Since the Syrian conflict broke out some on the left have bought into calls for humanitarian intervention, even if it does mean tacit support for American-backed interference in yet another Middle Eastern country.
Neo-liberal governments and their militaries increasingly employ the language of humanitarianism to elicit support as they pursue policies in line with their global ambitions. Images of dead and wounded children, refugees, human suffering in its many guises quite naturally evokes both concern and sympathy. These tragedies are also milked in order to further an agenda that is anything but humanitarian.
An article that addresses some of these (Read more…)
If I were asked what I felt were the top priorities facing human beings today, in the 21st century, I would have to say there are four that top the list, in my mind. 1. Halt the global corporate coup. Defeat the corporate war on democracy, which is now escalating daily, and take democracy back. […]
Educate First Nations to be modern citizens
Don Olsen, The Daily News
Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
via Educate First Nations to be modern citizens.
This is the most racist thing I have ever seen published.
The Nanaimo Daily News published a document either as an editorial or a letter to the editor [likely the latter] that is so vile and hateful, I will not reprint it here. I can’t stand the thought of this filth being on our website.
The link is above. I encourage you all to read it to get a sense of what some people think (Read more…)
The 1921 “Ethnic Outreach” Campaign(Courtesy Past Tense Vancouver)
The complaints are familiar – “Asian immigrants are taking our jobs,” “Asian immigrants are buying our property and keeping us out.”
Instead of being complaints found in the Richmond Review’s letters-to-the-editor section, however, these are the complaints that were found in a Liberal Party advertisement in 1921 that was posted on a Vancouver history site.
Our history – the history of Vancouver, BC, and Canada – especially that of Asian immigration is one fraught with historical wrongs. The Chinese head tax, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Japanese internment (Read more…)
i often disagree with Noel Ignatiev – and the following essay is certainly no exception in that regard – however his reasoning is often provocative, which though a bit maddening is also not a bad thing. As such, it should not be assumed that the views in the following guest contribution are those of yours truly. However, it is worth reading in the context of the ongoing discussion of Zak Cope’s book Divided World Divided Class. The other essays referenced here are by Charlie Post, Matthijs Krul, and Don Hamerquist. (Note that Krul also posted a further response
. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: Progress and Poverty: a response to Krul, Post and Hamerquist from Noel Ignatiev
Men, especially white men, sleep too easily at night while women earn 70 per cent of what we do. Secretly, I think we’d prefer to not have to talk about this much. Sure, March 8 and December 6 are days we set aside for reflecting on this, but, most likely, we don’t want to be bothered with it every other day of the year. Plus, the NHL is back.
One conversation I have never had, goes like this. I’m in the lunchroom at work with a group of men discussing workplace realities. The topics drifts around to how women in (Read more…)
Hugo Chavez died of cancer on March 5, 2013. He represented an ideological pushback against neoliberal globalization. He pursued a progressive hemispheric trade agenda. He raised oil royalties dramatically to improve the social capacity of people in and around Venezuela. He revolutionized and democratized Venezuela’s constitution. He attracted the ire of American imperialists who supported an amateurish, botched coup. And while we never saw the formation of Cubazuela or some kind of socio-economic cooperation that would elevate Haiti out of its status of hemispheric whipping boy, though that may be on its way, his legacy begins this week.
Thanks (Read more…)
Roger Annis at the Feb. 24, 2013 annual meeting of Peace Alliance Winnipeg. Photo: Paul S. Graham
Is the military intervention in Mali by France, with the assistance of the United States, Canada and others an example of a humanitarian intervention launched to protect a fragile democracy from the incursion of Muslim terrorists? Or is France meddling in the affairs of its former colony to protect its business interests and further the political and economic interests of its NATO partners?
Roger Annis, coordinator of the Canada-Haiti Action Network and longtime political activist, explored these questions at the Annual General Meeting
. . . → Read More: Paul S. Graham: Behind the invasion of Mali
(Gallup: Staggering 99 Percent of Americans See Iran’s Nuclear Program as ‘Threat’ Americans See Civilian Program as a Bigger Threat Than North Korea’s Actual Nukes by Jason Ditz, February 20, 2013) ”A grim new poll from Gallup shows an overwhelming majority of Americans, indeed 99 percent of them, believe that Iran’s civilian nuclear program [...]
