Archive | Politics RSS feed for this section

Explanation and Example: Capitalist Nationalism

**Reformist consciousness was famously described by Gramsci as “dual” or “contradictory”; on the one hand accepting the permanence of the system, on the other rejecting the effect of its operation. The most basic expression of this contradiction is an acceptance by workers of the wages system accompanied by a rejection of the particular level of […]

Read More 0 Comments

By Force of Law

Nothing new under the sun. Why do you suppose a “Sanders” presidency would change what is described below in Chapter 12 of William Morris’s News From Nowhere? The concept of property trumps everything. ******* “I suppose you know pretty well what the process of government was in the bad old times?” “I am supposed to […]

Read More 0 Comments

A Commons Or A Prison

I prepared the following for the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice. From Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall.” Before I built a wall I’d ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offence. Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That wants […]

Read More 0 Comments

The Working Day Redux

There are no honest capitalists. While there are no exact figures on the extent of wage theft, authorities say it is rampant in such industries as construction, garment manufacturing, restaurants and home health care. The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor reported in 2012 that of more than 1,800 restaurant investigations […]

Read More 0 Comments

The Tragedy of Influential (White Supremacist) Liars: Distorting the Commons (Against Fair Housing and Civil Rights)

How can we measure the influence of bad ideas? If there is anything to learn from the “system” of social media it’s that bad news travels and expands exponentially while the “good news” is always sentimental and local (seems a “one-off”). Humans are perhaps best characterized by their affinity for gossip (what is the “gospel” […]

Read More 0 Comments

Happiness Is Notoriously Difficult To Describe

Preface to the Paperback Edition of George Kateb’s Utopia and Its Enemies (1972, 1963). “Of course, no honest person claims that happiness is now a normal condition among human beings; but perhaps it could be made normal, and it is upon this question that all serious political controversy really turns.” “Happiness is notoriously difficult to […]

Read More 2 Comments

UPDATED: Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs, Oh My!

I watched American Sniper (prepping for an interview with Clint Eastwood biographer Patrick McGilligan tomorrow on Interchange) and there is a bit of “warrior philosophy” to give our hero motivation near the beginning of the film; it’s about sheep, wolves and sheepdogs. Well, this was cribbed for the movie (it’s not in Kyle’s autobiography according […]

Read More 0 Comments

Assume Forever-War: Thoughts After Viewing Wounds of Waziristan

There is some contention that in particular cases of cancer, removing tumors, often the only treatment that can extend life by reducing the burden of carrying the disease (thus reducing its effects), actually speeds metastatic action. Especially if the surgery fails to be thorough. It is as if you open a seething sack of baby […]

Read More 0 Comments

Proving the Need to Resist Government by Shadows

Last night on Interchange I talked with Scott Horton of Harper’s Magazine about government secrecy–more specifically the secrecy of “dark budgets” and “dark operations” and “dark lords”–inherent in the National Security State. [A Power Unto Itself: Scott Horton on the National Security Elite] Horton traces the history of the meaning of “government by the people” […]

Read More 0 Comments

**UPDATED**In Contradiction Against Itself: The CIA and The Government

UPDATED: 5/21 [I've added one example of Slahi's book as an illustration of the Report on Torture--there are many others I may add later.] Last night on Interchange (The State of Terror: Guantanamo Diary) the conversation centered on the literary nature of Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary.  Guest Scott Korb has written about the Diary as […]

Read More 0 Comments

Explanation and Example: Capitalist Nationalism

**Reformist consciousness was famously described by Gramsci as “dual” or “contradictory”; on the one hand accepting the permanence of the […]

Building the Insanity In: Ex Machina

This is not a movie review. This is me thinking about empathy. Last night, lonely little ol’ me sat in […]

Dislodged Giant: Can We Use Stevens to Interpret Dickinson?

You tell me. “I thought that nature was enough” by Emily Dickinson I thought that nature was enough Till Human […]

By Metaphor Alone

Motivation matters. If the scientific method (which we make into the massive all-encompassing abstraction of SCIENCE to compete with the […]

By Force of Law

Nothing new under the sun. Why do you suppose a “Sanders” presidency would change what is described below in Chapter […]

Now You Know What A Horse Is: Views On Education in the 19th Century

Schools are scenes of extreme manipulation and coercion. Our national and state interest in them is less than benign, or […]