5/8". Courtesy Queer Thoughts, New York.

    IN THE FALL of 2019, I wrote in these pages: “It remains unlikely that Ebola will spark a global pandemic. But it is almost certain that something else will, and there is every danger that it will exacerbate prevailing social tensions.” The occasion was two books about the 2013–2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Each author, Richard Preston and David Quammen, warned of the “Next Big One,” as Quammen put it, which could well be “an inevitability.” People tend to forget Cassandra was right.

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  • review • September 14, 2022
    Nona Willis Aronowitz. Photo: © Emily Shechtman

    “These days ecstasy is indeed out of fashion,” the late critic Ellen Willis wrote, despairingly, in 1992. The quest for an ecstatic existence had once inspired Willis to seek a new life; to leave her first husband, move to the East Village, and, eventually, form the radical feminist group Redstockings. Her brand of feminism (often called “pro-sex”) bristled against the division of sexual expression into categories of good and bad, and rejected the anti-porn movement’s moralism, which Willis saw as essentially conservative. Willis envisioned a world in which women embraced bolder, trickier desires—including those that challenged traditional structures like the

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  • print • Sep/Oct/Nov 2022
    *Mug shots for members of The Janes, 1972.* Courtesy HBO

    THE PATIENT was a twenty-six-year-old mother of two, and she had just been sterilized. After getting a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s disease, a lymphatic cancer, during her second pregnancy, the young woman had realized that giving birth again would likely kill her. She had harangued a doctor for months, until he finally agreed to schedule a tubal ligation. When the anesthetic lifted, the first voice she heard was the surgeon’s. “The sterilization procedure was a success,” he said. “And congratulations, you’re eight weeks pregnant.” 

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  • review • June 10, 2022

    In the 1920s, an anarcho-syndicalist union in Germany distributed a pamphlet beginning: “May God punish England! Not for nationalistic reasons, but because the English people invented football! Football is a counterrevolutionary phenomenon.” Fifty-five years later, in his recently translated memoir Kicks, Spits & Headers: The Autobiographical Reflections of an Accidental Footballer (1976), Torinese leftist radical and professional footballer Paolo Sollier claps back: “I think that sports are an important field to be active in. One which the left has always avoided because of a question of priorities, but also because of its own inability.” Sollier’s discussions of popular football culture

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  • print • June/July/Aug 2022
    *Flooded houses and farm fields along the Niger river, Niamey, Niger, September 5, 2012.* Valérie Batselaere/Oxfam/Flickr

    THE WORLDS CONJURED in analytic philosophy are strange ones, in which abstract persons are trapped in a shifting kaleidoscope of hypotheticals, posited obligations, infinite regressions, near and far possible worlds. Even after the so-called applied turn in the last century of ethics and political philosophy, the tendency by professional thinkers to treat every real-world problem as a logic puzzle persists. 

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  • print • June/July/Aug 2022
    *Ladies' Tailors' Union protestors during the "Uprising of the 20,000" strike, New York, February 5, 1910.* Library of Congress

    IN 2004, DAISY PITKIN, a young staff organizer for the Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile Employees (UNITE), is recounting the union’s history to a group of ironworkers, roofers, painters, and laundry workers assembled for organizing training. She begins with the founding of UNITE’s predecessor, the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, in 1900, and continues with the strike by New York City garment workers, nine years later, that came to be known as the Uprising of the 20,000. She tells her audience how Clara Lemlich, a twenty-three-old garment worker, called for the strike during a meeting at Cooper Union, and

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  • print • June/July/Aug 2022

    WHAT WAS ELON MUSK PLANNING when he began to quietly buy up Twitter stock in late January of this year? In paperwork filed with the SEC, Musk originally indicated he had no designs on becoming an activist investor, and when his stake—at that point just over 9 percent—was made public in April, Musk accepted an invitation to join the company’s board. A few days later, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced that Musk had changed his mind and would not be joining the board, and less than a week later, Musk announced a takeover offer: he would buy out stockholders at

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  • print • Mar/Apr/May 2022
    *Cover of _Avanti!_, 1898.*

    LAST YEAR, during a diversity workshop I was required to take for work, the facilitators asked each of us to share the moment we first became aware of class inequality. One of them gave her example to “get us started” and told us about the time she visited a wealthier classmate’s house and saw a bidet in the bathroom. I think we were meant to laugh, but I kept wondering if this “rich person” was maybe just Japanese. Details aside, I was confused. You would have to live in an absolute cultural vacuum not to realize until that point in

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  • print • Mar/Apr/May 2022
    *Shay Kocieru, _Woman Prison Guard_ (detail), 2008*, digital C-print, 39 3/8 x 39 3/8".

    THE JOURNALIST EYAL PRESS HAS LONG BEEN FASCINATED by the vagaries of conscience. Why do some people speak out against misconduct while others stay silent? What price does such bravery exact? What distinguishes a genuine act of moral courage from a self-interested attempt to keep one’s hands clean?

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  • print • Mar/Apr/May 2022
    *Gordon Parks, _Trainman signaling from a "Jim Crow" coach, Saint Augustine, Florida_, 1943.* Library of Congress

    IN 1947, A YOUNG AUDRE LORDE and her family boarded a train from New York to Washington, DC. Along with their luggage, they carried a box of food, including roast chickens, bread, butter, pickles, peppers, carrots, a spice bun, peaches, iced cakes, rock cakes, iced tea, napkins, and a rosewater-dampened washcloth. “I wanted to eat in the dining car,” Lorde writes in her autobiography, Zami (1982), “but my mother reminded me for the umpteenth time that dining car food always cost too much money.” Her mother was hiding the full truth—that Black families could not eat in southbound dining cars—to

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  • print • Sept/Oct/Nov 2021
    *Balukhali Rohingya refugee camp, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, July 2019.* U.N. Women/Allison Joyce/Flickr

    “THERE ARE POLICY CHOICES to be made about who should be an immigrant, and that includes removing folks who don’t qualify under the law,” said Cecilia Muñoz, a member of President Joe Biden’s transition team, and previously the face of President Barack Obama’s harsh immigration-enforcement policies, in a recent interview. She added, “That’s, I think, just the reality of being a nation.”

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  • review • March 23, 2021

    The past few years have seen the resurgence of the working class as a topic of interest, with pundits passing judgements and Ivy League–educated politicians posturing for proletarian clout, though all too often without any input from the workers themselves.

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