- In praise of ‘low value’ subjects. February 27, 2023
- Frigga Haug and the mystery of learning December 6, 2022
- Debating Growth. November 29, 2022
- Code red for human survival November 8, 2022
- The politics of silence. September 4, 2022
- Posts on Corsican themes. August 10, 2022
- When Corsica welcomed thousands of Serb refugees (1916) August 9, 2022
- Climate justice, heat justice and the politics of resilience August 5, 2022
- Nancy Fraser’s eco-socialist common sense. August 3, 2022
- Education, social justice and survival in a time of crisis. July 18, 2022
- A political education. May 10, 2022
- Redistribution and recognition should go hand in hand. April 17, 2022
- French presidential election: could Mélenchon make it? April 10, 2022
- Owning our crises March 26, 2022
- French elections 2022 January 29, 2022
Eddie Playfair on In praise of ‘low value’ … nivekd on In praise of ‘low value’ … eletseminario.org on Market autonomy or democratic… jofsaxon on Frigga Haug and the mystery of… Eddie Playfair on Debating Growth.
Category Archives: Reviews
Learning from Utopia
What is the function of alternative political and economic systems, whether actually existing or imaginary? Is it to offer hope that change is possible, or at least to provide some perspective on our own way of life?
Draws on ‘The Dispossessed’ by Ursula Le Guin. Continue reading
Posted in Culture, Education, Fiction, Reviews Tagged Alternatives, Anarcho-syndicalism, Anarres, dystopia, Education, Equality, Science fiction, Urras, Ursula Le Guin, utopia, utopianism Leave a comment
‘Bewilderment’ by Richard Powers
Bewilderment is an entirely rational response to what we are collectively doing to our planet. Confronted by the injustices, dysfunction and unsustainability of the world we’ve created, how can we not react with bewilderment? This wonderful novel is both an … Continue reading
Posted in Culture, Fiction, Reviews Tagged Biodiversity, climate emergency, Planet Earth, Richard Powers, Sustainability Leave a comment
‘Light Perpetual’ by Francis Spufford
‘Light Perpetual’ is a wonderful celebration of life and love. It opens with some extraordinary time-stretching to describe the impact of a split-second destructive event in wartime. Then time is shrunk and stretched repeatedly in order to follow the ‘lost’ … Continue reading
Posted in Culture, Fiction, Reviews Tagged Francis Spufford, Light Perpetual Leave a comment
Reading bell hooks.
‘Teaching to Transgress’ ‘Teaching to Transgress’ is as fresh and powerful in 2021 as when it was first published in 1994. Its messages about teaching as discovery, resistance and liberation are as vital today as ever. Reading bell hooks is … Continue reading
Posted in Education, Philosophy, Reviews, Teaching and learning Tagged bell hooks, Equality, passion, pedagogy, teaching, Teaching to Transgress 11 Comments
Zola’s ‘La Curée’ and the corruption of desire.
Rougon-Macquart #2 Emile Zola’s ‘La Curée’ (1872), translated as ‘The Kill’, is an extraordinary novel of unbridled appetites, material and sexual, and of the moral decay and rottenness of unfettered capitalism. It shares a setting and many common themes with … Continue reading
Posted in Culture, Fiction, Reviews Tagged Brian Nelson, capitalism, corruption, desire, Emile Zola, Karl Marx, La Curée, modernity, Paris, Rougon-Macquart, speculation, The Kill 3 Comments
Learning, earning and the death of human capital.
Is there a clear predictive relationship between the amount of education ‘received’, as measured by qualifications achieved, and future earnings? The idea is strongly held by many policymakers and it plays a part in the public debate about investment in … Continue reading
Posted in Education, Education policy, Reviews Tagged Ann Pettifor, capital, earnings, Education, employment, Equality, Green New Deal, Guy Standing, Hugh Lauder, human capital, human capital theory, inequality, Phillip Brown, Sin Yi Cheng, Sustainability, sustainable development, The Death of Human Capital?, training 1 Comment
‘The Ministry for the Future’ by Kim Stanley Robinson
Fiction can change the world and the didactic approach or the ‘novel of ideas’ can be compatible with good storytelling. Like any work of art, a work of fiction can change us as individuals and, through us, help to make … Continue reading
Tsitsi Dangarembga’s ‘Nervous Conditions’.
The personal is political, and this wonderful book is both entirely personal and deeply political. Nervous Conditions (1988) is the story of Tambudzai, a young woman growing up in rural Zimbabwe (then known as Rhodesia) in the late 1960’s, told … Continue reading
Posted in Culture, Fiction, Reviews Tagged Africa, colonialism, Equality, inequality, liberation, Nervous Conditions, Race equality, racism, sexism, subjugation, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Zimbabwe Leave a comment
Rebecca Solnit on Hope.
In a crisis, it is easy to despair. ‘Don’t mourn, organise!’ is a good mantra in such situations. Mourning has its place, but our response should be neither blind despair nor blind hope. We need to understand the objective reality … Continue reading
Posted in Philosophy, Politics, Reviews Tagged Coronavirus pandemic, crisis, hope, Hope in the Dark, learning, optimism, pessimism, Rebecca Solnit, Thinking Global, utopianism 2 Comments
In praise of lightness – Calvino’s Leggerezza.
The Italian writer, Italo Calvino, was invited to give the Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard University in 1985 but died before he was able to deliver them. Luckily, we have the text of 5 of these 6 planned lectures … Continue reading
‘Unsheltered’ by Barbara Kingsolver
Barbara Kingsolver’s novels are always fascinating and rewarding and her latest, Unsheltered (2019) is no exception. We follow two stories over a hundred years apart and set in the same location; Vineland, New Jersey, a town originally established as a … Continue reading
Posted in Culture, Fiction, Reviews Tagged Barbara Kingsolver, Charles Darwin, evolution, Mary Treat, natural selection, Unsheltered Leave a comment
‘The Overstory’ by Richard Powers.
Richard Powers is an extraordinary writer. If you’ve not yet discovered his novels, I strongly recommend them. He tackles big ideas which concern all of us while at the same time telling compelling stories about complex and conflicted characters who … Continue reading