Critical reading

A blog
  • Chomsky on the role of racism in U.S. history

    Interview with Noam Chomsky on the deep historical roots of racism in U.S. society. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Noam Chomsky on the Roots of American Racism

    Source: New York Times

    March 18, 2005

    This is the eighth in a series of interviews with philosophers on race that I am conducting for The Stone. This week’s conversation is with Noam Chomsky, a linguist, political philosopher and one of the world’s most prominent public intellectuals. He is the author of many books, including, most recently, “On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare,” with Andre Vltchek.

    – George Yancy

    George Yancy: When I think about the title of your book “On Western Terrorism,” I’m reminded of the fact that many black people in the United States have had a long history of being terrorized by white racism, from random beatings to the lynching of more than 3,000 black people (including women) between 1882 and 1968. This is why in 2003, when I read about the dehumanizing acts committed at Abu Ghraib prison, I wasn’t surprised. I recall that after the photos appeared President George W. Bush said that “This is not the America I know.” But isn’t this the America black people have always known?

  • Bolivia's fight against capitalism

    Excellent article by Chris Williams and Marcela Olivera on Bolivia. Check the original site for the photographs that accompany it. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Can Bolivia chart a sustainable path away from capitalism?

    Source: Truthout

    Wednesday, 28 January 2015 10:04

    By Chris Williams and Marcela Olivera, Truthout | News Analysis

    As through so much of its history, the small Andean nation of Bolivia sits at the center of a whirlwind of political, social and climatological questions. Arguably, no other country thus far in the 21st century raises the question of an "exit strategy" from neoliberal capitalism more concretely, and with greater possibility and hope, than Bolivia. That hope is expressed specifically in the ruling party, MAS, or Movement Toward Socialism. The country's leader, former coca farmer and union organizer Evo Morales - South America's first indigenous leader since pre-colonial times - was overwhelmingly elected to his third term of office in 2014. Morales has broadly popularized the Quechua term pachamama, which denotes a full commitment to ecological sustainability, and public hopes remain high that he'll guide the country toward realizing that principle.

  • Explaining the U.S.-Cuba agreement

    Good analysis of developments in Cuba and what lies behind the recent shift in U.S.-Cuban relations. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Cuba: coming in from the cold?

    Source: rs21

    February 2, 2015

    After 17 Cuban prisoners were freed by the US in December, Mike Gonzalez charts the recent deal between Washington and Havana and asks if this really is the end of an era with the lifting of the embargo

    As an internationally recognized artist, you would expect Leonardo Padura Fuentes, Cuba’s outstanding contemporary writer, to be aware of major changes in his own country. So it was odd to read in an interview with a Chilean newspaper that the announcement of an agreement between Washington and Havana came as a complete surprise to him, as it did to most Cubans, and indeed most Latin Americans. Even Cuba’s most important ally, Venezuela, was caught unawares, though it is now living through the extremely damaging repercussions of the deal.

  • Ian Birchall on secularism

    This article, written in 2005 by the British socialist Ian Birchall, is an excellent summary of a Marxist approach to religion and secularism, highly relevant to the discussions that have been taking place in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo killings. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    So what is secularism?

    Source: Grim and Dim

    This article appeared in What Next? No. 30, in response to Andrew Coates’s article “In Defence of Militant Secularism” in No. 29 Coates’s reply. “An Enlightened Response to Ian Birchall” appeared in No. 31

    Andrew Coates’ article ‘In Defence of Militant Secularism’ (What Next 29) calls for a reply. In attempting to produce one, I shall try to avoid the polemical style which Coates has adopted. Thus he puts the word ‘Islamophobia’ in inverted commas, as though no such phenomenon existed. (Anyone who doubts that Islamophobia as a phenomenon distinct from, though not unrelated to, racism, might consult

  • Spain: The rise of Podemos

    This is the first part of an analysis of Podemos, the new left-wing party in Spain. Part Two and Part Three are on the Left Flank website. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Understanding Podemos (1/3): 15-M & counter-politics

    Source: Left Flank

    November 5, 2014

    By Luke Stobart

    What Podemos’s present success reveals is the breakdown, the crisis or the collapse (choose the term you prefer) of the Spanish party system. Because in reality the Transition regime is sinking like the Titanic and Podemos is merely the iceberg that caused this. So as soon as the cock crowed on 25-M, all the captains aboard began to jump ship: firstly [PSOE leader] Rubalcaba, then the King, later [the Catalan conservative] Durán, … It is a regime crisis because its previous dominant coalition, until now formed by an imperfect three-party set (PSOE, PP and [regional nationalists]), has lost the ability to impose its cultural hegemony.

