Gar Alperovitz on his life, the atomic bomb, and socialism

Part One: “Understanding the Imperialist System Changed My Life”

Part Two: “Nuclear Attack on Japan was Opposed by American Military Leadership”

Part Three: “Capitalism in Long Term Stagnation and Decay”

Part Four: “The Promise and Limitations of Worker Cooperatives”

Part Five: “What Would You Do If You Had Political Power?”

If you don’t like capitalism or state socialism, what do you want?

 

UNRWA iconic image goes to Times Square

United Nations, New York, 20 March 2014 – “The iconic image of a huge crowd waiting for UNRWA food parcels in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, Damascus has gone up on the “Jumbotron” billboard in New York’s Times Square. This sends a powerful message to the world diplomatic community down the road at UN Head Quarters that the world has had enough of Syria’s pitiless conflict. The photo which went viral on the internet within minutes of being released has come to symbolize the revulsion of the world with what is taking place in Syria. The showing in Times Square follows a successful, celebrity backed social media campaign by UNRWA to secure support from 23 million people worldwide, the pre war population of Syria. As the image went up, a crowd below held up pita bread as a symbolic gesture of support for the starving masses in Syria.” (UNRWA Spokesperson, Chris Gunness)

Continue reading “UNRWA iconic image goes to Times Square”

Mark Blyth: Austerity – The History of a Dangerous Idea

Mark Blyth: Austerity – The History of a Dangerous Idea is one of the best lectures on political economy, explaining the historic role of public debt, that I’ve heard. The beginning is slightly tedious, as it’s hardcore economics, but it gets much better as Blyth explains the economic crisis and the politics behind austerity.

 

The Syria Test

Two weeks back on Radio Open Source I debated Prof. Stephen Walt of Harvard on intervention in Syria. It was 3 am for me, so I wasn’t as coherent or articulate as I’d have liked to be.

[audio http://media.blubrry.com/radioopensource/p/ia600606.us.archive.org/31/items/022714OSPODCASTSyria/022714-OS-PODCAST-Syria.mp3]

With Iraq and Afghanistan bleeding in our rear-view mirror, is there a case still to be made for American intervention with anything more than words in Syria’s miserable meltdown? The news and pictures from Syria are perfectly awful – sarin gas against civilians succeeded by barrel bombs on Aleppo, millions of Syrians on the run, all varieties of torture, targeting of children and doctors, a death toll in two-and-a-half years of warfare approaching 150,000, and no end in sight. But is there anything like a constructive case for American intervention?

Continue reading “The Syria Test”

Chris Hedges: The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies

Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist specializing in politics and society, spoke at Moravian College on Tuesday, October 22, 2013. Hedges is the seventh Peace and Justice Scholar in Residence at Moravian College. His talk was drawn from his most recent book, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt.

James Scott: The Art of Not Being Governed

The author of several books including Seeing Like a State, Professor Scott’s research concerns political economy, comparative agrarian societies, theories of hegemony and resistance, peasant politics, revolution, Southeast Asia, theories of class relations and anarchism. We talk with Professor Scott about his newest book, The Art of Not Being Governed. It is the first-ever examination of the volumes of literature on state-making that evaluates why people would deliberately remain stateless.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

I am reading Chris Hadfield’s An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. It is not only the best book in the space exploration genre, it is one of the best book’s I’ve read generally. On the nature of dreams, determination, wonder, and commitment, there are some wonderful insights. Despite his extraordinary achievements in space, Hadfield remains down to earth. He has wit, a wonderful sense of humor, and a real knack for telling stories. He also delivers his insights on life without sounding didactic. I’m only a quarter of a way in and so far it’s been a pleasure. Check it out: you’ll enjoy it.

Continue reading “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth”