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Max Forte's List: Alternative Worlds

    • Why Finland might soon pay every citizen $850 per month
    • Hamilton Spectator  
        By  Rick Noack 

        There certainly has been some frustration in recent months over reports claiming that Finland simply does everything better. "Stop the Scandimania: Nordic nations aren't the utopias they're made out to be," British journalist Michael Booth, for instance, wrote earlier this year in The Washington Post. 


        But some Finnish initiatives are worth noting anyway: For instance, Finland is considering a plan to give every citizen about $850 per month—no matter whether the money goes to someone who is unemployed, retired or has a job. The benefit would not be taxed and would replace all benefits currently paid by the country's social security system. 


        At first glimpse, the idea appears to be the easiest way to raise unemployment. But the Finnish government wants to achieve the opposite and thinks it has the right idea. Unemployment already is at a record high in the country—partly because those affected faced a harsh trade-off in the past: Unemployed people who accept a temporary job often receive less money, compared to their previous unemployment benefits. Considering an average wage of $3,600 per month, a basic income of $850 does not amount to a lot. 

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    • Finland considers scrapping welfare payments in favour of universal basic income
    • December 8, 2015

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        'Africa's Che Guevara': Thomas Sankara's legacy

    • The late president of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara - an icon for many young Africans in the 1980s - remains to some a heroic "African Che Guevara", 27 years after his assassination at the age of 38.


      Be it through the red beret, worn by firebrand South African politician Julius Malema, or the household brooms being wielded at street demonstrations in Burkina Faso, there are signs that his legacy is enjoying a revival.


      Start Quote


      His ministers drove small cars and travelled economy class, Thomas himself rode a bicycle”

       End Quote  Benewende Sankara  Lawyer and politician  

      Praised by supporters for his integrity and selflessness, the military captain and anti-imperialist revolutionary led Burkina Faso for four years from 1983.


      But he is seen by others as an autocrat who came to power through a coup and valued discipline above human rights.


      Sankara was a staunch defender of all things home-grown - such as cotton - and yet the African textile industry failed to make him a T-shirt icon.


      While Burkina Faso's former leader may not be the poster boy of

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    • How the Rest of the World Views the American Military

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      | Thu Aug. 29, 2013
    • Paul Waldman lays out a list of significant U.S. military actions over the past 50 years, and it adds up to 15 separate episodes, ranging from full-scale wars (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) to smaller incursions (Grenada, Haiti, Panama). For those of you who are math challenged, this means we've launched a significant overseas assault every 40 months since 1963. Waldman explains what this means:

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    • Blaming the U.S. Is Easy Propaganda

        J. Michael Waller 

      J. Michael Waller is provost of the Institute of World Politics, a graduate school of national security and international affairs in Washington, D.C. In the 1980s, he work with counterinsurgency forces in El Salvador and with insurgents in Nicaragua.


      Updated May 19, 2013

    • The Rios Montt prosecution was less about justice and more about using the courts to wage political propaganda campaigns to settle old scores. Rios Montt’s real crime was not genocide, according to prevailing logic, but his political beliefs. His polar opposite contemporaries in Central America will never be prosecuted because they were fighting for “progressive ideals.”


      For the same reason, the United States does not bear responsibility for any excesses in the Guatemalan civil war.

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    • You've Got to Stop Voting - by Mark E. Smith
    • (This article was edited and updated on April 8, 2012)


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    • Slavoj Zizek and the role of the philosopher 

      Zizek "disrupts" ideological structures, the underside of acceptable philosophical, religious and political discourses.
        <!-- --> 
          Last Modified: 25 Dec 2012

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    • Published on Friday, September 21, 2012
    • In Quebec It's Official: Mass Movement Leads to Victory for Students


      Naomi Klein: 'This is why radical movements are mercilessly mocked. They can win.'

        - Common Dreams staff

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    • Sep 2012
    • Gifting Economies


      Modelling alternative economies at the grass roots


      By Patrick Jones

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    • 21st September, 2009

      Dr Kwame Nkrumah At A Glance

        By Our Correspondent
        Kwame Nkrumah with executives of the then Ghana Journalists Association 
      Kwame Nkrumah with executives of the then Ghana Journalists Association
    • Following a break from the United Gold Coast  
      Convention, Kwame Nkrumah led the formation of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) on 12th June, 1949 at Arena in Accra before a crowd of about 60,000. Nkrumah was made Chairman, with Komlah Gbedemah, as vice-chairman and Kojo Botsio as secretary.  
      Other members of the Central Committee include N. A. Welbeck, Kwesi Plange, Kofi Baako, Krobo Edusie, Dzenkle Dzewu and Ashie Nikoi. 
      * The CPP established branches in all towns and villages, each with its own branch executive. The Evening News became the party’s mouthpiece. 
      * The success of the Evening News encouraged Nkrumah to launch the Morning Telegraph in Sekondi and the Daily Mail in Cape Coast. 
      * The CPP accused the colonial government of delaying independence. The party stepped up political agitation through Positive Action, modelled on the non-violent protests of Mahatma Ghandi in India.

