Posts Tagged ‘modernity

I cannot better a blog post by Karl Sharro, a Lebanese architect, celebrating the completion of the Burj Dubai as the world’s tallest building. He takes some well-aimed shots at misanthropic and environmentalist critics who are whinging about this tremendous achievement (also see my 11 October 2008 blog post). Those who want to get a […]

An excellent recent essay by Neil Davenport in mute magazine helps to draw out the intellectual backdrop to the rise of growth scepticism. Davenport’s piece is a review of two classics of the “Marxist” Frankfurt school – Dialectic of Enlightenment and One-Dimensional Man – plus a trilogy on the Third Reich by Richard Evans. Davenport […]

Back from Dubai

In: Uncategorized

11 Oct 2008

I have not posted for a few days because I’ve been at a conference in Dubai and have also had to follow the market mayhem. I hope to write a piece about recent market developments over the weekend – arguing that share price movements are a poor indicator of economic health – but in the […]

Benjamin Barber, a professor at the University of Maryland, writes that the contemporary world as besieged by two forces: consumerism and globalisation. Both of them, in his view, lead to the erosion of national autonomy. Consumerist capitalism is driven by an ethos of infantalisation which encourages narcissism and an obsession with consumption (he identifies key […]

I have come across so much on happiness in the last few days that I will have to resort to relaying it in bullet point form: * Happiness debate in the Financial Times. Martin Wolf, the chief economics commentator of the Financial Times, had a belated review of Richard Layard’s 2005 book on happiness published […]

I have a short article on Spiked on how hostility to modernity has become embedded in Western society (pasted below). It is part of a collection of articles looking at the fifth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks: What strikes me as most odd about the response to the 9/11 attacks was their representation […]

Do jihadis attack planes precisely because they are symbols of modernity? That is the argument of Michael Clarke, professor of defence studies at King’s College, London, in an article in Saturday’s Times (London): “Commercial aircraft represent globalism and high technology — they shrink the world and threaten cultural conservatism. The Boeing 747 was the last […]


In: Uncategorized

16 Jul 2006

I was stunned today by the Modernism exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. I am not qualified to discuss its artistic merits but what struck me most was the difference in perspective between the modernists, particularly in the early years of the movement from 1917 through the 1920s, and today (for a review of […]