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Archive | May, 2014

Venezuela: Questions about Democracy and a Free Press

First question: Why? If Venezuela’s government is a dictatorship, why have there been 18 elections in 15 years under the late president Hugo Chávez Frías (d. 2013) and his democratically elected successor Nicolás Maduro?  Why is it that according to many international observers Venezuela’s democratic elections are, in the words of ex-president Jimmy Carter, “the […]

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Notes Toward a New American Marxism

  When I first read Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, it was 1967 and I was doing my last book report for the nuns at Holy Family High.  I would graduate in June but not without making some kind of statement about how angry I was to have been forced to attend this school.  I was […]

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Gujarat 2002, India 2014: ‘Numbers Sanctify’

“Numbers sanctify”.  The context is very different, but I couldn’t keep my mind off that quote from Charlie Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux.  After all, the alleged mastermind of the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat will soon be sworn in as India’s prime minister, at the head of a government in which his party, the BJP, will […]

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Germany’s Left Party on the EU and NATO

Running up a down escalator is itself mighty difficult.  Trying to keep your footing both on an up and a down escalator at the same time is simply hard to imagine.  Yet it gives an idea of Germany’s present Ukrainian policy. Soon after Soviet soldiers left East Germany between 1989 and 1994, the newly-unified country […]

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Marking Nakba, Marching to Return

For 66 years Israel’s founding generation has lived with a guilty secret, one it successfully concealed from the generations that followed.  Forests were planted to hide war crimes.  School textbooks mythologized the events surrounding Israel’s creation.  The army was blindly venerated as the most moral in the world. Once, “Nakba” — Arabic for “Catastrophe”, referring […]

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Suniti Kumar Ghosh, 1918-2014

Suniti Kumar Ghosh died on May 11, at the age of 96.  It is not a passing to be mourned but a life, rich and meaningful, to be celebrated. On the face of it, his life had two major phases: the first was one of direct political activity; the second was of research and writing. […]

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Quebec Election: A Seismic Shift Within the Independence Movement?

The defeat of the Parti Québécois and the election of a federalist Liberal party government in the Quebec general election of April 7 raises important questions about the future of the Quebec movement for sovereignty and political independence.  And it poses some major challenges to the left party Québec Solidaire, as it seeks to position […]

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The White Supremacist’s Guide to Social Inclusion

Are you anti-Semitic?  Hate black people?  Detest queers?  Do you feel there are too many “mongrels” in today’s society?  Dread the time when your race will no longer be in the majority?  When inferior, sub-human hordes desecrate the genteel values of Western Civilization and force you into the swamp to dig cinder-block bunkers?  Does your […]

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A Farage Farrago: Contradictions at the Heart of the UK Independence Party

In Westminster, the drip-drip of financial corruption — expense account abuse, the flipping of houses — is supplemented by a spectacle of “on-message” politicians whose speeches are slick with the shiny artificiality of well-oiled PR productions.  A never-ending parade of besuited, perfectly manicured politicians, staring out at the camera, eyes glazed with faux sincerity, features […]

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