    —Podemos critic Enrique Gil Calvo in El País, 18 August 2014

    Three years ago, the PSOE and the PP said to the people in the squares with 15-M that they should stand in the elections, and they don’t say this any more.

  • January elections in Greece

    Greece is heading to the polls in late January after its parliament failed to elect a new national president, with a strong chance that the radical left, anti-austerity SYRIZA coalition will win the most seats and form the next government. As Owen Jones explains in this article published before the election was called, the pressures on a SYRIZA government by Greek capitalists, the European Union, and international finance to abandon its program will be immense, and its success or failure will have a big impact on the prospects of the left internationally. More commentary from Costas Lapavitsas here. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Greece’s radical left could kill off austerity in the EU

    Source: The Guardian

    Owen Jones

    If Syriza wins a possible snap poll in the new year, positive repercussions could be felt across Europe

    Monday 22 December 2014 01.00 EST

    Another war looms in Europe: waged not with guns and tanks, but with financial markets and EU diktats. Austerity-ravaged Greece may well be on the verge of a general election that could bring to power a government unequivocally opposed to austerity. Momentous stuff: that has not happened in the six years of cuts and falling living standards that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

    But if the radical leftist party Syriza does indeed triumph in a possible snap poll in the new year, there will undoubtedly be a concerted attempt to choke the experiment at birth. That matters not just for Greece, but for all of us who want a different sort of society and a break from years of austerity.

  • #BlackLivesMatter didn't kill the NYPD cops

    Great response to the predictable attempt by the right to blame the anti-police brutality movement for the murder of two New York cops on Saturday. More commentary here and here. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    NYPD Blues: The Anti-Police Brutality Movement Didn't Kill Any Cops

    Source: Ebony

    Jamilah Lemieux says the tragic NYPD shooting must not be blamed on the anti-police brutality movement

    By Jamilah Lemieux Senior Editor

    The #Blacklivesmatter movement (specifically, its current iteration in response to police killings of unarmed Black people across the country) has at no point suggested that murdering police officers is the answer to the unending abuses of people of color at the hands of law enforcement. To even have to say as much speaks volumes about the lengths that detractors have gone to in order to avoid actually understanding what this fight is about.

    Organizers and participants in the resistance movement were stunned and horrified by the murder of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos by Ismaaiyl Brinsley because it is antithetical to the work they have been doing and has created more trauma for a community that has already seen far too much violence and loss.

  • Sam Farber on the US-Cuban thaw

    Sam Farber analyzes last week's announcement that the US and Cuban governments will reopen diplomatic relations. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    The Alternative in Cuba

    Source: Jacobin


    The resumption of US – Cuban relations is a real victory. But Cuban workers face renewed economic liberalization with little political opening.

    by Samuel Farber

    On December 17, 2014, Washington and Havana agreed to a pathbreaking change in a relationship that, for more than fifty years, was characterized by the United States’ efforts to overthrow the Cuban government, including the sponsorship of invasions, naval blockades, economic sabotage, assassination attempts, and terrorist attacks.

  • California student workers' union backs BDS

    Great news from California. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Victory: US student workers’ union backs Israel boycott in landslide vote

    Source: Electronic Intifada

    Submitted by Nora Barrows-Friedman on Thu, 12/11/2014 - 00:36

    Student workers at the University of California have voted by a landslide to support the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

    The votes, which were cast on 4 December by members of UAW Local 2865, resulted in 65 percent, or 1,411 members voting in support of a BDS resolution against 35 percent, or 749 members, voting against.

    UAW Local 2865 has thus become the first labor union in the US to join the BDS movement.

