[Marxism] Fwd: H-Net Review [H-Urban]: Huebner on Sayer, 'Prague: Crossroads of Europe'

2019-07-20 Thread Andrew Stewart via Marxism
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Begin forwarded message:

> From: H-Net Staff via H-REVIEW 
> Date: July 20, 2019 at 9:47:54 PM EDT
> To: h-rev...@lists.h-net.org
> Cc: H-Net Staff 
> Subject: H-Net Review [H-Urban]:  Huebner on Sayer, 'Prague: Crossroads of 
> Europe'
> Reply-To: h-rev...@lists.h-net.org
> 
> Derek Sayer.  Prague: Crossroads of Europe.  London  Reaktion Books, 
> 2019.  280 pp.  $22.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-78914-009-5.
> 
> Reviewed by Karla Huebner (Wright State University)
> Published on H-Urban (July, 2019)
> Commissioned by Alexander Vari
> 
> In the years since the Velvet Revolution, Prague--for forty years a 
> near-mystery behind the Iron Curtain--has become one of Europe's most 
> visited cities. Praised in the early 1990s as an expat destination 
> rivaling Paris of the 1920s, then infested in the 2000s by drunken 
> British stag parties, Prague has nonetheless remained a site too 
> little understood by most of its visitors, many of whom have very 
> little awareness of its complex history. 
> 
> Derek Sayer's _Prague: Crossroads of Europe_ should help travelers 
> gain a fuller and more nuanced understanding of the city and its 
> context. Part of Reaktion's Cityscapes series (other titles address 
> Beijing, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Chicago, New York, Paris, and San 
> Francisco), it combines history with travel guide. Titles in this 
> series are written "by authors with intimate knowledge of the 
> cities," provide "a unique overview of a city's past as well as a 
> focused eye on its present," and offer "essential cultural companions 
> to the world's greatest cities." To accomplish this, the usual 
> travel-guide format is reversed: instead of a short overview of the 
> city followed by endless listings of sights, lodgings, restaurants, 
> and shops, here we have 226 illustrated pages of urban and national 
> history followed by twenty pages of listings, five pages of 
> chronology, fifteen pages of citations for quoted material and 
> additional sources, two pages of suggested reading and viewing, and a 
> ten-page index. 
> 
> As a scholar who often writes about Prague and the Czech lands 
> (notably, the prize-winning books _The Coasts of Bohemia: A Czech 
> History_ [1998] and _Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century: A 
> Surrealist History_ [2013]), Sayer is an appropriately knowledgeable 
> author for this title. His background as a sociologist, combined with 
> decades of research on Czech cultural history, gives him an unusually 
> broad basis from which to prepare a guide for the intelligent, 
> nonspecialist traveler. He writes in an accessible, jargon-free style 
> and has a fine eye for the telling detail and illuminating anecdote. 
> 
> But as this book is a travel guide, we may reasonably ask whether it 
> is useful beyond that specific purpose. What does it offer scholars 
> of urban history, or for that matter scholars in general who may or 
> may not be planning trips to Prague? 
> 
> _Prague: Crossroads of Europe_ is, actually, a worthwhile addition to 
> the urban historian's library. While it is not conceived as an 
> analytical text and (unsurprisingly) does not offer detailed accounts 
> of population shifts, annexations of suburbs, construction of sewers, 
> waterworks, or electrical grids, nor maps of the city's growth, 
> fortifications, or metro, Sayer is nonetheless alert to such matters 
> and weaves them into his text. The meat of the book consists of an 
> informative prologue, twelve chapters of history, and seven essays 
> about aspects of the city today. The twelve historical chapters take 
> us from the legendary birth of the city up to a brief look at the 
> Velvet Revolution and its aftermath. 
> 
> Against this larger backdrop of the history of Bohemia and Moravia 
> (necessary to properly understand the history of Prague), much 
> material of interest to the urban historian can be found. For 
> instance, the second chapter, "Přemyslid Prague," overviews 
> developments from the ninth through the thirteenth century, with 
> information on the establishment of churches, monasteries, and 
> synagogues, as well as notes on markets, bridges, fortifications, and 
> flooding. This chapter also points out that with a population 
> estimated at around 3,500 in 1200, Jews, Germans, and Italians as 
> well as Czechs were part of the city from very early (Prague's first 
> pogrom occurred in 1096 and the earliest mention of a synagogue dates 
> to 1124). In chapter 3, "The Golden Age of Charles IV," Sayer focuses 
> on urban 

