Is Horizontal Socialism Unworkable?

By: Tuesday June 3, 2014 1:02 pm

In its latest issue Jacobin Magazine takes on the question of whether or not the horizontal socialism endemic to recent left wing movements such as Occupy Wall Street is worthwhile and can lead to a better world. The question of whether or not decentralized non-hierarchical movements that focus heavily on fully democratic processes are the best way to promote positive change has been mulled over for years, even more so after Occupy Wall Street broke through and became a cultural phenomenon in 2011.

The editors of Jacobin have considered the question and come up with a definitive no. While celebrating the achievements of Occupy Wall Street and its off shoots such as Strike Debt and Occupy Sandy, they strongly side with those critical of horizontal socialism.

 

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Stephen Kinzer, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles and Their Secret World War

By: Saturday May 10, 2014 1:59 pm

Stephen Kinzer has many fine qualities as a chronicler of recent U.S. foreign relations: his first-hand experience of diverse regions gained from journalistic assignments around the world, his skill at making the past come alive in vivid, pithy prose, and his readiness to engage with the most challenging contemporary policy issues.

For me, though, his most admirable quality is his readiness to put the stories he tells in long-term historical perspective.

False Choices and the New Cold War

By: Tuesday April 15, 2014 6:30 pm

Direct involvement of the US government in fomenting the Euromaidan protests has long been suspected. After all, that $5 Million the US spent on democratizing Ukraine went toward some program there, right? Well, yesterday the White House confirmed that CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukraine over the weekend to meet with high level pro-Maidan factions in Kiev.

Newly Revealed Portions of CIA Torture Manual: Doctoring Tapes, Foreign Detentions & Interrogating ‘Defectors”

By: Thursday April 10, 2014 9:22 am

Describing interrogation techniques and approaches used during the Cold War, an old 1960s CIA counterintelligence interrogation manual advised covertly photographing the interrogation subject and also audio taping his interrogations.

A tape player could free an interrogator from note taking, the CIA’s experts wrote, while also providing a live record of an interrogation that could replayed later. The manual’s author noted that for some of those interrogated, “the shock of hearing their own voices unexpectedly is unnerving.”

As Polls Show Little Support For Involvement In Ukraine, Neocons Call For New Cold War

By: Wednesday March 26, 2014 6:53 am

According to a public opinion poll by CBS News a solid majority of Americans want nothing to do with Ukraine. They believe the issue is none of America’s business with 61% saying the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is not the US’ responsibility. There is reportedly “widespread bipartisan agreement on this.” A decade of wasteful and dishonest wars has, not surprisingly, made Americans lose the taste for adventurism abroad.

Seventy years of ‘the classics’

By: Monday March 3, 2014 1:30 am

The irony of post-Second World War America is how consistently immature our politics has been about foreign policy…the arguments never change, we just cut and paste the locations.

Re the Olympics: “Do Not Trust Your Friends”

By: Saturday February 15, 2014 4:00 pm

I’ve been watching Russia’s English language television channel, RT (Russia Today) for several hours a day for about a year now, and this has given me a picture of Vladimir Putin’s presidency that casual watchers miss. When you have seen dozens of interviews by American educated Russian Oxana Boyko, or French educated Georgian Sophie Schevarnadze, Americans Abby Martin and Max Keiser, or Briton’s goof-off John Brown exploring the farthest reaches of this vast country – or even the American ‘Resident’ who poses short questions to New Yorkers on the street, you realize that Russia‘s President is searching for something that is neither Western style capitalism nor Communism.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Hugh Wilford, America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East

By: Saturday February 1, 2014 1:59 pm

One of the most enduring changes in American government occurred in the years after the Second World War, when the United States created its first permanent foreign intelligence agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Authorized by the National Security Act of 1947 and built from the bones of the wartime Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the CIA had an immediate impact on American activities in all regions of the globe, especially the Middle East.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Stephen Kinzer, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War

By: Saturday December 14, 2013 1:59 pm

Between them, their unquestioned attitudes conditioned all of the covert interventions of the Eisenhower era. The coups in Iran and Guatemala, for example, were as much about defeating perceived threats to the business interests of America’s capitalist elites as containing the spread of communism. Ho Chi Minh and Sukarno offended Foster’s Calvinist religiosity. Patrice Lumumba’s fate was so miserable in part because patrician Americans had very little personal notion of life in post-colonial Africa. All these men were “monsters” in the brothers’ demonology, and therefore deserving of monstrous treatment.

Of course, the Dulles brothers’ value system now appears outmoded, even quaint. But, as Stephen Kinzer reminds us again in a stimulating concluding chapter, the actions that it propelled the U.S. to take in the 1950s shaped the world we live in today. What unthinking cultural assumptions and prejudices drive the behavior of those who make current U.S. foreign policy?

CIA Document Suggests U.S. Lied About Biological, Chemical Weapon Use in the Korean War

By: Tuesday December 10, 2013 7:55 am

The reason the U.S. didn’t want any investigation was because an “actual investigation” would reveal military operations, “which, if revealed, could do us psychological as well as military damage.”

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