F. H. Buckley (George Mason): American Exceptionalism. Is the United States just like other nations? Patriotism, to quote George Bernard Shaw, "is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it"; the same may be said of American exceptionalism. James V. Schall on American un-exceptionalism. R. Ward Holder and Peter B. Josephson on American exceptionalism re-envisioned: Barack Obama’s Second Inaugural Address. Are Americans as special as Obama says? Alicia P.Q. Wittmeyer wonders. Wendy McElroy on the tension within American exceptionalism. Glenn Greenwald on the premises and purposes of American exceptionalism: That the US is objectively "the greatest country ever to exist" is as irrational as it is destructive, yet it maintains the status of orthodoxy. BioShock Infinite: American exceptionalism to get its day in court.
Donna M. Vandiver, Scott Bowman, and Armando Vega (Texas State): Music Piracy Among College Students: An Examination of Low Self-Control, Techniques of Neutralization, and Rational Choice. From nonsite, a special issue on music. Anti-Semitism in Western music: David Nirenberg reviews The Music Libel Against the Jews by Ruth HaCohen. Can the origins of music be studied at all? Craig Hayes reviews Black Sabbath and Philosophy: Mastering Reality. John Covach on taking pop music seriously. Matt Smith-Lahrman interviews Preston Lauterbach, author of The Chitlin’ Circuit and the Road to Rock ‘n’ Roll. Yesteryear's alt-rockers are growing old in exactly the same ways as the 1970s dinosaurs they once mocked — why that's not a bad thing. Research suggests our love of music and appreciation of musical harmony is learnt and not based on natural ability.
James Lindgren (Northwestern): The Centrist Authoritarian. Brian Doherty reviews The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets Since the Depression by Angus Burgin (and more). From the University Bookman, P. Bracy Bersnak reviews After Tocqueville: The Promise and Failure of Democracy by Chilton Williamson, Jr.; the libertarian who loves Kirk: Gerald J. Russello interviews Bradley Birzer on the permanent things (and part 2); and (the future of) liberalism in our disordered age: Ted V. McAllister reviews Post-Liberalism: The Death of a Dream by Melvyn L. Fein. Leo P. Ribuffo on studying the American Right, Center, and Left — all at the same time. Charles Post reviews Reds at the Blackboard: Communism, Civil Rights and the New York City Teachers Union by Clarence Taylor. Teaching Marx at Harvard: An interview with Steven Jungkeit, author of Spaces of Modern Theology: Geography and Power in Schleiermacher’s World.
Timothy M. Devinney (UTS) et al.: What Matters to Germans: Social, Economic and Political Values. Egoitz Gago Anton (Bradford): The Analysis of the Framing Processes of the Basque Peace Movement: The Way Lokarri and Gesto Por La Paz Changed Society. Emilio Botin, the man who turned Banco Santander from a modest family business into one of the world’s biggest banks, faces his toughest challenge yet. Caisa Ederyd on how the Swedish government has stopped sterilizing transgender people. Are the Tories united on Europe? Pull the other one. Iceland, in or out, please decide. Alex de Jong on the Netherlands: Neoliberal dreams in times of austerity. Why are so many gypsies killing themselves? Jamie Clifton investigates. Waiting for Bardot: Have the French lost their je ne sais quoi? Kevin Bengyak on why Bosnia and Herzegovina should not be ignored. If the euro collapses, the Swiss Army is ready.
William R. Casto (Texas Tech): Advising Presidents: Robert H. Jackson and the Problem of Dirty Hands. Pilar Garcia-Gomez, Erik Schokkaert, Tom Van Ourti, and Teresa Bago d'Uva (EUR): Inequity in the Face of Death. From Ethics and International Affairs, Shefa Siegel on the missing ethics of mining. The Scruffy and the Stuffy agree: Cap CEO pay. Torture and taboo: Samuel Moyn on how the work of literary critic Elaine Scarry became the proxy for our preoccupation with the horrors of torture. From Telos, Greg Melleuish on the logic of history. Slavoj Zizek on why the free market fundamentalists think 2013 will be the best year ever. Molly Michelmore on why the income tax is worth celebrating. The futures of farming: What the closing of Kansas City’s Mercantile Exchange can teach us about how Wall Street stopped treating food like food.
