LBO News from Doug Henwood

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July 29, 2021 Rupa Marya and Raj Patel, authors of Inflamed, on the social and ecological causes of disease • Robert Pollin, co-author of this article, on the role of giant bailouts in neoliberalism and the greatness of Hyman Minsky

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July 22, 2021 Robert Fatton, author of The Guise of Exceptionalism, on the assassination of Haiti’s president and the long history that led to this sorry pass

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July 15, 2021 Christian Parenti, author of a chapter in this book, on carbon dioxide removal • Kareem Rabie, author of Palestine Is Throwing a Party and the Whole World Is Invited, on real estate development and the Palestinian national project

Gayatri Spivak on privilege etc.

I’ve been meaning to post this for a long time and never got around to it. This is Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak speaking at the Gramsci Monument in The Bronx on August 24, 2013. The monument, a grandiose name for a structure built out of 2×4’s and plywood, to the Italian political philosopher Antonio Gramsci was conceived by the Swiss artist Thomas Hirschorn as a temporary installation and erected on the grounds of the Forest Houses, a public housing project in the only one of the five boroughs of New York City that’s on the American mainland. The idea is profoundly moving—bringing the ideas and personality of an Italian Marxist imprisoned by Mussolini to a part of the world where revolutionary politics and art can be in short supply. Spivak’s talk was part of a series of events at the monument.

durability

“If one only works to end the misery of the poor, the minorities, the racialized, the gender oppressed…without…looking towards everyone, nothing will last. Nothing will last if a collectivity looks only at itself…. Remember the Occupiers, the Arab Spring. Gramsci’s word here was, and I quote, “political passion even if fiery (“incandescent” in Italian), cannot lead to permanent political structures.”

privilege

“Before I started working—this work [teaching among the Indian poor]—I would say, ‘unlearn your privilege.’ I think that’s a remarkably stupid thing to say. Because it’s very narcissistic, you just keep thinking, ‘oh my privilege.’ You cannot unlearn your privilege. It’s a historical thing. History is larger than personal goodwill. After I started working I realized I should use my bloody privilege. First of all, it makes my work suspicious for all the do-gooders. They’d say, ‘oh she’s behaving like a Brahmin upper class.’ Of course I am. I have certain kinds of power. I’m a Columbia professor. I have certain kinds of power. I’m using it….”

identity

“Let’s not forget that identity is involved in the democratic, but if one thinks of what democracy can be, of what citizenship can be, then one must be aware that at the end of the line is a position without identity. It’s abstract, it’s not fuzzy. Fuzzy is identity. Struggle doesn’t always have to begin with identity [as a questioner suggested]. Struggle can also begin with things like class, which is not identity. Class itself is very mobile…. If the other side opposes us by identity, if we begin to believe that we are completely determined by that identity, if we can’t be critical of the bad things within that identity, we are giving into them. That’s why I said democracy has no ethnicity and no gender…. To an extent we can’t live without identity, but the political cannot be led by our identity. It is a cruel master, identity….”

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July 8, 2021 Isabella Weber, author of How China Escaped Shock Therapy, on Chinese economic reform debates and how they dodged post-Soviet-style collapse

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July 1, 2021 Joseph Darda, author of How White Men Won the Culture Wars, on the role of the Vietnam vet in establishing white identity • Joshua Adams, author of this article, on the critical race theory controversy

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June 24, 2021 Sam Gindin, author of this review, on competition, labor, and solidarity • Leslie London, director of the Observatory Civic Association, on the fight against Amazon in Cape Town, South Africa • Tana Ganeva, author of this article, on the prevalence and horrors of solitary confinement

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June 10, 2021 Matt Kierkegaard, coordinator of the Progressive International’s delegation to observe the Peruvian election, on the apparent very narrow victory of the socialist, Pedro Castillo • Ross Barkan, author of The Prince, on the dark, evil Andrew Cuomo

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June 3, 2021 Alex Hochuli, author of this article, on what “Brazilianization” means • Neda Bolourchi on the upcoming Iranian presidential election

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May 27, 2021 Khaled Hroub on the history, structure, and politics of Hamas • Pablo Abufom, author of this article, on the Chilean elections, a victory for the left

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May 20, 2021 Joel Schalit and Orly Noy (separately) on the politics of Israel: what are the internal dynamics that make it so bellicose and repressive?

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May 13, 2021 Forrest Hylton on protest and crackdown in Colombia • Jules Gill-Peterson on the reactionary theocratic politics behind the anti-trans bills (Jewish Currents article here)

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May 6, 2021 Adam Hilton, author of True Blueson the history and structure (or rather lack of structure) of the Democratic party

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April 29, 2021 Donna Murch on why this is a fruitful moment for labor organizing (Guardian article here) • Ben Burgis, author of Canceling Comedian While the World Burns, on why cancel culture is bad

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April 15, 2021 Meagan Day and Micah Uetricht, authors of Bigger than Berniejust out in paperback, on the legacy of the Sanders campaigns • Jane McAlevey, author and organizer, on why the union lost to Amazon in Alabama (Nation article here)

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