• Cuba’s Elites Have Failed Their Country

    When the protests against the Cuban government broke out across the island on July 11, one of President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s first reactions was to refer to the behavior of the protesters as “totalmente vulgar, indecente, delincuente” (completely vulgar, indecent, delinquent). Though he would later backpedal and take a conciliatory tone, this elitist dismissal of the people in the streets was telling. It points to the divisions within Cuba—specifically those related to class, race, and region—and...

  • The Wicked Wit of Shirley Jackson

    In late July 1957, America’s finest writer of horror stories replied to a certain Mrs. White, “If you don’t like my peaches, don’t shake my tree. Sincerely, Shirley Jackson.” Snappy and juicy at the same time, this is how Jackson wrote all her letters. She had received a large quantity of hate mail after publishing her blockbuster tale of bucolic evil, “The Lottery,” in a 1948 issue of The New Yorker. Mrs. White’s letter was nothing new. At 40, Jackson was in the prime of a prolific career,...

  • The Infrastructure Bill Needs to Succeed Where Tech’s Utopian Promises Failed

    As the multitrillion-dollar infrastructure bill wends its way through Congress, its exact parameters and legislative outcome remain uncertain. But whatever the eventual contours of the final bill, a certain ideological argument has already been put forward—and it should be a winner in the public imagination. Whereas the private sector and the efficiencies of the profit motive were once hailed as the key to good governance—“run the government like a business,” went the tired logic of...

  • "Pig" Cuts Straight Through American Foodie Hypocrisy

    It’s about time America became disenchanted with foodies. Pig, Michael Sarnoski’s foodie noir about loss, love, and labor in Portland, Oregon’s restaurant scene, doesn’t leave them much room for redemption. It tells a story that starts with the titular pig who is, however, virtually absent from the film. It is this absence that propels the film’s narrative, which offers a none-too-subtle critique of what counts and what doesn’t in the world of high-end cuisine, baked into a formulaic...

  • Mitch McConnell Dusts Off the GOP’s Debt Ceiling Scam

    With much of Washington focused on griping over an infrastructure bill and the makeup of a House committee that will investigate the January assault on the U.S. Capitol, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell opted for a throwback: holding the debt ceiling hostage for the sake of obstructionism.

  • How to Live in a Burning World Without Losing Your Mind

    It was the middle of June, and my mother had just died.

  • “Both Sides” Journalism Will Never Die

    Over the last six months, Republicans have tried to rewrite the history of the January assault on the Capitol, casting a violent attempt to overturn the presidential election as a love-in, a peaceful gathering of patriots who were, deep down, no different from tourists. At the same time, congressional Republicans have done all they can to sabotage any examination of the riot at the Capitol. In late May, Senate Republicans blocked legislation to establish an independent commission aimed at...

  • Did FBI Informants Thwart or Encourage the Plot to Kidnap Gretchen Whitmer?

    “OK, well how’s everyone feel about kidnapping?” a 37-year-old weight lifter and militia member named Adam Fox asked last July, over an encrypted chat with a militia group called the Wolverine Watchmen. No one responded. The streets that summer had exploded, first with protesters demanding an end to policing after a Minneapolis police officer murdered George Floyd in May, then with far-right opportunists trailing racial justice activists and antifacist groups. A sitting senator mused about...

  • Biden Finally Finds His Trustbuster in Jonathan Kanter

    After six months of indecision, President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday—finally—a nominee for one of the most crucial positions in his administration. Jonathan Kanter, a plaintiff’s lawyer critical of the tech industry, will run the Department of Justice’s antitrust division. In that perch, he’ll be expected to lead the DOJ’s ongoing antitrust case against Google and to possibly pursue other cases and enforcement actions that could lead to the breakup of some of the massive tech companies...

  • More Reasons to Hate the Dentist

    Few people enjoy going to the dentist. But generally speaking, we don’t question what’s done to us when we’re there. On Episode 33 of The Politics of Everything, Laura Marsh and Alex Pareene speak with Ferris Jabr and Daryl Austin, two journalists who have investigated dental overtreatment and fraud, about whether we should. It’s impossible to say exactly how widespread gratuitous treatment is—and it can even be difficult to know what constitutes necessary treatment. Because of a lack of...

  • The Corporate Surveillance Industry Has Become a Global Monster

    It’s never been easier for governments covertly to access and monitor the phones of activists, journalists, dissidents, politicians, and, well, anyone they want. “Zero-click” tools, easily purchased from private corporate developers, allow authorities to hack victims’ phones in surreptitious ways, even if the target doesn’t click a link. This technology has been repeatedly used to spy on and harass innocent people around the world, often with impunity. Associates of Jamal Khashoggi, the murdered...

  • Jeff Bezos, Space Marxist?

    “I also want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer,” Jeff Bezos said Tuesday on returning from the edge of outer space, “because you guys paid for all of this.” This unexpected endorsement of Karl Marx’s theory of surplus value is a shot in the arm to Marxian economics, which has had a tough time of it ever since the collapse of communism in the late 1980s.