Re: [Marxism] Agriculture: The Worst Mistake Humans Ever Made

2019-07-20 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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On 7/20/19 9:06 PM, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:


Recently, though, anthropologists have subtly revised the view that the 
invention of agriculture was a fall from grace. They have found the 
serpent in hunter-gatherer Eden, the savage in the noble savage. Maybe 
it was not an 80,000-year camping holiday after all.


In 2006 two Indian fishermen, in a drunken sleep aboard their little 
boat, drifted over the reef and fetched up on the shore of North 
Sentinel Island. They were promptly killed by the inhabitants. Their 
bodies are still there: the helicopter that went to collect them was 
driven away by a hail of arrows and spears. The Sentinelese do not 
welcome trespassers. Only very occasionally have they been lured down to 
the beach of their tiny island home by gifts of coconuts and only once 
or twice have they taken these gifts without sending a shower of arrows 
in return.


The quote above is from the Economist article that John Imani posted.

I can't say I am surprised that someone writing for the Economist 
portrayed the people of North Sentinel as "savage". This year a 
self-appointed Christian Missionary was killed by these "savages". Here 
is why. They were determined to be free of the real savages who had 
decimated their people for the longest time.


The Guardian, Nov. 30, 2018
Sentinel Island's 'peace-loving’ tribe had centuries of reasons to fear 
missionary


From the exiled king of Belgium to the Primrose freighter in 1981, 
outsiders have regretted contact with the Sentinelese – as have the 
islanders themselves


by Michael Safi

After a few days stuck in the reef, a watchman reported seeing a group 
emerge from the jungle on the island a few hundred metres away. The 
sailor’s relief at the sight of a possible rescue party ebbed as the men 
came into view: nearly naked, carrying spears and bows and arrows that 
they waved in the direction of the ship.


“Wild men, estimate more than 50, carrying various homemade weapons, are 
making two or three wooden boats,” the Primrose’s captain radioed to his 
headquarters in Hong Kong. “Worrying they will board us at sunset. All 
crew members’ lives not guaranteed.”


The same tribe killed American missionary John Allen Chau on 17 
November. The crew of the Primrose survived. The surging swell repelled 
the tribespeople’s boats, while the strong winds kept blowing their 
arrows off the mark, according to an account by the author and historian 
Adam Goodheart. After three terrifying days – the crew keeping vigil 
with pipes, flares and other makeshift weapons – an Indian navy boat 
winched the stranded sailors to safety. The Primrose still lies where it 
ran aground 37 years ago.


Chau would have seen the ship’s wreckage as he circumnavigated North 
Sentinel Island the evening of 14 November, on a boat with five 
fishermen whom police say he paid 25,000 rupees (£275) to smuggle him there.


Like the Primrose incident, Chau’s apparent murder as he tried to preach 
to the Sentinelese – in breach of Indian law and advice that exposure to 
foreign pathogens could kill them – has fuelled fascination with one of 
the world’s most isolated communities. And among the most misunderstood, 
according to the handful of anthropologists and historians who have 
observed them.


Encounters between the tribe, loosely estimated to number 100 people, 
and the outside world are a violent catalogue. In 1974, a member of a 
National Geographic crew filming a documentary on the island was hit in 
the leg with an arrow.


The following year, the exiled king of Belgium reportedly aborted his 
visit when a single, armed tribesman emerged from the jungle and waved 
his bow at the craft. In 2006, two men looking for flotsam on North 
Sentinel ran aground on the sand, and were hacked apart with axes. 
Police said this week their bodies were hung from bamboo poles and 
displayed to the ocean “like scarecrows”.