    The union represents 13,000 student workers in the University of California system. It joins a growing number of student governments, academic associations and activist organizations in the US which have pledged to hold Israel accountable for violations of human rights and to end the complicity by corporations and universities which profit from such violations.

  • The role of the police is protecting capitalism

    Important historical background on the role of the police. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Origins of the police

    Source: Works in theory

    Posted by David Whitehouse
    December 7, 2014

    This is an edited text of a talk I gave in Chicago in late June 2012 at the annual Socialism conference. Audio of the talk is available at, but the text here corrects some mistakes I made back then. I’m also preparing a more-developed and better-documented article to appear in the International Socialist Review.

    In England and the United States, the police were invented within the space of just a few decades—roughly from 1825 to 1855.

    The new institution was not a response to an increase in crime, and it really didn’t lead to new methods for dealing with crime. The most common way for authorities to solve a crime, before and since the invention of police, has been for someone to tell them who did it.

    Besides, crime has to do with the acts of individuals, and the ruling elites who invented the police were responding to challenges posed by collective action. To put it in a nutshell: The authorities created the police in response to large, defiant crowds. That’s

    — strikes in England,

  • Naomi Klein on capitalism vs. the climate

    Naomi Klein's new book, arguing that we can't solve climate change without getting rid of capitalism, is getting major media attention. Here she explains the basics of her view. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Interview: Naomi Klein Breaks a Taboo

    Source: The Indypendent

    By John Tarleton
    September 12, 2014
    Issue #200

    The fact that global warming is man-made and poses a grave threat to our future is widely accepted by progressives. Yet, the most commonly proposed solutions emphasize either personal responsibility for a global emergency (buy energy-efficient light bulbs, purchase a Prius), or rely on market-based schemes like cap-and-trade. These responses are not only inadequate, says best-selling author Naomi Klein, but represent a lost opportunity to confront climate change’s root cause: capitalism.

    This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, Klein’s much-anticipated new book, is both surprisingly hopeful and deeply personal as she deftly weaves in her story of struggling to conceive her first child while researching the potential collapse of the natural world. In the book, Klein challenges everyone who cares about climate change to strive for a seemingly impossible redistribution of political and economic power. This, she argues, is both necessary and offers the prospect of living in a more just and humane society than the one we know today.

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on racism and class war

    A remarkable op-ed from one of basketball's greats. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race

    Source: Time

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar @kaj33 Aug. 17, 2014

    Ferguson is not just about systemic racism — it's about class warfare and how America's poor are held back, says Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    You probably have heard of the Kent State shootings: on May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University. During those 13 seconds of gunfire, four students were killed and nine were wounded, one of whom was permanently paralyzed. The shock and outcry resulted in a nationwide strike of 4 million students that closed more than 450 campuses. Five days after the shooting, 100,000 protestors gathered in Washington, D.C. And the nation’s youth was energetically mobilized to end the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, and mindless faith in the political establishment.

    You probably haven’t heard of the Jackson State shootings.

  • The decline of the longshore workers' union

    Important article on the recent history of the ILWU and why it won't survive if it continues its policy of collaboration with the bosses at the expense of its members. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Unions That Used to Strike

    Source: Jacobin


    by Robert Brenner and Suzi Weissman

    The ILWU, once known for its militancy and political radicalism, faces a choice between nurturing rank-and-file power and a slow, painful death.

    In early July, 120 mostly poor and immigrant port truckers set up picket lines at three trucking companies in LA-Long Beach Harbor, extending their longstanding campaign to unionize. The next day, workers from the powerful and historically militant International Longshore and Warehouse Union honored the truckers’ picket by walking off their jobs, immediately shutting down three waterfront terminals.

    The dockworkers had found themselves contractually free to refuse to cross the port truckers’ line, when their union’s agreement with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) had expired a short time before.

  • What do socialists say about Hamas?

