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Americas Addiction to Terrorism

“America’s Addiction to Violence,” by Henry A. Giroux, via CounterPunch

On December 2, 2015, 14 people were killed and more than 20 wounded in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. Mass shootings have become routine in the United States and speak to a society that both lives by violence and uses it as tool to feed the coffers of the merchants of death. Violence runs through American society like an electric current offering instant pleasure from all sources of the culture, whether it be the nightly news and Hollywood fanfare or television series that glorify serial killers. At a policy level, violence drives an arms industry, a militaristic foreign policy, and is increasingly the punishing state’s major tool to enforce its hyped-up brand of domestic terrorism, especially against Black youth. The United States is utterly wedded to a neoliberal culture in which cruelty is viewed as virtue, mass incarceration the default welfare program and chief mechanism to ‘institutionalize obedience’…… | more…

Wall Street's Think Tank: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics, 1976-2014

Laurence Shoup debunks the CFR on Redeye Radio, 100.5 FM

News stories and academic studies generally focus on the decisions made by presidents, prime ministers, and other world leaders. But where do those options decided upon come from in the first place? Why are some options never even considered? Behind the scenes, think tanks play a large part in what policies are considered by central governments. In the U.S., the most influential think tank of them all is the Council on Foreign Relations. From the 1920s right up until today, the CFR has been shaping policies, advising presidents, and helping ensure the U.S. remains the dominant superpower in the world.… | more…

Americas Addiction to Terrorism

NEW! America’s Addiction to Terrorism

By Henry A. Giroux

Foreword by Michael D. Yates

In the United States today, the term “terrorism” conjures up images of dangerous, outside threats: religious extremists and suicide bombers in particular. Harder to see but all the more pervasive is the terrorism perpetuated by the United States, itself, whether through military force overseas or woven into the very fabric of society at home. Henry Giroux, in this passionate and incisive book, turns the conventional wisdom on terrorism upside down, demonstrating how fear and lawlessness have become organizing principles of life in the United States, and violence an acceptable form of social mediation. He addresses the most pressing

Railroading Economics: The Creation of the Free Market Mythology

Railroading Economics reviewed in naked capitalism

Continuing our series of book reviews in time for the holiday gift-giving season, here’s a quick look at Michael Perelman’s Railroading Economics, a title, and a subject, that intrigued me for two reasons. Trivially, as readers know, I’m by way of being a rail fan; more importantly, when I was a mere sprat, I read Matthew Josephson’s Robber Barons. Josephson’s tales of Jim Fisk watering the stock of the Erie Railroad — ‘Gone where the woodbine twineth’ was Fisk’s answer to where the money went — and his running buddy Jay Gould — ‘I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half’ (attributed) — trying to corner the gold market would inoculate anyone from belief in the ideology of ‘perfect competition.’ They certainly did me…. This is a long and complicated story, and Perelman tells it well.… | more…

The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now

The Socialist Imperative reviewed in CounterPunch

When the serious work of building a better world starts, we will have no choice but to use some of the bricks of the current world as we begin that construction…. When ideas become rooted in masses of people, they become a natural force, argues Michael Lebowitz in his latest book, The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now. He uses the example of the “socialist triangle” to explicate a structure for a better, democratic system.… | more…

Save Our Unions: Dispatches from A Movement in Distress

Save Our Unions reviewed in Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

ave Our Unions is a sprawling collection of essays, covering everything from the Bread and Roses strike of 1912 to the current struggles of the British Labour Party. The text includes movie and book reviews, as well as journalistic accounts of many contemporary U.S. labor struggles, and even author Steve Early’s personal experience over many years of working for the Communication Workers of America (CWA). The book will offer practitioners a wealth of details with strategic implications for ongoing efforts. Academics will find hints of theory throughout, and a series of cases with implications for longstanding debates in labor and social movement studies.… | more…

Crooked Deals and Broken Treaties: How American Indians were Displaced by White Settlers in the Cuyahoga Valley

New! Crooked Deals and Broken Treaties

By John Tully

Long before the smokestacks and factories of industrial Akron rose from Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley, the region was a place of tense confrontation. Beginning in the early 19th-century, white settlers began pushing in from the east, lured by the promise of cheap (or free) land. They inevitably came into conflict with the current inhabitants, American Indians who had thrived in the valley for generations. Historian and novelist John Tully draws on contemporary accounts and a wealth of studies to produce this elegiac history of the Cuyahoga Valley. Crooked Deals and Broken Treaties is an impassioned accounting of the cost of “progress,” and an insistent reminder

Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba during Slavery and Jim Crow

Gerald Horne’s Race to Revolution reviewed in The American Historical Review

Race to Revolution: The United States and Cuba during Slavery and Jim Crow, Monthly Review Press, 2014, pp 429, $29.00

Reviewed by David Luis-Brown in The America Historical Review

“Gerald Horne’s Race to Revolution: The United States and Cuba during Slavery and Jim Crow charts the intersecting histories of African descended populations in Cuba and the United States. Horne begins with the age of slavery, when U.S. citizens from the North and South owned thousands of slaves in Cuba, and an illegal slave trade from Cuba into the United States thrived. The second half of the book narrates the Jim Crow era, in which

America's Addiction to Terrorism

The War on Terror Is a War on Youth — Henry A. Giroux/Brad Evans via Truthout

There is a revealing similarity between the attacks on September 11, 2001 – when airplanes were flown into the twin towers, killing thousands of people – and the attacks in Paris, in which over 130 people were killed and hundreds wounded. Yet, what they have in common has been largely overlooked in the mainstream and alternative media’s coverage of the more recent terrorist attacks. While both assaults have been rightly viewed as desperate acts of alarming terrorism, what has been missed is that both acts of violence were committed by young men. This is not a minor issue because unraveling this similarity provides the possibility for addressing the conditions that made such attacks possible.… | more…