Geography Archives: Africa

  • The “Responsible Nuclear State”: The United States and the Bomb

      In light of the revelations that the United States was prepared to use nuclear weapons in the event of war between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea, it may be worth revisiting the idea that America represents a “responsible” nuclear power, in opposition to countries like Iran and […]

  • “I Have No Real Politics”: Susie Day Talking Trash

      “[S]urviving evil doesn’t make you a good person: Surviving evil and not passing it on does,” writes Susie Day in her recent book Snidelines: Talking Trash to Power.  One possible way to not pass on evil is to laugh about it.  Day, through her comedic ability and shrewd observations reveals (with a giant spotlight) […]

  • Democracy, Hypocrisy, and President Gauck

    In the USA Republicans are jubilant.  Jubilation here in Germany is about an event twenty-five years ago: “We beat those red SOBs!”  But is there not, hidden behind the confetti, helium balloons, and crowing of the victors in both Germany and the USA, an occasional jarring note of anxiety? A man with good reason for […]

  • The Kagame-Power Lobby’s Dishonest Attack on the BBC 2’s Documentary on Rwanda

    On October 1, 2014, a remarkable event occurred in Britain.  The British Broadcasting Corporation’s BBC 2’s This World telecast Rwanda’s Untold Story, a documentary produced by Jane Corbin and John Conroy that offered a critical view of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and of his and the British and U.S. roles in the 1994 mass killings […]

  • The Light Brigade: Cuban Doctors Fight Ebola

    The Ebola epidemic . . . whereas most of the world tightens frontier control and essentially flees from the problem, Cuba opens a new chapter of solidarity and faces the danger.  By sending 255 doctors and nurses to West Africa to deal with the latest Ebola outbreak, the heroic island — with few resources except […]

  • I See Palestine

    In response to Roger Cohen, “Why Americans See Israel the Way They Do,” New York Times, August 3, 2014. . . . The bias of the cowboy-and-Indians movies I grew up on in the 1950s has long been exposed: swallowing up Native American land was the aim, and the myth of the dangerous savages who […]

  • 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 […]

  • Rwanda, Twenty Years Later

    Twenty years later, full light has not been thrown on the shooting down of the plane of the then president of Rwanda, Habyarimana.  The event was immediately followed by the genocide of the Tutsis by Hutu militias.  Two hypotheses remain to this day equally possible: 1) the plane was shot down by Hutu extremists, making […]

  • As a Class for Itself

      Numsa General Secretary’s Presentation to the Cape Town Press Club, February 11, 2014 I speak to you today with a powerful and united mandate from 341,150 metalworkers. They made their views extremely clear in our workers’ parliament in December last year — the parliament we called the Numsa Special National Congress.  In that parliament […]

  • Europe’s Future — Wanna Bet?

    There are many TV talk shows in Germany, sometimes hot, often vacuous.  But the one on January 16th hit the roof, with far more people watching it afterwards via Internet than at the time it was aired.  And their comments, by the thousand, were mostly pounded away in great anger! A main cause of such […]

  • Europe’s Future — Wanna Bet?

    There are many TV talk shows in Germany, sometimes hot, often vacuous.  But the one on January 16th hit the roof, with far more people watching it afterwards via Internet than at the time it was aired.  And their comments, by the thousand, were mostly pounded away in great anger! A main cause of such […]

  • Barbarism on the Horizon: An Interview With István Mészáros

    Mr. István Mészáros, you are coming to visit Brazil to talk about György Lukács.  As a profound expert of the work of the philosopher, how do you evaluate the importance of his ideas today? György Lukács was my great teacher and friend for twenty-two years, until he died in 1971.  He started publishing as a […]

  • What Is Political Will?

      Samuel Grove [SG]: For a while now you’ve been working on and defending the old idea of ‘the will of the people’, and you’ve described it in terms of a ‘dialectical voluntarism’; what do you mean by this? Peter Hallward [PH]: I’m not stuck on the terminology, and I’m leery of the way these […]

  • Germany: Fast Food, Slow Decisions

    Let me begin with food — fast food.  Let me invite you in.  Looking around, there’s no denying it: this is Burger King.  It could be in Augusta, ME, or Anaheim, CA, and the fatty Whoppers taste the same.  But it’s not — most customers here speak German, some maybe Turkish (the biggest minority).  For […]

  • South Africa Under the ANC: A Flawed Freedom

    Has the time come when it might be possible to move past the well-deserved praise-song phase of the marking of Nelson Mandela’s death in order to strike a more careful balance sheet on the meaning for present-day South Africa of his storied career? Of course, it remains extremely difficult to speak dispassionately on such matters […]

  • Mandela Was Not a Hallmark Card

    Long-time South African educator and President of the New Unity Movement, R. O. Dudley had a quote that he used when speaking of various iconic South African struggle leaders: He “had arms, not wings.”  It is a phrase that we should remember when speaking of the late Nelson Mandela, but unfortunately, press coverage in the United States as well as throughout the world has turned Madiba into a Hallmark greeting card figure.  And while Mandela’s role as a freedom fighter and the major force for reconciliation in the new democratic South Africa should be honored and celebrated, we must remember that we are talking about a complex revolutionary, and also a complex politician.

  • Will the ANC Sell-out Workers?

      “ANC President, Nelson Mandela delivered an opening address to the September COSATU Special Congress.  Having completed his prepared speech, comrade Mandela put aside his notes and spoke directly and spontaneously to the 1 700 worker delegates.  He asked a question that was uppermost in the minds of many.” — The African Communist (1993) COMRADES, […]

  • A Lesson from South Africa: Are Construction Cartels Dramatically Increasing Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup Infrastructure Costs?

    Introduction The 2008 report of the Competition Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on the construction sector found that “[u]nfortunately the construction industry has tended to suffer from cartel activity, as shown by the spate of well-publicized recent matters around the world.”  There were 19 countries included in this OECD roundtable, […]

  • Nepal and Qatar in the World Turned Upside Down . . . and in a World Turned Right Side Up

      Analytical Monthly Review, published in Kharagpur, West Bengal, India, is a sister edition of Monthly Review.  Its October 2013 issue features the following editorial. — Ed. When the last of the British army departed on February 28, 1948, they marched to the Gateway of India — not yet obstructed by yellow concrete barricades — […]

  • Statement of Support to Middle East Technical University’s Resistance Against the Government’s Unlawful Environmental Massacre on Their Campus

    Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, led by the AKP (Justice and Development Party), has, despite opposition, initiated a road construction project that goes through a forest area located in Ankara’s inner city, which is also property of Middle East Technical University (METU). University students, the University presidency as well as the residents of the neighborhood located right […]