Political Animal Magazine2019-03-25T03:02:36+00:00

SPOTLIGHT

Ecosocialism vs. the Green New Deal

February 21st, 2019|Featured, Practice, Theory|

The Green New Deal proposes a wholesale reworking of the American economy to aggressively combat climate change. To support its ambitious environmental policy—100% clean renewable energy by 2030—the plan contains an equally ambitious economic agenda—most notably guaranteed income and housing for all Americans.

This coupling of environmental and economic policy is necessary, its advocates argue. Bold action on climate change will necessarily mean drastic changes in the economy, destroying existing industries and creating new ones. Without an equally drastic expansion of the social safety net, the risk for individuals in this transition would be unacceptable. Thus, the Green New Deal has economic and environmental reform as equal pillars of its plan.

This argument has come under intense scrutiny, mostly from the centre and right, where even ambitious environmental policy is largely divorced from sweeping economic reforms—proponents of a carbon tax, for example, argue that it can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions without any significant reworking of the economic system.

But one could equally ask, from the perspective of the left, does the Green New Deal go far enough? Does it address the fundamental assumptions inherent in the US economy that have led to the situation where drastic action on climate change is necessary? Or is even the Green New Deal still just fiddling at the margins, avoiding a comprehensive critique of the link between capitalism and climate catastrophe? (more…)

Silence as Speech: Reading Sor Juana’s Primero Sueño in the Light of her Final Silence

May 4th, 2016|Arts & Letters, Featured, Theory|

By: Rich Frontjes

Speakers and Listeners in Public Discourse

American public discourse is theoretically founded on the freedom of speech.  This freedom to speak, however, in no way guarantees entry into conversations where the common good is considered, assessed, or decided.  Free speech is the freedom to speak publicly—but participation in public discourse requires inclusion.  And inclusion is variously brokered: depending on the conversation, its participants, and the power dynamics at work, any given stream of public discourse involves a boundary.  On one side are the participants, and on the other side are the listeners—or, frequently, those whose attention is focused elsewhere.

In contemporary society, the boundary between participants and listeners exists partly as a function of access to media.  Individuals or groups with the (financial or other) power to gain access to media increase their chances of entering the public discourse.  The powerless, of course, are typically also voiceless.  But financial power has not always been the key that opened the door to participation in public discourse: various epochs and cultural moments have likewise had various modes of adjudicating participation in public discourse.

The present power of media outlets to perform this boundary-keeping function once resided largely within other institutions.  The Roman Catholic Church and its functionaries exercised considerable control over public discourse for centuries of European history and cultural development.  Exploring how participation in public discourse has been adjudicated in a specific past instance elucidates a dynamic which clarifies the nature of contemporary public speech.  In the example of the Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), we discover a turn of events in which ecclesial power brokers attempted to enforce silence upon an otherwise astoundingly prolific poet.[1] (more…)

THEORY

The Tradition in Traditional Masculinity

March 7th, 2019|0 Comments

Pinker points to both the origin and function of a code of conduct that became the Western view of masculinity. ... the biological realities of the male species could be best and most productively served through the attainment and development of specific virtues. 

The Beauty of Being Wrong

February 28th, 2019|0 Comments

I can't put this bluntly enough: almost all of the psychologists I've spoken with seem to relish in being wrong. They work to constantly disprove their previous findings, to be the first to find fault in their past theories (and in the directions their field has taken as a result), and to move forward through clearer eyes toward a more perfect truth.

Ecosocialism vs. the Green New Deal

February 21st, 2019|0 Comments

One could ask, from the perspective of the left, does the Green New Deal go far enough? Does it address the fundamental assumptions of the US economy that led to climate catastrophe?

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PRACTICE

Ecosocialism vs. the Green New Deal

February 21st, 2019|0 Comments

One could ask, from the perspective of the left, does the Green New Deal go far enough? Does it address the fundamental assumptions of the US economy that led to climate catastrophe?

Abraham Lincoln’s Request

January 18th, 2019|0 Comments

Don’t Feed The Animals, A Series of Satirical Musings by: Josh Lorenzo Dear Modern Republican Party, Seven score and fourteen

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JUSTICE

Social Contract Theory

February 1st, 2019|0 Comments

When you make an agreement of some significance (e.g., to rent an apartment, or join a gym, or divorce), you typically agree to certain terms: you sign a contract. This is for your benefit, and for the the other party’s benefit: everyone’s expectations are clear, as are the consequences of failing to meet those expectations.

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ARTS & LETTERS

The Tradition in Traditional Masculinity

March 7th, 2019|0 Comments

Pinker points to both the origin and function of a code of conduct that became the Western view of masculinity. ... the biological realities of the male species could be best and most productively served through the attainment and development of specific virtues. 

Stoicism & the Destruction of Man

January 25th, 2019|0 Comments

By: Glen Paul Hammond Recently, the American Psychological Association (APA) took aim at “traditional masculinity” by, amongst other things, criticizing

Abraham Lincoln’s Request

January 18th, 2019|0 Comments

Don’t Feed The Animals, A Series of Satirical Musings by: Josh Lorenzo Dear Modern Republican Party, Seven score and fourteen

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