Viewing Politics

ADDED 05/11/2018

With Lula in jail, the future of democracy in Brazil is at stake

FROM 04/28/2018 | Red Pepper

BY Alfredo Saad-Filho

As the Brazilian Election looms, Alfredo Saad-Filho examines what Lula da Silva’s prosecution means for the future of democracy. Former President Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, the most popular politician in Brazil, has been jailed for 12 years and 1 month for corruption. This was the outcome of an unprecedented judicial persecution already lasting four years: the most […]

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The surprising continuation of history. Gasp!

Twenty-eight years ago some goofball named Francis Fukuyama mistook the ever-decaying Soviet Union’s imminent demise as proof that St. Ronnie’s shining city on a hill would be the final, and finest, expression of humanity’s potential.

With all the glee they could muster, the paid propagandists at the Heritage Foundation AND Brookings Institution rallied together to move Fukuyama’s proclamation of the End of History from theory to fact.

In the intervening period, humanity did not build a liberal capitalist utopia. Instead, it immediately began devolving into a slave population in the service of a minuscule, corrupt, kleptocratic, global oligarchy. The erosion of actual self-determination is masked by the fetishization of low prices and the celebration of conspicuous wealth. The underlying theft of the 20th-century public commonwealth begun under Thatcher and Reagan has metastasized into a global race to monetize the essentials of human life itself.

Fukuyama’s back making the case that his original thesis is still valid. History is over and unfettered markets are the only way that humanity will allow humans to fulfill their potential. Timothy Snyder disagrees and explains the current historical phase as Sadopopulism – which sure sounds a lot like the preparations for a return of monarchical empires, this time with unregulated corporations wearing the warring crowns.

ADDED 05/10/2018

Sadopopulism: Timothy Snyder Speaks

FROM  | Youtube

BY Timothy Snyder

Sadopopulism: how America can be governed without policy and with pain. A guide to the logic of the Senate tax plan. Timothy Snyder is a historian at Yale University, specializing in eastern Europe, totalitarianism, and the Holocaust. His books have received widespread acclaim. His most recent book, “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century,” […]

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ADDED 05/09/2018

History’s protracted end

FROM 05/09/2018 | IPS Journal

BY Francis Fukuyama

American political scientist Francis Fukuyama became an overnight star when, in a 1989 magazine article, he claimed that liberal capitalist democracy had not just triumphed over communism, but marked the last ideological stage in human history. Speaking to Nikolaos Gavalakis, Fukuyama explains why he believes his broad theory still holds despite the ascendency of populist parties […]

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ADDED 05/07/2018

The Danger of Leadership Cults

FROM 05/07/2018 | Truthdig

BY Chris Hedges

No leader, no matter how talented and visionary, effectively defies power without a disciplined organizational foundation. The civil rights movement was no more embodied in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. than the socialist movement was embodied in Eugene V. Debs. As the civil rights leader Ella Baker understood, the civil rights movement made King; King did not […]

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ADDED 05/07/2018

Marx the Journalist

FROM 05/05/2018 | Jacobin Magazine

BY James Ledbetter

Marx is often remembered as a political economist or philosopher. But he made his mark as a journalist. Political economist. Philosopher. Journalist? Two hundred years after his birth, Marx is remembered as many things — but not often as a member of the Fourth Estate.James Ledbetter sees that as a mistake. The editor of a […]

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ADDED 05/06/2018

Why the fearful, the vulnerable and the confused are attracted to ‘illiberal’ politics?

FROM 05/06/2018 | The Arab Weekly

BY Oussama Romdhani

Jihadist terrorism, in particular, can lower citizens’ expectations in Western democracies and make all kinds of concessions palatable. While hopeful voters headed to the ballot boxes in a number of Arab countries, politicians and pundits around the world, especially in the West, voiced concern that liberal democratic ideals are under assault. Alluding to the growing […]

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ADDED 05/06/2018

Armenian ‘Velvet Revolution’ on the Verge of a Victory

FROM 05/05/2018 | News Click

BY Pavan Kulkarni

After rallying tens of thousands to force the ex-Prime Minister to resign, Nikol Pashinyan is now likely to take power as the interim PM on May 8. The uprising that has been ongoing in Armenia since last month seems to be on the verge of clinching a victory, after the ruling Republican Party of Armenia […]

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ADDED 05/05/2018

China’s social credit system fuels authoritarian regime

FROM 05/05/2018 | Asia Times

BY Sonika Gupta

China implemented its social credit system on a nationwide scale starting May 1. Social Credit, a harmless sounding phrase is the unholy marriage of big data with the proverbial ‘Big Brother’ under which, the state grades citizens as ‘trustworthy’ or not. Ostensibly the system is intended to address the trust deficit in the Chinese business […]

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ADDED 05/05/2018

Top Republican Plans to Use Fossil Fuels to Make Puerto Rico “the Energy Hub of the Entire Caribbean”

FROM 05/05/2018 | The Intercept

BY Kate Aronoff

PUERTO RICO COULD become “the energy hub of the entire Caribbean area” under a vision laid out by Rob Bishop, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, who visited the island. Bishop is not thinking of wind or solar. In a press conference held in San Juan on Friday, with Puerto Rican Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón […]

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ADDED 05/04/2018

Chile: A Return to ‘Guardian Democracy’?

FROM 04/17/2018 | NACLA.org

BY J. Patrice McSherry

How Sebastián Piñera’s right-wing government is undermining democratic institutions  Sebastián Piñera, a conservative billionaire, assumed the presidency of Chile for the second time on March 11 after an election in which abstention was the biggest winner. In only a few weeks he and right-wing allies engineered changes to key reforms enacted by previous socialist president […]

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ADDED 05/04/2018

The Comrade In Punjab – Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

FROM 03/05/2018 | Punjab Today

BY Kamjaat Singh

AT A TIME when Punjab is in the throes of a massive social upheaval and there is a complete disconnect between its farmers, farm labourers and those dependent on rural economy and others in towns and cities who are more cued into structures of political power, one would have thought that vast swathes of political […]

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