SPOTLIGHT

  • The Struggle for Ecological Sanity

    By: Carl Boggs At this particular juncture of history, fraught with new dangers and new challenges, it is time for humanity (or crucial sectors of it) to being exploring the intersection between politics and ecology, between the requirements for radical change and unprecedented challenges posed by the global crisis.  For many reasons, this dialectic has rarely been addressed, even among progressives and leftists.  One dimension of this failure – central to the key arguments that follow – is the declining relevance of the Marxist tradition, in all of its variants, to provide intellectual substance for any future anti-system politics.  The extreme gravity of what humanity now faces – not only global warming but a world of shrinking natural resources and drastic food shortages – means that time for creating a viable strategy is running out.  The problem worsens once the momentous tasks at hand are taken into account:  a revitalized politics, sustainable economic development, popular shifts in both cultural behavior and natural relations.   Sadly, in the world to date we encounter no movements, parties, or governments that even remotely meet this challenge. For at least a century after the deaths of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels – that is, the

  • Divided, we Fail: Understanding our Struggles by Looking at the System

    By Gus Bagakis Blaming the victim protects the system by keeping the focus on what individuals are doing instead of what the system is doing to them. —Susan Rosenthal. While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. —Eugene V. Debs An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. —Martin Luther King Jr. INTRODUCTION Have you ever wondered where your ideas and beliefs come from? Did they just pop into your brain because you were a human being, or were you trained by your culture to view the world in a specific way? Did you learn how to believe, or did you learn how to think? Do you believe that whatever your view, “This is just the way the world is?” How do you think, and what do you believe about your relationship with other people? Do you prioritize yourself over the group and value being independent? Or do you base your thoughts and actions on the needs of the community?

  • “Hell Is Other People”: Sartre on Personal Relationships

    What exactly is freedom of speech? And what does it permit us to say?

  • Can We Exit This Road to Ruin?

    Catabolic capitalism isn't your grandparents' capitalism. Back then, industrial capitalism profited primarily from growth, fueled by abundant fossil energy. But the centuries of cheap energy and an ever-expanding economic pie are over; and so are the rising living standards they generated. Even the recent decades of stagnation, debt-driven bubbles, and government bailouts are reaching their limit. Capitalism's future is becoming catabolic.

  • The Dangers of Individualism: Covid-19 and the Case for Collectivism

    By: Holly Barrow Across the West, individualism has long been considered a pillar of democracy and liberty. Individualism - which prioritises autonomy, independence, and personal freedom over the broader needs of society as a whole - often goes hand in hand with neoliberalism. As a more recent ideology, neoliberalism has served to heighten individualistic culture, stressing greater individual responsibility and undermining solidarity. In the UK and the US, where neoliberalism is arguably most rigorous, this self-serving ideology has thrived. Neoliberalism insists that we are all responsible for our personal well-being; it breeds a culture of ‘each man for himself’, detaching us from any sense of communal cooperation and collective responsibility. For decades, neoliberalism has determinedly chipped away and reduced the role of the state in our lives, instead asserting that deregulation, privatization, and ‘the market’ are vital to a free society. George Monbiot writes that neoliberalism views competition as the defining characteristic of human relations; it defines citizens as consumers and promotes the facade of meritocracy - that each person will succeed and reap rewards if only they work hard. In direct contrast are those nations and societies which practice a collectivist culture, viewing each person as part of a

  • The Ethics of Belief: It’s not just Trump supporters who believe wrongly—it’s all of us

    Many of people’s most cherished beliefs—on important matters such as religion, health, science, ethics, justice, and more—are not based on strong evidence.

THEORY

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PRACTICE

The Fire This Time

By |February 18th, 2021|0 Comments

The fundamental principle of any free society is that for every legal or moral right there is a corresponding duty.  That applies to everyone, regardless of rank.

Who’s the Chump?

By |February 18th, 2021|0 Comments

The fundamental principle of any free society is that for every legal or moral right there is a corresponding duty.  That applies to everyone, regardless of rank.

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JUSTICE

Social Contract Theory

By |February 1st, 2019|0 Comments

When you make an agreement of some significance (e.g., to rent an apartment, or join a gym, or divorce), you typically agree to certain terms: you sign a contract. This is for your benefit, and for the the other party’s benefit: everyone’s expectations are clear, as are the consequences of failing to meet those expectations.

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ARTS & LETTERS

A Literary Review of Sex and Technophobia in Leonard Delaney’s Digital Desires: Taken by the Tetris Blocks

By |August 25th, 2020|0 Comments

Jon S. Skolnik, writing for American Institute of Technology for Sexual Linguistics in 2099, argues that Taken by the Tetris Blocks is a touchstone of 21st-century American literature, capturing the unique technophobic milieu of the 2000s by way of the emergent technology’s sexual influence.

Collectivism & Consensus in a Post Covid-19 World

By |July 10th, 2020|0 Comments

Death is a great leveler and, a virus that strikes at individuals indiscriminately, a potent reminder of just how precarious life can be and why, much like the pioneers, it might be in humankind’s best interest to re-invest in a philosophy that acknowledges man’s ability to understand the real world around him. Ayn Rand’s maxim that “nature to be commanded, must be obeyed” seems particularly appropriate (9). The question is, do we have the courage and the humility to subject ourselves to the laws of nature and identity?

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