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Archive | January, 2015

SYRIZA’s Historic Responsibility, KKE’s Moment

  Bandera de la república popular de España en Atenas, entre las canciones Bella Ciao y Bandiera Rossa. #Syriza pic.twitter.com/HuVaAfO3Dg — ALFON (@TxabierAlonso) January 25, 2015 As a communist, if I were Greek I would certainly be active in the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) and this Sunday the party would have had my vote.  […]

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A Crack in Merkel’s Power over Europe

SYRIZA’s electoral victory is a historic opportunity for the whole of Europe.  The Greek voters voted for an end to the catastrophic policy of cuts dictated to Greece by the Troika composed of the EU Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Central Bank (ECB).  This election is therefore also a defeat for […]

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Je Suis Cumhuriyet: Charlie Hebdo as Seen from Turkey

Seeing the crowned heads of Europe march in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo has aroused vigorous dissent from many liberals and leftists in western countries — aimed both at the display of European unity and at the content of the cartoons themselves.  Are these images bold anti-clerical statements or rather racist caricatures of a despised minority?  […]

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PEGIDA, SYRIZA, and the Future of Europe

Recent events here in Germany remind me of a playground seesaw, with constant ups and downs of one side and the other. All autumn we watched the upward swing of PEGIDA, “Patriotic Europeans Against Islamization of the West,” most rapidly but not only in Saxony’s capital Dresden.  Its main features were a fast-talking, shady leader […]

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Wolinski’s Last Cartoon?

  A little over a week ago we celebrated the advent of the new year, but not like the rest of the world.  The three Cuban anti-terrorist heroes imprisoned in the United States had returned to our country several weeks before. #CharlieHebdo Wolinski président d’honneur de Cuba Si France était tous les ans à la […]

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Je Suis Charlie — But I Have Other Names as Well!

Monday evening I had planned to write about the PEGIDA movement in Germany.  Although in Dresden, their city of origin, the number of bitter marchers protesting the “Islamization” of the West had increased stubbornly to 18,000, I began to report happily that everywhere else in Germany they had been greatly outnumbered.  In Berlin, only 300 […]

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Doing (and Making) History from Below

The title Doing History from the Bottom Up not only defines the purpose and sets the direction; it lays down a challenge.  The author, Staughton Lynd, uses the present continuous form of the verb “do,” which indicates that there is really no beginning nor end.  Lynd challenges us to act rather than ideate, and he […]

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Black Lives Matter in the Best Films of 2014

More than 100 years after the birth of cinema, it sometimes feels like every story has been told.  But the best films of 2014 dared to break out of their genres, explore new ways of filmmaking, and inspire viewers.  Some of them even provided tools for popular understanding of our current political moment.  This year, […]

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Outing Torture Queen Bikowsky

Dear Alfreda Frances Bikowsky, So many people want to be famous.  Not you.  You were content to let Jessica Chastain portray a more competent version of your waterboarding and bin Laden-stalking self in the film Zero Dark Thirty.  You never asked for credit.  But now, thanks to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee’s Report on CIA […]

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Kurt Hiller

An Early Activist Critique of Stalin’s 1934 Antihomosexual Law: “A Chapter of Russian Reaction” by Kurt Hiller

  Introduction This article, titled “A Chapter of Russian Reaction,” translated into English here for the first time, was written in German by longtime homosexual activist Kurt Hiller (1885-1972) from London and published in the Swiss gay journal Der Kreis in 1946.  Hiller had been active in Germany’s first homosexual-rights organization, the Wissenschaftlich-humanitäre Komitee (Scientific […]

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Dresden and Its Dangerous Demonstrators

Dresden, Saxony’s beautiful capital, has a distinguished history.  One ruler, August the Strong, could bend horseshoes with his bare hands and, so legend has it, sired 354 children.  In 1697 he pushed and bribed his way onto the royal throne of neighboring Poland, made possible by his quick conversion to Catholicism.  (His wife, refusing the […]

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