    Excellent analysis of why socialists should give Hamas unconditional but critical support in its confrontation with Israel. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Towards a revolutionary perspective on Hamas

    Source: The Revolutionary Socialists (Egypt)

    July 31, 2014

    Article by Mostafa Omar

    This article is not a simply a response to the “Egyptian Zionists”, whether they are right-wing racists like Lamis Gaber, who is demanding that Egypt supports Israel in its barbaric war against the Palestinian people and seizes the funds of Palestinians resident in Egypt before deporting them – for her racism is so blatant that it deserves nothing more than condemnation – or whether they are like Mohamed Zaki al-Shimi, a member of the right-wing Free Egyptians who writes that Israel is not Egypt’s enemy. He is right about that in the sense that the ruling capitalist class in Egypt, as it depends on the interests of American imperialism which controls the Middle East, does not consider Israel – the greatest watchdog for American interests in the region – to be its enemy.

  • Ukraine: Imperial conflict led to MH17 tragedy

    The West has been quick to blame Russia for the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17, but the incident is just the latest tragedy resulting from imperial brinksmanship by the major powers in Ukraine and other parts of the world. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    MH17 and the new world disorder

    Source: Red Flag

    23 July 2014 | Alex Chklovski

    The Malaysia Airlines flight 17 tragedy is a new chapter in a conflagration that has cost more than 1,500 lives on both sides and displaced 100,000 civilians. It is a horrible, tragic waste. And it is the result of a conflict unleashed by the competing interests of the rich oligarchs in the region and the international jostling of Russia and the West.

    It is a conflict between a new right wing regime in Kiev eager to consolidate its rule and egged on by the US and the EU, and a group of armed adventurers eager to carve out their own space of influence by military means, looking toward and cautiously encouraged by Russia. The mass of ordinary people in Ukraine do not strongly back one side or the other, and largely stand by and attempt to deal with the path of destruction cut through their cities by the war.

  • How U.S. imperialism destroyed Iraq

    Dahr Jamail's devastating indictment of U.S. policy in the Middle East from Reagan to Obama. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    A Nation on the Brink: How America's Policies Sealed Iraq's Fate

    Source: Truthout

    Thursday, 17 July 2014 00:00
    By Dahr Jamail, Truthout/TomDispatch | News Analysis

    In a Truthout and TomDispatch collaboration, Truthout staff reporter Dahr Jamail has written a searing analysis covering the ongoing disaster in Iraq. Jamail has covered the story extensively for both Truthout and TomDispatch since 2005, and now provides this current perspective on how the legacy of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq continues to destroy lives.

  • Talking about abortion

    Courageous article by Sarah Grey. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    What We Don't Talk About When We Don't Talk About Abortion

    Source: Truthout

    Friday, 11 July 2014 10:25
    By Sarah Grey, Truthout | Op-Ed

    I had an abortion four years ago. I just recently decided to start talking about it.

    I didn't stay silent out of guilt; the abortion was very much the right decision. I didn't talk about my abortion because one doesn't talk about one's abortion. It just isn't done. You don't casually drop it during a playdate. Women tell their birth stories in graphic detail, but abortion? It's just not part of polite conversation.

    And yet - I'm now "that woman." Yup. I did it. And I'm going to keep doing it.

    Will my in-laws disown me? My friends? Will I lose potential clients by writing this under my own name? Will I get hate mail? Maybe. I know, too, that I am speaking out from a position of relative privilege: as a white ciswoman with a college degree and a self-employed career, my abortion doesn't fit me neatly into right-wing stereotypes. Nor am I in danger of being fired, beaten or murdered for having or for talking about an abortion - the stark reality for millions of women. I have considerable freedom to speak out. And I plan to use it.

  • A reply to Chomsky's critique of BDS

    The latest issue of The Nation contains a critique by Noam Chomsky of the Boycott, Divestment Sanctions movement against Israel launched by Palestinian activists. Here is a reply. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Chomsky and BDS

    Source: Mondoweiss

    Tom Suarez on July 6, 2014

    Many people who have come to value the courageous and principled stands of Noam Chomsky regarding injustice and imperialism are surprised to learn of his opposition to most aspects of BDS. Precisely because of the stature and influence of this “father of modern linguistics”, it is especially important that his views be subject to the same rigor for which he himself is famous. As it turns out, the perplexing aspect of Professor Chomsky’s arguments vis a vis BDS is how precipitously they fail scrutiny.

  • Zionism = racism

    An honest assessment of Israel by the journalist Gideon Levy. Gilbert Achcar described the mindset behind this kind of racism a couple of years ago.

