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Lefty Prof

Lefty Prof's Public Library

  • 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

  • Religious fundamentalisms were often initially supported by Washington in the name of the struggle against the Soviet Union (in Afghanistan, Pakistan…), before asserting their autonomy and even turning against their sponsors. These deeply reactionary movements have nothing progressive about them. There is no “reactionary anti-imperialism”! They want to impose a model of society that is both capitalist and backward-looking, totalitarian in the strong sense of the term.
  • To pretend that terrorism is the “natural” weapon of the oppressed in “asymmetrical” wars is to ignore the lessons of the great battles for liberation of the last century, of revolutionary wars. In the struggles for independence and against imperialism in Indochina and Latin America, terrorist attacks were rare at that time and the movements concerned generally realized rapidly that the political cost of such operations was too high - and posed many ethical problems.
  • We are suffering the ultimate consequences of the “crisis of politics”, of the desocialisation that is inherent in our neoliberal societies and their growing injustice, of the defeat suffered by our generations (the radicals of the 1960s and 70s), of the inability of the left forces in our countries to offer any radical perspective and to act within the populations who lead a precarious existence.

  • I was encouraged to give up the armed struggle in favour of a peaceful struggle. I was offered support by the country’s top officials for this transformation. I was told Americans stand by their promises but after years, the country’s administration distanced itself from the dream they sold me.
  • I know that nation states base their foreign policies on interests. I am wiser now. Interests co-evolve with the structural conditions of world politics and security. I know and understand the nature of world politics now is against the idea and concept of self-determination, freedom and liberty. It is about power and interest.
  • New conditions and powers emerge and with these new issues. Will the US then change its course and stance when they do? Will it come back to us?

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  • It was fortuitous for modern India that a man who burnt the Manudharma Shastra and replaced this with a modern constitution, a man who also laid down some philosophical and ideological guidelines to abolish Brahminic institutions from Indian soil, was its architect. He left Hinduism, which was the mother of many inequalities and oppressions in India, and embraced Buddhism.
  • It is this directive that has created a food and cultural crisis in past months. Forces aligned to the ideology of Hindutva (a Hindu theocratic state) have been attacking minorities and Dalits on the illusory belief that only minorities eat beef. It was an irony that the Constitution mentions only the cow but not the buffalo as the animal that needs protection. This is simply because Hindutva respects the cow as it seen racially as a white and superior animal, while the buffalo is seen as a black and inferior animal.
  • Beef is and has been the cherished food of Indian Adivasis, Dalits and several OBC communities. Of course during the anti-British campaign Gandhi used his own vegetarian culture, misrepresenting this as ‘Indian’ culture. Forces of the political Hindu right, including the RSS, which found him anathema when it came to composite nationhood and communal harmony and therefore killed him, have cleverly used his cultural campaign as theirs too.

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  • “AFRICOM, as a new command, is basically a laboratory for a different kind of warfare and a different way of posturing forces,” says Richard Reeve, the director of the Sustainable Security Programme at the Oxford Research Group, a London-based think tank.  “Apart from Djibouti, there’s no significant stockpiling of troops, equipment, or even aircraft.  There are a myriad of ‘lily pads’ or small forward operating bases... so you can spread out even a small number of forces over a very large area and concentrate those forces quite quickly when necessary.”
  • AFRICOM failed to respond to scores of requests by this reporter for further information about its outposts and related matters, but an analysis of open source information, documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and other records show a persistent, enduring, and growing U.S. presence on the continent.
  • This combination of manpower, access, and technology has come to be known in the military by the moniker “New Normal.”  Birthed in the wake of the September 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, the New Normal effectively allows the U.S. military quick access 400 miles inland from any CSL or, as Richard Reeve notes, gives it “a reach that extends to just about every country in West and Central Africa.”

  • The land shall be let out to villagers without distinction of caste or creed and in such manner that there will be no landlord, no tenant and no landless labourer
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