Outflanking Platitudes rss

How Corbyn hacked the media

It’s conventional wisdom that Corbyn’s leadership campaign was the target of brutal coverage by the media. I was interested to learn in The Candidate, by Alex Nunns, that this wasn’t quite how the campaign itself saw the situation. Understanding why… Read More ›

What is a wonk?

What is a wonk? It’s a deceptively simple question which it’s worth us attending to. This is the answer given in an excellent Baffler essay by Emmett Rensin: What, after all, is a wonk? It is not the same thing… Read More ›

The technocratic oath

In his political memoir, Adults In The Room, Yanis Varoufakis recounts a meeting with Larry Summer which took place in April 2015. Only months into his tenure as Finance Minister, he looked to this architect of the neoliberal world order… Read More ›

What is ‘Fake News’?

What we are seeing with the growth of ‘fake news’ is perhaps the weaponisation of epistemology. In other words, ‘fake news’ as a construct is becoming a discursive component of our repertoire of contention. Far from entering a post-truth era, we… Read More ›

Uber as a moral project

When the Uber co-founders recount the story of their project, they stress the importance of the consumer to it. This might seem like familiar rhetoric but I want to suggest it reflects a deep (and problematic) commitment. In The Upstarts, by… Read More ›

The Founder

The Founder tells the story of Ray Kroc, the driven yet craven man who was the first owner of McDonalds. Not the founder, the first owner. The distinction is a crucial one and the plot of the film hinges on… Read More ›