    For a person of Jewish descent, there are two ways of drawing lessons from the Nazi genocide of the European Jews: one leads to saying "Never again to us, the Jews"; the other "Never again" tout court.

    The former conclusion stems from a narrow ethnic outlook, reversing the Nazi perspective by taking the side of "the Jews" against the rest of the world. In both cases, "the Jews" are singled out as a particular group of people with extraordinary features: whereas the Nazis saw them as the embodiment of evil to the point of trying to annihilate them, the holders of the Jewish ethnocentric perspective believe that the defence of "Jewish" interests - which like all brands of collective interest, whether national or class or whatever, is a hotly disputed notion, with rare occasional unanimity on what it could mean - is a value superseding all others. In the name of this defence, they end up denying the humanity of the victims of Israel, the purported "State of the Jews", just as most oppressors throughout history have denied their victims' humanity.

    Now we are witnessing the latest violent consequences of this ideology. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Our wretched Jewish state

    Source: Haaretz

    Now we know: In the Jewish state, there is pity and humane feelings only for Jews, rights only for the Chosen People. The Jewish state is only for Jews.

    By Gideon Levy
    Published 05:34 06.07.14

    The youths of the Jewish state are attacking Palestinians in the streets of Jerusalem, just like gentile youths used to attack Jews in the streets of Europe. The Israelis of the Jewish state are rampaging on social networks, displaying hatred and a lust for revenge, unprecedented in its diabolic scope. Some unknown people from the Jewish state, purely based on his ethnicity. These are the children of the nationalistic and racist generation – Netanyahu’s offspring.

    For five years now, they have been hearing nothing but incitement, scaremongering and supremacy over Arabs from this generation’s true instructor, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Not one humane word, no commiseration or equal treatment.

  • Dave Zirin on Suárez, FIFA and the World Cup

    For more of Dave Zirin's essential commentary on the World Cup, visit his website Edge of Sports. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Luis Suárez May Bite, but FIFA Sucks Blood

    Source: The Nation

    Dave Zirin on June 25, 2014 - 2:13 AM ET

    This is not a pro–Luis Suárez column. This is not an article in defense of his taking a chomp out of Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s 1-0 World Cup victory. This is not a piece that will make apologies for Mr. Suárez, who has some longstanding issues when it comes to getting peckish with opponents, so much so, it was reported that 167 people won a “prop bet” that he would bite someone during the World Cup.

    Suárez should be suspended because what he did should not be a part of the sport and is, frankly, kind of gross. But for the sports media to climb their branded pulpits and say that Suárez demands suspension precisely because young, impressionable, wide-eyed youngsters the world over would emulate him and start adopting a particular kind of paleo diet on the pitch, is absurd.

  • David Harvey reviews Thomas Piketty

    Short, clear discussion of Thomas Piketty's important book Capital in the 21st Century that explains both why it is valuable and why it fails to answer the underlying questions about capitalism that Marx addressed. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Afterthoughts on Piketty’s Capital


    May 17, 2014

    David Harvey

    Thomas Piketty has written a book called Capital that has caused quite a stir. He advocates progressive taxation and a global wealth tax as the only way to counter the trend towards the creation of a “patrimonial” form of capitalism marked by what he dubs “terrifying” inequalities of wealth and income. He also documents in excruciating and hard to rebut detail how social inequality of both wealth and income has evolved over the last two centuries, with particular emphasis on the role of wealth. He demolishes the widely-held view that free market capitalism spreads the wealth around and that it is the great bulwark for the defense of individual liberties and freedoms. Free-market capitalism, in the absence of any major redistributive interventions on the part of the state, Piketty shows, produces anti-democratic oligarchies. This demonstration has given sustenance to liberal outrage as it drives the Wall Street Journal apoplectic.

  • Eleanor Marx and socialist feminism

    The author of a new biography of Karl Marx's youngest daughter, Eleanor, writes about her subject. There is a review of the book here. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    The making of a Marx

    Source: The Independent

    The life of Eleanor Marx, the mother of socialist feminism

    Learning at her father’s knee, Eleanor Marx changed the world

    Rachel Holmes

    Sunday 04 May 2014

    When I set out to write the life of Eleanor Marx in 2006 some friends worried that yet again I’d been seduced by an unfashionable and overly abstruse biographical subject. Either that, or they just said: “Who?” A Marx? The mother of socialist feminism? It didn’t sound catchy in our new century.

