A fortnightly column reflecting on chapters of the political past that are relevant today.
Britain’s love for the potato is tied to notions of the utilitarian value of a good diet and how a healthy citizenry is the engine room of a strong economy.
The inventor, Elizabeth Magie, would have made herself go directly to jail if she’d known how influential today’s twisted version of her game would be.
Monopoly’s inventor would have made herself go directly to jail if she had known that her game – made to diagnose the ills of capitalism – ended up doing exactly the opposite for its players.
“My belief in socialism comes out of my belief in human beings.”
Indicators of a better quality of life and social status are moving away from shiny cars and fancy jewellery to things like expensive magazine subscriptions, which help boost one’s cultural capital.
A candid conversation on globalisation, feminism and patriarchy in South Asia with Indian social scientist, feminist and activist Kamla Bhasin.
Ever more people are stuck with shift work in a globalised economy that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Over the past 30 years, capitalism has redefined the labour market – and with it, men.
If the idea of freedom bound Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre, philosophically, then the fight for justice united them politically.
The main schism in today’s free speech debates pits liberals, advocating unbridled speech as a tool of freedom, against radicals, who unmask unbridled speech as a tool of class privilege. But that rift tells only one story.
The Brexit verdict has less to do with leaving the EU and is more a condemnation of the excesses of capitalist democracies.
All possibilities of maintaining the current neoliberal model of capitalism have been exhausted, and the attempt to turn Donald Trump into “an absolute evil” is about mobilising people to protect this ailing status quo, embodied by Hillary Clinton.
If television debates resemble gladiatorial contests, it is not an accident. Informed deliberation and debates cannot be settled in 60 minutes, and are thus not conducive to the mode of hector and holler on primetime television.
When conventional politics has failed to deal with pressing problems, we have no choice but to think beyond the conventions, sometimes in ways that may seem extreme. The question is not whether one is extremist, but whether one’s ideas make sense.
Opium, Amitav Ghosh suggests, was the substance that created the modern world, and he has told its epic story.