Nathan Coombs: Nathan Coombs is a Masters student in International Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. His PhD re

Nathan Coombs is a PhD candidate in Political Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research project is entitled ‘History and Revolution: from Russia to Iran’.

March 2009

The burden of being a real Marxist

An exploration of the role of history in formulating today’s political alternatives.

January 2009

How to film revolutionary violence

As testified by the seven years of research put into the production, and the new scholarship on the matter, the filmmakers seem to have got it right in their portrayal of the Cuban struggle as a uniquely ethically waged guerrilla war.

December 2008

The rural Real and the city dweller

Where we are used to romanticised images of the countryside and are force fed the moral righteousness of returning to serfdom to grow sustainable, organic produce, Tarr’s vision, on the other hand, is horrific. Yet, deep in our consciousness, we know that the rural life is our origin.

Sieg heil Chairman Mao?

Gao provides us with a rare insight into the lively online debate in China, so different to the sense of consensus that dominates the intellectual class and the state.

September 2008

Snow in Istanbul

Once people internalise the ideology of passivity and infectiveness, they cease to be able to understand themselves as properly political subjects.

August 2008

Communist kitsch without conviction

Is a work of art that forges its content out of the everyday, and shows its epic potential, not infinitely preferable to fantasy tales from Middle Earth?

July 2008

The excess of the left in Iran

His history reveals that the left failed precisely because of an excess of ideas and fractious allegiances to every brand of revolutionary Marxism going: Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyism, Maoism and Castroism.

May 2008

Ali Shari’ati: between Marx and the Infinite

Is Ali Shari’ati, the so-called ideologue of the Iranian Revolution, a poster boy for a utopian Islamic left, lost but not forgotten? Or is his legacy rather an allegory of good intentions gone awry and the irresponsibility of pursuing an exotic Leninist eclecticism at the edge of unreason?

Like imperialism? Love sharia

What is of course excluded from this entire discussion is any reference to the most defining discourse in the Middle East: anti-imperialism.

April 2008

Apathy into tear-forming euphoria

After the first song, the audience knew they were witnessing something special, the band certainly had no doubt, and despite the thumping percussion and apocalyptic guitar crescendos there was barely a bobbing head in the audience throughout. It’s called transfixion.

Music
March 2008

The stone and the chicken

If the liberal consensus nowadays is that Robespierre’s French Revolution went too far in the pursuit of liberté, egalité, fraternité, then that’s not as damning as it at first may appear.

Culture Wars was included in creativetourists’ Top 25 UK Arts & Culture Blogs 2009.