David Graeber on dangling neckties, George Scialabba on liberalism's history, and more

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Hi friends,

Piping hot from The Baffler this week: a skip and a hop through the history of liberalism and a good, old-fashioned chin-rubber on the meaning of the necktie.

"People Who Influence Influential People Are the Most Influential People in the World," but you already knew that. George Scialabba tells us what this unspoken code means to liberalism—and how it shaped The New Republic's latest century. Read it here.

As for neckties, maybe you, like David Graeber, get a sinking feeling every time you strap one on. After all, to wear one is to reckon with "the power of the boardroom or the ceremonial formalities of weddings and funerals—that whole world of official business over which men in suits invariably preside."

"Couldn't we say that a tie is really a symbolic displacement of the penis, only an intellectualized penis, dangling not from one's crotch but from one's head?" Find the answer—and more on formal wear's crude symbolic power—here.

Until next time,

The Baffler

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