Yet those experienced with the Sentinelese reject the idea they are 
inherently aggressive. “They are a peace-loving people,” TN Pandit, an 
anthropologist who conducted one of the first successful meetings with 
the tribe in 1991, told an Indian news outlet this week.


“Their hostility is a sign of great insecurity,” agrees Vivek Rae, a 
former chief administrator of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, the 
Indian territory that includes the Sentinelese home.


Often characterised as a kind of irrational barbarism, their extreme 
suspicion of outsiders may be well-founded. “It has been passed down 
through generations,” Pandit says.


Centuries ago, the Andaman archipelago was a magnet for Burmese slave 
traders who seized members of its four 

[Marxism] Moderator's note

2019-07-20 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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We seem to be having some kind of technical issues with links being 
flagged as "suspicious" by U. of Utah's security system. For the time 
being, try to remember not to send URL's to the list until we get it 
sorted out. It may take a while to get IT to fix it. I'll try to figure 
out a workaround but in the meantime, let's try to avoid it.

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[Marxism] Agriculture: The Worst Mistake Humans Ever Made

2019-07-20 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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On 7/20/19 7:22 PM, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:

On 7/20/19 11:58 AM, John A Imani via Marxism wrote:

The U. of Utah security system hiccuped on the link that John supplied. 
Try using 
#https://secure-web.cisco.com/1Z6oEdFkIPDCDhBB6OZ95XddVw24FzSEkl2TSKLpuzDwZ8kv3szjMZ6AbOtOFvGSQx5DFtKxpw-lwVkEkL3_jdWNpUfFnGevdsGgXOuBZ3hp6sEY3WdYqPAyNTIcP7ai5NttQ7ELFqWs96d5UwoeGgYs873zxkCPoWwwi-udPTpFzL-EFYwZhdunUSDxLzET0Denme0Ha9dDnFVPdg9kCCVt5jlLh-S9gldyOq8UDnuCGp-cZTwU2lVTbO40NoKSl49L5mQPkJIizaYfDerzM2wUb7vE2hrReTNaLTe5y6_Z0TOYIMJLTj-1K9IPMdiS1xKBYD1gHFRkCOpfc6davyZD3KWnDr8SpReYw5DqFeehdZTXe93v5wFMVhG_3Q1Dd/https%3A%2F%2Fwww.economist.com%2Fchristmas-specials%2F2007%2F12%2F19%2Fnoble-or-savage# 
after removing the pound signs. If you run into a paywall problem, 
contact me or John offlist.





Fuck!

That didn't work.

I might as well send the entire article.

The era of the hunter-gatherer was not the social and environmental Eden 
that some suggest


HUMAN beings have spent most of their time on the planet as 
hunter-gatherers. From at least 85,000 years ago to the birth of 
agriculture around 73,000 years later, they combined hunted meat with 
gathered veg. Some people, such as those on North Sentinel Island in the 
Andaman Sea, still do. The Sentinelese are the only hunter-gatherers who 
still resist contact with the outside world. Fine-looking 
specimens--strong, slim, fit, black and stark naked except for a small 
plant-fibre belt round the waist--they are the very model of the noble 
savage. Genetics suggests that indigenous Andaman islanders have been 
isolated since the very first expansion out of Africa more than 60,000 
years ago.


About 12,000 years ago people embarked on an experiment called 
agriculture and some say that they, and their planet, have never 
recovered. Farming brought a population explosion, protein and vitamin 
deficiency, new diseases and deforestation. Human height actually shrank 
by nearly six inches after the first adoption of crops in the Near East. 
So was agriculture "the worst mistake in the history of the human race", 
as Jared Diamond, evolutionary biologist and professor of geography at 
the University of California, Los Angeles, once called it?


Take a snapshot of the old world 15,000 years ago. Except for bits of 
Siberia, it was full of a new and clever kind of people who had 
originated in Africa and had colonised first their own continent, then 
Asia, Australia and Europe, and were on the brink of populating the 
Americas. They had spear throwers, boats, needles, adzes, nets. They 
painted pictures, decorated their bodies and believed in spirits. They 
traded foods, shells, raw materials and ideas. They sang songs, told 
stories and prepared herbal medicines.


