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Rousseau’s and nationalism

them reminded of their forefathers’ deeds and hardships and virtues and triumphs, stirred their hearts, set them on fire with the spirit of emulation, and tied them tightly to the fatherland. (III: 958) Excursus: the decline of social capital Nationalism has had a lot of bad press lately – and rightly so. In the twentieth century millions of people were victims of nationalist hatred. Was Rousseau wrong to advocate this doctrine? Possibly, if he had defended ethnic nationalism – of the racist blood and soil variant. Yet Rousseau supported another and rather different

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

‘glowing clouds’ that asphyxiate humans and animals and burn the bush cover – while hot lava gouged deep furrows down the flanks of the volcano to either coastline. As a result, to reach the capital in the south from the (leeward) western shores, people travelled by large, many-oared canoes well into the twentieth century. This could be a hazardous journey. Depending on sea swells and boat loads the boats

in Frontiers of the Caribbean
The St Vincent and the Grenadines context

independence in 1979, the island saw itself no longer as a periphery or, to use colonial parlance, a ‘minor colony’, and by the end of the twentieth century the term ‘city’ began to be used to describe the capital. Other major features of modernisation included land reclamation by dredging along the Kingstown harbour in the 1960s and, to the east of the town, the construction of a deep-water harbour; a central

in Frontiers of the Caribbean

modern era, reducible to ‘Capital’ with a capital C, Bourdieu himself would rather invoke the idea of different fields dominated by different kinds of capital. In Bourdieu’s work, capital is ubiquitous but it is not a reductive concept. It is not, anyway, just an economic concept. Within each field – literature, art, the economy, culture, science, academia, etc. – there are different logics of capital at work. For instance in the literary field it pays to promote your cultural capital (your culture in effect) at the expense of your economic capital; whereas in the

in The structure of modern cultural theory
Abstract only

 have studied a sufficient amount of political economy to realize that capitalism is an irredeemably flawed economic system containing insurmountable contradictions; it is because as a result of these systemic flaws and contradictions, capital destroys lives. No matter how diligent we might be in our research and fact-​checking, no matter how well we might chart the (inevitable) falling trajectory of profit rates, if we do not feel viscerally connected to the lives and interests of other people (as well as to the fragile ecology that supports our very existence as a species

in Critical theory and feeling
Objects, affects, mimesis

inconsistency can be traced to its textual roots. In the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, the young Marx criticizes private property, which has, as he puts it, ‘made us so stupid and one-​sided that an object is only ours when we have it, when it exists for us as capital or when we directly possess, eat, drink, wear, inhabit it, etc., in short, when we use it’. He continues: ‘all the physical and intellectual senses have been replaced by the simple estrangement of all these senses –​the sense of having’.3 But this early (humanistic) critique of private property

in Critical theory and feeling
Abstract only
Melancholic dispositions and conscious unhappiness

prevailing models of happiness become so tied to and deformed by the imperatives of capital accumulation, it becomes imperative not only to abjure the forms of happiness on offer, but also to encourage others to do the same. To be sure, this is no mean feat, and it is unlikely that any individual in isolation could successfully reject or subvert every instance of socially prescribed happiness. None of us is completely immune to the social and cultural norms that prevail in our historical present. Moreover, there is little helpful –​let alone revolutionary –​in rejecting a

in Critical theory and feeling
Abstract only
Once more, with feeling

important new prospects, new revenue streams, new investment sites, and so forth.17 At the individual level too, the neoliberal self is compelled to be endlessly entrepreneurial, seeing itself as an ongoing project. In such a cold climate, joblessness, to take but one example, rather than being the effect of systemic, political-​economic developments, variable capital flows and outsourced (as well as surplus) labour, simply reflects a ‘learned helplessness’,18 an insufficiently developed work ethic or lack of desire on the part of the individual concerned. The best

in Critical theory and feeling

jute sack sandwiched between two thin pieces of cardboard. A few people pass him on their way to serve in a master or mistress’s house, or to clean shops and offices. Cars begin to fill the streets and by mid-morning parking in the capital will be impossible. In the covered market, traders set up their tables to display their produce. Emaciated mongrel dogs play-fight near the vegetable market while they wait for

in Frontiers of the Caribbean

of the smaller eastern Caribbean islands. Signs, however, point to the specific location being St Vincent, not least the title: ‘Hiroona’ is the Carib name for St Vincent. Descriptions of the main port and town of ‘Kingsland’ closely match many features of St Vincent’s capital, Kingstown. The trade union leadership path to political power of Jerry Mole offers none-too-subtle a parallel to the career

in Frontiers of the Caribbean