Wood for the Trees: The Cool

One of the longest surviving superlatives within the lexicon of youth is the word ‘cool’. Why is a word used by my generation in the 60s still respectable among the adolescents of the 2010s? Was it always just a superficial affectation or can it also represent something of aesthetic or even political value? Recently whilst …

Material World: Brazil – people elect a populist

Far-right parties are mushrooming in popularity across the world elected on campaigns that disdain democracy and glorify authoritarianism. Bolsonaro attracted support from voters overlooking his fascistic tendencies. Recent surveys have found that 55 percent of Brazilians wouldn’t mind a non-democratic form of government if it ‘solved’ problems. Brazilians do have legitimate complaints about poor services. …

The problem is not the banks … it’s capitalism

In April 2017 the German central bank, the Bundesbank, published a paper on ‘The role of banks, non-banks and the central on the money creation process’ (https://www.bundesbank.de/resource/blob/654284/df66c4444d065a7f519e2ab0c476df58/mL/2017-04-money-creation-process-data.pdf). Accepting the current prevailing definition of money as including bank loans, it was mainly about bank lending and what determined its level. Some have read into it more …

Bolshevik anti-socialism

Recently, the electronic journal Anti-Capital published a stinging review (issue 13) of our publication Centenary of the Revolution (2017), a collection of articles from the Socialist Standard, dealing mainly with the so-called Bolshevik Revolution and its aftermath. We are accustomed to having our views caricatured but this particular review seems to have plumbed new depths …

Proper Gander: Pulling The Trigger

Derren Brown’s television shows are both fascinating and disturbing to watch, as they highlight something we usually prefer not to think about – how open we can be to manipulation. The ‘psychological illusionist’s stunts often involve making people ‘choose’ to do exactly what he’s conditioned them to. In Brown’s latest experiment – Sacrifice (Netflix) – …