This article is a history of liquidity presented as interaction between metaphors and theoretical concepts in social contexts. While taking note of Zygmunt Bauman’s metaphor “liquid modernity,” the study instead surveys the wider conceptual field. The text turns around mercantile liquidity (liquidity as clarification) and liquidity in modern economics (characteristic of all assets), as well as older metaphors, notably the famous phrase of the Communist Manifesto, “all that is solid melts into air” (Alles Ständische und Stehende verdampft), which is revealed to have resonance in texts by poets, notably Heinrich Heine. The main result is the historical consistency of the field, where liquidity is a promise of knowledge and clarity.
Keynes and Marx, Merchants, and Poets
In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, millions of Germans emigrated
to the New World. Today, however, immigration to Germany
is an integral aspect of everyday life in the country. The consequences
of immigration are far-reaching, ranging from the wealth of
culinary options offered by Italian, Greek, or Chinese restaurants, to
the social costs of employing thousands of foreign workers in Germany’s
construction sector. In the Ruhr River area, Germany’s
largest industrial melting pot, Turkish names are now as common as
Polish names—the latter representing an immigrant group that settled
in the area some 100 years ago.
This article is a non-technical review of the economics of global policy on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Quite a lot is known about the likely physical consequences of anthropogenic climate change, but much uncertainty remains. In particular, account needs to be taken of possible catastrophes such as ice sheet melting. How are we to balance the known costs of taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the present against the uncertain benefits of such action for future generations? How convincing is the case for substantial measures to be undertaken now? If the case for such action is accepted, should emissions be controlled via Kyoto-style national emissions targets or by the imposition of carbon taxes? How can the challenges of burden sharing between developed and developing countries be addressed?
There is a sort of natural closeness between Sartre and violence. Many have claimed that Sartre was fascinated by violence. Authors as diverse as Michel-Antoine Burnier and Mohamed Harbi have criticised the violence in Sartre, and even Bernard-Henri Lévy sees in Sartre's preface to Fanon's Les Damnés de la Terre a 'Sartre possédé'. Unlike these authors, we claim that Sartre was in no way fascinated by violence. In his eyes, violence was an historical fact that was characteristic of his time and which he, personally, discovered at an early age. What is more, Sartre's violence is situational. If he discovered the world in books, it was also in books that he discovered violence. Books and history were the melting pots of a violence that haunts Sartre's work. The historical situations in which he found himself explain the omnipresence of violence in his work.
This is an excellent project. Making an anniversary out of the publication of The Invention of Culture (IOC) allows an interesting cross-section of scholars to set down, briefly, the effect which they think the work has had, and still has. Yet in one sense this is a self-defeating exercise: as some of the authors point out (Dalton and Stassinos) Wagner never stays in the same frame twice. A formula in his world view must always be in the past tense, for once a position is formulated, it has done its job. So in his own unfolding oeuvre, the ‘effect’ of IOC is located (refashioned) ‘elsewhere.’ Indeed, several of these papers find it necessary to draw from other parts of his work (Dalton, Murray and Stassinos). In another sense, what emerges from these essays is the prescience of Wagner’s work; the fact, for example, that IOC seemed to anticipate some of the melting pots into which the study of culture was to fall and its continuing vitality.
Agri-cultures in the Anthropocene
Martin Skrydstrup and Hyun-Gwi Park
Today when we think about climate change and Greenland, we do not think about agriculture, but of the melting ice. Perhaps the most evocative articulation of this connection was made in December 2015, when Paris was hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP21. At this event, artist Olafur Elisasson and geologist Minik Rosing exhibited their art installation Ice Watch at the Place du Pantheon: a circle of icebergs with a circumference of twenty meters, which resembled a watch ticking and/or a compass providing orientation for the world’s leaders in the palm of Paris. The ice had been transported by tugboat from the harbor of Nuuk—Greenland’s capital—to France. The captain of the tugboat was Kuupik Kleist, former prime minister of Greenland, who was quoted saying: “Ninety per cent of our country is covered by ice. It is a great part of our national identity. We follow the international discussion, of course, but to every Greenlander, just by looking out the window at home, it is obvious that something dramatic is happening” (Zarin 2015).
The Paradoxes and Possibilities of the Francophone Belgian Road Movie
This article builds on recent scholarship on the European road movie, focusing on Francophone Belgian road films that engage with issues of citizenship and personal, national, and transnational identities. The relationship of these films to the process of identity reformulation within new European parameters is examined, using four films from the past decade as case studies: Eldorado (Bouli Lanners, 2008), L'iceberg (Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy, 2005), Quand la mer monte/When the Sea Rises (Jeanne Moreau and Gilles Porte, 2004), and Les folles aventures de Simon Konianski/Simon Konianski (Micha Wald, 2008). Despite the limited scale of its territory, this article contends that Belgium's complex make-up and status as a post-colonial “melting pot“ provides the ideal laboratory for cinematic identity quests. While anchored in a distinctively Belgian context, these films demonstrate that national boundaries are no longer an adequate container for identities in contemporary Europe. Particular focus is paid to the ways by which each film employs and distorts the traditional road movie template to stage voyages into citizenship.