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Pay in Blood: May Day and Modern Politics

Here’s a really weird “alternative history” thought experiment on this day set aside to celebrate workers around the world. Try to imagine a President of the United States standing up before Congress and saying something like this: “There is one point … to which I ask a brief attention. It is the effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above, labor in the structure of government. … Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the

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The Portion: Evil Deams, Blue Snow, Great Souls

For your potential delectation, a rambling disquisition on some aspects of our fractured reality, with cameos by Sigmund Freud, E.M. Forster, kings, slave singers, and love that burns beyond the grave. The Portion by Chris Floyd

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Send in the Klowns: Deadly Dithering in a Locked-Down Land

In a veritable ocean of witless, sinister media gabble about the Boston bombing — and the successful tryout of the “Major City Martial Law Revue” that followed (doubtless coming soon to Broadway, the Beltway and conurbations from coast to coast) — Arthur Silber, as you might expect, cuts through the foaming sludge with this perceptive and powerful look at the “Killer Klowns” who rule us. The often darkly comic piece is studded with gems, but two particularly important points stand out: first, the absolute idiocy of relying on “the farcical charade that is ‘intelligence’” when assessing any situation; and second,

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Darkness at Dawn: Tainting Democracy for Power and Profit

Who would have thought that the brutal Burma junta had not really and truly reformed itself when it made its much-ballyhooed leap forward toward democracy by releasing dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and loosening restrictions on the officially recognised political opposition — a move that brought the much-sought pat on the head (and easing of sanctions) from the American Imperium, and even a visit from Caesar himself? Having witnessed this miracle, who would have believed that this same militarist junta — which has retained all its power and maintained its repressive forces in place — would now be using Suu

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Context and Contact: Exploring Agents of Influence in the Boston Attacks

Without wishing to indulge in deep-fried conspiracy gobbling at this point, I will say that the revelations about the FBI’s prior involvement with one of the suspected Boston attackers, apparently going on for years, are of great interest. Even more so in the light of the fact that a very large number of the terrorist attacks and attempted terrorist attacks in the United States over the past two decades have turned out to have had significant FBI involvement, often in the form of outright provocation by FBI infiltrators, egging on and sometimes even planning attacks that were later “foiled” —

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Echoes in the Aftermath: Remembering the Victims of Violence

All condolences are due to the victims of the Boston bombing and their families — and to all those victimized by violence around the world today. This includes the 75 people killed in bomb attacks across Iraq, a commonplace occurrence since American invaders destroyed the country and deliberately sowed bloody sectarian strife there. And the families of the 20 people killed by a bombing Sunday in Somalia, a country whose fragile peace was shattered by an American-backed foreign invasion, which included American bombings, American renditions and American death squads sowing — what else? — bloody sectarian strife. And the captives

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Prophet and Loss: A Chronicle of Thatcherism’s Horrors Foretold

As the unfortunate atoms that were so cruelly knitted into the malevolent form of Maggie Thatcher now enjoy their sudden liberation, the London Review of Books unearths an unlikely prophet of old who clearly foresaw the dangers of mythologizing “Thatcherism” and allowing it to establish the framework for all future politics. This insightful figure, writing boldly in the name of all “radical, progressive spirits” seeking a better world, also perceptively identified the historical and geophysical fluke — a situation that had nothing at all to do with Thatcher’s rapacious, hard-hearted and wrong-headed policies — which temporarily sustained the illusion that

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Blues for Tammuz: This is not the Age of Defeat

As millions around the world mark the death of a god this weekend, let us add our voice to the chorus on this theme with a little number laid down back in ancient times (i.e., the last decade): End Times. *** In other news, I am off to the frozen north of these islands for a bit, where I will be locked in tight and out of range, as the saying goes. In the interim, here is the latest column I did for Counterpunch Magazine. More later, if the fates allow. THIS IS NOT THE AGE OF DEFEAT This is

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The Whole Damn Camel: Rethinking Dissent

It turns out that I have become, of all things, a print journalist again, for the first time since I was turfed out of the Moscow Times (and let go by the Bergen Record) many yonks ago. By the kind offices of editor Jeffrey St. Clair, I am now a regular columnist for the new Counterpunch monthly magazine, alongside such stalwarts as Mike Whitney, Kristen Kolb, Christopher Ketcham and St. Clair his own self. I’ve been associated, off and on, with Counterpunch for more than 10 years, so I’m well chuffed, as the Brits say, to be asked to take

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Barbarian Rhapsody: Ten Years Deeper Into Hell

All forms of political media — in print, on line, on the air — have been awash in recent weeks with retrospectives on the tenth anniversary of the American-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Amidst the mountainous heap of drivel and falsehood such an occasion inevitably produces among the vast and vapid army of analysts who happily spend their days chewing the cud of whatever happens to be the conventional wisdom of the day, there have been a few outstanding pieces that put this continuing war crime in stark perspective. One of the better short pieces I’ve seen on

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