[Marxism] Michael Bloomberg Confirms He Used Prison Labor To Make 2020 Campaign Calls | HuffPost

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://www.huffpost.com/entry/michael-bloomberg-prison-labor-2020-campaign-calls_n_5e027a19e4b05b08babb64c9
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[Marxism] The Green Party Is Not the Democrats’ Problem - CounterPunch.org

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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By Howie Hawkins

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/25/the-green-party-is-not-the-democrats-problem/
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[Marxism] [SUSPICIOUS MESSAGE] The UK General Election in 7 myths. – Urban ramblings

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://secure-web.cisco.com/1OUkfgMujTccYJXObGFBJhM56-H-D56u2f7V_6ShwRE-610LBBWI57q6kZ_k1NUzi1S291VWQEh750lcmmn4trVyK4tMoP6yWuUtPCub7DSoUm1tNdMvM_6uo0Ej5LxX0CQEE3ygm7mvLvu5e9bPSMmufBnKZobO6GMDWcgavlD9iS2sEAt1S141GJqBuhSXJqMKRsyZ54Pe_UtAlCxhu-dg4V3pACMtyvgFddsKViJrY3wJlwDscr7ebCgZy8QGqwbhGbPy5z6viHPs85eQ8oPqaEiIEfEL6f8MmMxfOfMAoxHfoHd2nM_lEX1T2DP4MOQgdJbnWBgSWgcvECs2xNfghKreNyJ-tVtWy3OR5iVfpNxcPYe-NNdHpKYcUz5LNSFf10h3jzd8mIWOXCsVYmQ/https%3A%2F%2Furbanramblings19687496.city%2F2019%2F12%2F22%2Fthe-uk-general-election-in-5-myths-and-6-graphs%2F

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[Marxism] Jairus Banaji on Artur Rimbaud

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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(From FB)

A photo of Arthur Rimbaud (1854–1891), taken in 1883. In May that year 
Rimbaud wrote to his family from Harar on the Ethiopian plateau, “One of 
these photographs shows me… standing in a café garden; another, with my 
arms crossed in a banana garden”.


Rimbaud, France’s most revolutionary poet from the latter part of the 
19th century, spent the last ten years of his life moving between Aden 
and Harar (with a brief spell in Cairo), working for much of that time 
for a French commercial firm run by a Marseilles coffee merchant, Alfred 
Bardey. Bardey’s business went bust in 1884, leaving Rimbaud stranded 
but determined to carry on trading. In one letter from Aden, Rimbaud 
claims that in 1883 he bought more than 3 million francs’ worth of 
coffee for his employer, “and my profit from that is nothing more than 
my wretched salary”. The letters from Aden and Harar suggest that 
Rimbaud was desperate to save enough money from his commercial ventures 
to be able to have a family and settle down. Yet it is equally clear 
that he saw himself living outside Europe (“I can’t go to Europe, for 
many reasons”) and remained as deeply infected by his “vagabond 
disposition”, as he calls it, as he had ever been as a youth wandering 
the Ardennes countryside. In 1883 he described himself as “losing 
interest” , day by day, in the way of life and even the languages of 
Europe, and felt he was “condemned to wander about” for the rest of his 
life. As it happens, he died less than ten years later, in November 
1891, aged 37, having spent the last years of his life in almost 
complete isolation in Harar, six thousand feet above sea-level.


It is these last ten to twelve years (1879–91) that are called 
“Rimbaud’s silence”. Why would the most brilliantly iconoclastic poet 
France had produced till then (Baudelaire excepted) give up poetry so 
decisively? In a classic study from 1961 the Irish critic Enid Starkie 
suggested it was Rimbaud’s period in London in 1872–73 that formed the 
watershed here. In Season in Hell, which he started writing in April 
1873 after coming back from London, Rimbaud was effectively repudiating 
his past to move to a more active kind of life. So what did London 
contribute that Paris couldn’t to jolting Rimbaud in this way?


