Aijaz Ahmad

INTERVIEW AijazAhmad Nationalism, Post-colonialism, Communism RP: Could we begin by asking you to tell us something about your background? Ahmad: I was born in India towards the end of colonial rule, so I was very much a child of nationalism. I came from a rather traditional rural family, but my father was a left-of-centre nationalist. […]

76 Reviews

REVIEWS Biographemes Louis-Jean Calvet, Roland Barthes: A Biography, translated by Sarah Wykes, Polity Press, Cambridge, 1994. xiv + 291 pp., £25.00 hb., 0 7456 1017 X. In 1968, Roland Barthes solemnly announced the death of the author in a short article that echoed the obituary for man penned by Foucault in the final lines of […]

75 Reviews

REVIEWS The Story of K Michael Weston, Kierkegaard and Modern Continental Philosophy: An Introduction, Routledge, London and New York, 1994.200 pp., £37.50 hb., £11.99 pb., 0415 101990 hb., 0415 101204 pb. Peter Fenves, ‘Chatter’: Language and History in Kierkegaard, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1993. 312pp., £30.00 hb., £11.95 pb., 0 8047 1107 1 hb., 0 […]

Olympus Mislaid?

Olympus Mislaid? A Profile of Perry Anderson Gregory Elliott At the very outset of his story, Berlin seems to have mislaid Mount Olympus. Perry Anderson ‘The Pluralism of Isaiah Berlin’ (1990) In the Foreword to A Zone of Engagement Anderson notes the discontinuity between its first three chapters, classified as ‘intra-mural surveys within the intellectual […]

68 Reviews

Jon Elster, Political Psychology Marcus Roberts Lin Chun, The British New Left Gregory Elliott Ross Harrison, Democracy Anne Phillips, Democracy and Difference David Copp, Jean Hampton and John E. Roemer, eds., The Idea of Democracy David Archard A. Phillips Griffiths, ed., A. J. Ayer: Memorial Essays Jonathan Dancy and Ernest Sosa, eds., A Companion to […]

The Cards of Confusion

The Cards of Confusion Reflections on Historical Communism and the ‘End of History’ Gregory Elliott For Tom and Martha, divisibly … it is well known that History is not a good bourgeois. Roland Barthes (1957) An anti-Communist is a cur. I couldn’t see any way out of that one, and I never will. Jean-Paul Sartre […]

A Just War? The Left and the Moral Gulf

A Just War? The Left and the Moral Gulf Gregory Elliott A striking incidental feature of the Gulf War was the philosophical conflict attending the military hostilities. Norberto Bobbio or Jiirgen Habermas, Noam Chomsky or Ted Honderich, to name only a few of the participants, felt compelled, in their contrasting ways, to adopt and seek […]

60 Editorial

EDITORIAL Charles 11 once invited the members of the Royal Society to explain to him why a dead fish weighs more than the same fish alive; a number of subtle explanations were offered to him. He then pointed it out that it does not. Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue Who ate the fish? A heckler’s response […]

Active Citizenship as Political Obligation

Active Citizenship as Political Obligation Tony Skiffen Rousseau says in The Social Contract: As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the state is not far from its fall. When it is necessary to march out to […]

Fateful rendezvous

36* Louis Althusser, The Spectre of Hegel: Early Writings, edited by François Matheron, trans. G.M. Goshgarian, Verso, London and New York, 1996. Fateful rendezvous The young Althusser Gregory elliott I enclose…a picture of the Dijon railwaymen which appeared in LʼHumanité… I hope that people, observing the calm strength and dignity of these men, will not […]

Ghostlier demarcations

ʻWe do not publish our own drafts, that is, our own mistakes, but we do sometimes publish other peopleʼs.ʼLouis Althusser, 1963ʻWhat use is Althusser?ʼ The question rhetorically posed on the Left Bank in 1968, as structures took to the streets, invites reactions other than the blunt rien of (some of) those who recently marked the […]

Via dollaro$a

Commentary Via dollaro$a On the ‘Third Way’ Gregory elliott‘i have always believed that politics is first and foremost about ideasʼ, confides Tony Blair in the opening sentence of last yearʼs Fabian pamphlet The Third Way: New Politics for the New Century. In the event, as the case of ʻstakeholdingʼ indicates, the prime minister has a […]

101 Reviews

Althusser and usLouis Althusser, Machiavelli and Us, edited by François Mathéron, translated and introduced by Gregory Elliott, Verso, London and New York, 1999. xxii + 136 pp., £20.00, 1 85984 711 0. It suffices to know the history of the constitution of nation states in broad outline to appreciate that Machiavelli does nothing but think […]

Non-traduttore, traditore?

Non-traduttore, traditore? Notes on postwar European Marxisms in translation Gregory elliott Certainly in the English-speaking world, probably elsewhere, we lack the most rudimentary map of European Marxism since the 1970s. Over the last two decades, there has been nothing comparable to several titles which, whatever their other differences, featured roughly the same dramatis personae – […]