The myth of US American “greatness” is not only a right-wing narrative. Liberals too embrace the concept that the nation is fundamentally good; certainly, they insist, our worst days are behind us and we can all be grateful for the progress we’ve made. Leading us on this shining path have been enlightened figures like Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy, Carter and Obama, all of whom have sought to fulfill the promise of the wise “Founding Fathers” and their brilliant (even sacred) Constitution.
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Stories about Thinking Politically.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the celebrity who moonlights as my Congressional representative, has repeatedly claimed to speak for “ordinary people,” but she refuses listen to them, even if they are constituents.
In late November, shortly after the US-backed military coup that unseated the legitimate president of Bolivia, I together with my life companion requested a meeting with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, whose local offices are located just a short walk from our Jackson Heights apartment building. Working on behalf of a group of anti-imperialists opposing the fascist junta, we hoped to persuade her of the need to act quickly to thwart the coup and defend the lives and rights of the Bolivian people.
JJ: Maybe we could start with what’s being described as the flashpoint, the Citizenship Amendment Act. CNN International used that quintessential media technique, saying protesters “oppose a new citizenship law that they say discriminates against Muslims.” And the New York Times described the law as “contentious.” What does the CAA seem to do? And what is the context? How does it fit with the project, if you will, of Prime Minister Narendra Modi?
Strange times, strange times. Within days of the leading lights of the American left penning an open letter arguing that the political imperative of removing Donald Trump from office is so great that ‘any blue will do’ Tom Perez, the head of the DNC, was caught stacking Democratic Convention committees with the same centrists and corporatists who rigged the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton. With all due respect, isn’t the unrelenting evidence that the Democrats are constitutionally and institutionally incapable of acting by and for the people the reason that any old blue won’t do?
While U.S. advocates and local politicians struggle to get their first public banks chartered, Mexico’s new president has begun construction on 2,700 branches of a government-owned bank to be completed in 2021, when it will be the largest bank in the country. At a press conference on Jan. 6, he said the neoliberal model had failed; private banks were not serving the poor and people outside the cities, so the government had to step in.
2019 was the 100th year anniversary of the publication of the first surrealist text, The Magnetic Fields by Andre Breton and Phillipe Soupault. As we approach the centennial anniversary of the publication of Breton’s Manifesto of Surrealism in 1924 it is fitting that we have a statement by a long-time participant of the surrealist movement. Penelope Rosemont provides this for us in her newest work Surrealism: Inside the Magnetic Fields.
For the very first time, a state government – in Thuringia – was able to achieve rule with the support of the far, far right Alternative for Germany (AfD), a party whose leaders are in a continuous flirt with Nazi phrases, Nazi goals and Nazi methods. Every other party has sworn up and down never ever to have anything to do with AfD! Although there were suspiciously contrary murmurs in some circles of the Christian Democrats (CDU, Merkel’s party), this pledge had been kept. Until Wednesday, February 5, 2020.
“The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” - Audre Lorde
So long as capitalism dominates, there is no escaping its unrelenting assault on rational and humane cultural values and practices, most prominently today in the form of the consumerism purveyed in every media by commercial advertising.
Even worse is the pervasive example of many of capitalism’s leading representatives, teaching through their demeanour and authoritarian delusions their commitment to hierarchical and exploitative order.
As predictable as death and taxes is the quadrennial injunction from liberals for progressive third parties to cease and desist. Equally predictable is the admonition that this will be the most decisive presidential election in US history. Given the prospect of four more years of Trump, do they have a valid thesis or are they once again just sheep-dogging those of little faith back into the true church of the Democratic Party?
Prominent left-liberals Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, Bill Fletcher, Leslie Cagan, Ron Daniels, Kathy Kelly, Norman Solomon, Cynthia Peters and Michael Albert issued an Open Letter entreating third parties to “remove themselves as a factor” in the 2020 presidential election to “benefit all humanity and a good part of the biosphere.” They were addressing Howie Hawkins, running for the Green Party’s presidential nomination, who wrote The Green Party Is Not the Democrats’ Problem. In short, these left-liberals are adverse to an independent left outside of the Democratic Party.