James Heartfield writes, lectures, and broadcasts on development and regeneration. He got his PhD from the Centre for the Study of Democracy at University of Westminster in 2010. He has worked as a journalist, for a television company, as a lecturer and editor. He enjoys public debate, and speaks at events, on radio and television. James is a columnist for sp!ked. He was a director of audacity until 2014.
In 2011 James wrote The Aborigines' Protection Society: Humanitarian Imperialism in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Canada, South Africa, and the Congo, 1837-1909 (2011). Zero Books published his Unpatriotic History of the Second World War (2012). He is currently working on a number of other publication projects.
James co-edited, with Ian Abley, the collection of essays in Sustaining Architecture in the Anti-machine Age (2001). He is the author of The 'Death of the Subject' Explained (2002), Let's Build! - Why we need five million new homes in the next 10 years (2006), and Green Capitalism - Manufacturing Scarcity in an age of abundance (2008).
The official history of the Second World War is Victor's History. This book, the Unpatriotic History of the Second World War, is the history of the Second World War without the patriotic whitewash.
The Second World War was not fought to stop fascism, or to liberate Europe. This book shows that it was a war between imperialist powers to decide which among them would rule over the world, a division of the spoils of empire, and an iron cage for working people, forced to serve the war production drive.
In the Unpatriotic History of the Second World War James Heartfield explains why the Great Powers fought most of their war not in their own countries, but in colonies in North Africa, in the Far East and in Germany's hoped-for Empire in the East. James looks at how unofficial strikes, partisans in Europe and Asia, and soldier's mutinies came close to ending the war. He argues the Allies invaded Europe and the Far East to save the system of capitalism from being overthrown.
The Aborigines' Protection Society is James Heartfield's comparative study of native protection policies in Southern Africa, the Congo, New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, and Canada - and how those with the best of intentions ended up championing colonisation. For more than seventy years, a select group of the great and the good fought for the natives of the British Empire. Anti-Slavery campaigner Thomas Fowell Buxton, medical pioneer Thomas Hodgkin, London Mayor Robert Fowler, the "Zulu" Harriette Colenso, Joseph Chamberlain and Lord Shaftesbury were just some of the men and women who campaigned on behalf of the Aborigines' Protection Society. The Society shaped the Empire, and fought against the tide of white supremacy to defend the interests of aboriginal peoples everywhere. Active on four continents, the Aborigines' Protection Society brought the Zulu King Cetshwayo to meet Queen Victoria, and Maori rebels to the Lord Mayor's banqueting hall. The Society's supporters were denounced by senior British Army officers and white settlers as Zulu-lovers, "so-called friends of the Aborigines", and even traitors.
James tells the story of the three-cornered fight among the Colonial Office, the settlers, and the natives that shaped the British Empire.
Pointing to the wreckage of Humanitarian Imperialism today, James looks to its roots in the beliefs and practices of its nineteenth-century equivalents. His book is an account of the pivotal role that the Aborigines' Protection Society played, persuading the authorities to limit the claims of settlers in the name of native interests. Against expectations, the policy of native protection turns out to be one of the most important reasons for the growth of Imperial rule. Best intentions are not sufficient...
James Heartfield writes...
Why we need five million
new homes in the next
With a foreword by Robert Bruegmann
Edited by Kate Moorcock-Abley
ISBN 0-9553830-0-5Price: £15.00
James Heartfield sees capitalists in the grip of a terrible nightmare. The nightmare is cornucopia. For the ruling classes nothing is more alarming than the steady rise in mass consumption. The age of plenty is anathema to them, and they dream instead of restoring strict limits on consumption. If scarcity is in danger of being overcome, their ambition is to artificially recreate it.
Capitalism has gone green at the start of the twenty-first century. After the austerity socialism of the past, environmentalism is the ideology of capitalism in retreat from production.
Copies of James Heartfield's pamphlet Green Capitalism - Manufacturing scarcity in an age of abundance are available through the author's website at www.heartfield.org. The launch is on 11 March 2008.
At the start of the twenty-first century society is suffering from a degraded sense of autonomous subjectivity. In The "Death of the Subject" Explained James Heartfield considers why all post-modernists, communitarians and ecologists see human subjectivity as a problem. He looks at the retreat from subjectivity in the defeated political alternatives of left and right, and the negative consequences for society.
Published in 2002 by the Sheffield Hallam University Press, which has since ceased trading, copies are available through the author's website at www.heartfield.org
Reviewing The "Death of the Subject" Explained, Michael Fitzpatrick appreciates Heartfield's argument; while subjectivity is in a precarious condition, reports of its death are exaggerated. 'Despite the wilful denial of its existence and importance, the subjective factor remains the most powerful force in society.' Clarification of '... the processes that are frustrating the emergence of a wider awareness of the potential of human subjectivity is the first step towards realising that potential.'
To read this review, first published on Spiked!, click here
Published by Design Agenda in 2000, Great Expectations - The creative industries in the New Economy argues that the hopes now invested in Britain's designers misrepresent both the way design works and its role within the economy. James Heartfield explains that '... creative industries will fail to satisfy the great expectations that are invested in them... the expectations border on the bizarre.'
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