A new issue of the International Journal of Zizek Studies is out, including Simon Rajbar (Cardiff): The Ontology of Crisis: The Sublimity of objet petit a and the Master-Signifier. Joshua Rayman (South Florida): Zizek’s Ethics. In The Courage of Hopelessness, Slavoj Zizek, the so-called “Elvis of critical theory”, argues that it’s not until we’ve jettisoned even the remotest hope of redemption — when we’ve admitted that the light at the end of the tunnel is in fact the headlight of an oncoming train — that we can truly rehabilitate our society. In a London cafe, Anja Steinbauer chats with Slavoj Zizek, the philosopher who invented the word “idiosyncratic”. Slavoj Zizek on Marx today: The end is near, only not the way we imagined it. It’s hard to believe, but just in 2011, Slavoj Zizek was speaking at Occupy Wall Street to excitement and acclaim.


Loyalty, unease in Trump’s Midwest: Voters gave Trump a chance, some remain all in — others have grown weary of the chaos (and more). “Tricked by the devil”: They backed Trump — now, his foreign labor cuts may ruin them. Here’s a crazy idea: Trump voters are responsible for Trump. “Maybe we have swung too far toward being empathetic”: Julia Ioffe interviews Seth Meyers on Saturday Night Live, Obama, Oprah 2020, and whether media elites try too hard to feel the pain of Trump voters (and more). Paul Waldman on why Democrats can’t win the “respect” of Trump voters. “Real” Americans are a myth — don’t you dare buy it.

“Trumpers should look at this tweet (photoshopped by an adept tweep here, h/t @oppland67) and consider it a thought experiment”. White people get more conservative when they move up — not down — economically. Brian Resnick on 9 essential lessons from psychology to understand the Trump era.


Sigit Haryadi (ITB): Principles of Spectrum Management. Sam Sadian (Barcelona): Consumer Studies as Critical Social Theory. Every Democrat should support Bernie Sanders’s new labor bill. The Malaysian election results were a surprise — here are 4 things to know. Tareq Baconi on what the Gaza protests portend. As Ebola reemerges in central Africa, Team Trump appears unprepared. Fear factor: Tom Carson goes inside the paranoia-entertainment complex. Nancy LeTourneau on the assumption of entitlement to female bodies from men like Trump. The first chapter from The Routledge Companion to Critical Marketing Studies, ed. Mark Tadajewski, Matthew Higgins, Janice Denegri-Knott and Rohit Varman.

President Trump just blinked on China: The president appears to have crawled way out on a limb to make a mediocre deal. President Trump shrinks from another fight with China. “A mere 72 hours after the Chinese government agreed to put a half-billion dollars into an Indonesian project that will personally enrich Donald Trump, the president ordered a bailout for a Chinese-government-owned cellphone maker”. Helaine Olen on Trump’s latest violation of the emoluments clause.


What Kim Jong Un wants from Trump: The United States is playing North Korea’s game — here’s why that’s dangerous. As much as White House officials pretend that President Trump’s supernatural ability to sniff out Kim Jong-un’s true intentions will be the key to peace on the Korean peninsula, June 12 is only the beginning of this story. Trump moonwalks away from pledge to denuclearize North Korea. Alex Ward on the past 72 hours in surprising North Korea news, explained. North Korea appears to be shutting down its nuke-testing site. Why closing Kim’s test site won’t hinder his nuclear plans. North Korea just threatened to cancel the Trump-Kim meeting — experts say it’s likely a bluff (and more). North Korea’s sudden “unpredictable” frostiness was entirely predictable.

Why are we taking Donald Trump’s Korea diplomacy seriously? All he does is lie and break promises — this will be no different.


Kate Andrias (Michigan): The Fortification of Inequality: Constitutional Doctrine and the Political Economy. Our constitution wasn’t built for this: It’s lasted 230 years, but the founders didn’t plan for this economy. The lines that divide America: Americans are increasingly segregated by socioeconomic class — and have forgotten that all citizens deserve a shot at moving ahead. If we care about inequality, we must confront capital. Inequality is getting so bad even Wall Street is starting to pay attention. Inequality is a bigger threat to our democracy than Putin is. Dean Baker on blaming inequality on technology: Sloppy thinking for the educated.

Hamilton Nolan on how inequality is too strong for our puny governments. Inequality is rising across the globe — and skyrocketing in the U.S. (and more) In cowboy country, inequality is not a bug — it’s a uniquely American strategy. It matters who gets what and in what proportions: Nathan Robinson on why equality is indispensable. Rising American inequality: Kevin Lansing, Agnieszka Markiewicz on new evidence on winners and losers. Matt Bruenig on a simple fix for our massive inequality problem. Sarah Jaffe interviews Rep. Keith Ellison on why it might be time to think about a maximum wage. Why is it so hard for democracy to deal with inequality?

Roger Altman is confused: Policy has led to inequality, not the natural workings of the economy. The top 0.1% of American households hold the same amount of wealth as the bottom 90%. Elizabeth Kolbert on the psychology of inequality: Researchers find that much of the damage done by being poor comes from feeling poor. “Inequality is usually studied using one factor — consumption, income or wealth; when the three are combined into one measure, inequality is even worse than we thought it was”. Huge human inequality study hints revolution is in store for U.S. Myths of the 1 percent: Jonathan Rothwell on dispelling misconceptions about what’s driving income inequality in the U.S.

Christopher Ingraham on how rising inequality hurts everyone, even the rich. Angus Deaton on the under-discussed driver of inequality in America: “It’s easier for rent-seekers to affect policy here than in much of Europe”. Jessie Daniels on how white families are engines of inequality. How did we end up with an infestation of billionaires? Steven Teles and Brink Lindsey on how the state can make inequality worse. Jeff Stein on how 12 experts would end inequality if they ran America.


Liberals must accept that beating Trump was never going to be easy, or they’ll lose to him again. Matthew Yglesias on Democrats’ 2018 impeachment dilemma, explained. Democrats: Don’t take the bait on impeachment. Brian Beutler on Democrats’ increasingly untenable impeachment position. How Democrats can make Trump chaos a midterm issue. The Democrats are moving left without self-destructing. Stop comparing the resistance to the tea party. Why primary fights are good for the Democratic Party. The lesson of the Steny Hoyer controversy: Party insiders still matter after all.

Could Kamala Harris help end the 2016 primary wars? In wide-open 2020 presidential field, Democrats are road-testing messages — and trying to redefine their party. How Democrats can over-promise like Trump: It worked for the president — it can work for his opponents, too.


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.

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