They were "hunter-gatherers". On the whole the men hunted and the women 
gathered: a sexual division of labour is still universal among 
non-farming people and was probably not shared by their Homo erectus 
predecessors. This enabled them to eat both meat and veg, a clever trick 
because it combines quality with reliability.


Why change? In the late 1970s Mark Cohen, an archaeologist, first 
suggested that agriculture was born of desperation, rather than 
inspiration. Evidence from the Fertile Crescent seems to support him. 
Rising human population density, combined perhaps with a cooling, drying 
climate, left the Natufian hunter-gatherers of the region short of 
acorns, gazelles and wild grass seeds. Somebody started trying to 
preserve and enhance a field of chickpeas or wheat-grass and soon 
planting, weeding, reaping and threshing were born.


Quite independently, people took the same step in at least six other 
parts of the world over the next few thousand years: the Yangzi valley, 
the central valley of New Guinea, Mexico, the Andes, West Africa and the 
Amazon basin. And it seems that Eden came to an end. Not only had 
hunter-gatherers enjoyed plenty of protein, not much fat and ample 
vitamins in their diet, but it also seems they did not have to work very 
hard. The Hadza of Tanzania "work" about 14 hours a week, the !Kung of 
Botswana not much more.


The first farmers were less healthy than the hunter-gatherers had been 
in their heyday. Aside from their shorter stature, they had more 
skeletal wear and tear from the hard work, their teeth rotted more, they 
were short of protein and vitamins and they caught diseases from 
domesticated animals: measles from cattle, flu from ducks, plague from 
rats and worms from using their own excrement as fertiliser.


They also got a bad attack of inequality for the first time. 
Hunter-gatherers' dependence on sharing each other's hunting 

[Marxism] [SUSPICIOUS MESSAGE] Fred Magdoff on Climate Change, Capitalism, and Socialism

2019-07-20 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://secure-web.cisco.com/1L8ncBOSFBEUjRdUozR6WzYpYSpRUFdGRKCOJtQyxXitGbGNNeqK8_P5nL4Q3Z0NwoZWuIV9P6KwGMe4CQphei-LNQ-crQyTR5jttrLDaiEG2OqB698YllU9Zzm9NkJi9lZgNoqIjpzloVW6c3s0Xlo_hO0OYxlCD7iRERT_B52bhgAFibct3BCdSEeMK3cvsf7zVjJnN2jmsYqNqFMNA4q8Eotd2Uf7e66mTQ2w3QU9PNrLJ8e5Sr4x40HiDmGiLilMVouxJqWa6118cfHFVzJhKb76JVl7jg9ojbrfFSBlM1cCZB51K4S0dYHGdGJadCt0a7neH1ilDyVzp05mFFQ7CFgLI6Pdg_xWiqd3T1YYD-cGnGiN9tkgeEBmyanvsnYQQQSIed3nac6i3bgJX-A/https%3A%2F%2Fclimateandcapitalism.com%2F2019%2F07%2F20%2Fclimate-change-capitalism-and-socialism%2F

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[Marxism] [SUSPICIOUS MESSAGE] Agriculture: The Worst Mistake Humans Ever Made

2019-07-20 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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On 7/20/19 11:58 AM, John A Imani via Marxism wrote:

