Redistributive policy

Presentation of Noema Magazine, Issue III: Rupture


Nathan Gardels is the editor of Noema Magazine.

Kathleen Miles is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine. She can be reached on Twitter at @mileskathleen.

The new paper issue of Noema Magazine will be released in September! The theme of this issue is “rupture”.

As the poet Archibald MacLeish understood, a world ends when its metaphor is dead. At the moment of such a rupture, a new space opens up in place of the broken status quo. Illusions of an old order disappear, giving way to what was smoldering to emerge. Above all, a break requires choices about the foundations of the future.

Today we are experiencing such a deep breach, a consequence of the convergence of several breaking points at once.

This confluent break will only prove to be a caesura, or pause, along a moribund path if we don’t take the opportunity to let go of the past patterns that have brought us to this point. It will take both uncompromising realism and leaps of imagination for open societies to build the kind of world we want to live in from the rubble of passing order. This printed edition of Noema takes up this period challenge.

Here’s a look at some of the new essays that can only be read in print, in issue III:

~Like Bruno Macae frames it, the invasion of Ukraine by China-aligned Russia marks the decisive retreat of civilizational states with heavy traditions against the liberal rules-based order of the West that protects “negative freedoms”, such as as individual rights and freedom of expression, but possesses little cultural consensus other than the possibilities of pluralism.

This setback further accelerates the decoupling of global economic interdependence and even raises the specter of nuclear war. It also breaks the momentum towards planetary realism that was underway even as UN authorities issued an alarming “code red” warning of a short ten-year window to avert an irreversible climate calamity.

~In a collage of brief comments, Gordon Brown, Yuen Yuen Ang, Maria Snegovaya, Zheng Yongnian, Olga Bielkova, Henry Kissinger, Shashi Tharoor and Eric Schmidt assess the long-term impact of the war on a changing world order and, in particular, China’s role in it.

~Kim Stanley Robinson argues that, in the vein of eco-realpolitik, the rest of the world must compensate oil states for their lost revenue as they transition to a green economy – or they never will.

~Thomas Piquetty argues for a form of predistribution that provides a “minimum inheritance” of $180,000 to each paid-in citizen at age 25.

~Catherine Liu discusses how trauma culture’s focus on all forms of trauma except economic exploitation has helped to conceal the problem at the heart of the market economy.

~Peter Singer and Tse Yip Fai state that there is an urgent need to extend the ethics of AI to take into account non-human life.

~Using neural networks, computer vision, biosensors and augmented and virtual reality, Sougwen Chung creates art that asks the question: where does AI stop and where does it begin?

The moment of rupture is a state of aporia, when paralyzing contradictions and conflicts create an impasse that demands resolution. As such, it is also an opening to proactively make decisions to define the times ahead – if we have the imagination and the will to do so.

Here’s a preview of the art that can only be seen in print, in Issue III: