Author: joellazarus

Knowing our left from our right: social justice, human freedom, and utopian realism

What does it mean to be ‘left’ or ‘right wing’ today? Does it even matter? There seems to be a lot of basic confusion out there coupled with a lot of instinctive contempt and fear for what is understood as left-wing politics. The media is central to the production of this contempt and fear. They…

Working tax credits: the real questions, some real answers

What is ‘hegemonic power’? One central element of hegemonic power is the power to make the root (systemic) causes of our problems invisible and largely unspeakable and unthinkable. Instead, all our debates are over ways to remedy or improve the symptoms of the disease (or even why the painful symptoms are good for us) rather…

Cultivating Self-Belief and Educated Hope – My ‘Capital City’ Project

Dear friends, The main focus of my work is on a project that aims to use a combination of art, media, and social science to cultivate ‘mass intellectuality’. What I mean by ‘mass intellectuality’ is the belief that everyone has great intellectual potential and that, for us to democratise society, everyone can become and needs…

On the ‘migrant/refugee’ crisis: Part One – Does charity begin at home?

Dear readers, I’m sorry for my recent silence. I’ve been here and there and looking after my kids a lot. But now the summer hols are over and I’m back on it! There’s only one possible topic to address in this blog – the ‘migrant/refugee’ crisis gripping Europe. I’ve been thrilled to see so many…

Call for feedback

Dear all, I have been blogging regularly here for a fair while now and interest is steadily increasing. Therefore, I think it’s a good time to put a call out for feedback. If you read this blog please do feel free to let me know what you like about it, but also, more importantly, how…

Oxford Democracy-Builders: Reading/Viewing/Listening materials on austerity

Hi there, Ahead of our fourth (provisionally named) ‘Oxford Democracy-Builders’ meeting to discuss austerity, here is a list of materials for learning about the debate. I’ve tried to bring a wide range of perspectives into the conversation here. You can download the list in a LibreOffice document here… Don’t panic!! It’s intentionally long and full…

What does this Sun/Women’s Own email really show us? And what can we do about it?

Dear reader, It’s been an interesting 24 hours since my friend Kate Evans (@iamkateevans) showed me an email by a contributing editor to The Sun newspaper and Women’s Own magazine asking charities for a very particular request… I subsequently posted this email and a few observations on Agent of History here… Since then, Kate’s been…

This is what our ‘news’papers do every day…

I have just read an email sent by a ‘contributing editor’ of The Sun newspaper who is looking for a particular someone. This person’s words speak for themselves so I’ll say no more. Here’s the email (anonymised, of course)… “Hi I’m looking for a woman aged 35+ who used to be overweight and on disability…