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Thinking Politically

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Getting Past Trump, Part 3: The Futility of "Big Green" Activism: A Conversation with Tim DeChristopher

By: 
Richard Heinberg

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.

Greater Of Two Evils: Why The Democratic Party Is Worse Than The Republican Party For 85% Of The U.S. Population

By: 
Bruce Lerro

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”

I Am Buried Alive in a Michigan Prison

By: 
Lacino Hamilton

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.

Amnesty International Winks at Trump’s Economic Attack on Venezuelans

By: 
Joe Emersberger

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.

Marielle Franco’s Assassination: One of Tens of Thousands of Black Murders in Brazil

By: 
Jaime A Alves

Every year, at least 60,000 individuals are killed in Brazil, at least 160 murders every day. The majority of the dead are black, young and from urban peripheries where the state is present only through its delinquent police force. Although the police are not responsible for all these deaths, it directly or indirectly pulls the trigger that kills black youth. Books, academic articles, brief-reports, film documentaries, op-eds all have ad nausea denounced this genocidal proportions of violence in the country known as “the land of cordial man.” It is a waste of time, energy and resources. Nobody cares or they care too little to turn these deaths into a national scandal. There is an underlying belief that the word genocide is an overstatement to depict what is going on in a country where racial boundaries are supposedly not rigid as in the United States or South Africa. Apartheid and the Jim Crow are usually mentioned to compare Brazil´s 'benign' race relations in opposition to these countries’ racial violence.

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