In the text that follows, Don Hamerquist addresses the current salience of imperialism, territory, and revolutionary organizing in the First World. This essay is prompted by the review of Zak Cope’s Divided World Divided Class by Matthijs Krul, which was reposted to Sketchy Thoughts a few weeks ago. Don explains that “For Krul citations I am using generated page numbers from a print out of the version of the review and its single page of introduction that was on Sketchy Thoughts. These provide a rough guide to the relative locations of the citations, but may not translate accurately to
. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: Comments on a Divided World, from Don Hamerquist
Divided World Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour Under Capitalism is a book published by Kersplebedeb (and available from leftwingbooks.net) back in September of last year.Divided World Divided Class charts the history of the ‘labour aristocracy’ in the capitalist world system, from its roots in colonialism to its birth and eventual maturation into a full-fledged middle class in the age of imperialism. It argues that pervasive national, racial and cultural chauvinism in the core capitalist countries is not primarily attributable to ‘false class consciousness’, ideological indoctrination or ignorance as much left and liberal thinking
. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: Divided World Divided Class Reviewed and Discussed by Matthijs Krul and others
Supporters of former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide chant and display signs outside the courthouse in Port au Prince on Wednesday, Jan. 9. When they learned that the prosecutor, Lucmane Delille, had gone to Aristide’s home to question him, a river of tens if not hundreds of thousands of people marched to his home, surrounding it protectively as they had when he returned to Haiti. – Photo: Swoan Parker, Reuters
Imagine if, one day, US President Obama sent in the Marines to Ottawa [with support from, say, the Maldives, the UK and Peru, and other Coalition of the Willing partners], who then strolled up to 24 Sussex Drive, liberated Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his family from their residence, spirited them off to #YOW to be deposited on a plane, without passports, to fly to a foreign land, like Mali.
We know the prime minister is a . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: What If We Treated Harper Like We Treated Haiti’s Aristide?
Twitter / suzhawkins: As settlers… #idlenomore ….
York University’s Suzanne Hawkins is my hero today for showing us all this amazing poster that succinctly describes how us non-indigenous settler folk can stand alongside with the world’s indigenous people seeking redress for generations of racism and discrimination.
Solidarity matters! Dialogue matters!
Let’s make 2013 a year of reconciliation!
This interview originally appeared in Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture, 5:2, 259-270. For a PDF of the interview, go here. It is also mirrored on the Kersplebedeb site here.
In the 1960s and 1970s, many activists looked to the prisons for political leadership, while viewing prisons themselves as institutions of repression and social control integral to larger systems of oppression. Around the world, the prisoner emerged as an icon of state repression and a beacon of liberation. If the prison served as the bricks and mortar of oppression, the prisoner became the flesh and blood of
. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: New Interview by David Gilbert
I wrote less than two weeks ago that Israel was in an accelerating decline as a result of changed geopolitical realities in the Middle East, most recently and acutely the Arab Spring. That Arab Spring is now in the throes of a 2.0 reawakening and reconstitution of last year’s settlements, as events in Egypt in the last two weeks have made clear, not to mention the momentum of Syrian rebels,
There can be little doubt that the Arab revolutions have already transformed the Middle East and look set to continue and deepen that transformation. Dictators in Tunisia, Yemen and, most spectacularly thus far, Egypt have gotten the boot. In Tunisia and Egypt the working class played a sizeable role in their ouster and this has led to a labour spring involving the explosive growth in independent
I’m struck by the casual nature of the media when it comes to reporting on imperial wars. Casualties are tallied, the right words are said, but then off we go to the next soundbite. Time for reflection and contemplation is becoming (has become) a lost art. Louder, Bigger, and Faster are what we’re all about now; and it is wrong, dead wrong.
