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Thinking Politically

Stories about Thinking Politically.

Why understanding gut reactions is key to building powerful movements

Brian Martin

This article investigates the influence intuitive thinking has on political decision making. The author advises those involved with non-violent social change to be mindful of 'gut level' reactions and how activists might respond to these in ways that can improve the effectiveness of progresive movements.

South African Student Protesters Win First Big Victory: Decolonization, Race and Class Politics Fused in Epic Battle

Patrick Bond

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%.

Veganism: More Than a Diet

Julie Whitaker Hornsby

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.

Africa: Socialism - Myths, Prejudices and Reality

Terry Bell

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.

Green Anarchism: Towards the Abolition of Hierarchy

Corin Bruce

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 the Videos Show: Israel is Killing in Cold Blood


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.


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