Do fictional narratives, like those found in novels, plays, and films, promote empathy? Does emotion-based empathy spur people to alleviate suffering in the real world? Namwali Serpell calls into question much of the conventional thinking about empathy in relation to art. Drawing on thinkers like Arendt and Brecht, Serpell points to fiction’s capacity to enlarge … Continued


We think of public utilities operating for the public good — it’s right there in the name. But most public utilities are investor-owned and, like corporations as a whole in this country, have enormous power to dispossess poor people through government-backed mechanisms like eminent domain. Sociologist Loka Ashwood discusses how such dispossession, along with state-sanctioned … Continued


What would it mean to take revenge against the capitalist system? And what kinds of vengeance has capitalism itself taken, against workers and other exploited people? Max Haiven examines Marxist, feminist, anti-colonial, and other perspectives on revenge, and he considers what forms of avenging might point the way toward radical social and political transformation. Max … Continued