Cubicles © Michael Lokner | Flickr
EssaysFeature

Who’s Afraid of Workplace Democracy?

Research indicates cooperatives manage resources just as efficiently

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Mid-1940s: Save Your Tires - Ride the 'L'! © cta web |Flickr
EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in Question

Hannah Arendt on American “Social Slavery”

A few years after fleeing the fascist tidal wave in Europe and finding refuge in New York City, Hannah Arendt penned a letter to her mentor and confidant Karl Jaspers, commenting briefly on the peculiarities of American politics and society. She remarked, “The fundamental contradiction of the country is political freedom coupled with social slavery.”

This simple sentiment, which she affirmed until the day she died, is striking for three reasons. Most obviously, it suggests civil and political freedoms are not sufficient foundations for what we would consider a “good society.” Secondly, Arendt, a German Jew, obviously had no illusions about how low European society had sunk in its flirtation with fascism, but she apparently and rather damningly found the United States comparatively worse than pre-war Europe in terms of societal health. …

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Brazilian elite troops entering Jacarézinho favela, Rio de Janeiro, October 2012 © Victor Silva | francabresil.blogspot
EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionRaceRace/isms

Resisting Acts of Resistance

Precarious citizenship against the militarized police

In Brazil, police officers are rarely held accountable for murderous attacks on citizens. Whenever a member of the police shoots someone, the agent responsible can easily claim that he was counteracting resistance. An “act of resistance” is then written and immediately filed. This institutional and legal justification — which needs only to be unilaterally asserted by the agent — automatically exempts the police from any kind of formal responsibility, ultimately limiting the possibility of an official investigation.The fact that these acts of resistance most often concern a specific population — black poor youth from peripheral areas who are nevertheless formally protected by civil rights — poses the question of how control and repression of different people within the homogenous category of citizenship can vary. Even though they are fully recognized as Brazilian citizens, and thus entitled to all rights formally guaranteed by the state, …

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Cairo food riots, 1977 © John McIntyre | Flickr
CapitalismEssaysFeature

The IMF Makes Class Warriors of Us All

On October 24, 1973, the Egyptian military, under the command of General Hosni Mubarak, and under instructions from President Anwar Sadat, dealt an unprecedented blow to the most powerful regime in the Middle East: Israel. As the Egyptian army crossed the Suez Canal and established bridgeheads in the Sinai peninsula, it changed the fortunes of a hitherto shaky Egyptian presidency. Until this victory over IDF forces, Sadat had struggled to appear as the legitimate heir to the iconic Gamal Abdel Nasser, but this victory, which wiped out the stain of defeat of 1967, in one stroke turned Sadat from a hesitant, accidental president into the batal al-‘ubur or Hero of the Crossing.This event and this moniker were all the more significant in light of what followed. …

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