Colonialism and Identity in Wasolon (and everywhere else, too)

The notion of the person is constantly renegotiated and is at stake between groups situated within the same political entity as well as between neighboring political entities. With advent of [France’s colonial] district register and the resulting written registration of identity, the notion of a person acquired a greater fixity. It became much more difficult … Continue reading Colonialism and Identity in Wasolon (and everywhere else, too)

From the Comments: Was Colonialism Good for the Natives?

NEO, in response to my musings on the rule of law in Africa, writes: Thanks, Brandon. Like I said, I don’t know very much at all about Africa, right now I’m looking a bit more at the British in Egypt/Sudan. But currently I know mostly what I read and I suspect you know what I see, so … Continue reading From the Comments: Was Colonialism Good for the Natives?

More Musings on Colonialism

I recently attended an excellent lecture at Cabrillo College, located in central California, by an International Relations scholar who focused on the effects of colonialism. We took a solid look at the ‘World Systems Theory’ of why the developing world is, well, developing, and it was great to go over this school of thought’s main arguments. … Continue reading More Musings on Colonialism

Colonialism: Myths and Realities

My only claim to fame in regards to colonial scholarship rests on a paper I wrote for an Honors course in Western Civilization as an undergraduate. The paper won a spot at an Honors consortium held at Stanford, so I was able to do even more research on the subject. The following post is a … Continue reading Colonialism: Myths and Realities

Three Roads to Racism

Are you a racist? Anyone can feel free to answer this question any way it/she/he wishes; they wish. And that’s the problem. In this short essay, I aim first to do a little vocabulary house-keeping. Second, I try to trace three distinct origins of racism. I operate from thin authority. My main sources are sundry … Continue reading Three Roads to Racism

Casey Peterson, Cultural Marxism, and the Goliath of the Diversity Industry

For the past several weeks, Casey Peterson, an electrical engineer in prestigious Sandia Labs (one of the hubs of the federal military industry) has been risking his career to fight mandated ideological training that promotes the systemic racism conspiracy theory and requires from white employees to exorcise their “whiteness.” Pushed by “diversity” commissars from equity/diversity … Continue reading Casey Peterson, Cultural Marxism, and the Goliath of the Diversity Industry

From Class to Identity: The Cultural Turn in the Left Thought Collective (1950s-1980s)

The goal of this essay is to paint a bigger picture by showing that, besides the often-mentioned Frankfurt School, there were other essential sources that fomented the cultural or identitarian turn on the left.  Thus, to understand the formation of this turn, on needs to address the significance of the year 1956 and celebrity sociology W. Right Mills’ crusade against “Victorian Marxism.”  We also need to bring up the writings of C.L.R. James, William Dubois, France Fanon who were the first to refurbish popular Marxism’s memes (the proletariat, class domination and oppression, the new man, false consciousness, and center-periphery) and its Eurocentric nature along racial and non-Western lines.  Most important, one needs to examine the activities of British group of communist historians, Birmingham Institute of Cultural Studies, and New Left Review.  Without them, it will be hard to understand the historical role of the 1960s-1970s’ New Left, which acted as an intellectual bridge between old economic- and class-based Marxism and current cultural left that is heavily steeped in identity politics.

“Foucault’s Pendulum”: Social Scholarship, Ideology, and Libertarian Temptations

I’m no prophet. My job is making windows where there were once walls. ― Michel Foucault Martin Luther, a German Augustinian monk, is credited with triggering a profound spiritual movement in the minds of early modern Europeans.  Luther, who was an extremely pious Catholic, eventually became a reluctant rebel by channeling the frustrations of the … Continue reading “Foucault’s Pendulum”: Social Scholarship, Ideology, and Libertarian Temptations

Pakistan-China ties and CPEC

Abdul Razak Dawood, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Adviser on Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment, told the Financial Times that the previous Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz ) government did not get a good deal for Pakistan in CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), and that Pakistan has lost out as a result of poor negotiations. Dawood also … Continue reading Pakistan-China ties and CPEC

Ottomanism, Nationalism, Republicanism VII

Now this series moves onto the first government that resulted from a peaceful electoral transfer of power in Turkish and Ottoman history, the government of Adnan Menderes and the Democrat Party (DP), which came to power in 1950. The DP was more open to religious conservative sentiment and more free market oriented, though that has … Continue reading Ottomanism, Nationalism, Republicanism VII

French Africa

This is a meandering essay; although it’s about history, it’s a bit personalized, for effect. In other words, it’s far from straightforwardly scholarly history but I think it’s all or mostly true. Be patient, at one point it will become about the former French African colonial empire and socio-cultural strata it deposited in France, and … Continue reading French Africa

2016: Year in Review

I hope you have all been enjoying the run-up to your holiday season. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, etc. to the whole world, from me. NOL had another great year, and it wouldn’t have been so great without you. Some of the older Notewriters have parted ways or disappeared from the blogosphere, … Continue reading 2016: Year in Review