Progressive Proselytizing: Measuring the success of social movements: Occupy, Arab Awakening, the Tea Party, and Keystone XL

How do we measure the success or effectiveness of a social movement? Ultimately we probably wish to change our society in some way, or perhaps to resist the changes that are occurring. Sometimes these changes can be very targeted such as implementing a specific government or corporate policy. And sometimes it can be more general ...

Progressive Proselytizing: Lessons from Kyrgyzstan

A year before the Arab Spring, Kyrgyzstan experienced a populist uprising of its own complete with violent conflict, from both the state and between ethnicities, and resulted in a change of governance. The lessons that can be drawn from the recent history in Kyrgyzstan are useful in putting some of the Arab uprisings into perspective and demonstrating ...

Progressive Proselytizing: GOP Foreign Policy Debate: Iran, Covert Ops, and Sanctions

While most of the CBS GOP Presidential Nomination debate on foreign policy in South Carolina was predictably following the standard script, there was one issue that somewhat surprised me. That is, the extent to which multiple candidates were very emphatically endorsing the use of covert operations to cause regime change. I will also look at ...

Progressive Proselytizing: The myopic terrorism lens

One of the main failures of western understanding of the Middle East and South Asia, and the subsequent failures of actions taken by the west in these regions, stems from viewing these regions through the lens of terrorism. This terrorism-centric view pervades both military and political elites as well as media pundits and the general ...

Progressive Proselytizing: Social Media, Part II: The Value of Social Media

Like it or hate it, social media is now a potent force in society that is legitimately changing the way people interact with information, with news and politics, with each other, and ultimately with the world. In part one of this series, I considered the role of social media relative to conventional media in influencing ...

Progressive Proselytizing: The media’s questionable coverage of the Occupy movement

It can’t be said that the mainstream media isn’t covering the Occupy Wall Street et al protests. Indeed, a major difference between these protests and so many others that came before it is that the media has given it quite extensive coverage. However, there remain problems with this coverage that reflect larger systemic issues in the ...