Rimbaud of course is famous for his two masterpieces, the magnificent 
prose poems that make up Illuminations (1872–74) and the anguished 
self-indictment of Season in Hell. Many of the prose poems were written 
in London and about London. London was an imperial, cosmopolitan, 
thoroughly “modern” metropolis with no counterpart in Europe and 
impressed Rimbaud no end. In “Cities” (Illuminations) he refers to the 
“imperial glitter” of its buildings and writes, “The official acropolis 
surpasses the most colossal conceptions of modern barbarism”. This 
“acropolis” was the imperial heart of the Victorian city, and beyond it 
Rimbaud would see for the first time ever a “modern industrial capital, 
with its dreary streets, straggling on in sordid never-ending lines” 
(Starkie, Arthur Rimbaud, pp.257–8). Starkie notes his fascination for 
the London docks where he and Verlaine “saw all types of humanity, 
swarming from all the four quarters of the world” and heard “strange 
languages spoken”. (Later, in the winter of 1875, he would start 
learning “Arabic, Hindustani, and Russian” in the library at 
Charleville.) Rimbaud “spent in the docks more and more time, examining 
the various types of goods” and talking to the sailors whom he met 
(p.256). “The docks are impossible to describe, they are unbelievable!” 
he wrote to Verlaine. What resonates here is the sheer exhilaration of 
being “up close and personal” with the very hub of the world economy. 
“It was in London that Rimbaud formed a connection amongst sailors who 
came from all quarters of the globe, that he discovered from them what 
were the commercial possibilities in those distant lands…”. And it was 
in the “east-end by the docks”, in the Chinese dens, that he and 
Verlaine “learned to smoke opium”.


Illuminations is full of those “countless hallucinations” that Rimbaud 
later ascribed to the “monstrous mouthfuls of poison” he swallowed 
during his spells in London. There are images of unmatched beauty in its 
prose poems, childhood memories triggered and transformed by the 
“Chinese ink” and “black powder”. Season in Hell looks back at this 
poetry, recapping some of it as if he were writing a biography: “I 
dreamed of crusades, of unrecorded voyages of discovery, of republics 
with no history, of hushed-up religious wars, revolutions in customs, 
displacements of races and 

[Marxism] Mysterious death of White Helmets co-founder spotlights toxic propaganda | PBS NewsHour

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/mysterious-death-of-white-helmets-co-founder-spotlights-toxic-propaganda
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[Marxism] A Trump Policy ‘Clarification’ All but Ends Punishment for Bird Deaths

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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NY Times, Dec. 25, 2019
A Trump Policy ‘Clarification’ All but Ends Punishment for Bird Deaths
By Lisa Friedman

WASHINGTON — As the state of Virginia prepared for a major bridge and 
tunnel expansion in the tidewaters of the Chesapeake Bay last year, 
engineers understood that the nesting grounds of 25,000 gulls, black 
skimmers, royal terns and other seabirds were about to be plowed under.


To compensate, they considered developing an artificial island as a 
haven. Then in June 2018, the Trump administration stepped in. While the 
federal government “appreciates” the state’s efforts, new rules in 
Washington had eliminated criminal penalties for “incidental” migratory 
bird deaths that came in the course of normal business, administration 
officials advised. Such conservation measures were now “purely voluntary.”


The state ended its island planning.

The island is one of dozens of bird-preservation efforts that have 
fallen away in the wake of the policy change in 2017 that was billed 
merely as a technical clarification to a century-old law protecting 
migratory birds. Across the country birds have been killed and nests 
destroyed by oil spills, construction crews and chemical contamination, 
all with no response from the federal government, according to emails, 
memos and other documents viewed by The New York Times.


Not only has the administration stopped investigating most bird deaths, 
the documents show, it has discouraged local governments and businesses 
from taking precautionary measures to protect birds.


In one instance, a Wyoming-based oil company wanted to clarify that it 
no longer had to report bird deaths to the Fish and Wildlife Service. 
“You are correct,” the agency replied.


In another, a building property manager in Michigan emailed the Fish and 
Wildlife Service to note that residents had complained about birds being 
killed while workers put up siding and gutters around the apartment. Not 
to worry, the agency replied: “If the purpose or intent of your activity 
is not to take birds/nests/eggs, then it is no longer prohibited.”


The perfect gift for everyone on your list.
Gift subscriptions to The Times. Starting at $25.
And when a homeowners’ association in Arizona complained that a 
developer had refused to safely remove nesting burrowing owls from a 
nearby lot, Fish and Wildlife said that, because of the new legal 
interpretation, it could not compel the developer to act.


“Of course, we just got sued over that interpretation, so we’ll see how 
it ends up,” the enforcement officer wrote.


