Christopher Szabla, University of Hong Kong
Nicholas Guilhot, "Cold War Liberalism is Back," Jacobin
"Notions such as the 'free world,' the 'West,' and the 'empire of evil' have been retrieved from their formaldehyde jars," Guilhot writes of the response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, though his comments could easily apply to movements toward a more hard-nosed, geopolitical view of China and the world in general in the US and UK especially. Yet while its main argument resounds, it is the less explored aspects of this essay - on how liberal internationalism has evolved in this new iteration of Cold War to become "less a coherent project than a bloated mail-order catalog from which [states] can pick discrete items" and on how the current moment resembles less the complexity of the Cold War, with its moments of restraint and détente, but is one of more aggressive pugnacity, that intrigue and invite more exploration.
Adam Tooze, "War at the End of History," The New Statesman
How much was "the end of history" really about the end of the seeming potential for large-scale warfare? Reminding readers of how militarized the world was until the end of the Cold War, Adam Tooze writes, "[t]he achievement of the End of History consisted in not just the triumph of the liberal model, but in that it was attained bloodlessly." If that is true, Tooze wonders, did the invasion of Ukraine mark the real termination of the end of history illusion? From this he draws a number of counterintuitive arguments, including the idea that Ukraine's fierce and so far successful defense more than the invasion is a historical watershed and that, if the result of the war is that Putin is overthrown, it may in the end confirm an end of history thesis more than refute it.
Evgeny Morozov, "Critique of Techno-Feudal Reason," New Left Review
The idea that Big Tech has introduced forms of exploitation, like rent-seeking data harvesting, that are so reprehensible as to defy categorization as aspects of capitalism and instead resemble feudalism, continues to gain traction. As Morozov puts it sardonically at the beginning of this essay, it is no longer as difficult to imagine the end of capitalism as Frederic Jameson apparently believed in the 1990s - because it is seemingly being replaced by "something worse." Yet Morozov, who once promoted the idea of "techno-feudalism," now counts himself a skeptic, laying out how the notion of a "feudalistic" modern tech economy breaks down upon closer inspection and analysis of what different theorists posit actual medieval feudalism involved as compared with capitalism, which can still encompass diverse features of the modern economy.
Mahia Bashir, London School of Economics and Political Science
Emily R. Pellerin, Circumnavigating Censorship Through Poetry and Pictures, JSTOR Daily
Pellerin provides a synoptic account of the role of prison newspapers as “ a creative space for communal and individual self-expression’ and enumerates the ways employed by prisoners to navigate and subvert the infrastructure of censorship.
Kiean Andrieu, Auden’s Radical Humanism, Tribune
Andrieu pays homage to W.H. Auden, one of the literary trailblazers of the twentieth century, for his unwavering commitment to justice and humanism in a world trampled by fascism in this brief article that interweaves anecdotes from Auden’s life with his poetry.
Marcus Rediker, The Poetics of History from Below, historians.org
Rediker ruminates “on using verse as historical evidence” to tap into the consciousness and experiences of people who do not speak through documents of their own making.
Marc Reyes, University of Connecticut
Kenneth I. Juster, Mohan Kumar, Wendy Cutler, and Naushad Forbes, It’s Time for America and India to Talk Trade, Foreign Affairs
An interesting consequence of the Russian-Ukraine war has been a closer examination of the United States and India’s relationship. While the U.S. has marshalled an alliance against Putin’s Russia, India has refused to criticize Russia’s war, its brutal tactics, and not voted against the country at the United Nations (it has instead abstained on votes condemning Russia). The four authors, including former U.S. Ambassador to India Juster, argued that while the U.S. and India have grown closer on several issues, most notably defense and stopping Chinese expansionism in the Indo-Pacific region, trade remains an issue of friction. It’s true that trade between the two countries has jumped over the past twenty years, but well below expectations between the largest and sixth-largest economies in the world. The essay encourages enhanced bilateral trade between the U.S. and India and for the two countries to build on their growing security relationship to develop an economic framework for a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Lucy Song, The Elite Capture of Asian American Politics, Boston Review
Song, a PhD candidate in Harvard’s Department of Government, reviewed Jay Caspian Kang’s timely book, The Loneliest Americans. At a time of harassment and violence directed towards Asians in the United States and Asian-Americans, it is important to remember that the around 22 million people classified as Asian-American are not a political monolith with divisions marked by class, family history, and ethnic background. According to Song, Kang’s candid, and largely autobiographical work captures the alienation he experienced through his education and work as a journalist. Kang’s book examines “the social construction of Asian-American identity” and exposes “a high degree of class stratification.” What seems to be the dividing line for many Asian-Americans is whether they arrived in the U.S. before or after the 1965 Hart-Celler Immigration Act which opened up immigration from Asia. The rise of the “professional” Asian-Americans are the descendants of those arriving after 1965; more working-class and politically radical Asian-Americans tended to arrive before Hart-Celler. Although Kang thinks both groups suffer from unease and the titular “loneliness,” Kang’s ultimate argument is that Asian assimilation, for either group, will not fundamentally alter the U.S.’s racial hierarchy let alone lead to racial justice.
Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins, Has Neoliberalism Really Come to an End? The Nation
In this article, Steinmetz-Jenkins interviewed historian Gary Gerstle and asked about his new book, The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order: America and the World in the Free Market Era. Gerstle encouraged readers to think of neoliberalism beyond a national vantage point and instead see it as a “worldview (italicized in the article) that promises liberation by reconciling economic deregulation with personal freedoms, open borders with cosmopolitanism, and globalization with the promise of increased prosperity for all.” Those promised benefits helped attract believers on the political left and right as both sought to end a bureaucratized world. Gerstle’s book chronicles the emergence of neoliberalism, engages with the Soviet Union and how it contributed to neoliberalism’s rise, and to Steinmetz-Jenkins, provocatively argues that “on account of the Iraq War, the Great Recession, a revitalized socialist movement, and the Trump presidency, the neoliberal order is crumbling.”