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Geography Archives: Americas

South America, Central America, United States & Canada

Acceptance of Torture in the United States

Without much examination of the concept, Americans are quick to declare that they live in a civilized society.  Indeed, many Americans believe that their country is the most “civilized” country in the world.  Without much digression on the arrogance of such a belief, it is sufficient to say that at least the rest of the […]

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Labor: Eyeless in America

Whoopee! The Change to Win Coalition has established itself in the labor movement! Happy Days are here again! Andy Stern’s going to lead us to the promised land! And the overwhelming response by American workers: yawn. At the time when American workers — indeed, US society as a whole — so much need a new […]

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Fearless Speech in Fearful Times: An Essay Review of Capitalists and Conquerors, Teaching against Global Capitalism and the New Imperialism, and Teaching Peter McLaren

  Capitalists and Conquerors: A Critical Pedagogy against Empire by Peter McLaren (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005) Teaching against Global Capitalism and the New Imperialism: A Critical Pedagogy by Peter McLaren and Ramin Farahmandpur (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005) Teaching Peter McLaren: Paths of Dissent, by Marc Pruyn and Luis M. Huerta-Charles (New […]

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Revelation

Legal pad in hand, I strode into the classroom trying to look confident. Forty mostly young faces watched me, probably wondering how heavy the workload would be and how easy the grading. I lit a cigarette and passed out a stack of note cards. In those days you could smoke in class, and I burned […]

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Remembering Evelyn Wiener

Evelyn Wiener died October 8, 2005, at 91, surrounded by her friends and comrades.  Her earliest memory was her parents’ two-week celebration of the Russian Revolution in 1917.  Hiding her age to join the Young Communist League at 14, she was the Manhattan District Organizer for the American Communist Party in the 1940s. A childhood […]

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Protect UAW Retirees: Their Future Is Our Future

  [The UAW New Directions Movement (NDM), founded in the 1980s to challenge the auto union’s policy of “jointness” and lack of internal democracy, is experiencing a new burst of support from the union’s rank-and-file membership. The movement’s revitalization comes as workers in the auto industry are facing unprecedented health care concession demands by General […]

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BC Teachers Go Back to Work — Who Won the Battle?

For the first time in two weeks, public schools in British Columbia were open for business yesterday.  Teachers had voted over the weekend by a 77% margin to accept a mediated settlement to the dispute recommended by arbitrator Vince Ready.  In the wake of the decision, there is much public debate and discussion, including among […]

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In Patents We Trust: How the U.S. Government Learned to Stop Worrying about Monopoly and Love Intellectual Property

Today, patents supposedly exist to provide an incentive for new discoveries. Patents had a different purpose at their origin. When the Venetians invented what today we would call intellectual property in the fifteenth century, governments openly treated it as an element of state power.  Workers could enjoy monopolistic privileges only if they continued to strengthen […]

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Three Films and a Nation

The number of films on national figures like Gandhi, Ambedkar, Savarkar, and Bhagat Singh, as well as films like Lagaan and Gadar, in recent years point to an interest in revaluation and reinterpretation of history, especially that of the freedom struggle, in India. That this has happened in the last few years needs an explanation. […]

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The Socialist Vision and Left Activism

Monthly Review‘s July-August issue, focused on the theme of “Socialism for the 21st Century,” made me ponder the question of possible working-class organizing in the 21st century to build resistance to capitalism, the resistance that can dialectically develop into socialism. Harry Magdoff and Fred Magdoff wrote in “Approaching Socialism”: “[I]ntellectuals and specialists cannot derive a […]

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BC Teachers Hold the Line — the Government Blinks

19 October 2005 Teachers in British Columbia are standing on the rainy picket lines this morning for Day 8 of an unprecedented illegal strike against the Liberal provincial government.  This strike has surprised nearly everyone in its strength and resolve and is shaking the political culture of BC to its core. The strike began on […]

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Bolivarian Venezuela

  [Click on the photos to see original images.] Part I. The World Festival of Youth and Students, August 8-15, 2005 Caracas, Venezuela, Seen from a Park Above Poor neighborhood — “barrio” — in Los Teques, the capital of the state of Miranda, near Caracas, where we spent our nights during the 16th World Festival […]

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Iraq’s Constitution: the Dream of “New Imperialism”

  In “new imperialism,” it is said, the American economy needs more instability abroad to maintain the health of its capital at home. Long before discourse on “new imperialism” became popular in the West, Palestinian intellectuals in refugee camps arrived at this very conclusion by simply reflecting upon the wretched conditions of their own existence. […]

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