The revised policy — part of the administration’s broader effort to 
encourage business activity — has been a particular favorite of 
President Trump’s, whose selective view of avian welfare has ranged from 
complaining that wind energy “kills all the birds” to asserting that the 
oil industry has been subject to “totalitarian tactics” under the 
Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.


Habitat loss and pesticide exposure already have brought on widespread 
bird-species declines. The number of adult breeding birds in the United 
States and Canada has plummeted by 2.9 billion since 1970.


Now, said Noah Greenwald, the endangered species director for the Center 
for Biological Diversity, the Trump administration has engineered “a 
fundamental shift” in policy that “lets industrial companies, utilities 
and others completely off the hook.” Even a disaster like the Deepwater 
Horizon oil spill of 2010, which killed or injured about a million 
birds, would not expose a company to prosecution or fines.


Gavin Shire, a spokesman for the Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency 
responsible for protecting migratory birds, said in a statement that 
other federal laws like the Endangered Species Act remain on the books. 
The Trump administration, he said, “will continue to work cooperatively 
with our industry partners to minimize impacts on migratory birds.”


The documents tell a different story.

In nearly two dozen incidents across 15 states, internal conversations 
among Fish and Wildlife Service officers indicate that, short of going 
out to shoot birds, activities in which birds die no longer merit 
action. In some cases the Trump administration has even discouraged 
local governments and businesses from taking relatively simple steps to 
protect birds, like reporting fatalities when they are found.


“You get the sense this policy is not only bad for birds, it’s also 
cruel,” Mr. Greenwald said.


The Migratory Bird Treaty Act was originally enacted to protect the 
birds from over-hunting and poaching at a time when feathered hats were 
all the rage and the snowy egret was 

[Marxism] Killer Slime, Dead Birds, an Expunged Map: The Dirty Secrets of European Farm Subsidies - The New York Times

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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Best seen on NYT for the graphics.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/12/25/world/europe/farms-environment.html
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[Marxism] Bush falsely promised a new Iraq, but it is now being forged in Baghdad's Tahrir square

2019-12-25 Thread Chris Slee via Marxism
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www.juancole.com/2019/12/falsely-promised-baghdad.html

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[Marxism] The October uprising in Iraq

2019-12-25 Thread Chris Slee via Marxism
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https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/october-uprising-iraq


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[Marxism] A Brief Introduction to the Saga of the Labor Movement for Emerging Militants – New Politics

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://newpol.org/a-brief-introduction-to-the-saga-of-the-labor-movement-for-emerging-militants/
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[Marxism] ‘Everyone is getting locked up’: As workers grow disgruntled, China strikes at labor activists

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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Washington Post, Dec. 25, 2019
‘Everyone is getting locked up’: As workers grow disgruntled, China 
strikes at labor activists

By Gerry Shih


BEIJING — When the young labor activist and blogger Chen Weixiang helped 
street cleaners in southern China campaign for better wages by 
organizing demonstrations and publicizing their case online in 2014, he 
succeeded in winning them improved conditions.


When he tried again this month, acting for a different set of laborers, 
he did not.


Chinese authorities seized the prominent activist last week and punished 
him with a jail stint of at least two weeks for "provoking quarrels and 
stirring troubles," according to a person with direct knowledge of his 
case who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of official reprisal.


The case of the U.S.-educated Chen, who ran a microblog called "Heart 
Sanitation," illustrates how a brand of nonviolent labor activism that 
was once tolerated by Chinese authorities is now off-limits in a country 
facing stiff economic head winds and deepening political insecurity.


"What he was doing would be seen as normal in China, even in the early 
years of the Xi Jinping administration," said Elaine Hui, a labor 
scholar at Pennsylvania State University who studied alongside Chen when 
he obtained a master's degree there in 2016. "Now, there is zero 
tolerance for dissent."


Chen's penalty was relatively light by China's standards. But he is 
probably the 140th worker, activist or student to be arrested or 
detained in the past 18 months, according to data kept by the China 
Labor Crackdown Concern Group, a coalition of Chinese and foreign 
activists and academics.


The labor crackdown amounts to one of the largest campaigns to suppress 
civil society groups in China under Xi, the Chinese leader who has 
spoken this year about the risks facing the ruling Communist Party as it 
navigates rising unemployment and the most difficult economic conditions 
in decades.


In meetings of senior officials in January, Xi stressed the need for a 
"high degree of vigilance" against political and economic challenges, 
while a key ally, Wang Huning, told cadres of the need to "defuse major 
risks" that could undermine the party's rule.


