Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is.
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Stories about Thinking Politically.
An historic victory over South African neoliberalism was won on October 23, after the most intense three-week burst of activist mobilization here since liberation from apartheid in 1994. University students have been furious, as their cry “Fees must fall!” rang out on campuses and sites of political power across this society. But though there will be an effective 6% cut in tuition for 2016, the next stage of struggle looms, with demands for free tertiary education and university labor rights atop the agenda.
The #FeesMustFall movement’s first victory comes at a time that the African National Congress (ANC) ruling party confronts unprecedented economic pressure and social unrest. GDP growth will be only 1.5% this year and probably the same next year, lower than population growth. This is the most unequal of any major country, and the official poverty rate (at $2/day) has recently risen to 53%.
Each generation faces its own major challenge. During the 21st century — a period of fast technological development and economic growth accompanied by a world of hungry people and polluted rivers — one of the issues that we must confront is the loss of species biodiversity, whose main roots trace back to anthropogenic activities. One such human activity that is the leading cause of such problem is the consumption of animal products. Through raising livestock, humans negatively affect species biodiversity by contributing to both habitat loss and climate change and, through the greedy and irresponsible fishing habits developed by the fishing industry around the word, humans are blatantly degrading nature. With meat consumption expected to double between 2000 and 2050 to about 465 million tons, diet is critical in the fight against biodiversity loss. Ultimately, plant-based diets are our best option for preserving the Earth and its precious resources.
The global economic crisis continues and makes for a widespread and desperate need among the lowly paid, the poor and the hungry for something better to look forward to.
As such they provide a ready audience for charlatans who promise salvation, if not in this life, then certainly in the next. And ambitious politicians too, use this as an opportunity to promote themselves and their parties or groups as a means to earthly salvation. Vaguely worded promises labelled "socialism" are often their stock in trade.
In the few decades new forms of activism have begun to emerge that concerned not merely the fate of human society, but of the non-human world – including non-human animals and the environment – as well. In their most radical forms, these struggles culminated in what has been termed by some as ‘eco’ or ‘green’ anarchism. Green anarchism can be taken to consist in any political doctrine that takes some of the key components of anarchist thought – whatever these are deemed to be – and applies them towards critiquing the interaction of humans with the non-human world. This definition is a good start, but is perhaps like many definitions of anarchism unsatisfactorily vague. This essay will propose a more specific definition of green anarchism, which will later be explained as the political doctrine that strives for the abolition of hierarchy in general.
What is inspiring young Palestinians to attempt yet more stabbing attacks on Israelis? The answer, according to The New York Times, has nothing to do with the violence of military occupation, the abuse of Palestinian children or trigger-happy troops; it is merely a “loop-like dynamic” of attack and response inspired by video clips.
In a story today, Isabel Kershner reports that videos showing knife attacks and heavy-handed treatment of young detainees are inspiring Palestinian boys as young as 12 to attempt knife assaults. But in a significant omission, the article says nothing about disturbing videos that support a different take: Many Palestinians have been killed when they posed no possible threat.
A review of Leilah Danielson's American Gandhi: A.J. Muste and the History of Radicalism in the Twentieth Century.
A review by R. Burke of Kate Evans' Red Rosa; A Graphic Biography of Rosa Luxemburg.
A review by R. Burke of Tariq Ali's The Extreme Centre: A Warning.
President Obama joined many this week in commemorating the life of Grace Lee Boggs, the organizer, philosopher and long-time Detroit resident who passed away yesterday at age 100. "As the child of Chinese immigrants and as a woman, Grace learned early on that the world needed changing, and she overcame barriers to do just that," Obama eulogized. "Grace's passion for helping others, and her work to rejuvenate communities that had fallen on hard times spanned her remarkable 100 years of life, and will continue to inspire generations to come."
Such kind words from the Oval Office might have surprised a younger Boggs, who spent years writing — like most socialists of her day — under a pseudonym designed to protect against the virulent red-baiting that loomed over the post-war American left.