Subjects Archives: Ideology

  • Reason, Faith, and Revolution

    Christianity Fair and Foul The Limits of Liberalism Faith and Reason Culture and Barbarism . . . Why are the most unlikely people, including myself, suddenly talking about God?  Who would have expected theology to rear its head once more in the technocratic twenty-first century, almost as surprisingly as some mass revival of Zoroastrianism or […]

  • The Extra-territorial Establishment of Religion

      There is an embarrassing giddiness in the religious studies world today.  With our new mantra in hand — the new “salience” of religion — we, both scholars of religion and other self-appointed spokespersons for religion, feel licensed to instruct the world on the importance of religion.  We are suddenly relevant again.  Or so we […]

  • Israel’s Shock Doctrine

      Shlomo Swirski, Economist, Adva Center: The government cut its yearly budget for four consecutive years.  The cuts were very severe.  They hit the school system, universities, the health system, and, more than anything else, the social security system.  So, within two years the level of the poverty rate for families jumped from 17 to […]

  • Studying Madrasas in West Bengal

    Nilanjana Gupta.  Reading with Allah: Madrasas in West Bengal.  New Delhi: Routledge, 2010.  Pp. 192.  R. 595.  ISBN: 978-0-415-54459-7.  Much has been written on the Indian madrasas or Islamic seminaries, but because the most influential madrasas in the country are concentrated in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, many of these writings tend […]

  • Don’t be BAMBOOZLED by the BudgetA University of Washington for the Elite and the Superwealthy? Not On Our Backs!

      Democracy Insurgent is a majority people-of-color activist group animated by principles of democracy, anti-racism, anti-imperialism, queer liberation, Third World Feminism, and workers’ power.  We are based in Seattle, Washington.  We are a member group of the UW Student Worker Coalition.  Find out more at <nobudgetcutsuw.blogspot.com> and <democracyinsurgent.org>.  Contact us at <d.insurg@gmail.com>. | | Print […]

  • Haiti: The Aid Racket

    It’s now more than a month since the earthquake that laid waste to Port-au-Prince, killing more than 200,000 people and thrusting millions of people into the most desperate conditions. But according to the U.S. government, Haitians have a lot to be thankful for. On February 12, the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Ken Merten boasted: “In […]

  • Vietnamese Daughters in Transition: Factory Work and Family Relations

      This paper assesses the social implications of employment opportunities in manufacturing for rural young unmarried Vietnamese women.  Interested in the ways in which intimate relations, identities and structures of exchange within the family are reconfigured through the migration and work experience, we interview young, single daughters who had obtained employment as garment factory workers […]

  • Post-Feminism and Its Discontents

      Angela McRobbie, The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change, Sage Publications, 2009, 192 pp., $37.75 (paperback). In a 2004 essay titled “Feminism and Femininity: Or How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Thong,” self-proclaimed third-wave feminists Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards offer their analysis of the state of contemporary feminism. […]

  • Haiti’s Classquake

    Just five days prior to the 7.0 earthquake that shattered Port-au-Prince on January 12th, the Haitian government’s Council of Modernisation of Public Enterprises (CMEP) announced the planned 70% privatization of Teleco, Haiti’s public telephone company. Today Port-au-Prince lies in ruins, with thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands dead, entire neighborhoods cut off, many buried alive.  Towns […]

  • Politics of the Earthquake: Respect the People of Haiti

      In June of 2004, I went to Haiti with two other members of the Haiti Action Committee.  We were there to investigate the effects of the political earthquake in which the democratically elected government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide had been overthrown by a coup orchestrated by the United States, France and Canada. What we […]

  • Labor Movement?

    The 2010 Statistical Abstract of the United States (and especially Tables 574 to 650), published by the US Census Bureau, provides many statistics that can update understanding of today’s working class and possibilities of its movement.  The Abstract counts 154 million people as members of the US labor force in 2008.  Of these, 129 million […]

  • Nepal’s Former Ambassador to the U.S.: What about a Military Takeover?

    The following is an open discussion of a Pinochet-style solution for Nepal, which would not just be a military coup but also (inevitably) the creation of a death squad regime aimed at the decade-old revolutionary upsurge among the peoples of Nepal.  Such a coup would require Indian and U.S. support, and this article is an […]

  • Sandwich Theory and Operation Green Hunt

    The ‘Sandwich Theory’ I was piqued by the phrase ‘sandwich theory’ when I first heard it from Delhi students.  They were referring to the views of a section of articulate, influential, middle India in the wake of the controversies over Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh and now Operation Green Hunt.  The ‘theory’, if we may call […]

  • Lebanese Shia Women: Temporality and Piety

      For many Shia Muslims in Lebanon since the late 1970s — particular practices of piety have become part of a discourse that is held up as an alternative to notions of a secular modernity.  In this process, an identity has been forged that is understood to be both pious and modern, and where notions […]

  • Christian Communists, Islamic Anarchists?  Part 2

    In Part 1 of this article we argued that Slavoj Žižek and Alain Badiou’s account of the foundation of Communist universalism in the event of Christianity signals a number of inconsistencies immanent to their respective ontologies (Coombs 2009).  For Žižek it appears difficult to reconcile his touted open interpretation of Hegel with the ontological significance […]

  • Christian Communists, Islamic Anarchists?  Part 1

    The defeat of the Marxist emancipatory project has brought an end to radical secular universalism.  The result has been twofold: identity politics and their post-modern ideologies of difference have become the legitimating motifs of Western democracies, whilst radical political Islam has taken the anti-systemic baton of secular Marxism, but subverted it with a brand of […]

  • The Idea of Iran

      Michael Axworthy.  A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind.  New York: Basic Books, 2008.  352 pp.  $27.50 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-465-00888-9. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, a large number of Iranians joined the ranks of expatriates living in Europe and the United States.  Suddenly uprooted and finding themselves in unfamiliar surroundings, some of […]

  • Memories, Nightmares, and Hopes

      Eric Davis.  Memories of State: Politics, History, and Collective Identity in Modern Iraq.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.  397 pp.  $29.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-520-23546-5. This review has been a long time coming, but during this time, Davis’s book has become the subject of extensive comment, achieving an almost iconic, certainly landmark, status in […]

  • Open Letter to Amnesty International’s London and Belfast Offices, on the Occasion of Noam Chomsky’s Belfast Festival Lecture, October 30, 20091

    In his wild and slanderous “Open Letter to Amnesty International” (signed, fittingly, “Yours, in disgust and despair”),2 The Guardian-Observer‘s veteran reporter Ed Vulliamy explains that two “main concerns” motivated him to draft his repudiation of AI’s choice of Noam Chomsky to deliver this 2009 Stand Up for Justice lecture: One is that the “pain” individuals […]

  • Green Shoots, Profits, and Great Depressions (or Recessions)

    In the months following the outbreak of the financial crisis in late 2007, the general climate among economists and economic commentators was kind of a stupor.  Mainstream economists and conservative politicians — who had clamored for decades for the government to keep its hands off the economy, for balanced budgets, and for taxes as low […]