The U. of Utah security system hiccuped on the link that John supplied. 
Try using 
#https://secure-web.cisco.com/1Z6oEdFkIPDCDhBB6OZ95XddVw24FzSEkl2TSKLpuzDwZ8kv3szjMZ6AbOtOFvGSQx5DFtKxpw-lwVkEkL3_jdWNpUfFnGevdsGgXOuBZ3hp6sEY3WdYqPAyNTIcP7ai5NttQ7ELFqWs96d5UwoeGgYs873zxkCPoWwwi-udPTpFzL-EFYwZhdunUSDxLzET0Denme0Ha9dDnFVPdg9kCCVt5jlLh-S9gldyOq8UDnuCGp-cZTwU2lVTbO40NoKSl49L5mQPkJIizaYfDerzM2wUb7vE2hrReTNaLTe5y6_Z0TOYIMJLTj-1K9IPMdiS1xKBYD1gHFRkCOpfc6davyZD3KWnDr8SpReYw5DqFeehdZTXe93v5wFMVhG_3Q1Dd/https%3A%2F%2Fwww.economist.com%2Fchristmas-specials%2F2007%2F12%2F19%2Fnoble-or-savage# 
after removing the pound signs. If you run into a paywall problem, 
contact me or John offlist.




  Hunter-gatherers : Noble or savage?

The era of the hunter-gatherer was not the social and environmental Eden
that some suggest

Dec 19th 2007 |

HUMAN beings have spent most of their time on the planet as
hunter-gatherers. From at least 85,000 years ago to the birth of
agriculture around 73,000 years later, they combined hunted meat with
gathered veg. Some people, such as those on North Sentinel Island in the
Andaman Sea, still do. The Sentinelese are the only hunter-gatherers who
still resist contact with the outside world. Fine-looking specimens—strong,
slim, fit, black and stark naked except for a small plant-fibre belt round
the waist—they are the very model of the noble savage. Genetics suggests
that indigenous Andaman islanders have been isolated since the very first
expansion out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago.

About 12,000 years ago people embarked on an experiment called agriculture
and some say that they, and their planet, have never recovered. Farming
brought a population explosion, protein and vitamin deficiency, new
diseases and deforestation. Human height actually shrank by nearly six
inches after the first adoption of crops in the Near East. So was
agriculture “the worst mistake in the history of the human race”, as Jared
Diamond, evolutionary biologist and professor of geography at the
University of California, Los Angeles, once called it?

Take a snapshot of the old world 15,000 years ago. Except for bits of
Siberia, it was full of a new and clever kind of people who had originated
in Africa and had colonised first their own continent, then Asia, Australia
and Europe, and were on the brink of populating the Americas. They had
spear throwers, boats, needles, adzes, nets. They painted pictures,
decorated their bodies and believed in spirits. They traded foods, shells,
raw materials and ideas. They sang songs, told stories and prepared herbal
medicines.

They were “hunter-gatherers”. On the whole the men hunted and the women
gathered: a sexual division of labour is still universal among non-farming
people and was probably not shared by their *Homo erectus *predecessors.
This enabled them to eat both meat and veg, a clever trick because it
combines quality with reliability.

Why change? In the late 1970s Mark Cohen, an archaeologist, first suggested
that agriculture was born of desperation, rather than inspiration. Evidence
from the Fertile Crescent seems to support him. Rising human population
density, combined perhaps with a cooling, drying climate, left the Natufian
hunter-gatherers of the region short of acorns, gazelles and wild grass
seeds. Somebody started trying to preserve and enhance a field of chickpeas
or wheat-grass and soon planting, weeding, reaping and threshing were born.

Quite independently, people took the same step in at least six other parts
of the world over the next few thousand years: the Yangzi valley, the
central valley of New Guinea, Mexico, the Andes, West Africa and the Amazon
basin. And it seems that Eden came to an end. Not only had hunter-gatherers
enjoyed plenty of protein, not much fat and ample vitamins in their diet,
but it also seems they did not have to work very hard. The Hadza of
Tanzania “work” about 14 hours a week, the !Kung of Botswana not much more.