Filed under: Politics Tagged: Afghanistan, Bill Moyers, Imperialism, USA, War
The provincial government has finally relented in its dignity-crushing stance of continuing to allow a developer to pursue building condos on top of a Musqueam burial ground. And while this change of provincial policy does not extend to a solution of land ownership, this is a critical first step to see the provincial government is not blatantly racist. I guess that’s a kind of win for them too. Though, a sad one.
News of this change of heart came out around 4pm today. A Friday. And any Aaron Sorkin devotee knows that’s when the government takes out the trash: releases
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Musqueam Burial Ground Win Makes the Developer Look Brutally Ignorant
“But the real point of me isn’t that I’m good looking. It’s that I’m clever. I’ve got a brain! I would rather be called a highly intelligent historian than a gorgeous pouting one” – Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, Sept. 2011.
One of the predictable habits of the mainstream media is to seek out opinions on worldly matters from so-called academic “stars”. They’re given access to op-ed pages, interviewed on talk shows and their books widely promoted and gushed over. Few have burned as bright in this regard as Niall Ferguson, a handsome, arrogant 48-year-old Scot and one of the world’s
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Just How Stupid is Niall Ferguson? Very Stupid.
My comrade Josh recently wrote a review of Zak Cope’s Divided World Divided Class on his excellent MLM Mayhem blog. You can read it here, but i am also reposting it on Sketchy Thoughts here:
These days, at the centres of capitalism, it is en vogue for leftists to attack Lenin’s theory of the labour aristocracy. Some marxist critics, feeling like they know better than the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, would like to remind us that Lenin’s theorization of a term bandied about by Engels showed no understanding of what Engels meant in the first place––indeed, the
. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: MLM Mayhem Reviews Zak Cope’s Divided World Divided Class
The following interview appeared recently on anti-imperialism.com, the blog of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement (RAIM), with Zak Cope, about his book recently published by Kersplebedeb, Divided World Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour Under Capitalism.
Zak Cope is the author of Divided World Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour Under Capitalism, which was just published this past August by Kersplebedeb Press as part of their recently launched Kalikot series. The book “charts the history of the ‘labour aristocracy’ in the capitalist world system, from its roots in colonialism to its
. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement Interviews Dr Zak Cope
The ongoing protests in the parts of the Middle East and North Africa, ostensibly in the wake of a Z-list anti-Islam film produced in the US, have elicited the same tired, hackneyed response on the part significant portions of Western audiences and commentators. “Savages,” the refrain has been, “uncivilized barbarians!” from comment sections from The Blaze to the CBC. The brutal murder of American envoy Chris Stevens should certainly be condemned—yet the broader chauvinistic and racist response to the events in Libya, and in the wider region, speaks to a deep seated misunderstanding and ignorance on the part
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Fair Weather Friends: Western Reaction(s) to the Middle East Protests
Divided World Divided Class, just published by Kersplebedeb (the books finally arrived on friday!), charts the history of the ‘labour aristocracy’ in the capitalist world system, from its roots in colonialism to its birth and eventual maturation into a full-fledged middle class in the age of imperialism. It argues that pervasive national, racial and cultural chauvinism in the core capitalist countries is not primarily attributable to ‘false class consciousness’, ideological indoctrination or ignorance as much left and liberal thinking assumes. Rather, these and related forms of bigotry are concentrated expressions of the major social strata of the core capitalist
. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: New From Kersplebedeb – Divided World Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour Under Capitalism
What Has Changed Since September 11, 2001?
W2 Media Cafe and Siraat invite you to a public forum on Monday, September 10, 2012, looking at Canada’s racist legacy, as we mark 11 years after the events of September 11, 2001. 7pm at 111 West Hastings Street, Vancouver.
Invited Panellists: Kat Norris, Jasmin Zine, Abdhullah Almalki, Alnoor Gova and Imtiaz Popat
Moderated by Charlie Smith, Editor of the Georgia Straight
Kat Norris: Founder of Indigenous Action Movement. A survivor of the residential schools, she has been organizing against police abuses including the Frank Paul Inquiry.
Jasmin Zine: Associate Professor at
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: What Has Changed Since September 11, 2001?