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Thinking Politically

Stories about Thinking Politically.

A film from yesterday and an audience from today

By: 
Victor Grossman

With its theme a little-known event of over a century ago, the film was ancient in cinema terms, its rather unsuccessful premiere was way back in 1926 and the performance Monday evening marked an event even earlier than that, one which is rarely discussed and even less celebrated. Yet the theatre was sold out and the final ovation lasted many, many minutes, with some loudly cheering and many standing.

The film was Potemkin, its showing was almost exactly 100 years after the Russian Revolution in October or November 1917 (the month depending on which calendar is used). The place was the Babylon in downtown Berlin, near its eastern center, Alexanderplatz.

Police Unions vs. Black Lives

By: 
Shamus Cooke

In “progressive” Portland, Oregon the city’s police stand out as political outliers. Whereas most of the city leans left the average cop is, unapologetically, on the far-right of the political spectrum. Portland’s rightwing cops mirror the politics of police across the country, reflected in the early endorsement that the nation’s largest police union gave to Trump at a time when the sleaziest politicians found him too repulsive.

It’s an open secret that Portland’s police have a racism problem, the worst example being the infamous case of officer Mark Kruger, who was caught erecting a Nazi shrine in a public park in 2010. Officer Kruger has since been promoted to Captain, and his discipline for Nazi-praising scrubbed from his personnel record.

In Mexico, Solidarity Versus the State

By: 
Christy Thornton

The horrifying coincidence of this week’s devastating earthquake in central Mexico, coming on the 32nd anniversary of the temblor that killed more than 10,000 people in 1985, has led observers and survivors to draw constant parallels between the two disasters. But if the corruption and ineffectiveness of the state took some by surprise in 1985, unraveling the last threads of legitimacy of PRI single-party rule, today there is no ambiguity. The truth that Mexicans came to know in 1985 has only been reinforced: once again they insist, as they have so many times in recent years, and again in recent days, fue el estado. It was the state.

Single Payer, the Democratic Party and the Nonprofit Industrial Complex

By: 
Russell Mokhiber

Residents of a small town in West Virginia are approached by land agents for a gas pipeline company. The residents are told that unless they sign over their property rights to the pipeline company, the company will use eminent domain to take it.

The residents begin to organize to defeat the pipeline. Mainstream environmental groups hear about the fight and latch on. Just before one of the first meetings between the local organizers and the mainstream groups, a young lawyer for one of the groups says — “We were told by one of our funders that we can’t work on fossil fuel issues. Instead we should concentrate on storm water runoff issues.”

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