    Yet Eleanor Marx is one of British history’s great heroes. Born in 1855 in a Soho garret to hard up German immigrant exiles, her arrival was initially a disappointment to her father. He wanted a boy. By her first birthday Eleanor had become his favourite. She was nicknamed Tussy, to rhyme, her parents said, with “pussy” not “fussy”. Cats she adored; fussy she wasn’t. She loved Shakespeare, Ibsen, both the Shelleys, good poetry, bad puns and champagne. She would be delighted to know that we can claim her as the first self-avowed champagne socialist.

  • Should Marx and Engels be copyrighted?

    The UK publisher Lawrence & Wishart has instructed the Marxist Internet Archive (MIA) to remove material from the Marx-Engels Collected Works (MECW) from its website by the end of this month (just in time for International Workers' Day on May 1). As Andrew Leonard asks at Salon, quoting the introduction to Volume 1 of MECW, 'I wonder — just how angry would Karl Marx get if he learned that the publisher of his collected works, in the name of maximizing profits, was using copyright law to hinder the cause of “equipping the working-class movement with the scientific ideology… for the realization… of communism”?' The publisher has justified its decision here. MIA has responded here. You can sign a petition protesting this outrageous decision here. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Karlo Marx and Fredrich Engels / Came to the checkout at the 7-11

    Source: Crooked Timber

    by Scott McLemee on April 24, 2014

    Henry has nudged me a little, every so often, towards participating more in the life of Crooked Timber—or participating at all, really, since it’s been almost four years since my last posting. Fair enough. And so now, without further ado: Here I am again, ready to complain.

    The Marxist Internet Archive ( is a vast and growing resource, run entirely by donated labor, and as polylingual as circumstances permit. (Do they have Trotsky in Tagalog? Indeed they do.) Yesterday, a notice appeared in the Archive’s Facebook group, and also on its homepage, saying that Lawrence & Wishart’s lawyers demand removal of material from the Marx-Engels Collected Works: “Accordingly, from 30th April 2014, no material from MECW is available from English translations of Marx and Engels from other sources will continue to be available.”

  • Why localism isn't the solution

    Very clear analysis of the failure of localism. The links have some useful resources. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    Localism? I don't buy it

    Source: Al Jazeera

    Localist movements fail by treating a symptom of capitalism, the crippling of local communities, as if it's the disease.

    Last updated: 07 Apr 2014 07:20

    Stan Cox

    Humanity's failure so far to deal with multiple crises - planet-wide ecological degradation, domination by a transnational economic elite, the deepening misery that afflicts billions in both rich and poor nations - has prompted increasing interest in local economies as less intimidating arenas where much-needed change might be more readily achieved.

  • U.S. education—racist to the core

    A comprenhensive Department of Education survey confirms the massive racial divide in the U.S. K-12 education system, with discrimination starting when children are as young as four-years old. More from the NYT on this topic here. --PG

    Follow Critical Reading on Twitter: @CriticalReading. Subscribe to Critical Reading's public updates on Facebook.

    School Data Finds Pattern of Inequality Along Racial Lines

    Source: New York Times

    By MOTOKO RICH MARCH 21, 2014

    Racial minorities are more likely than white students to be suspended from school, to have less access to rigorous math and science classes, and to be taught by lower-paid teachers with less experience, according to comprehensive data released Friday by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

    In the first analysis in nearly 15 years of information from all of the country’s 97,000 public schools, the Education Department found a pattern of inequality on a number of fronts, with race as the dividing factor.

    Black students are suspended and expelled at three times the rate of white students. A quarter of high schools with the highest percentage of black and Latino students do not offer any Algebra II courses, while a third of those schools do not have any chemistry classes. Black students are more than four times as likely as white students — and Latino students are twice as likely — to attend schools where one out of every five teachers does not meet all state teaching requirements.

Syndicate content