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Lefty Prof

Lefty Prof's Public Library

  • 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

  • Ambedkar had made a distinction between constitutional morality and societal morality, and had stressed that “constitutional morality is not a natural sentiment. It has to be cultivated.”


    The RSS and BJP, on the other hand, try desperately to claim that societal morality of the dominant community (towards inter-caste and interfaith marriages, towards beef, towards women’s social and sexual freedom, towards homosexuality and so on) must be accepted as “Indian culture” by the whole of India—and any assertion of constitutional morality is a provocation that justifies violence and breaking “social harmony.”

  • FOP spokesman Pat Camden said McDonald was shot in the chest after he lunged at Van Dyke and his partner with a knife. "He is a very serious threat to the officers, and he leaves them no choice at that point to defend themselves," Camden said that night.
  • We share the protesters' anger. We understand their urge to hold public servants accountable. We expect them to make their voices heard. But it will take more than protests, more than the criminal prosecution of a single cop to repair the often fractious relationship between Chicago's police and its people.

    This isn't about a stunning, isolated event. Zoom out, and it's part of a broader nationwide clamor over the use of lethal force by white cops against black suspects. Zoom in, and it's about Chicago's long-standing failure to deal effectively with rogue police officers.

  • A century and a half ago, prompted in part by the needs of the British colonial economy, Assam saw large-scale migrations from Bihar, Orissa and Bengal. The anxiety over immigration built up after Independence, and heightened in the years after the Bangladesh War, becoming intense enough in the early 1980s to draw in a large section of Assamese society into agitations and protests led by a students’ movement. The unrest let up a little in 1985, when the Centre and the student leaders signed the Assam Accord, which aimed to stem the tide of immigrants from Bangladesh by setting up foreigners’ tribunals that would hold trials of people suspected of sneaking in without papers, and to deport them, if found guilty. This would apply to immigrants who entered the state from March 24, 1971 onwards. The same year the Assam Accord was signed, the students’ movement, which consolidated itself into a political party, the Assam Gana Parishad, swept the polls, and formed the government. It was Assam’s Aam Aadmi Party moment.
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