The difference Democracy does (and does not) make to peoples’ lives

by Jeff Noonan With unnoticed irony, Roger Cohen, writing in The New York Times on Bastille Day, July 14th, 2013, lamented the weeks of protest in Egypt that culminated in the army’s removal of the government of Mohammed Morsi.  Cohen argued that since the street protests overturned the results of a free election, they were undemocratic, even though massively popular.  “When is a coup not a coup?  It seems when tens of millions of Egyptians support it and choose to portray it as part of a continuing revolution that was betrayed by the ousted President, Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim … Continue reading The difference Democracy does (and does not) make to peoples’ lives

Economics, Socialism, Ecology: A Critical Outline (Part 2)

by Kamran Nayeri Introduction In Part 1, I argued that economics is neither an objective science nor capable of providing a lasting solution to the contradictions of the capitalist economy and society. As a discipline it has emerged to maintain and justify the capitalist system and it will wither away with its downfall.  Also, I argued that Karl Marx’s critique of political economy (“economics” of his time) and the capitalist system is a specific application of his theory of history, historical materialism, that aims to serve self-activity and self-organization of working people with the logic of transcending the capitalist system … Continue reading Economics, Socialism, Ecology: A Critical Outline (Part 2)

The planetary emergency

by John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark Capitalism today is caught in a seemingly endless crisis, with economic stagnation and upheaval circling the globe.1 But while the world has been fixated on the economic problem, global environmental conditions have been rapidly worsening, confronting humanity with its ultimate crisis: one of long-term survival. The common source of both of these crises resides in the process of capital accumulation. Likewise the common solution is to be sought in a “revolutionary reconstitution of society at large,” going beyond the regime of capital.2 It is still possible for humanity to avert what economist Robert … Continue reading The planetary emergency

Taking notes 9: The end of the beginning

by Daniel Pinchbeck At last, we have reached the end of the classic Mayan Long Count calendar, the 5,125-year cycle that ended on December 21st of last year. The mainstream media has, predictably, used the occasion to ridicule the straw man they irresponsibly helped to set up: That this was a doomsday threshold, as silly as Y2K. At the same time, the worst and best predictions of alternative theorists ranging from Graham Hancock to Paul LaViolette to Jose Arguelles, Terence McKenna, John Major Jenkins, David Wilcock, and Carl Johan Calleman have failed to materialize. Apparently, a galactic superwave is not … Continue reading Taking notes 9: The end of the beginning

Neoliberal terror and the age of disposability

by Henry A. Giroux The winners in the disposable society circulate close to the top of the power pyramid… Those who can’t afford to be on the move stand little chance…Market freedom means few people have a hold on the present and that everyone is expendable.  — Zygmunt Bauman In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, shocking images of dead bodies floating in the flood waters of New Orleans appeared on national TV against a sound track of desperate cries for help by thousands of poor, black, brown, elderly and sick people. These disturbing pictures revealed a vulnerable and destitute segment … Continue reading Neoliberal terror and the age of disposability

Petro-market civilization

by Tim Di Muzio Prologue: The Rule of Threes Lending weight to the popular saying that bad things always come in threes, three events in April of 2010 underscored the level of capitalist civilization’s addiction to carbon energy.  On the 3rd of April off the coast of north eastern Australia, the Shen Neng 1, a Chinese owned coal tanker hauling 68,000 tons of coal collided into the Great Barrier Reef – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – at full speed.  The impact ripped the ship’s haul, leaked three to four tons of the worst quality fuel oil into one of … Continue reading Petro-market civilization