New Scientist reveals the capitalist network that runs the world: As protests against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters’ worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between…

An interesting article that highlights some inconsistencies Center-Left parties have in implementing a social-democratic platform while effectively maintaining and strengthening capitalism … Via Socialist Worker: With the electoral breakthrough of the NDP…

Chinese capitalism has something uniquely in common with historical Maoism: atheism. Vast economic growth met with a huge demand for traditional culture has meant Chinese cultural institutions are increasingly trading in their…

GibsonVia Brooklyn Vegan and

The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.) This action was taken without the support and consent of the government in India.

On August 24, 2011, around 8:45 a.m. CDT, agents for the federal government executed four search warrants on Gibson’s facilities in Nashville and Memphis and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. Gibson had to cease its manufacturing operations and send workers home for the day, while armed agents executed the search warrants. Gibson has fully cooperated with the execution of the search warrants.

Synopsis via The Raw Story:

Pulitzer-winning author and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges has a revolutionary worldview. In the video below, his recent “Endgame Strategy” piece for AdBusters is read aloud by George Atherton. His conclusions are chilling, but not entirely hopeless. “We will have to take care of ourselves,” he wrote. “We will have to rapidly create small, monastic communities where we can sustain and feed ourselves. It will be up to us to keep alive the intellectual, moral and cultural values the corporate state has attempted to snuff out. It is either that or become drones and serfs in a global corporate dystopia. It is not much of a choice. But at least we still have one.

Apply as many grains of salt as you see fit (personally I think he makes many good points, but WWIII? I’d be surprised), but here is Alex’s predictions on the impending WWIII:

Joanna Eede writes for National Geographic:

Deep in one of the remotest parts of the Brazilian Amazon, in a clearing at the headwaters of the Envira River, an Indian man looks up at an aeroplane.

He is surrounded by kapok trees and banana plants, and by the necessities of his life: a thatched hut, its roof made from palm fronds; a plant-fiber basket brimming with ripe pawpaw; a pile of peeled manioc, lying bright-white against the rain forest earth.

The man’s body is painted red from crushed seeds of the annatto shrub, and in his hand…

I recently had a chance to attend a showing of the documentary The Economics of Happiness. It has a very strong message about the fiscal and social problems of globalization, especially its impact beyond the western world. As a solution, the film suggests a movement towards focusing on communities and localization. Here’s the trailer and a plot synopsis:

Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and ethnic conflict; climate chaos and species extinction; financial instability and unemployment. There are personal costs too. For the majority of people on the planet, life is becoming increasingly stressful. We have less time for friends and family and we face mounting pressures at work.

Scholar Tarak Barkawi argues revolutions are caused by human agency; not telecommunications technologies, in Al Jazeera: To listen to the hype about social networking websites and the Egyptian revolution, one would think…

British economist Guy Standing has coined the term “precariat” to refer to the fast-growing working-class caste of the 21st century. With labor markets now globalized and “flexiblized,” the risks and uncertainties of capitalism have been transferred almost completely away from capitalists and onto workers. Below, citizens discuss living and working in post-industrial England, where large numbers scrounge to obtain low-wage, unstable jobs.


2960235713_9c5c610b98Terms such as “stability”, “democracy”, and “religious extremism” in political discourse are generally used in a way that is different or opposite to their generally understood meaning.

Metadeniz presents a quick, amusing, and insightful primer on what Noam Chomsky calls “words with a technical meaning.” Including:

Promoting Democracy verb installing a government friendly to our interests in another country.

Freedom Fighters noun a proxy terrorist army that we support

National Interest noun the interests of the ultra-rich, particularly those in the U.S.A.

Stability noun (used referring to other countries) subordination to US power interests -> Usually achieved through war against the population.

Example: “We should promote democracy by supporting the freedom fighters in Nicaragua because it is in America’s national interest to promote stability in Central America.”
Translation: “We should send weapons to a proxy terrorist army that murders civilians to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicaragua, for the benefit of U.S investors and to intimidate other countries into doing what we say.”

Facebook & EgyptVia CNN:

A man in Egypt has named his newborn daughter “Facebook” in honor of the role the social media network played in bringing about a revolution, according to a new report.

Gamal Ibrahim, a 20-something, gave his daughter the name “to express his joy at the achievements made by the January 25 youth,” according to a report in Al-Ahram, one of Egypt’s most popular newspapers.

Many young people used Facebook and other social media networks to organize the protests, which began January 25 and ultimately led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak after 30 years in power.

Wael Ghonim, a Google executive who organized a Facebook page on his own time, became a central figure of the revolution.