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Re: [Marxism] Agriculture: The Worst Mistake Humans Ever Made

2019-07-20 Thread Ratbag Media via Marxism
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Things may not be as they seem...
Bruce Pascoe's wonderful book, "Dark Emu --Aboriginal Australia and
the Birth of Agriculture" is turning the hunter/gatherer assumption on
its head.
https://is.gd/lf4xh8
..which further research  confirms.
I think  the 'birth of agriculture' as a lifestyle, cannot be reduced
down to a generic judgement as it is an embrace ruled by history.
The 'mistake' made isn't the agriculture but the way the food was
grown. And that's as true today as it was thousands of years ago.
The Polynesian/Micronesian sweet potato/yam culture and  the
traditional “Milpa” system of the Americas were ecologically kosher
and sustainable.
The complication of the shift is the continuing problem posed by  the
dependency and fertility loss inherent in monocultures and the cutting
down of trees for fire and cooking.
Soil disturbance through the invention and use of the plough has to be
seen as a key mistake.
That, and maybe the embrace of grains as the core carbohydrate source.
Today that is still a major environmental headache -- these grains.
Annuals that they are.
That agriculture is marked down because it is vulnerable to drought,
weather vagaries and overpopulation is addressed by various means in
the history of agriculture. And Mike Davis points out in  'Late
Victorian Holocausts' -- you cannot separate the 21st century
hindsight view of agriculture from  the onslaught of capitalism and
imperialism.
Even in Marx's take on metabolic rift, a driving dynamic was the
separation of town and country that began the process of closing off
cyclical renewal.


dave riley

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[Marxism] Now presenting: Boris Johnson, next British Prime Minister!

2019-07-20 Thread John Reimann via Marxism
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Barring a huge surprise, clown prince Boris Johnson will be anointed as the
unelected prime minister next week.

It is a fitting epitaph for the absolute degeneration, chaos and total lack
of democracy that reigns supreme in this country at the moment. Neo liberal
policies have reduced Britain from a leading industrial nation to a so
called, ‘service economy’, and an international laughing stock.

First introduced by Thatcher, the policies of cutting and privatizing
public services and crushing trade unionism has led us to this disgraceful
situation, and this farcical juncture. The almost complete destruction of
what was left of heavy industry, reduced what was once the workshop of the
world into a gangsters paradise. Inequality soared as working class people
were driven into the ground.

Unemployment, poverty wages, zero hours contracts and bogus self employment
became the norm in our non unionised economy. Stockbrokers, property
developers, chief executives and assorted parasites and spivs enriched
themselves at our expense.

read entire article here:
https://oaklandsocialist.com/2019/07/20/now-presenting-boris-johnson-next-british-prime-minister/

-- 
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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Re: [Marxism] [UCE] Re: Who is Bertolt Brecht? and Why We Should Care in our Dark Times | Anthony Squiers | Culture Matters

2019-07-20 Thread Rebecca Ruth Gould via Marxism
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Thanks for this and to Kevin Lindemann for the original post. I tried to
find the source for the following quote, attributed to Brecht in the
linked-to article:  "Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer
with which to shape it." I have not been able to identify any published
source and some have described the quote as apocryphal. Others have
attributed it to Mayakovsky. If anyone knows more, please let me know.
Thanks!

On Fri, Jul 19, 2019 at 5:40 AM Ratbag Media via Marxism <
marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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>
> Anyone interested, should read this study:
> Peter Brooker, "Bertolt Brecht: Dialectics, Poetry, Politics"
> https://is.gd/aRYouz
>
> Truly the best I've read on Brecht in way of grasping the engineered
> relationship between cultural production and consciousness. In
> Brooker's sense -- not that he argued it -- Brecht's approach is
> closer to 'The Pedagogy of the Oppressed' (Paulo Freire) than simple
> didacticism.
>
> dave riley
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-- 

Rebecca Ruth Gould 

Professor, Islamic World & Comparative Literature

College of Arts & Law | University of Birmingham

Author, Writers and Rebels

(Yale
UP, 2016)

Director, "Global Literary Theory: Caucasus Literatures Compared

"

University Profile

Website  Twitter

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[Marxism] Joe Hansen on the Apollo moon landing | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

2019-07-20 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://louisproyect.org/2019/07/20/joe-hansen-on-the-apollo-moon-landing/
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[Marxism] Sen. Bernie Sanders' Campaign Staff Frustrated By Leak Airing Union Dispute | HuffPost

2019-07-20 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-union-dispute-staff-frustrated-washington-post-leak-2020-democratic-primary_n_5d32787de4b004b6adb02ded
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[Marxism] Lenin, Kautsky, and the State | Left Voice

2019-07-20 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://www.leftvoice.org/lenin-kautsky-and-the-state
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[Marxism] [SUSPICIOUS MESSAGE] Re: Agriculture: The Worst Mistake Humans Ever Made

2019-07-20 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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 Hunter-gatherers : Noble or savage?

