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Lefty Prof

Lefty Prof's Public Library

  • You put your life on the line to protect the greatest country on Earth.
  • There are some who may argue with that, but not around me.
  • If there’s one core belief that has guided and inspired me every step of the way, it is this. The United States is an exceptional nation. I believe we are still Lincoln’s last, best hope of Earth. We’re still Reagan’s shining city on a hill. We’re still Robert Kennedy’s great, unselfish, compassionate country.

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  • Before fascism succeeds as a state it exists as a movement. And fascism only succeeds in seizing power because it first succeeds as a mass movement.
  • That the Gujarat cases had to be transferred out of the state of Gujarat by the Supreme Court, no less, speaks volumes for the court’s view of the shamelessly compromised state of the justice system in Gujarat under Modi’s government there. That the mass violence against Muslims in Gujarat became pivotal to the consolidation of Modi’s support-base in the state and then rapidly in other parts of India, leading to his emergence as prime minister; that Modi financed his campaign for power with the explicit backing of big business groups who were looking for a ‘decisive’ leader; that nationalism is now being used to whip up hysteria among the middle classes to try and justify the repeated use of charges like ‘sedition’ and justify attacks on freedom of speech, thought and politics; that the Right-wing in India has repositioned itself in the more totalising and utterly sinister discourse of ‘nation’ and ‘nationalism’ to create the absurd sense of an Indian Volksgemeinschaft and construct definitions of the other as ‘anti-national’, a sort of fifth column of the nation’s enemies… if none of this reminds us of the way fascism emerges and builds itself up historically, then we have no memory, and certainly not a historical one.       

  • Marlow was a devout follower of Kurtz long before they actually met, and nothing was going to change that. I find this symbolic of how the modern colonists perceived the Africans during this time. Generalizations were made of the Africans based primarily on secondary sources, and once a stance was taken it would not change. Going a step further, I see more symbolism in the death of Kurtz and the sickness of Marlow. Kurtz, while perceived as brilliant and in a world of his own practicing genius, proved to be mad and inevitably perished. Marlow as a follower almost received the same fate when he became ill. His survival, however, gives him a chance to share the reality of his experience firsthand. Perhaps this represents the fates of the modern colonists and their ideology concerning Africa. An idea rooted in loose information and speculation, no matter how “righteous,” is destined to die, and only the truth has a chance of survival.  

  • While it is true that humans do possess the collaboration abilities and want for connection, it is also an innate human quality to fight for oneself, as well as to fall into a social hierarchy. This is not to say that capitalism is the natural social hierarchy, but it is unnatural to say that all humans can treat each other equally. The way that some humans tend to take charge, while others are more comfortable being told what needs to get done is a natural animalistic response. Communism, as far as Marx and Engels define it, seems to call for a society in which this natural behavior would not be possible.
  • Since the age of Marx the welfare of laborers has almost undoubtedly increased. Wages generally has risen and technology has indeed begun to reach the poorest in the world. However, while over-all quality of life(we can debate what this actually means) has increase the inequality in net wealth has been on the rise in recent times. Therefore we need to discuss the extent to which Marx’s claims accurately reflected the past -200 years, and whether or not they can have validity in the future.

  • The proletarians are both losing their individual worth and their literal worth simultaneously.

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  • The top 20% of US households own more than 84% of the wealth, and the bottom 40% combine for a paltry 0.3%. The Walton family, for example, has more wealth than 42% of American families combined.
  • The median American estimated that the CEO-to-worker pay-ratio was 30-to-1, and that ideally, it’d be 7-to-1. The reality? 354-to-1. Fifty years ago, it was 20-to-1.

  • And also be in enacted, by the authority aforesaid, and it is  hereby enacted, That all servants imported and brought into this country,  by sea or land, who were not christians in their native country, (except Turks and  Moors in amity with her majesty, and others that can make due proof of their being  free in England, or any other christian country, before they

    — page 448 —

    were shipped, in order to transportation hither)  shall be accounted and be slaves, and such be here bought and sold notwithstanding  a conversion to christianity afterward.
  • And be it enacted, by the authority aforesaid, and it is hereby  enacted, That if any person or persons shall hereafter import into this  colony, and here sell as a slave, any person or persons that shall have been a  freeman in any christian country, island, or plantation, such importer or seller  as aforesaid, shall forfeit and pay, to the party from whom the said freeman shall  recover his freedom, double the sum for which the said freeman was sold. To be  recovered, in any court of record within this colony, according to the course of  the common law, wherein the defendant shall not be admitted to plead in bar, any  act or statute for limitation of actions.


      Provided always, That a slave's being in England, shall not  be sufficient to discharge him of his slavery, without other proof of his being  manumitted there.

  • VII.

      And also be in enacted, by the authority aforesaid, and it is  hereby enacted, That all masters and owners of servants, shall find and  provide for their servants, wholesome and competent diet, clothing, and lodging,  by the discretion of the county court; and shall not, at any time, give immoderate  correction; neither shall, at any time, whip a christian white servant naked,  without an order from a justice of the peace: And if any, notwithstanding this  act, shall presume to whip a christian white servant naked, without such order,  the person so offending, shall forfeit and pay for the same, forty shillings  sterling to the party injured:

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  • World coffee exports have grown annually by 1.8 percent over the last 3 decades reaching 5.4 million tonnes in 2000.
  • World tea production increased at an annual growth rate of 2.8 percent between 1970 and 2000 expanding from 1.27 million tonnes to 2.97 million tonnes.

