“The Shock Doctrine”

What follows is not news, but it is still quite difficult to see it quite so plainly.  Paul Krugman describes Naomi Klein’s analysis to the Wisconsin situation and, by implication, beyond:

Naomi Klein’s best-selling book “The Shock Doctrine” …argued that [there was] a broader pattern. From Chile in the 1970s onward, she suggested, right-wing ideologues have exploited crises to push through an agenda that has nothing to do with resolving those crises, and everything to do with imposing their vision of a harsher, more unequal, less democratic society.

Which brings us to Wisconsin 2011, where the shock doctrine is on full display …

What’s happening in Wisconsin is, instead, a power grab — an attempt to exploit the fiscal crisis to destroy the last major counterweight to the political power of corporations and the wealthy. And the power grab goes beyond union-busting. The bill in question is 144 pages long, and there are some extraordinary things hidden deep inside..

That this is happening in my country and others closely allied to it makes me feel heartsick. It is bad to think the country is in the grip of incompetents who cannot make good choices, but much worse, I think, to think that the suffering of so many living with the consequences is actually a foreseen consequence of a fully intended plan.

With what confidence would you apply this to the UK?

CFP: Social Philosophy

Twenty-Eighth International Social Philosophy Conference

Sponsored by

The North American Society for Social Philosophy

July 21 – July 23, 2011
Marquette University
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Special attention will be devoted to the theme: Freedom, Religion, and Gender
but proposals in all areas of social philosophy are welcome.

The Program Committee will be co-chaired by Professor Jean Harvey of the University of Guelph , Professor Gaile Pohlhaus of Miami University , and Professor Lisa Schwartzman of Michigan State University .

Standard submissions:
Please email a 300-500 word abstract to all of the program co-chairs. We welcome submissions from both members and non-members, but all presenters are to be members of the North American Society for Social Philosophy before the conference begins.

Submissions from graduate students wishing to be considered for the Graduate Award:
Please see below for more information, including the special requirements involved (under NASSP Conference Awards for Graduate Students).

Submission Deadlines:
Standard submissions for those living in Canada or the U.S. : March 15, 2011.
Standard submission for those living outside the United States and Canada : Jan. 15, 2011.
Submissions from graduate students wishing to be considered for the Graduate Award: Both abstracts and completed papers (not exceeding 3,000 words) must be prepared for anonymous review and submitted simultaneously by March 15, 2011. (Please indicate in your email that you wish to be considered for the Graduate Student Award.)

Please submit proposals in Rich Text Format to all of the following members of the program committee:

Jean Harvey
jnharvey AT uoguelph.ca

Gaile Pohlhaus
pohlhag AT muohio.edu

Lisa Schwartzman
lhschwar AT msu.edu

NASSP Travel Grants for International Presenters

The NASSP has limited funds for travel to the conference site for presenters living outside the U.S. and Canada . If you are interested, please indicate this at the time that you receive the acceptance e-mail.

NASSP Conference Awards for Graduate Students

To promote new scholarship focusing on social philosophy and to encourage student participation, the North American Society for Social Philosophy has established the NASSP Awards for Best Graduate Student Papers. These awards give special recognition to papers to be read by a graduate student at the NASSP annual conference. The winners of the annual prizes will each receive $300 upon attendance at the annual International Social Philosophy Conference, and will be honored at the conference. The prizes are awarded only to conference attendees, though there is no obligation to use the money for conference-related costs. Any graduate student enrolled in a program towards a degree beyond the B.A. or first university diploma is eligible. The paper should be consistent with the framework of those presented at the International Social Philosophy Conference, addressing any topic in social philosophy. The papers will be evaluated by a three-member committee. The evaluation criteria include originality and quality of philosophical writing. Papers may be drawn from thesis work or intended for eventual publication, must not exceed 3,000 words, and must conform to the requirements set out by the APA for colloquium submissions to annual Divisional meetings.

Deadline: Both abstracts and completed papers (not exceeding 3,000 words) must be prepared for anonymous review and must be sent simultaneously to all members of the program committee by March 15, 2011. Please indicate in your email that you wish to be considered for the Graduate Student Award.

Women’s Mentoring Program

Ann Cudd and Louise Antony write:

We invite applications to a mentoring workshop for junior faculty women
in philosophy. This workshop will be held June 19-21 at the campus of
the University of Massachusetts Amherst and co-directed by Louise Antony
and Ann Cudd. The workshop is designed to help women advance in the
philosophy profession. Mentees will be placed in networking groups led
by a senior women in their field. Each group will meet in four (or five)
working sessions, to discuss, in turn, a work-in-progress provided by
each mentee. There will also be panel discussions of professional issues
facing women philosophy.

For more information and instructions for applying, please see the
project website.

The Workshop is being sponsored by a grant from the American
Philosophical Association, the Department of Philosophy at the
University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the University of Kansas.

Please bring this to the attention of junior women faculty in

The organisers tell me that this is open to all English-speaking women, not just US ones.

British guns for foreign dictators!

Anyone with their finger on the pulse of current affairs will have noticed there’s something quite momentous occurring in other parts of the world: people are rising up and revolting against their dictators. The response of said leaders has ranged from reasonably mild, to all out bloodshed. So it’s heartening to know that Britain is capitalising on the situation by flogging its military wares to oppressive regimes! Shortly after the Egyptian people ousted Mubarak, Cameron popped over to the Middle East with a team of arms salesmen, to promote British hardware and try to flog some more trinkets (ammunition, pepper spray, tear gas, and fire arms) to our friends in the Middle East and North Africa. But don’t worry, Britain has some tough export rules, which ensure that our weapons don’t end up in the wrong hands.

Cosmetic surgery and ethnicity

Cosmetic surgery used to be the preserve of the rich and famous. But now many ordinary citizens are paying surgeons to alter their bodies. New York Times reports that different ethnic groups request different sorts of procedures, which track particular cultural ideals of beauty and attractiveness.