Lauren Feldman (American): Cloudy with a Chance of Heat Balls: The Portrayal of Global Warming on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Petra Bartosiewicz and Marissa Miley (Columbia): The Too Polite Revolution: Why the Recent Campaign to Pass Comprehensive Climate Legislation in the United States Failed. Yes, Obama can tackle climate change alone. Cass Sunstein on why the U.S. should act unilaterally on climate change. An idea whose time has come: It's not just Obama — the entire world is ready to get serious about climate change. From Monthly Review, John Bellamy Foster on James Hansen and the climate-change exit strategy. Shaping the Anthropocene: Getting control of carbon emissions isn’t the end of the story — in fact, it’s just the beginning. What if climate change were sped up? Hannah Waters wonders.
A new issue of e-flux is out. Howard S. Schwartz (Oakland): What is the Occupy Wall Street Protest a Protest of? A Psychoanalytic Investigation. You can download Shifting Borders: European Perspectives on Creolisation, ed. Tommaso Sbriccoli and Stefano Jacoviello. Do zombies experience consciousness? Shaunacy Ferro on braaains. The thinkers admired, corrupted and oppressed by the Nazis: John Cornwell reviews Hitler’s Philosophers by Yvonne Sherratt. When a 10-year-old kills his Nazi father, who's to blame? From Curator, Alex Miller Jr. writes in defense of pompous asses. Your constitutional rights have been repealed in ten states; no, this isn't a joke — it is not exaggeration or hyperbole. Postapocalyptic hellscape: There's nothing that, say, reality TV or Glee can throw at us to make me say "the world is going to hell in a handbasket" — it already went.
From Dollars and Sense, Gerald Friedman on the Great Tax-Cut Experiment: Has cutting tax rates for the rich helped the economy? Robert Reich on the myth of living beyond our means. Steve Randy Waldman reviews Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America by Jonathan Levy. Matthew Wood reviews The Failure of Capitalist Production: Underlying Causes of the Great Recession by Andrew Kliman. Robert Teitelman reviews Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Markets, Speculation and the State by William Janeway. A book salon on The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class by Sam Pizzigati. Before greed: Richard White on how Americans didn’t always yearn for riches. Yes, Virginia, the rich continue to get richer: The top 1% got 121% of income gains since 2009.
Ingar Solty (York): Dear Left: The NRA Is Right — The Mass Shooter as High-Achiever: Historical-Materialist Considerations on the Resistible Fall of James Holmes and the Pathologization and Culturalization of the Cinema Massacre in Aurora, Colorado. Of cannibals, kings and culture: Adam Etinson on the problem of ethnocentricity. During the year it went public, Facebook made $1.1 billion in profits, but thanks to some nifty accounting, the company won't be paying any federal or state taxes on it — instead, it will actually be receiving a federal tax refund of about $429 million. Wisdom on the web: Robert Cottrell, editor of the Browser website, shares what he has learnt from reading lots of the internet every day. Cass Sunstein remembers Ronald Dworkin, the most important legal philosopher of our time. Tom McGeveran on how Marty Peretz forgets himself.
Ioannis Koutsaftikis , Nikolaos Nanas, and Manolis Vavalis (Thessaly): Front-paging Online Newspapers. C.W. Anderson on how journalists’ self-concepts hindered their adaptation to a digital world. The market for online news journalism has dissipated — it’s time to reconsider journalism as a project of the commons. Two years ago, the New York Times introduced its paywall — today, we can use the insights of behavioral science to say what works and what doesn't. Is Wikipedia a real-time news source? After a mass shooting or natural disaster, Wikipedia’s volunteers are on the story within hours and make thousands of edits in the first days. Facebook as a reporting tool: The new graph search gives journalists a way to construct a trend story without picking up the phone — is this a good thing? Celebrities have been selling tweets to advertisers for years now; now the Associated Press is giving it a try.