In the past year, authorities have severely punished students from elite 
universities for trying to organize electronics workers. They have also 
sentenced several nonprofit workers and bloggers for advocating for 
ailing construction workers. China's government has not commented on the 
labor crackdown, and police in Guangzhou declined to answer questions 
about Chen.


Ground zero both for activists and the government response has been 
southern Guangdong province, which has been rocked by strikes, factory 
relocations and closures as China's exports dip.


For years when the economy was booming, strikes and labor disputes were 
often overlooked as part of China's maturation process, said Li Qiang, 
founder of China Labor Watch, a nonprofit based in New York.


Today, Li said, the government sees "labor friction like a furnace — it 
can ignite at any time."


Meanwhile, a larger national conversation about social inequality and 
economic uncertainty has roiled Chinese society.


From January through the summer, professional soccer players who were 
not getting paid launched a public protest and likened their plight to 
that of migrant construction workers.


This month, the urban middle class turned against Huawei after former 
employees said they were wrongfully imprisoned after challenging the 
technology giant for compensation they said they were owed.


The stories struck a nerve. One popular Chinese blogger compared the 
firm to an "evil elephant" that used its clout to squash ordinary worker 
"ants." Countless other posters on Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, 
likened Huawei's top executives to privileged royalty while employees 
toiled long hours and without protections. Huawei has accused the 
employees of extortion and denied wrongdoing.


Labor advocates say pressures on the working class in China's south — 
and the prospect of mass, mobilized protesters — worry authorities most.


Sanitation workers and street cleaners — the type of workers Chen sought 
to help — have held 15 strikes this year, according to Geoff Crothall of 
China Labor Bulletin, a Hong Kong nonprofit. That's up from 11 the 
previous year.


"There's such an uptick, a critical load, in workers determined to 
defend their rights" compared with previous years, Crothall said. 
"That's why the government sees it as such a sensitive issue."


Chen's arrest this month, his supporters say, would have been 

[Marxism] Jairus Banaji on Artur Rimbaud

2019-12-25 Thread Ken Hiebert via Marxism
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I am relying on my memory here, but according to an account I read Rimbaud was 
in Paris at the time of the Commune.  He was 17 and would have been affected by 
it in some way.
Interesting to contrast that with later joining the Dutch Colonial Army  
(granted he deserted within months) and some years after that running guns into 
North-East Africa.

ken h
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Re: [Marxism] ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’s’ racist lyrics reflect its slave owner author, Francis Scott Key

2019-12-25 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 I was confused by the title of the article, because--while Francis Scott
Key was a white supremacist--I couldn't recall any mention of race in "the
Defense of Fort McHenry."  The verse in question is:

"No refuge could save the hireling & slave/
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:/
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave/
O’er the land of the free & the home of the brave."
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[Marxism] [UCE] RE: Nicholas Guyatt?s ?Bind Us Apart?

2019-12-25 Thread Andrew Stewart via Marxism
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It is confusing that Foner doesn't point out how the Declaration of
Independence, while not articulating modern scientific racism in the
formulation we all know today, did in fact include a rather potently racist
demonization of the Indigenous and Africans:

He [King George] has excited domestic insurrections amongst us [what we
would call slave revolts today], and has endeavoured to bring on the
inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule
of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and
conditions [caused primarily by British treaties forbidding westward
expansion of the colonial project].

Foner and Gerald Horne are both CPUSA-ers, in fact Horne wrote a rather
adulatory preface for the International Publishers re-issue of Phillip
Foner's anthology of American writings from the advent of the Bolshevik
revolution, so I am forced to wonder what sort of connection the two have

-- 
Best regards,

Andrew Stewart

Message: 1
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2019 09:27:50 -0500
From: Louis Proyect 
To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition

Subject: [Marxism] Nicholas Guyatt?s ?Bind Us Apart?
Message-ID: <05313d7a-9614-44c7-087b-7b9c50d45...@panix.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed

(In this review, Eric Foner has problems with Nicholas Guyatt's new book
that argues that our Founding Fathers were racist to the core. I have
heard through the grapevine that Foner has "no dog in this fight" when
asked how he stood on the Project 1619 controversy.)