The era of the hunter-gatherer was not the social and environmental Eden
that some suggest

Dec 19th 2007 |

HUMAN beings have spent most of their time on the planet as
hunter-gatherers. From at least 85,000 years ago to the birth of
agriculture around 73,000 years later, they combined hunted meat with
gathered veg. Some people, such as those on North Sentinel Island in the
Andaman Sea, still do. The Sentinelese are the only hunter-gatherers who
still resist contact with the outside world. Fine-looking specimens—strong,
slim, fit, black and stark naked except for a small plant-fibre belt round
the waist—they are the very model of the noble savage. Genetics suggests
that indigenous Andaman islanders have been isolated since the very first
expansion out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago.

About 12,000 years ago people embarked on an experiment called agriculture
and some say that they, and their planet, have never recovered. Farming
brought a population explosion, protein and vitamin deficiency, new
diseases and deforestation. Human height actually shrank by nearly six
inches after the first adoption of crops in the Near East. So was
agriculture “the worst mistake in the history of the human race”, as Jared
Diamond, evolutionary biologist and professor of geography at the
University of California, Los Angeles, once called it?

Take a snapshot of the old world 15,000 years ago. Except for bits of
Siberia, it was full of a new and clever kind of people who had originated
in Africa and had colonised first their own continent, then Asia, Australia
and Europe, and were on the brink of populating the Americas. They had
spear throwers, boats, needles, adzes, nets. They painted pictures,
decorated their bodies and believed in spirits. They traded foods, shells,
raw materials and ideas. They sang songs, told stories and prepared herbal
medicines.

They were “hunter-gatherers”. On the whole the men hunted and the women
gathered: a sexual division of labour is still universal among non-farming
people and was probably not shared by their *Homo erectus *predecessors.
This enabled them to eat both meat and veg, a clever trick because it
combines quality with reliability.

Why change? In the late 1970s Mark Cohen, an archaeologist, first suggested
that agriculture was born of desperation, rather than inspiration. Evidence
from the Fertile Crescent seems to support him. Rising human population
density, combined perhaps with a cooling, drying climate, left the Natufian
hunter-gatherers of the region short of acorns, gazelles and wild grass
seeds. Somebody started trying to preserve and enhance a field of chickpeas
or wheat-grass and soon planting, weeding, reaping and threshing were born.

Quite independently, people took the same step in at least six other parts
of the world over the next few thousand years: the Yangzi valley, the
central valley of New Guinea, Mexico, the Andes, West Africa and the Amazon
basin. And it seems that Eden came to an end. Not only had hunter-gatherers
enjoyed plenty of protein, not much fat and ample vitamins in their diet,
but it also seems they did not have to work very hard. The Hadza of
Tanzania “work” about 14 hours a week, the !Kung of Botswana not much more.

Full at
https://secure-web.cisco.com/18jJocYq1k6muMfRsjHlapAQwfBJ_vRa1Ph1Sjosh_zlCRid1Idh7Q5uvN-0tzdWadk5HP2WFtaISmtWExE0y90YrW1iNlQakjMVgR-rQUgBLkXkunRPq80gGtCGGbrTteM0drLt-W8HSWHwNEWGSD4OXJqYV4RJVa-Qid-aHUywUjqZhN3STKnnBJSWj46jMyQ2Vy4x_diusI3GgwevDX-7HjSjJDeDd48pFOv1QSeI9wJAZdE4qdVmA21pnTLUGBGsZSavIYNfw4MRTQqcj3XDQJ-Hh4bcTLpQ8jQIA3DTQ52zQVCm-BCL6TonYq7DlqoJpd5FlZp24mj1u6kxwt-FjZvVvWE5OCBqyvQtgJ2sgRXeGgyBdQtbve7F9mE3_/https%3A%2F%2Fwww.economist.com%2Fchristmas-specials%2F2007%2F12%2F19%2Fnoble-or-savage

