‘Catch it and talk to me’ – Flirting Tehran Style

There are things happening in Tehran that even by Western standards are almost too creatively subversive to be true. And they are happening in the vehicles that Tehranis covet. During ’rounding’ – a form of car-speed dating – the intimacy that is typically banned from anything but the most private nocturnal spaces is partly able to return during sneaked daytime moments.

The Callous Caretaker

Was Margaret Thatcher a visionary leader who fundamentally changed the landscape of British politics? Or was that landscape already changing, with Thatcher merely overseeing developments that were more or less inevitable? Despite the mythos of contemporary British politics, and of the Conservative Party in particular, there are strong reasons to be doubtful of Thatcher’s status as an economic and political visionary. Examining the development of offshore finance – and of Whitehall’s inability to keep pace with this – indicates that Thatcher’s role has been grossly overstated in the popular imagination. Realising this, however, must lead us to question the future prospects for societies like ours.

Destroying the universities

It may surprise readers to learn that the government has spent the last three years persistently undermining and obstructing Britain’s seventh largest export industry.

Smooth is Fast

Police killings of innocents, due to real or imagined resistance, accidental firearm discharge or raiding the wrong address are both numerous and lurid. Moreover, the circumstances even of justified shootings are frequently relatively trivial matters: possession of small quantities of marijuana or cocaine; rarely the cases of violent armed robbery, domestic terrorism and hostage-taking which SWAT teams were formed to tackle.

A Reign of Error

A recent book by Chris Hayes, Twilight of the Elites, argues that the dysfunction of the meritocratic system is causing an increasing number of elite failures in the United States. What can European elites learn from his argument about the adaptability of institutions? Moreover, what shape should reform on both sides of the Atlantic take?

Death by tonsillitis: Imagining a world without antibiotics

Many of us can safely say that without antibiotic treatment, we would not be alive today. Yet because of their effectiveness, low cost and relatively wide availability, these miracle drugs are often taken for granted. Since their discovery only 75 years ago, antibiotics have been losing their effectiveness at an alarming rate, leaving even the most trivial infections untreatable.

Academia and Intellectual Soulcraft: A Conversation with Cornel West

King’s Review recently had the pleasure of talking with Cornel West during his stay last week at King’s College, Cambridge. Here he talks to us about the role of academia and the responsibility of intellectuals in the public sphere, particularly their relation to recent political movements such as Occupy, and pressing social and political problems such as climate change, poverty, and financial crises.

America’s Strange Love Affair with Guns

Guns, like country music, cowboy boots, and bourbon, have for the past forty years enjoyed a cultural cachet in America that is removed from any practical uses to which they might be put. They have become symbols of Southern and Western self-sufficiency and toughness, an easy way for consumers from particular regions in a market economy to flaunt a middle finger to authority.

Of Fat Cats and a Barking Public

Precisely one month ago, on March 3rd, Swiss voters backed a proposal to enforce some of the world’s strictest regulations on executive pay. In a society where obesity is the most common result of malnutrition, citizens seem to have realised that the fat cats sitting on the boards of Swiss companies embraced gluttony in a deregulated market—and a diet is in order.

Ward Seven

The Russian mentality – borne out of eternal struggle for survival – has become nationally addicted to the consoling idea of ‘a quick fix’. It seems that a new age occultism is fast becoming the religion for many Russian people.

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