Everybody’s got this rather vague idea that there’s a new force out there in the world called culture which has replaced social class and replaced biology and replaced all those other determinants of behaviour. Culture, we are told, is what really makes us behave the way we do. Not only that. It explains history and explains difference and explains the future. But when you try and put your finger on this thing culture and try to find out what it tries to explain it turns out to be very vague. It turns out that what culture explains is culture. So it’s not only ambiguous and ubiquitous, it’s far too powerful and it’s also circular.
Dead Men Left, by contrast, has a rather different take on Malik's piece. Read the rest.