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A Neo-Marxist Approach to Political Campaigning- Mathilde Monge

In Society Must Be Defended, Michel Foucault argued that discipline in Western societies is achieved and organized in particular ways: “…the delicate machines of power cannot function unless knowledge, or rather knowledge apparatuses, are formed, organized, and put into circulation, and those apparatuses are not ideological trimming or edifices” (Foucault 33). In the United States, the culture…Read more A Neo-Marxist Approach to Political Campaigning- Mathilde Monge Posted on 31 August 2012 | 4:17 pm

The President’s Failure and His Challenge.

I spoke with my daughter this morning. She is seven. I asked her what she thought of Mitt Romney’s speech. She answered: “Both he and President Obama tell lies simply to get elected.” Now I know she is to some extent parroting what she hears around our dinner table and the playground. But there is…Read more The President’s Failure and His Challenge. Posted on 31 August 2012 | 3:50 pm

Are American Prisons Totalitarian?

This question may appear curious if not ill-formed. Many of us certainly associate prisons with the minute and pervasive exercise of power over the inmates who inhabit them, but we are also more accustomed to using “totalitarian” to describe dictatorial governmental regimes and sociopolitical movements. As a result, we may be inclined to think that…Read more Are American Prisons Totalitarian? Posted on 30 August 2012 | 12:33 pm

Chained Library

Hereford Cathedral Chained Library, Hereford, England . (Rare books were once kept chained to the bookshelf to prevent stealing.) Posted on 30 August 2012 | 11:58 am

Hannah Arendt & Contemporary Art

Intellectually, though not socially, America and Europe are in the same situation: the thread of tradition is broken, and we must discover the past for ourselves that is, read its authors as though nobody had ever read them before. –Hannah Arendt, Crisis in Culture Last spring, I received a call from the director of the…Read more Hannah Arendt & Contemporary Art Posted on 29 August 2012 | 9:23 am

A.A. Milne on Thinking

“No brain at all, some of them [people], only grey fluff that’s blown into their heads by mistake, and they don’t Think.” ― A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner Posted on 28 August 2012 | 9:37 am

Thinking Metaphors

“What connects thinking and poetry [Dichten] is metaphor. In philosophy one calls concept what in poetry [Dichtkunst] is called metaphor. Thinking creates its “concepts” out of the visible, in order to designate the invisible.” -Hannah Arendt, Denktagebuch, vol. 2, p. 728 (August 1969) (translation my own) Arendt’s Denktagebuch is less a “book” than a collection…Read more Thinking Metaphors Posted on 27 August 2012 | 11:22 am

Redefining “Liberal”

I am not usually hanging out on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s website, but a former student and current Arendt Center Intern alerted me to his Reverence’s recent review of Marilynne Robinson’s newest book, When I Was A Child I Read Books. It turns out the Archbishop and I share a fondness in brilliant contemporary authors:…Read more Redefining “Liberal” Posted on 24 August 2012 | 12:26 pm

When the Fiction Ends

Beyond all the silliness attached to the Todd Akin case this week, the only meaningful comment came from Rachel Riederer. In an essay in Guernica, Riederer writes: The content of [Akin’s] statements was, of course, ridiculous and offensive. But the comments struck me most as a rhetorical move, one that’s in wide usage but rarely…Read more When the Fiction Ends Posted on 23 August 2012 | 11:12 am

Beach Reading

Beach Reading Posted on 23 August 2012 | 10:48 am