Weekend Reading List

The Haitian Revolution as a lesson in corporate leadership and meeting the 'prophet of the Anthropocene': what to read this weekend

Auguste Raffet, Attack and take of the Crête-à-Pierrot, 1839. Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Auguste Raffet, Attack and take of the Crête-à-Pierrot, 1839. Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Auguste Raffet, Attack and take of the Crête-à-Pierrot, 1839. Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

  • Over on the Repeater Books blog, Juliet Jacques takes stock of the recent UK election results, and the opportunities for disrupting left melancholia, breaking the rightward drift in British culture, and opening up the countercultural possibilities of #grime4corbyn.
     
  • On the frieze website, Vincenzo Latronico profiles the overlooked career of ‘total artist’ Bruno Munari.
     
  • John Patrick Leary has a caustic piece in The New Inquiry on Silicon Valley’s cooption of the history of the Haitian Revolution and other political struggles as lessons in strong corporate leadership. For technology entrepreneur Ben Horowitz, C.L.R. James’ Marxist classic The Black Jacobins can be read as a business success manual – but why do these ideologues have such uses for revolutionary history in the first place?
     
  • Dawn Foster’s reporting on the Grenfell Tower fire has been excellent this week – read her excoriating piece in Jacobin which situates the tragedy in the context of the UK's deep inequality: the only way forward is to argue for adequate housing as a right, not a privilege.
     
  • The Guardian’s long-read examines Timothy Morton: ‘the philosopher prophet of the Anthropocene’ and advocate of ‘dark ecology', whose fans include Hans Ulrich Obrist, Björk and Olafur Eliasson. If Morton's ideas lack cogency, they more than make up for it in their playfulness: 'You and me, and our computers and that painting behind you and maybe one of the pigeons in the street – we’re going to get together and make a little anarchist collective, and the focus of this anarchist collective will be reading, um, the letters of Beethoven.'
     
  • Kenan Malik wades into the cultural appropriation debate in the New York Times: 'it is difficult to see how creating gated cultures helps promote social justice'.
     
  • And Tom Whyman in The Baffler writes on the gradual strangulation of the cultural critic in the age of austerity and precarity.

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