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The New Inquiry

The New Inquiry is a space for discussion that aspires to enrich cultural and public life by putting all available resources — both digital and material — toward the promotion and exploration of ideas.

What Is the New Inquiry?

As before, always.

It’s a strange time, isn’t it, when the loser wins? And yet here we are: Trump is in the White House, columnists are warming to their new war leader, and editorial boards, surprised that their coverage of Donald Trump fueled his ascent, are cashing in on the confusion they sowed.

The New York Times just added a climate change denier to its opinion pages, New York magazine prints the speculations of a eugenicist on its cover, and the same career pundits that defended the War on Terror as a fight against “Islamofascism” urge us to be moderate as Nazis swagger around the highest office. These are not the thinkers who will disarm either the ethno-nationalists eager to test their assault rifles at the gates of camps or techno-utopian libertarians hoping to welcome the Singularity from their seasteading city-states. If the resistance requires a subscription, it shouldn’t be to the past.

In this moment, as liberalism gasps for air, the very least we can do is cross our arms and refuse to resuscitate. There’s no reason to tolerate the forecasts of those far removed from the realities they’re attempting to describe. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a publication that had always been looking at this future?

New Inquiry subscribers have long been reading about the world we live in. Since 2009, we’ve critiqued the bourgeois press and its failure to reckon with our realities, covering debt, cops, love, and tech before our writers were poached by magazines with bigger budgets. We’re concerned with building a left that doesn’t reproduce what we critique, be that the Democratic party, anti-Blackness, transmisogyny, settler colonialism, or liberal optimism. As such we don’t talk about organizing “the white working class” or “reforming” that which must be abolished [the police, prisons, and the state]. The important thing a magazine can do, we think, is to ask the right questions—it’s right there in our name.

We’ve also been asked good questions from our readers: Why are our page margins so wide? How do I read back issues? What do I get if I’m a subscriber? How can I search the archive? As an ad- and paywall-free, reader-funded independent organization, we haven’t had the money to improve the site since we first started publishing a monthly magazine in 2012.

Until now. Thanks to the backing of our readership, we are proud to present a fresh website, and with it, an easier way to support us and gain access to everything we’ve published. We’re also lowering our barrier for access back to $2 a month.

Just two dollars unlocks all sixty past magazine issues — an invaluable archive of evergreen criticism from the post-crash era. Looking for insight on Modern Monetary Theory? How about food and appetites? Microfame and online resentment? Love and sexuality? The Tinderization of everyday life? Witches and outer space? Our futures? We’ve got you covered. And when any reactionaries ask, you can tell them you cared about surveillance, borders, and drones while Obama was president too.

Ever wonder why Nicholas Kristof thinks hugs cure poverty? Why you can’t trust the dulcet tones of Radiolab? Why Silicon Valley thinks nerds are a race and Peter Thiel is obsessed with blood? Are you also made uneasy by the blondes of empire? Is the current social order making you sick?

We’ve never pretended to live in a world where neutrality was affordable, let alone morally defensible. We don’t believe in “both sides.” We believe in ours and we’re clear about our stakes. We know there’s a time to loot, a time to riot, and a time to deck nazis. While Chait and Brooks admonish students for being bad customers, we insist the customer is always right.

We’re living through a historically unstable moment. The forces of capital that appeared to neutralize the liberation movements of previous generations are resorting to violence to hold us back. Join us as we bring revolutionary energies to bear on the organs of ruling-class discourse. For only $2 a month, you have nothing to lose but your change.

Neueste Beitræge

Folk Etymologies

Eleanor Stern, 22. Juni 2023
A  sensitive speaker of English could consider removing the phrase “rule of thumb” from their vocabulary. The term has its roots in domestic violence: a British law stipulated that a man could beat his wife provided he used a switch no wider than his own thumb. This was the history (...)

Midwest

Kate Zambreno, 18. April 2023
Sofia Samatar is the author of five books, most recently the memoir The White Mosque. Kate Zambreno is the author of nine books, most recently The Light Room, a meditation on art and care, forthcoming this summer. Together, they have also written a collaborative work on literature, Tone, (...)

Make the Golf Course a Public Sex Forest!

Anna Aguiar Kosicki, 28. Februar 2023
Intro The continued assault on public sexuality and LGBT life in the United States manifests not only as individualized physical violence against trans, gender-nonconforming, and visibly queer people, but also as a slowly encroaching front that waves the banners of respectability (...)

Exporting the Revolution

Bassem Saad, 16. Februar 2023
Youth is provisional. The stuff of market pictures, loans and auctioned prospects, finance and gentrification, enhancement and anxiety.  Or else it is, away from the metropole, the material of the drain, which is to say that either youth itself is drained, or the nation-state is drained of the (...)

The Year the Pandemic "Ended" (Part III)

Artie Vierkant and Beatrice Adler-Bolton, 23. Dezember 2022
This piece has been adapted from Covid Year Three, an episode of Death Panel released earlier this month. It presents an incomplete timeline of the sociological production of the end of the pandemic across 2022. What follows is the third part of a three-part series; Part I is available here and Part (...)

The Year the Pandemic "Ended" (Part II)

Artie Vierkant and Beatrice Adler-Bolton, 22. Dezember 2022
This piece has been adapted from Covid Year Three, an episode of Death Panel released earlier this month. It presents an incomplete timeline of the sociological production of the end of the pandemic across 2022. What follows is the second part of a three-part series; Part I is available here.  + (...)

The Year the Pandemic "Ended" (Part 1)

Artie Vierkant and Beatrice Adler-Bolton, 21. Dezember 2022
The following piece presents an incomplete timeline of the sociological production of the end of the pandemic over the last year. In Part I, we look at the way elected officials and the press were talking about covid and the new omicron variant between November 2021 to January 2022. This piece (...)

Centrifugal Women

Gabriel Fine, 6. Dezember 2022
A woman lies in bed in a large maternity ward. She’s just risen from a dream, and it overflows from sleep to tint her waking perceptions. A poplar tree glittering with sun is framed “like a mirage” in a large window; the ward is filled with “the peaceful sound of women’s voices” whose bodies (...)

Intentions

Lauren Berlant, 25. Oktober 2022
Intro Born in 1957, Lauren Berlant theorized neoliberalism’s affective life. From 1984 to 2021, they taught at the University of Chicago, an institution which was instrumental in developing neoliberalism’s ideological infrastructure. Cruel Optimism (2011), Berlant’s breakout hit, is about (...)

SURPLUS

Beatrice Adler-Bolton, 18. Oktober 2022
The production of death under capitalism is well understood. Innumerable terms and theoretical formulations exist to define the endpoint of capital’s immiseration, the one constant to human life that our political economy is particularly adept at expediting. “Social murder” is the term used (...)