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35, Summer 2009
Front cover: Chad McCail, detail from obedience
doesn’t relieve pain, ‘food shelter clothing fuel’ series. www.chadmccail.co.uk
The Progress of Creeping Fascism
Logan asserts that Fascism ought to be understood as an ideologically
sophisticated, creeping set of political relations. Corporate monopolisation
of markets is the symptom and outcome of this onward march, but not the
cause. The cause is the monopolisation of public reason by 'coercive
rationalism'. Logan clarifies that the ideology of enforced co-operation
and managed national solidarity provides the underlying logic of Fascism
evident in the triangulation of policy towards “single purpose
Ae Fond Kiss,
And Then We Sever!
Homecoming Scotland 2009 is a Scottish Government initiative to
develop business networks and the Diaspora Market. Examining Scotland's
neglected historic relationship to the plantations of the New World -
that this trade was built almost exclusively on Black chattel slave
labour - Mullen asks where is the Caribbean Diaspora's presence in Homecoming?
Importantly: "Does the Homecoming initiative have implications for
race relations in modern Scotland?"
Private Business: Public Planning
"Charity as ordinarily practised, the charity of endowment, the charity
of emotion, the charity which takes the place of justice, creates much of the
misery which it relieves, but does not relieve all the misery it creates".
(Joseph Rowntree, 1865)
A key role of government would arguably be that of regulating private
and economic interests in relation to other values. However, Sir Ian
Wood's intervention in Aberdeen City’s public planning (halting
a granted planning application for the same site for a new contemporary
art centre proposed by Peacock Visual Arts) is in many ways analogous
to Donald Trump’s more widely reported golf course project for
Aberdeenshire’s Menie Estate. Vykoukal digs deeper.
Gates, Philanthropy, & Social Engineering?
Taking the Gates' as a significant example, Barker
critically examines how powerful liberal individuals
and their allegedly impartial progressive philanthropic
foundations work to manipulate civil society to promote
and sustain plutocratic political arrangements.
illustrations by: Gordon Tait
Parcels of Rogues
In the wake of MPs' expenses scandal, public disenchantment
with British parliamentary politics has hit an all-time low,
unmatched since late-18th century disgust prompted the Great
Reform Acts. But as politicians parrot the mantra of ‘no
alternative’ to a vain hope for trickledown from globalised
profiteering, where are the contemporary visions of government
equivalent to those of Hogarth and Burns, focussing the righteous
ire of the masses in withering critiques of such an abject here-and-now?
Jennings examines In The Loop, Red Riding, State of Play,
and The Wire for signs...
Artist as Executive,
Executive as Artist
A response to an alleged organisational crisis in
the Arts, 'Cultural Leadership' - which attempts to bind
culture to aspiration and employment skills, reasserting
the genius myth and individualism with regimes of professionalisation
and managerialism - is seen as the cure to all problems.
Forkert charts its programmatic progress.
It is a banality that we need to work in order
to produce for our basic needs. But what is the nature
of that work, for whom, and to what end? Useful work?
Or useless toil? Recent UK
welfare reform proposals maintain that work is the best
route out of poverty, yet ignore the fact that the
wage-labour relation has become a source of built-in
insecurity and social instability. Wage-labour is the
central pillar of capitalist relations, and the drive
to productivity and valorisation of work is to be expected
from the point of view of capital. However, how have
social-democratic institutions, nominally of the Left,
come to be complicit in the subjugation of labour through
the mantra of productivity?