Skip to content

Weekly Roundup: January 19, 2024


At the Blog

On Monday, Zohra Ahmed concluded our symposium on non-reformist reforms, by explaining how the framework can help us evaluate recent demands for transparency in criminal proceedings. On the one hand, many demands for transparency, such as the push for more court reporters in grand juries, will require additional investments in criminal courts, strengthening the very institutions that abolitionists aim to render redundant an obsolete. Yet, as Ahmed points out, in certain circumstances, such investments may be necessary to enable abolitionists to effectively resist these institutions. For instance, HEARD, a group that fights for deaf and disabled people who are facing criminalization, advocates to make courtrooms accessible with interpreters and other accommodations to make sure disabled defendants can make sense of the proceedings against them. Such conditions, they argue, are a pre-requisite for resisting, and for building collective power among disabled incarcerated people. Reflecting on this case, Ahmed writes: “The heuristic of non-reformist reform can help avoid ultra-leftism and create the possibilities for coalition, such as across groups who care about transparency. It can help us salvage the transformative potential of demands that seem to have lost their teeth. But to realize these ends without falling back into reformist pieties, the framework demands rigorous, context-specific thinking that eschews dogmatism.”

And on Thursday, we highlighted the Blog’s most anticipated books of 2024. From a radical history of the concept of “the peasant,” to a philosophical case against extreme wealth, to a sociological examination of the algorithmic predictions reshaping our lives, this list has something for everyone. And if you like this post, you’ll love our forthcoming LPE listicles: Least Anticipated Federal Elections of 2024, Clarence Thomas’ Top 75 Luxury Vacation Spots, and Seven Changes to the Tax Code That Will Drive Your Partner Wild.

In LPE Land

The Law and Political Economy Project (that’s us!) and the People’s Parity Project launched What to Do About the Courts, an open course/reading group on the urgent question of what to do about the courts in our current political moment. Each session — meeting once a month from January through June — will begin with a speaker offering approximately 20-30 minutes of framing thoughts and posing some questions. We will then divide the participants into virtual breakout rooms of approximately 15 people each to discuss amongst themselves. The course is FREE and OPEN TO ALL. All you need to do is register here. The first session (January 30) will address “The Problem of the Court” with Nikolas Bowie, the Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Details are available here.

As part of Hegemonicon’s series on “What We’re Building,” William Lawrence interviewed our fearless leader Corinne Blalock, alongside Daniel Denvir and Johanna Bozuwa, about the Left’s own ideological infrastructure – the ideas we’re developing, and the means of disseminating them.

Next Friday (January 26), Sanjukta Paul and Nathan Tankus will be discussing antitrust and public price coordination with the Columbia Law and Political Economy Society.

Over at the Sling, John Mark Newman offered his thoughts about the FTC’s recent win against IQVIA/Propel Media, and how it fits within the broader fight to revive antitrust.

In The American Prospect, Sandeep Vaheesan reviews Disrupting D.C.: The Rise of Uber and the Fall of the City and reflects on the failed political economy of the 2010s.

Our friends at Just Money kicked off a new symposium on Jakob Feinig’s Moral Economies of Money: Politics and the Monetary Constitution of Society.