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    • How to Occupy the World


      December 15th, 2011 § 1 Comment


      A Call for True Internationalism


      by Jason Hickel

    • The leading tagline of the Occupy Wall Street movement reads: “Protest for World Revolution.”  This is an ambitious claim, to be sure. And in most respects it seems to ring quite true: the movement has successfully taken root not only in cities and towns throughout the United States but also in major urban centers around the world.  On October 15, Occupy Wall Street’s success inspired a broad wave of coordinated occupations across Europe.  I was a founding participant in the one that began in London.

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      • On Neoliberalism


        Sherry Ortner

        • The Shock Doctrine 
        • A Brief History of Neoliberalism 
        • Inside Job

        Whatever happened to “Late Capitalism”? It became neo-liberalism.
         - Marshall Sahlins (2002:  59)


        I begin with Marshall Sahlins’s little koan because I remember being somewhat mystified myself by the shift in terminology around the year 2000, from “late capitalism” to “neoliberalism.”  Writing this brief review essay has given me the opportunity to think about this, and to suggest an answer.[1] In addition I am interested in bringing together some of the grand narratives of neoliberalism on the one hand, and a range of ethnographic work on the other.  I apologize in advance for a certain U.S. bias in the discussion.

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    • Bolivia, which has enacted its own “Law of the Rights of Mother Earth”, reflecting the beliefs of the indigenous people of that country, is seeking to bring those principles worldwide with a United Nations treaty. The treaty, in draft at this time, would give Mother Earth the same rights as humans, including rights to life, water and clean air, the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities, and the right to be free from pollution.

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  • Mar 12, 11

    Thinking of how much of our Western political terminology is grounded in mobile acts of the body, I remembered a text I read as an undergraduate, on how the Jewish exodus story is the foundation for many of our key conceptualizations of revolution. As it turns out, movement, which its political connotations, as well as progressive, are rooted in this Jewish story, which now forms an archetype for all sorts of other, secular, stories.

    • maoism
      The Trickledown Revolution
      The answer lies not in the excesses of capitalism or communism. It could well spring from our subaltern depths.
    • Jantar Mantar is the only place in Delhi where Section 144 is not enforced. People from all over the country, fed up with being ignored by the political establishment and the media, converge there, desperately hoping for a hearing. Some take long train journeys. Some, like the victims of the Bhopal gas leak, have walked for weeks, all the way to Delhi. Though they had to fight each other for the best spot on the burning (or freezing) pavement, until recently protesters were allowed to camp in Jantar Mantar for as long as they liked—weeks, months, even years. Under the malevolent gaze of the police and the Special Branch, they would put up their faded shamianas and banners. From here they declared their faith in democracy by issuing their memorandums, announcing their protest plans and staging their indefinite hunger strikes. From here they tried (but never succeeded) to march on Parliament. From here they hoped.

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      by Che Guevara


        Speech delivered before the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 11, 1964 
       Havana, Ministry of External Relations, Information Department.  
       Official Cuban Government translation. 

    • We also wish to convey our congratulations to the President of this assembly whose elevation to so high a post is of special significance since it reflects this new historic stage of resounding triumphs for the peoples of Africa, until recently subject to the colonial system of imperialism, and who, today, for the great part in the legitimate exercise of self-determination, have become citizens of sovereign states. The last hour of colonialism has struck, and millions of inhabitants of Africa, Asia, and Latin American rise to meet a new life, and assert their unrestricted right to self-determination and to the independent development of their nations.

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    • The man who saw the meltdown coming had another troubling insight: it will happen again
    • By   Stephen Mihm       
          Globe Correspondent    /  September 13, 2009 

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    • PORLAMAR, Venezuela – Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi called for a NATO-like defense alliance for Africa and South America as leaders from the two continents agreed to link up to gain more clout as economic and political blocs.
    • Gadhafi and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez led about 30 presidents in calling for stronger "South-South" ties at a two-day summit ending Sunday that was the Libyan ruler's first visit to Latin America.

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