Nicholas Guyatt?s ?Bind Us Apart?
By Eric Foner
April 29, 2016

BIND US APART
How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation
By Nicholas Guyatt
Illustrated. 403 pp. Basic Books. $29.99.

Half a century ago, inspired by the Supreme Court?s decision in Brown v.
Board of Education, historians embarked on an effort to identify the
origins of racial segregation. C. Vann Woodward insisted that rather
than existing from time immemorial, as the ruling?s opponents claimed,
segregation emerged in the 1890s. Others located its genesis in
Reconstruction or the pre-Civil War North.

Eventually, the debate faded. Now, Nicholas Guyatt offers a new
interpretation. Segregation and its ideological justification ?separate
but equal,? he argues, originated in the early Republic in the efforts
of ?enlightened Americans? to uplift and protect Indians and
African-?Americans. After trying and abandoning other policies, these
reformers and policy makers concluded that only separation from whites ?
removal of Indians to the trans-Mississippi West and blacks to Africa ?
would enable these groups to enjoy their natural rights and achieve
economic and cultural advancement. Thus, almost from the outset, the
idea of separating the races was built into the DNA of the United States.

Guyatt, who teaches at the University of Cambridge, is the author of a
well-?regarded book on the history of the idea (still very much alive
today) that God has chosen this country for a special mission. In ?Bind
Us Apart? he addresses another theme central to our national identity:
Who is an American? To find an answer he offers a detailed account of
early national policies toward Indians and blacks.

By the somewhat anachronistic label ?liberal? ? usually applied, when
referring to the 19th century, to believers in limited government, free
trade and individual liberty ? Guyatt means adherents of Enlightenment
values, including the repudiation of prejudice against others. These
people realized that the presence of subordinate racial populations
could not be reconciled with the affirmation that ?all men are created
equal? in the Declaration of Independence. They assumed that what
appeared to be black and Indian inferiority resulted from oppressive
circumstances, not innate incapacity. With proper education and
training, these groups could become equal members of American society.

This belief led to a ?civilizing agenda? whereby the federal government
encouraged Native Americans to form compact communities where they would
take up settled farming and abandon communal land holding for the
benefits of private ownership. The ultimate aim was that whites and
Indians would ?become one people,? in the words of Thomas Jefferson.

One of Guyatt?s surprising findings is how many liberals believed that
the Indian population should be assimilated through intermarriage. ?You
will mix with us by marriage,? Jefferson told an Indian delegation in
1808. ?We shall all be Americans.? Not all whites agreed, of course. In
the 1820s ?all hell broke loose? in Cornwall, Conn., when two young
Indian men who arrived to study at a religious school 

[Marxism] ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’s’ racist lyrics reflect its slave owner author, Francis Scott Key

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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Francis Scott Key was a rich slave-owner who persuaded President Andrew 
Jackson, the symbol of grass-roots democracy for Sean Wilentz, to make 
his brother-in-law Roger Taney the chief justice of the Supreme Court. 
From the article: "Roundly hated north of the Mason-Dixon line, Taney 
lived long enough to author the 1857 Dred Scott Supreme Court opinion, 
the most starkly racist high court decision in history. Taney struck 
down the argument that free blacks could become citizens in free states 
like Illinois and further declared that all blacks, whether slave or 
free, were never entitled to any rights, period."


https://theundefeated.com/features/the-star-spangled-banners-racist-lyrics-reflect-its-slaveowner-author-francis-scott-key/
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Re: [Marxism] ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’s’ racist lyrics reflect its slave owner author, Francis Scott Key

2019-12-25 Thread William Quimby via Marxism

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In front of the main entrance to the Frederick County Public Library 
building in Frederick, Md. (Key's home town, and the site of the Francis 
Scott Key
Mall and a brew pub featuring an FSK lager) is this hilarious statue of 
an African-American mother (or father?  don't recall) and two children 
eagerly

reading the Star Spangled Banner.



The good Frederick news is that a bust of Taney was removed in March 
2017 (after several years of squabbling) from the City Hall forecourt.


