Thursday, 8 December 2016


Such has been the coverage of the doings of American president-elect Trump that one might be forgiven for thinking that he was already in power.  Much of this coverage has been panicky and shallow: both recrimination against American liberals for their failure to understand the real situation on which Trump was able to capitalise; and dire prognostications of the future under Trump.  In such conditions, what is necessary is cool thought, though not without commitment.  The heart on fire, but the brain on ice.

Here is a fine piece from the London Review of Books, on the election, by the political theorist David Runciman:

Is this how democracy ends?

And from the same issue, Jan-Werner Muller (I like to think of him as Fintan O'Toole's best friend at Princeton, such have been his appearances in the otherwise studiously provincial and anti-intellectual books pages of the Irish Times), on 'populism':

A brace of articles from Jacobin.  Already people are nostalgic for the Obama Administration.  This is a mistake.  Here is why:

The need to pay careful attention to Trump's support:

The credulousness and cynicism of much of the American media, which did not challenge either candidate sufficiently:

Good reading!


Defending Freedom of Speech about Israel - UCC steps up to the plate

Over the last year, a conference on Israel and its policies has been banned from the University of Southampton, not once but twice.  It was originally to be held in April 2015, but was suspended at short notice due to intense pressure on the university authorities by British pro-Zionist campaigners and the British government.   It was cancelled again in March 2016, due to the University's alleged fears that 'pro-Israel' protests would endanger the conference and its participants.

Now this conference has relocated to University College Cork, where it will be held next spring.   Some good news!

Israel conference banned in UK moves to Ireland