Houses without people, people without homes: New York has invested in empty storefronts and empty districts, even as most New Yorkers suffer.
Past Editor: Destin Jenkins
Fast Food, Precarious Workers
Today—as in 1968—it remains to be seen if McDonald’s pivot toward racial justice will mean anything for how it treats its scores of Black workers.
Can the Crowd Speak?
Occupy Wall Street’s great achievement was to briefly create a community that prefigured a robust democratic culture.
The Enduring Disposability of Latinx Workers
When employers fail to provide PPE, testing, sick pay, or job protection, the message is clear: Latinx laborers are “not us.”
How to Defund the Police
The inconvenient truth of police history in the United States is that police departments were not designed to keep a generic public safe.
Pandemic Déjà Vu
The COVID-19 global pandemic has been described as an unprecedented global event. Yet for some, the virus arrives with uncanny familiarity.
The Police: Gentrification’s Shock Troops
In Detroit today, politicians promise that real estate development—coupled with police violence—will guarantee the city’s spiritual redemption.
Money Is the Gatekeeper of Politics
Rather than taking money out of politics, we should inject more money into politics: but money in the service of the public good.
The Oligarchs’ Charter
Today we know that, just as Adam Smith and Thomas Jefferson predicted, economic elites will never relinquish supreme power easily.
A Communism of Feelings
What role should emotions play in leftist political movements?
Political Life in the Age of Catastrophe
Thanks to surveillance, political violence, and AI, we no longer have the luxury of humanist utopias to plan for the future.
Can Smart Cities Be Equitable Cities?
Tech does not arrive in a city to save it. Instead, tech’s financial success depends on dismissing and exploiting existing disparities.
Public Thinker: B. R. Cohen on How Food Became “Pure”
“There were so many new laws, I had to make a map showing the spread and intensity of antimargarine laws in states over a quarter century.”
The Realism of Our Times: Kim Stanley Robinson on How Science Fiction Works
“We're in a science fiction novel now that we are all co-writing together.”
How the Welfare State Became the Neoliberal Order
Today's neoliberalism emerged when US policymakers built New Deal–style projects abroad—for private gain rather than the public good.
The Once and Future Temp
What can the history of the temp-work industry teach us about the precarity of modern working life?
All Tomorrow’s Warnings
Both left and right employ “speculative nonfiction” to imagine the world after climate change. But who will win the battle of the futurists?
It’s the Geography, Stupid! Planetary Urbanization Revealed
Covid-19 spread so rapidly because urbanization is now planetary: connecting disparate territories through flows of goods and people.
Listen Closely: “Exit, Voice, and Loyalty” @50
When the Trump presidency ends, and the toll of years of toxicity and mismanagement becomes clear, we are going to need some guidance.
A Tale of Two Valleys
To understand Silicon Valley, first examine the stories it tells about itself; just like, to understand the Victorian age, first read writers like Dickens and Dreiser.