- Bill

On 12/25/19 04:35 PM, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:

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Francis Scott Key was a rich slave-owner who persuaded President 
Andrew Jackson, the symbol of grass-roots democracy for Sean Wilentz, 
to make his brother-in-law Roger Taney the chief justice of the 
Supreme Court. From the article: "Roundly hated north of the 
Mason-Dixon line, Taney lived long enough to author the 1857 Dred 
Scott Supreme Court opinion, the most starkly racist high court 
decision in history. Taney struck down the argument that free blacks 
could become citizens in free states like Illinois and further 
declared that all blacks, whether slave or free, were never entitled 
to any rights, period."


https://theundefeated.com/features/the-star-spangled-banners-racist-lyrics-reflect-its-slaveowner-author-francis-scott-key/ 


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[Marxism] THE PROBLEM WITH ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINTS AND PLANETARY BOUNDARIES

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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(This is from Giorgios Kallis's new book "Limits: Why Malthus Was Wrong 
and Why Environmentalists Should Care". Kallis is a leading exponent of 
"degrowth" but his problems with statements like "Humanity uses the 
equivalent of 1.7 Earths" or "On August humanity will have used nature's 
resource budget for the entire year" are unmistakably a dig at fellow 
degrowth advocate Jason Hickel, whose articles are filled with such 
references. I will be reviewing Kallis's book for CounterPunch and will 
certainly try to weigh the differences. Frankly, I find it difficult to 
think of making the case for degrowth without such references.)


THE PROBLEM WITH ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINTS AND PLANETARY BOUNDARIES

The "ecological footprint" is a calculation of how much land it would 
take to produce the goods and services we consume and to absorb the 
waste and pollution we create. The indicator is useful because it 
reminds us that what we do "here" has impacts "there": the environmental 
costs of our actions are shifted in space and time, and the foot print 
is a measure of this shift. But the indicator, and especially the way it 
is communicated, has many problems. Forget for the moment the scientific 
acrobatics necessary for turning everything into its land-use equivalent 
My concern here is with statements such as, "Humanity uses the 
equivalent of 1.7 Earths," or, "On August humanity will have used 
nature's resource budget for the entire year." No matter how good the 
intentions, this framing reproduces a Malthusian vision of a limited 
earth.46 We are too numerous, and we consume too much. But who is this 
"we"? And why do "we" consume too much? The footprint message makes for 
headlines but it is apolitical, as it puts us all in the same boat. It 
is also disempowering, as our supposed overshooting comes and goes every 
year, but the world continues to turn.


The "planetary boundaries" framework is scientifically more 
sophisticated, but it too can reproduce the myth of a limited world. 
There are nine boundaries of the earth system, planetary scientists tell 
us, and if we transgress them we risk abrupt, catastrophic, nonlinear 
change" (climate change is one result; there's also the extinction of 
species and the loss of biodiversity, which could collapse food chains; 
pollution from phosphorous and nitrogen; the ozone hole; and 
acidification of the oceans, which could lead to drastic reduction in 
fish stocks). Supposedly, there is nothing political about these 
boundaries, which are descriptions of the way the world is. We can 
release so much phosphorous before polluting ecosystems and so much 
carbon before bringing on a certain rise in global temperature. But as I 
have argued, there is nothing natural in framing such facts as limits or 
"boundaries." They are boundaries only if we want to label them as such 
(and I agree we should), but there is also no reason why we can't 
continue living on a hotter earth or survive in a world with polluted 
ecosystems. Life would be worse for many, perhaps, but it would be life 
nonetheless. The boundaries, as Kate Raworth argues,49 are not given; 
they are boundaries of a collective good life, which we should choose.

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[Marxism] Mayor Pete’s Favorite Wine-Maker Hasn’t Been A Good Napa Neighbor - LA Progressive

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://www.laprogressive.com/wine-cave/
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[Marxism] Election 2019: Hunting for scapegoats won’t change what happened

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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By Simon Hannah, the author of a very good history of Labour.

https://www.timetomutiny.org/post/election-2019-hunting-for-scapegoats-won-t-change-what-happened
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Re: [Marxism] [UCE] RE: Nicholas Guyatt?s ?Bind Us Apart?

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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I really don't fucking get these historians who are so perturbed by 
Project 1619 asserting that racism is in the American DNA. Our fucking 
national anthem has verses cheering on the killing of slaves who had 
aligned with the British in 1812.


https://www.thenation.com/article/video-do-you-know-the-star-spangled-banners-third-verse/
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[Marxism] The Vital Relation: What Vivian Gornick Got Right About the History of American Communism - Los Angeles Review of Books

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/vivian-gornick-and-american-communism/
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[Marxism] Jairus Banaji on Artur Rimbaud

2019-12-25 Thread Richard Modiano via Marxism
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Rimbaud was indeed in Paris at the time of the Commune and was also a
participant. The defeat of the Commune was part of the reason he stopped
writing poetry.