(JAI:  Economist requires a log-in.  If not want to do then write to my
address and I will forward entire article.)
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[Marxism] Fukushima: an ongoing disaster | Red Flag

2019-07-20 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://redflag.org.au/node/6838
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[Marxism] WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting | Common Dreams News

2019-07-20 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/19/watch-amid-extreme-anti-refugee-push-trump-displays-neither-interest-nor-knowledge
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[Marxism] Why Half a Million Puerto Ricans Are Protesting in the Streets | The Nation

2019-07-20 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://www.thenation.com/article/puerto-rico-protests-scandal-rossello/
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[Marxism] New Right-Wing Groups Confront Armenia’s Revolutionary Government – LobeLog

2019-07-20 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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I'm not sure how revolutionary the new government in Armenia is but I do 
consider the movement against it to be counter-revolutionary.


https://lobelog.com/new-right-wing-groups-confront-armenias-revolutionary-government/
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[Marxism] A note on the art of distraction | Richard Seymour on Patreon

2019-07-20 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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It's important to know when you're being deliberately led off course. I 
got my first, small lesson in this in the year 2000.


On the streets of Woolwich, on a Saturday afternoon, you would generally 
find paste tables, petitions, copies of Socialist Worker, people selling 
them, and me bellowing into a loud-hailer. Frank Dobson, Labour's 
mayoral candidate at the time, should have known this. Instead, as he 
marched with a gaggle of New Labour suits into Powys Street, he was 
quickly surrounded by a half dozen chanting Trots, giving out Socialist 
Alliance election literature, urging people to vote Livingstone, and 
generally making it impossible for him to do anything.


https://www.patreon.com/posts/note-on-art-of-28495116
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Re: [Marxism] The N.Y.C. Roots of Trump and ?Go Back Where You Came From?

2019-07-20 Thread John Reimann via Marxism
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In 1968, I worked with a group of white, working class students at Franklin
Lane High School in Brooklyn. The neighborhood was also overwhelmingly
white and working class. This was a time when a high school student
movement was sweeping the city. At Lane, there was a small group of black
students who were being bussed in. The racial division was sharp and
several of the black students had formed a Black Student Union.

When I first met these white students, their racism was quite overt,
including using the "n" word. Interestingly, though, they hated the same
teachers that the black students objected to. (The one that they both hated
the most was the union rep, whom both saw as an authoritarian dictator.) We
talked about that fact a lot. At one point, the Black Student Union was
going to organize a student strike of the black students. They had six or
ten demands. I went through those demands with those white students, and
they all agreed with all the demands.

The leader of these white students was a kid named Tim O'Dwyer. He was the
leader simply by his force of personality. Anyway, he described to me
approaching the leader of the BSU and telling him that he and his crew were
going to go out on strike on the same day because they supported the BSU's
demands. The BSU leader was in shock.

Another issue at that time was the Vietnam War, of course. All these kids
supported the war, and we had lots of discussions about that. The last time
I saw Tim, he was telling me about some family member who'd just gotten
wounded or killed in the war. "And for what?" I asked Tim. "You know,
John," he replied, "I'm starting to wonder that myself."

I've always wondered what happened to Tim, but I think he shows that it
doesn't have to go that way.

John Reimann

-- 
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook
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[Marxism] Rally in Solidarity with the Liberation Struggle of the Syrian People

2019-07-20 Thread RKOB via Marxism

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https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/syria-rally-in-solidarity-with-idlib-19-7-2019/


--
Revolutionär-Kommunistische Organisation BEFREIUNG
(Österreichische Sektion der RCIT, www.thecommunists.net)
www.rkob.net
ak...@rkob.net
Tel./SMS/WhatsApp/Telegram: +43-650-4068314



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