Category Archives: Self-Referential

Back to the British Museum

This blog is a spin-off of  the Brazilian Blog Na Prática a Teoria é Outra (which translates from Portuguese as something like, “In practice, it’s a whole different theory”, a slightly absurd expression, probably invented by an obscure Brazilian politician, that points to the need to develop ideas from a somewhat pragmatic standpoint.

While NPTO (as it is known by the valorous minority of Brazilians who read it) has been a real pleasure to write, it has become a little too obsessed with Brazilian politics to my taste. I am enough of a pervert for Brazilian politics to be my favourite topic, and I doubt it will not show up in one in every two posts, but I missed having more theoretical discussions; hence BTBM. Writing in English was a natural choice, to expand the number of people I can discuss with, especially since most NPTO readers (even our house trolls) can read English.

This blog’s name comes from one of my favourite authors, Jon Elster, who said (in the eighties) that the slogan for the left should be “Back to the British Museum”, a reference to Karl Marx’s self-exile in the reading room of that much honoured institution while he was writing the not-so-honoured-these-days Das Kapital. It was the time to come up with some new ideas. I believe this is still a valuable task.

Enough about not-me. My name is Celso Rocha de Barros, and I have a DPhil in Sociology from Oxford University. Please don’t blame oxonians for my English, which you are free to correct: I left Britain years ago, and the language starts coming less naturally to you after a while. I plan to have some great Brazilian bloggers guest-blogging here eventually, so that I can profit from their cheap labour introduce you to many interesting discussions in the Brazilian blogosphere.

The voices in my head will try to focus my attention to politics and economics, often seen from a theoretical point of view. That is, we will usually begin by discussing such things; but the mind wanders.


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