Richard Modiano
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[Marxism] The Hidden Perk That New York’s Mega-Rich Now Demand

2019-12-25 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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NY Times, Dec. 25, 2019
The Hidden Perk That New York’s Mega-Rich Now Demand
By James Barron

Sean O’Connor drove his Jeep into the porte cochère and through the wide 
garage door at the far end and got out.


After that, the garage took over, but not with an attendant behind the 
wheel. The garage in Mr. O’Connor’s luxury building in Lower Manhattan 
is automated. No one touched the Jeep as it was lifted to its parking 
space five floors above.


The parking system is a high-tech twist possible in a building with a 
porte cochère, the urban version of a carport — a 
covered-driveway-and-entry combination that was popular in the days of 
horses and carriages.


“Porte cochère” — pronounced port KO-shair —is a French term that 
originally described an entrance to a building large enough for a coach 
to be driven into an interior courtyard. Think palaces. Think Louis XIV.


With New York experiencing a new gilded age, porte cochères are making a 
comeback in high-end buildings, like 565 Broome Street, where Mr. 
O’Connor is the resident manager and where the least-expensive apartment 
on the market is listed at $3.925 million.


The modern porte cochère is all about invisibility, or at least 
providing cover from prying eyes on city streets.


Celebrities, V.I.P.s and ultra-high-net-worth types, especially those 
who are not regulars in the gossip columns, do not want to be seen 
coming and going. The porte cochère is their shield from photographers, 
professionals and fans or mere passers-by with cellphones held high.


In 2019 New York, many of those residents live in buildings where 
apartments sell for seven or eight figures. “Only a building that’s 
catering to a very affluent tenantry could afford to do this,” said 
Mosette Broderick, a professor at New York University.


Porte cochères take up space — more space than many New Yorkers’ 
apartments — and space is, of course, valuable. At more than 2,000 
square feet, the porte cochère at 40 East End Avenue, a new building on 
the Upper East Side, is at least three times the size of the average 
Manhattan apartment (733 square feet, according to the rental website 
RENTCafe).


At 111 West 57th Street, an 82-story tower on Billionaires’ Row, the 
developers created a porte cochère by scooping out a section of the 
former Steinway & Sons building.


The Waldorf-Astoria is dividing its famous porte cochère, really an 
underground passage running the width of the building between East 50th 
and East 49th Streets.


Half will serve the hotel that will occupy part of the building when a 
top-to-bottom renovation is completed in 2021, and half will serve the 
condominiums in the other part. The prices for the condos have not been 
announced.


“A private porte cochère has become a benchmark for buildings at this 
level, and really a requirement,” said Dan Tubb, the sales director for 
Douglas Elliman at the Waldorf. “There is a greater need to have a 
transition from the energy of the street, especially here in Manhattan, 
into a more serene and serviced environment.”


Such buildings have staffs that can help load the tote bags that 
residents take to their weekend houses in Connecticut or the Hamptons. 
To doormen and porters falls the responsibility of keeping up with the 
parade of look-alike Cadillac Escalades and Mercedes S class sedans.


Scott J. Avram, a senior vice president of Lightstone, the developer at 
40 East End Avenue, called the porte cochère “more important than a lot 
of more traditional indoor amenities,” like private dining rooms, 
reading rooms and game rooms.


But some critics believe the porte cochère should never have been 
resurrected.


“It’s being brought back at a time when the need for cars is less and 
less apparent,” said Adrian Benepe, a former New York City parks 
commissioner.


In the last several years, the city has begun moving away from the car 
culture that has dominated the streets for much of the 20th century. 
Miles of bus and bike lanes have been installed, and New York is poised 
to become the first American city with a congestion pricing plan 
intended to get cars off the busiest streets. Starting in 2021, 
motorists will have to pay a toll when they drive into most snarl-prone 
parts of Manhattan.


Julia Vitullo-Martin, a senior fellow at the Regional Plan Association, 
said car culture had “become the ultimate inequality” in New York.


“Very wealthy people not only have cars, they have one per adult — one 
S.U.V. per adult — in a household,” she said, adding that in some 
distant neighborhoods, residents need cars to connect with subway or bus 
lines.


By all accounts, the porte cochère’s