Hafez al-Asad and the Propaganda of Guilt

This week we’re back to my favourite subject: dictatorship, and more specifically, how does it work? I’ve started reading Lisa Wedeen’s excellent book The Ambiguities of Domination, which is based on fieldwork she did during the 80s and 90s in Syria concerning the cult of Hafez al-Asad.  I am about halfway through and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  It is well-written, intelligent, and casually readable as well as academic.  I highly recommend it to anyone interested in dictatorship or Syria. Wedeen’s extensive interviews and conversations with Syrians form the basis for her argument, which is that although it would seem … Continue reading Hafez al-Asad and the Propaganda of Guilt

Today, we’re going to play with Missiles!

And I am back, after a brief hiatus.  Meanwhile, my prediction of the Jamahiriya’s 42nd birthday has been abundantly fulfilled, and I’ve unaccountably managed to get myself quite a lot of freelance work, much of which involved tight deadlines.  It is this which has lamentably taken the edge off my ability to blog.  But I have returned now to present you with a post about MATHS, and in particular the language of maths.  For all that I blog about (and am fiercely obsessed by) politics, I am also fascinated by linguistics, and I can no longer bear that the most … Continue reading Today, we’re going to play with Missiles!