Author: joellazarus

A Statement of Belief and Intent – What’s the point of Oxford Democracy-Builders?

A number of people have, quite naturally, asked me to tell them my objectives for starting the Oxford Democracy-Builders (ODB) group. My responses have been hesitant and unclear primarily because, as I emphasise, it’s for the group itself to define its own form and objectives. However, after some reflection, I am able to offer a…

The Pint’s Half-Full! On knowledge, freedom, and unravelling hegemony, Part Two: Unravelling Hegemony

From the psychology of pint-buying to a political theory of hegemony In the previous post, my curious discovery that I couldn’t say with certainty why I acted the way I did regarding buying drinks in pubs led me to question the nature and limits of knowledge and how that relates to our freedom. I suggested…

The Pint’s Half-Full! On knowledge, freedom, and unravelling hegemony, Part One: knowledge and freedom

The other day, when I was walking to the station with the usual blizzard of thoughts whirling around my mind, I came to pondering why I do a specific thing that I do. Why is it, I wondered, that, whenever I’m in the pub, I offer to get the first round of drinks in?… This…

Shattering the Spectacle

I‘m recently back from a two-day workshop for social scientists in Edinburgh. On day one, I gave a talk with the title of ‘Emancipatory Social Science: from monological to dialogical communication’. I spoke about French philosopher Guy Debord who, in 1967, wrote a book called ‘Society of the Spectacle’. Debord argued that we now live…

Now is the time to love, to learn, and to listen; Now is the Freireian moment

I have come to realise that, whatever my political future holds, I will never be a good strategist. I am too emotional, too raw. For me, to cite the oft-used phrase coined by Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci, my ‘optimism of the will’ too easily dominates any ‘pessimism of the intellect’. I can work on it,…

Deconstructing and (Re?)constructing Democracy Part Two

Post Two: The wider power inequalities undermining democratic politics in the UK This is the second of a three-part blog about deconstructing and (re?)constructing democracy in the UK. In my previous post, I set out to deconstruct UK democracy by showing just how undemocratic our political system. I tried to show how undemocratic our electoral…

Audioboom of session on housing with Prof Danny Dorling and My Life My Choice

Dear all, Just a quick one. I run a political economy (power & money!) learning group alongside my friend Luisa with the wonderful people at My Life My Choice (MLMC). MLMC is a self-advocacy organisation run for and by people with learning disabilities. A really inspiring group! We’ve been working together over the past couple…