Some things that we take for granted as “part of life” don’t necessarily have to be that way.
The Militant has an excerpt from The Marxist Theory of Alienation by Ernest Mandel and George Novack, explaining that alienation is not a natural eternal condition of humanity, but rather a product of social relations under capitalism.
Long time Congressional staffer Mike Lofgren writes about the real rulers of the United States.
Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.
Chicago-based artist Amie Sell talks about her work, the censorship of her installation, and the relationship of art, social class and gentrification.
Read the Interview: Art (as Social Organism) vs. Gentrification – Red Wedge Magazine Red Wedge Magazine.
Here are a couple of links which yield some perspective on the situation in Ferguson. I’ll post more as I find them.
A Missouri city erupts against police murder | Socialist Worker. – Nicole Colson
Here are some links to articles that caught my eye this week.
6 Ways Wall Street Is Hosing Chicago Teachers - Matthew Cunningham-Cook unpacks how the country’s biggest investment firms are endangering the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund.
We Need to Fight for Equality – William Spriggs reflects on how the Labor Movement and the Civil Rights Movement must be united.
Catholic Social Teaching and Adjunct Faculty Organizing – John Russo writes about Catholic Universities and the Social Teaching of the Church.
Some Facts That Poverty-Deniers Don’t Want to Hear – Three-quarters of conservative Americans think poor people have it easy. Paul Buchheit shows that they don’t.
Imagine If People Were Paid What Their Work Is Really Worth to Society – Professor Reich imagines.
Films that Debunk Corporate Education Reform – A list of must-see videos from Diane Ravitch’s Blog.
Israel/Palestine FAQ - Who are the Palestinians? Who are the Israelis? Is Folk Singer David Rovics a self-hating Jew? Find out in this FAQ.
Do Palestinians Really Exist? – When he was nine years old, Dean Obeidallah finally learned about his father’s people.
Israel claims that it is merely exercising its right to self-defense and that Gaza is no longer occupied. Here’s what you need to know about these talking points and more, from The Nation’s Noura Erakat.
Read the article: Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked | The Nation.
Here’s a poem, apropos of our times, from co-founder of the Institute for Middle East Understanding, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha.
They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
“This is David.”
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?”
They call us now to say
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of
war time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.
Justin Akers Chacón offers some context with regard to the latest wave of immigration from the South.
The children and youth coming to the U.S., chiefly from Central America in the current wave, are victims of faceless economic, political and military policies engineered and implemented by the U.S. government, either unilaterally, or working through ruling elites in the region.
These young migrants are journeying north to be reunited with their families or in a desperate search for work and security. It is a further indictment of the U.S. government’s inhuman immigration policy that these innocent victims are treated as criminals and undesirables.
Please read the full article: Children forced on a dangerous journey | SocialistWorker.org.