Jean Batou deconstructs the simplistic interpretations of Marx's work that have obscured his relevance for our time.
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Stories about Thinking Politically.
I really don’t think that most mainstream climate environmental organizations are operating with any kind of intentional strategy in which they think that what they are doing will lead to positive change. When groups are mobilizing their members to “send a message” or “make their voices heard” to [US Secretary of the Interior Ryan] Zinke, [Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott] Pruitt or Trump, I doubt any staffers in those groups actually think that what they are doing has any potential of working. I think they are hemmed-in by the norms of social movement organizing. Those norms demand relentless optimism and positivity, so there is very little room for open reflection on our mistakes, changing direction or acknowledging that certain goals are no longer possible. Those norms also define leadership around knowing what to do and giving people tangible and immediate things to do.
Among liberals and all the different ypes of socialists, when the subject of the Democratic Party comes up, there are at least two variations. One is the familiar liberal argument that the Democratic Party is the “lesser of two evils”. For them, the Republican Party is the source of most, if not all problems while the Democratic Party is presented as shortsighted, weak and or incompetent bumblers. Among some of the more compromising members of the Green Party, the lesser of two evils manifests itself when it implores its voters to “vote in safe states”
April 22, 2018
The Fed is aggressively raising interest rates, although inflation is contained, private debt is already at 150% of GDP, and rising variable rates could push borrowers into insolvency. So what is driving the Fed’s push to “tighten”?
What exactly is the legacy of the 1917 Russian Revolution for socialists today? Over the past century much of the discussion has been dominated by two tendencies. For Marxist–Leninists the Russian Revolution was the guiding light leading humanity onward to socialism. For Anarchists and Social-Democrats Russia in 1917 seemed to offer a model of how not to engage in a socialist revolution. What would a more nuanced and historically based investigation reveal to us? Would the picture be as sharply black and white either side has painted?
The number of Americans killed by firearms since 1968, including suicides, homicides, and accidental shootings, is 1.4 million, more than the 1.2 million killed in all the wars involving our country from the Revolutionary War to the present.
Risking understatement, I am buried alive inside Michigan's Marquette Maximum Security Prison. I am locked in a windowless cell measuring 10x8 feet, 24 hours per day. For one hour every other day, I am handcuffed, chained around the waist and allowed exercise and a shower in a small cage. I am not allowed to interact with others, or to participate in any educational, vocational, or employment programs. All meals are delivered to the cell. I have no access to a phone. And while I am permitted two, one hour non-contact visits per month -- always conducted through glass -- Marquette is 455 miles away from my hometown of Detroit. Opportunities to visit family and friends are rare.
H. Rap Brown was right: violence is as American as cherry pie. It's also as Indian as dal chawal. (Image: Mutant Freedom, chainstitch embroidery on khadi, 48 x 28 inches, 2008]
Amnesty International told me that it “does not take a position on the current application” of U.S. economic sanctions that Trump’s administration imposed on Venezuela in August “but rather emphasizes the urgent need to address the serious crisis of the right to health and food which Venezuela is facing. In terms of human rights, it is the Venezuelan state’s responsibility to resolve this.” Amnesty’s full reply to three questions I asked them by email can be read here.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the May 1968 uprising in France. Is it about to happen again? "All Power to the Workers Councils, All Power to the Imagination!"