Archive | October, 2008

  • Meeting Lula

    It’s not the money injection per se to the developing countries that I criticized in my reflection yesterday, as some press dispatches chose to interpret.

  • Nationalism, Gender, and Politics in Egypt

      Beth Baron.  Egypt As a Woman: Nationalism, Gender, and Politics.   Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.  292 pp. $60.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-520-23857-2. In Egypt as a Woman Beth Baron explores the connections between Egyptian nationalism, gendered images and discourses of the nation, and the politics of elite Egyptian women from the late nineteenth […]

  • On Racism and Coexistence in Acre

      The recent incidents in Acre appeared to be spontaneous acts of racism and a threat to the “coexistence” between Arabs and Jews in the city.  But that is only if we take seriously the idealist notion of “coexistence” that some said prevailed in Acre.  If not, we are left with a reality where two […]

  • The Worst Choice

    Today, I read that the US Federal Reserve had opened a new line of credit for the Central Banks of Mexico, Brazil, South Korea and Singapore.

  • Demonstrations in the Streets of Damascus

      المظاهرات في شوارع دمشق 30 October 2008 — Thousands of Syrians marched through Damascus, the capital of Syria, to denounce the US air raid that targeted Abu Kamal near the Syrian border with Iraq.  The demonstrators chanted slogans against the US aggression on Syria. Cf. “What Next for US-Syria Relations?” (Inside Story, Al Jazeera, […]

  • Capitalism and Climate Change

    John Bellamy Foster: We need to go down to 350 parts per million [the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere], which means very big social transformations on a scale that would be considered revolutionary by anybody in society today — transformation of our whole society quite fundamentally.  We have to aim at […]

  • Execution of 47 in Kafr Qassem Commemorated: Message of Massacre Lives On for Palestinians

    In a conflict that has produced more than its share of suffering and tragedy, the name of Kafr Qassem lives on in infamy more than half a century after Israeli police gunned down 47 Palestinian civilians, including women and children, in the village. This week Kafr Qassem’s inhabitants, joined by a handful of Israeli Jewish […]

  • “Next Year We’ll Go Back. . .”: The History of Turkish “Guest Workers” in the Federal Republic of Germany

      Karin Hunn.   “Nächstes Jahr kehren wir zurück. . .”: Die Geschichte der türkischen “Gastarbeiter” in der Bundesrepublik.  Moderne Zeit: Neue Forschungen zur Gesellschafts- und Kulturgeschichte des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts.  Göttingen: Wallstein, 2005. 598 pp. Tables, bibliography.  EUR 46.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-3-89244-945-4. Karin Hunn’s meticulously researched, highly informative, and well-structured study is a […]

  • Capital, Volume One

    Here is Capital, Volume One, pictured as a word cloud identifying 125 words that most frequently appear in the volume and representing the size of each word in proportion to its frequency (the more frequently a word is used in the volume, the larger it is in the picture). Click here to download the word […]

  • Multiplicity at the Heart of Asia: “Chinese Turkestan” in Broad Historical Perspective

      James Millward.   Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang.   New York Columbia University Press, 2007.  352 pp.  $41.50 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-231-13924-3. There are precious few well-written and well-researched books on Central Asia/Eurasia on any topic or period, especially for a non-specialist readership.  This magnificent survey history of an important heartland in the region […]

  • Is the Financial Crisis the Achilles Heel of Capitalist Globalization?

      金融危機是全球化資本主義的罩門? 知名經濟學者阿敏專訪 Samir Amin: “It’ a monster, yes, it’s a monster, but it’s a monster which can be defeated also.  This pattern of globalization, this pattern of the exclusive rule of dominant capital, that is, of oligopolies, is not acceptable and is not accepted.  The breakdown is starting by the financial crisis, because financial […]

  • Solidarity Forever?

      William Minter, Gail Hovey, and Charles Cobb, Jr., eds.  No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950-2000.   Trenton: Africa World Press, 2008. xvii + 248 pp. Illustrations, maps, notes, index.  $29.95 (paper), ISBN 978-1-59221-575-1. This is a remarkable and often insightful collection of essays and reflections, many of […]

  • Seized! The 2008 Land Grab for Food and Financial Security

    Today’s food and financial crises have, in tandem, triggered a new global land grab.  On the one hand, “food insecure” governments that rely on imports to feed their people are snatching up vast areas of farmland abroad for their own offshore food production.  On the other hand, food corporations and private investors, hungry for profits […]

  • Nawal El Saadawi — in Dialogue

      Less than a minute in, Nawal El Saadawi, the ideological godmother of Muslim feminists, flouts author interview protocol rather fabulously, by pretending she’s not really doing one.  I’m at a sunny breakfast table in Edinburgh on the last day of her UK book tour, to discuss the republication of her seminal 1970s books, but […]

  • European Paranoia about Non-European Sovereign Wealth Funds

    In a hard-hitting speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg (France) on October 21, French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed that European countries should create their own sovereign wealth funds to protect national companies from foreign “predators.” “I’m asking that we think about the possibility of creating, each one of us, sovereign funds and maybe these […]

  • Asia and the Meltdown of American Finance

    The boardrooms and finance ministries of Seoul, Bangkok, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur are today filled with a fair degree of schadenfreude at America’s troubles.  Schadenfreude is not a very nice emotion; Theodor Adorno once defined it as “unanticipated delight in the sufferings of another.”  But asking Asia’s business and governing elites to repress shivers of […]

  • Economic Illiteracy

    In Zulia, Chavez made reference to “comrade Sarkozy,” and did so with a certain irony but he meant no offense. On the contrary, he was rather recognizing the sincerity of the president when he spoke in Beijing in his capacity as chairman of the European Community.

  • Capitalism Crashes, Politics Changes

    This widening and deepening economic crisis is transforming US politics.  New possibilities are emerging for activists and potential activists if they can see and respond creatively to them. One possibility follows from rethinking the Obama candidacy in the light of recent German politics.  Obama has already garnered an historically disproportionate share of the campaign contributions […]

  • Misrepresenting the Financial Crisis: It Is Not Lack of Liquidity; It Is Insolvency and Lack of Trust

    Bail Out Homeowners, Create Trust, and Unfreeze Credit Markets The bailout scheme imposed by the United States government misrepresents the ongoing credit crunch as a problem of illiquidity, i.e. lack of cash.  In reality, the problem is a lack of trust due to widespread insolvency in the financial market.  In such an environment of widespread […]

  • The Politics of Malaria Eradication in the Holy Land

      Sandra M. Sufian.   Healing the Land and the Nation: Malaria and the Zionist Project in Palestine, 1920-1947.   Chicago  University of Chicago Press, 2007.   xviii + 385 pp.  $40.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-226-77935-5. In this meticulously researched book, Sandra M. Sufian, an assistant professor of medical humanities and history at the University of Illinois […]