Friday, 16 May 2008

The Utopian ...

... has launched!

Please do take a minute to look at this very exciting magazine, which I have founded together with Alex Lee.


The Utopian
is devoted to seeking out the most original and challenging ideas in contemporary politics, art and culture. Taking from utopian thought a spirit of free inquiry and open-mindedness, the magazine includes diverse perspectives in the recognition that nothing is unthinkable.

Drawing on a distinguished network of contributors from around the world, The Utopian offers high-quality reportage and a searching analysis of important contemporary issues. Transgressing the limits of traditional journalism, The Utopian is also a prime forum for full-length photographic articles, experimental music and innovative video art.

Coinciding with the fortieth anniversary of the 1968 students' rising in Paris, The Utopian's inaugural issue addresses the revolutionary spirit, then and now. Looking back, The Utopian explores the legacy of 1968, asking if these cultural transformations still have the force to shape the future, even after forty years. Looking forward, The Utopian seeks out new directions in politics, philosophy and art, questioning whether they might - and whether they should - have a similarly transformative impact. This search will continue in forthcoming issues, including "Beyond Liberalism?" and "Making History".

Monday, 12 May 2008

A European View is Excited about.. * The Utopian *

An exciting magazine, founded by Alex Lee and me. It will be published this Wednesday. Watch this space for the link, which will appear here very soon...

Do read it (and excuse my related and very long blogging-absence)!

Monday, 25 February 2008

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Another Round in Italy's Tragedy

In many ways, it is part of Italy's charm that things there don't work quite as smoothly as perhaps they should in a First World country. But even my unbounded love of the place does not allow me to see everything through rose-tinted spectacles. Today, devoid of such saving spectacles, the spectre of another four years of Berlusconi looms all too clearly; all too painfully.

Just as the takeover of the US by a bunch of partisan ideologues may be coming to an end, European leaders are mounting a series of strong bids to wrestle the status of the world's liberal democracy governed in the most absurd manner from Bush & Co. Under Sarkozy's leadership, France's political culture is starting to resemble the ancien regime: l'etat, c'est moi - now, to amuse yourselves, pleeease do gossip about my sex life.

And under Berlusconi's leadership - not yet a certainty but, alas, the most likely outcome of the current crisis - Italy will once again be reduced to being the private thiefdom [sic] of a skillful entertainer. Don't you worry for yourselves: the wine will be as good as ever, the food as appetizing, and the people as welcoming. But do take a moment to pity another lost generation of talented Italian youngsters, unable to do what they want to do with their lives - and help Italy in the process - because the same-old structures of corruption and patronage continue to squeeze out all meritocracy. For those who actually need to lead their lives there, the new round of Italy's political bafoonery has lost all its charm.