Author: Scott Malcomson

What Was Decolonization? A Review of Adom Getachew’s “Worldmaking After Empire”

What Was Decolonization? A Review of Adom Getachew’s “Worldmaking After Empire” Scott Malcomson The title of Adom Getachew’s fascinating and bracing Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination is a bit misleading. Her period of interest, 1918-1980, was pretty imperial: Portugal’s colonial war ended in 1975, Rhodesia’s 15-year internal war ceased with the establishment of Zimbabwe in 1980, and Britain left Hong Kong only in 1997. She isn’t really tracking the more familiar worldmakings of that era either, the Paris Peace Conferences and the Bretton Woodses. Rather, Getachew is interested specifically in “anticolonial worldmaking,” upending the familiar...

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Winternet is Coming

Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto last week and the burning desire of Indian mega-billionaire Mukesh Ambani to become a tech mogul might not at first seem connected. But Zuckerberg’s dramatic repositioning of his company — an attempt to save Facebook’s future as a global platform — and Ambani’s somewhat unlikely (his net worth just crests $50 billion) emergence as an activist against “data colonialism” are two faces of a coin.  The Forbes #8 and #13 richest persons in the world are embracing the hyper-politicization of Internet communications and seeking to make fortunes in a business landscape where states have now made...

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The Victory of the Village Voice

Kevin McAuliffe wrote a book subtitled The Rise and Fall of the Village Voice in 1978, six years before I arrived there and 23 years after the Voice’s founding. Ed Fancher, who started the paper along with Dan Wolf and Norman Mailer, has noted that the three of them fought in World War II and began the Voice in part as a response to the closed and defensive mood that took hold after 1945: there was “a feeling that there should be an open society, and that would require an open sort of newspaper, which The Village Voice was.”...

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