Death of a Country

The death of Queen Elizabeth II signals the tolling bell of the United Kingdom, from empire to island. Amongst the nation is both a yearning sadness for a monarch representative of the remaining vestiges of duty, stewardship and historical connection, while at the same time a deep ambivalence as the cultural and economic destruction of Britain happened under her rule. As a figurehead, much of this cannot laid at her feet but at the same time there was never any indication of revulsion at the “evolution” of Britain. They needn’t dissolve Parliament or become actively political to criticise the direction of the country. But it never happened, with each speech proclaiming the remaining greatness of Britain and the strength of its national character. What this evoked was a similar feeling to American exceptionalism: a proclamation of being the greatest nation on earth while a vast underclass is starved, drugged and ignored and wealth seeps out into tax havens and coastal gated communities. Such greatness is a mask for national decline and widespread anomie.

Continue reading

Agricultural Conspiracy: The Coming Battle

The spate of industrial fires across food production and packaging facilities in the United States sparked a conspiratorial reading of events. A pattern of fire during an existing food crisis and a growing awareness of the tenuousness of food supply chains has led to suggestions that these are not random events but planned sabotage[1] that extends central control of food processing systems and forces consumers into a food serfdom. Equally, there are suggestions that this is simply a Baader-Meinhof phenomenon and that the extent of fires in production and processing facilities have always been relatively high[2].

Continue reading

The Conjuncture Continues

The Bank of England’s announcement of a recession in the last quarter of 2022 and the next in 2023 has been met with suspense rather than disbelief. It was more an inevitability considering inflationary pressure, a weakened labour market and tepid growth post-pandemic. But compared to 2008, the last recession in the UK which was met with bank runs, a debt crisis and the devaluation of assets (mainly housing), this recession is more an example of exasperation. The years leading up to 2008 had seen consistent growth levels and upward real wages[1], while the years leading up to 2022 had seen minimal growth, real wage stagnation and an asset price boom which did not filter down to the general populace through taxation or distributive allocation. This recession then is a continuation of the norm, of misallocated and unproductive capital expenditure (exacerbated by years of quantitative easing) and the reduction of wages as a ratio of profit or value.

Continue reading

Difference and Politics

The everydayness of politics both brings forth issues of where the domain of politics sits and how such analyses overcome falling into banality as “everything as politics” devolves into inconsequential argumentation. Further, it raises questions of how one escapes or partialises themselves against battles for hegemony. A domain of politics has become increasingly fluid as issues surrounding art, ethics and identity become fodder for culture wars and key determinants for the production of new constituencies. Everything is a game of power in this sense.

Continue reading

Revolt from Beneath

The ongoing protests from anti-Covid restriction demonstrations to trucker’s protests in Canada, strikes in the UK and farmer’s protests in the Netherlands demonstrate an increasing sense of revolt against the existing economic order, particularly its intensification in the post-Covid era to a technocratic model of governance. However, this doesn’t represent the growth of a holistic movement against capitalism or globalisation, nor even a coherent front for popular mobilisation. Rather, it is the development of fractured pushbacks against distributional decisions.

Continue reading

Colour Revolutions & the NGO Complex

“Liberalism disembodies the friend-enemy distinction”[1]. The expansionary nature of liberal ideology and its infrastructural power is sublimating. Space is to be extended through, with obstacles removed or absorbed. “Despite its relative physical durability—infrastructure space is often only regarded as a byproduct of more volatile markets and political games”[2]. Space is a liminal element that is mouldable to market dynamics. It is to be homogeneous and parameterised so as to extend ideological contiguity.

Continue reading

Resistance in the Liberal Empire

In conceiving a liberal empire we are dealing with inherent contradictions. The premise of liberalism is that of spontaneous emergence through the mechanism of an invisible hand (or series of invisible hands) that concatenate various social actors into an array of competitive and cooperative games. “Invisible hand mechanisms of balance, competition, and emergent system-level goods were at the heart of the liberal project”[1]. Through these mechanisms should emerge a social order that both expresses individual autonomy and induces obedience to higher goals related to the general welfare, and thus emerges the contradiction.

Continue reading

The Office Complex

The office has become the defining workspace in late modernity. While administration and bureaucracy have been ubiquitous features of all forms of economic activity historically, the central position of the office as the coagulating core of such activity has become especially important in post-industrial landscapes and trade hubs that link an interconnected globe. Coagulation is more than just a metaphor here. The distinct feature of the modern economy is the extent of flows and processes that intersect and define socio-economic activity, from workplace relations to governing structures. The office complex acts as a solidifying feature both architecturally – as office space becomes the prime form of urban building and city administrations clamber to create vast expanses of office parks, skyscrapers and glass facades to house business activity – and economically – as commercial real estate is foundational for city taxation and central for employment growth in economies dominated by the service and administrative sectors[1].

Continue reading

The Logistical State

“Logistics is the beginning of the economy of war, which will then become simply economy, to the point of replacing political economy”[1]. Logistics, the flow of goods, information and wealth beyond the space of the state and the temporality of the human. Constant movement emerging as an autonomous force that recircuits and undermines spatiotemporal institutions. Sovereignty, as the essence of spatiotemporal configuration through territorial contiguity and temporal-institutional solidity, is revolutionised and fractured into these flows. A duality emerges, concatenating in antagonism sovereign power and logistical flow.

Continue reading

Down the Warpath: The Ukrainian Front

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has precipitated the re-emergence of Western warmongering after the lull of covid and the American disengagement from Afghanistan. A foreign policy establishment has regrouped out of the chaos of the Trump presidency and into the settled situation of the Biden administration, where an entrenchment of liberal imperialism pushed by figures like Victoria Nuland and Anthony Blinken is on the cards. And Ukraine is the perfect theatre through which to push such imperial ambitions, becoming centre-stage for expanding American energy interests and maintaining the encirclement of Russia (and by extension maintaining a foothold in the Eurasian rimlands).

Continue reading