  • India’s tea sector is driven in large part by Assam and West Bengal, which account for over 70 percent of the country’s tea production. There are at least one million tea workers employed on more than 1000 tea gardens in these two eastern states.
  • daily wage of INR 122 (USD 2) per day
  • the minimum wage set by the state government for agricultural labourers is INR 206

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  • Throughout history people have pushed the boundaries of what was considered "normal" or "right." If we think about it, without individuals questioning the theories that were prevalent during their lives, we really wouldn't have progressed very far. If it weren't for people like Charles Darwin, who questioned how the diversity of species might have come about, the intellectual world would be stagnant. Just as we discussed in class, science begins with questions, and I believe the most brave intellectuals will question the lines of thought and theories currently in place. They will not accept some things until they have proved it to themselves. At the same time, however, they are open to new possibilities if the evidence arises. They aren't afraid to admit it when they realize they are wrong. The pool of knowledge we have as a society is shifting and changing because of these individuals who question the current system; different theories are being accepted and rejected, and new thoughts are always surfacing.

  • Just as we discussed in class, science begins with questions, and I believe the most brave intellectuals will question the lines of thought and theories currently in place. They will not accept some things until they have proved it to themselves. At the same time, however, they are open to new possibilities if the evidence arises. They aren't afraid to admit it when they realize they are wrong. The pool of knowledge we have as a society is shifting and changing because of these individuals who question the current system; different theories are being accepted and rejected, and new thoughts are always surfacing.

  • the heavily contested analysis that the Kashmiris resorted to arms because democratic institutions have been historically quashed

  • the absolutist states system of early modern European remained driven by the systemic imperatives of geopolitical accumulation that came to interact – and in some cases fuse – with the emerging logic of competitive capital accumulation accompanying those states already making the transition to capitalism in part explaining the endemic state of war-marking the epoch. What made this era of permanent war so intense was the generalized crisis of feudal production relations besetting Europe.
  • In contrast to the French, where the state and the nobility competed over peasant surpluses, the English ruling class acted in unison to expropriate the peasantry and enclose land.
  • But why did England specifically exhibit this peculiar ruling class unity? For Perry Anderson, among others, the answer lies in the relative demilitarization of the English ruling class during the sixteenth century. Whereas early modern absolutist states in the rest of Europe were centralizing and expanding their military capacities in the form of standing armies and investment in arms, England was regressing militarily.

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  • In the opening chapter of How the West Came to Rule, we really only focus on the first question concerning the transition to capitalism vis-a-vis Political Marxism and Immanuel Wallerstein’s particular rendition of World-System Analysis, while in later chapters we connect this issue to the “rise of the West” debate. We proceeded in such a way because for both Political Marxists and the particular form of World-System Analysis put forward by Wallerstein, these two historical questions are largely conflated: the origins of capitalism in certain Western European states (notably, Holland and England) explains how “the West” rose to a position of global dominance.
  • By positing the multilinear character of development as its “most general law,” uneven development provides a necessary corrective to the ontological singular conception of societies and the attendant unilinear conception of history that underpins Eurocentric analyses. By positing the inherently interactive character of social-political multiplicity, combined development in turn challenges the methodological internalism of Eurocentric approaches whilst further subverting its strong stagist model of development.
  • One of the key insights of UCD is to demonstrate how the existence of multiple societies – multiple states – under capitalism is at once an indication of its universalising tendency and its tendency towards differentiation and fragmentation. That is, the nation-state functions as a universal standard of what form a political community can and should take. At the same time, concrete processes of uneven and combined development constitute one of the biggest sources of continuing differentiation between nation-states.

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  • The acceptance of this pessimistic assessment means that forty million people must be seen as permanent victims.
  • it’s easy to see why Coates’s remedy is so alluring, both for disillusioned blacks who’ve found a fiery advocate and even more for well-meaning whites: if the galaxy really is ‘playing with loaded dice’, they don’t have to do anything other than read Coates’s blog and nod.
  • ‘Need my skin blind me to all other values?’ an exasperated Ralph Ellison wrote in 1963. It’s a question Coates and many others wouldn’t think to ask today.

  • By attributing a kind of automaticity or natural mirror between ISIS and imperialism, we can miss the all-important context and history that has shaped the remarkably rapid rise of the organization.
  • What explains the support that ISIS finds on the ground in both the Arab world and Europe? In short: why now? And why like this?
  • The real genesis of the Islamic State’s rise needs to be seen in the trajectory of the Arab uprisings that erupted throughout 2011 and 2012. These uprisings represented enormous hope, a hope that must continue to be defended. They were met with repression and reversal, unable to move forward in any fundamental sense. It was into this breach that Islamist groups stepped, their rise closely calibrated to the pushback against the revolts and the popular democratic aspirations that they embodied.

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  • Worse than garden-variety RSS cultural apartheid, these campaigns have clear genocidal implications, though not yet in the outright mass murder most commonly associated with the term. The aim of each of these campaigns is to destroy the existing culture and economic practices of entire communities with a view to subordinating them, through forced submission, to practices regarded as quintessentially ‘Hindu’. This kind of ‘cultural genocide’ has already been proven to be an important indicator of the intent to perpetrate literal genocide, William Schabas writes in his book, An Introduction to the International Criminal Court.
  • this is neither fantastic nor alarmist.

  • For many Indians, it’s virtually dogma to see “communalism,” the term of choice for religious chauvinism, as a purely Hindu phenomenon. In this view, members of India’s 150 million-strong Muslim community are always and only victims of violence, never its perpetrators.
  • This recent riff on terrorism by the Bollywood actor <!--  --> Aamir Khan,<!--  --> who is widely feted for addressing serious national matters in a popular television talk show, is typical: “For me acts of terror are not connected to any religion. So whether it’s a person who feels he’s a Muslim and is doing an act of terror, I don’t think he’s following Islam.”
  • Muslims were a smaller and less volatile minority

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  • Fly away, darling,
     these saffron skies
     have no space for broken moons
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