Messianic ruminations: Derrida, Stirner and Marx

mind/geist of Europe by its cultural others and inferiors. Derrida’s fascination is with Hamlet-as-geist haunted by the corporeal form of the ghost, as a trope for the irreducible spectral implication of spirit and spook. However, this Vah~ryian reading of Hamlet forecloses his distinctive relation to the premodern, conscripting his melancholic Renaissance proto-modernity into a latterday […]

Naming, myth and history

Naming, myth and history Berlin after the Wall Gordon Finlayson Whoever believe that certain things are of no concern to them frequently deceive themselves, e.g. philosophers about history. Immanuel Kant, Reflections on Logic What has happened to history since the Berlin Wall fell? If Susan Buck-Morss is to be believed, fashion parades in its ruins; […]

Transnational dialogue in times of war

COMMENTARY Transnational dialogue in times of war The peace movement in ex-Yugoslavia Nikolai Jetts F aced with the prospect of continuing war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the West is still fumbling for an adequate response. The choices on offer seem to be scant: withdrawal or more active intervention. It is scarcely surprising that Western pleas […]

The tremor of reflection

The tremor of reflection Slavoj Ziiek’s Lacanian dialectics Peter Dews In memory of Hinrich Fink-Eitel (1946-1995) At first glance, the work of the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek seems to offer an irresistible range of attractions for theorists wishing to engage with contemporary culture, without accepting the flimsy postmodernist doxa which is often the only available […]

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 […]

Fashion in Ruins

Fashion in Ruins History after the Cold War Susan Buck-Morss On Pariser Platz at the Gate’s east side, vendors sell souvenirs of the fallen Wall and mementos of the fallen regime. To the north, above the tree-line, the German flag flies over the ruins of the Reichstag that was burned in 1933 and bombed during […]

Sexuality and Subcultures in the Wake of Welfare Capitalism

COMMENTARY Sexuality and Subcultures in the Wake of Welfare Capitalism A/an Sinfie/d When the British Parliament eventually debated the Gulf War – journalists had earnestly demanded this, pretending to believe that it might somehow make a difference; when we finally got this debate, just two new ideas were produced. One, from an Ulster Unionist, was […]

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 […]

Conceptions of ‘Civil Society’

Conceptions of ‘Civil Society’ Axe! Honneth When the intellectuals of Eastern Europe began to consider the difficulties and possibilities of a democratically organised political opposition they soon turned to a classical concept in the history of political ideas. They thought that the concept of civil society always used in English to indicate its connection to […]

Ethnic War in Bosnia?

COMMENTARY Ethnic War in Bosnia? Cornelia Sorabji Bosnia is fading from the news, winter has descended to sever its population from the outside world, and military intervention of any significant scale has not occurred. In Britain much of the debate over the desirability of such intervention has revolved around the idea of ‘ethnic war’. Given […]

Children of postcommunism

Dossier The PosTcommunisT condiTionchildren of postcommunism Boris buden A curious set of metaphors marks the jargon of postcommunist transition: education for democracy, classrooms of democracy, democratic exams, democracy that is growing and maturing, but which might still be in diapers or making its first steps or, of course, suffering from children’s il nesses. [1] This […]

Towards a critical theory of postcommunism

Towards a critical theory of postcommunism? Beyond anticommunism in Romania Ovidiu ţichindeleanu In Eastern Europe, 1989–2009 has been a time of fundamental changes in the meaning of social and political concepts, accompanied at different speeds by the radical transformation of society. I consider transition the fundamental thematic concept of this historical shift, its operative terms […]