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Geography Archives: Western Europe

South Africa: An Unfinished Revolution?

  The Fourth Strini Moodley Annual Memorial Lecture, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 13 May 2010 I In her historical novel, A Place of Greater Safety, which is played out against the backdrop of the Great French Revolution through an illuminating character analysis and synthesis of three of that revolution’s most prominent personalities, viz., Maximilien Robespierre, Georges […]

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Greece: Who Needs “Success Estonian Style”?

As I have noted previously, Latvia has experienced the worst two-year economic downturn on record, losing more than 25 percent of GDP.  It is projected to shrink further during the first half of this year, before beginning a slow recovery, in which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that it will not reach even its […]

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Europe Is Failing Its Muslims

Thank you.  Thank you for the invitation, and, as we don’t have much time, let me go straight to some of the main points supporting this motion “Europe is failing its Muslims.”   Let me start by saying that we are living in a difficult situation.  If you listen to what is said in the European […]

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The Left and Marxism in Eastern Europe

  You now describe yourself as a Marxist, with plans for a Marxist theory group in Hungary in addition to your ongoing work as a writer and political commentator from the Left.  Why Marx now?  In Central and Eastern Europe after 1989, Marxist ideas and theories were hard-pressed to survive their connection to state socialism […]

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Tony Judt and the Limits of Social Democracy

Tony Judt.  Ill Fares the Land.  The Penguin Press, 2010.  237 pp.  $25.95. In December, the New York Review of Books transcribed an October 2009 speech delivered by the eminent historian Tony Judt at New York University under the title “What Is Living and What Is Dead in Social Democracy?”  A major address by Judt […]

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The Global Organic Crisis: Paradoxes, Dangers, and Opportunities

The capitalist world has experienced its deepest economic meltdown since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Paradoxically, whereas the earlier period saw the breakdown of liberal capitalism, the rise of fascism and Nazism, and the Soviet alternative to liberal capitalism, today neo-liberalism and capitalist globalization still remain powerful, and apparently supreme, on the stage of […]

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Québec solidaire: Building a Left to the North of the Behemoth

Unbeknownst to many progressives south of the 49th parallel, an interesting political experiment is unfolding to the north.  Quebec solidaire (QS), a recently formed left-wing party based in the seven-million-strong French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec, is making significant inroads at the electoral level. Following the election of its first and only parliamentarian in December 2008, […]

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Organizing for the Anti-Capitalist Transition

The historical geography of capitalist development is at a key inflexion point in which the geographical configurations of power are rapidly shifting at the very moment when the temporal dynamic is facing very serious constraints.  Three-percent compound annual growth (generally considered the minimum satisfactory growth rate for a healthy capitalist economy) is becoming less and […]

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Reviving Keynesianism: A Critique

The global crisis has undermined the neo-liberalist phase of capitalism that dominated the last 30 years of the world economy.  It has likewise challenged the hegemony of neo-classical economics as the theoretical rationale of neo-liberalism’s celebration of private enterprise and markets.  The form this challenge takes is a revival of Keynesian economics.  As the crisis […]

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IMF: Back from the Dead

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has definitely had a very good crisis.  Just over a year ago, it was an institution on life support: ignored by most developing countries; derided for its failure to predict most crises in emerging markets and its often counterproductive responses to such crises; even called to book by its auditors […]

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The Invention of the Jewish People

  Introduction to Shlomo Sand, The Invention of the Jewish People by Bertell Ollman The Invention of the Jewish People is divided into two parts.  The first is a long section on the theory of nationalism, whose main characteristic, according to Sand, is the tendency to invent a past that suits the current needs and […]

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The Iran Versus U.S.-Israeli-NATO Threats

It is spell-binding to see how the U.S. establishment can inflate the threat of a target, no matter how tiny, remote, and (most often) non-existent that threat may be, and pretend that the real threat posed by its own behavior and policies is somehow defensive and related to that wondrously elastic thing called “national security.” […]

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A New Role for the IMF?

Rescued from a state of near-irrelevance by the world recession and an infusion of hundreds of billions of dollars (mostly from the U.S., Europe, and Japan), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is now thinking of expanding its role into previously uncharted territory.  In Istanbul for the fall meetings of the IMF, Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn […]

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Iran, Etc.

Hooman Majd Answers the Nuclear Question Question: How do you respond to concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions? Majd: Stop worrying.  Don’t learn to love the bomb, but stop worrying.  First of all, Iran is so far away from having a nuclear weapon.  I know there are all these reports, these alarmist reports: Iran has enough […]

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The Financial Crisis and Imperialism

BMR:What is the likely impact of the present financial crisis on geopolitics, especially if the crisis is considered in the context of the energy crisis including the peak oil issue, the food crisis, The Great Hunger, the environmental crisis, and the declining dollar?  Will the world experience war(s) as an effort to survive?  Will monopoly-finance […]

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Socialism and Welfarism

Socialism consists not just in building a humane society; it consists not just in the maintenance of full employment (or near full employment together with sufficient unemployment benefits); it consists not just in the creation of a Welfare State, even one that takes care of its citizens “from the cradle to the grave”; it consists […]

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