China’s Foreign Relations

  • China’s Foreign Relations, Wang Yi. The Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era laid out in the report of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is a major theoretical innovation by our Party, and the latest achievement and a significant advancement of adapting Marxism to the Chinese context. It provides a strong theoretical framework and guideline for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.” READ MORE

Howard Thurman on Jesus and the Disinherited

  • Howard Thurman on Jesus and the Disinherited.

    While he was Professor of Spiritual Resources and Dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University from 1953 to 1965, Dr. Howard Thurman became a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is reported that when he traveled King carried with him Thurman’s small book, Jesus and the Disinherited. This Boston University resource presents twelve 1959 sermons by Thurman on the theme, “Jesus and the Disinherited.” (The sermons are numbered but they aren’t listed in sequential order.) (Posted on Personal/Spirituality)

How We Stopped Believing That People Can Change

  • How We Stopped Believing That People Can Change (behind paywall), Rebecca Solnit.

    “…We as a society seem unequipped to recognize transformations, just as we lack formal processes — other than monetary settlements — for those who have harmed others to make reparations as part of their repentance or transformation… [B]eyond the individual cases comes the need for something broader: a recognition that people change, and that most of us have and will, and that much of that is because in this transformative era, we are all being carried along on a river of change.” READ MORE (behind paywall) (Posted in Personal/Personal Growth)

Democrats, You Can’t Ignore the Culture Wars Any Longer

  • Democrats, You Can’t Ignore the Culture Wars Any Longer (behind paywall), Jamelle Bouie. (Posted in Social/Education)

    Almost 60 years ago, the historian Richard Hofstadter described what he saw as the true goal of McCarthyism. “The real function of the Great Inquisition of the 1950s was not anything so simply rational as to turn up spies or prevent espionage,” he wrote, “or even to expose actual Communists, but to discharge resentments and frustrations, to punish, to satisfy enmities whose roots lay elsewhere than in the Communist issue itself.”…

    …they are the foundation for an assault on the very idea of public education, part of the long war against public goods and collective responsibility fought by conservatives on behalf of hierarchy and capital. READ MORE (behind paywall)

There Is Joy in Struggle, Cornel West.

  • There Is Joy in Struggle, Cornel West.

    “What an honor to be here! What a privilege, what a blessing to salute the Class of 2019, Harvard Divinity School…. We know most of human history is a history of domination and oppression and exploitation and degradation. Most of human history is a history of hatred and contempt… As I look at myself, I can see the white supremacy in me. But oh, when I was at Charlottesville, looking in the eyes of those sick, neo-Nazi white brothers, gangsters, thugs, I didn’t lose sight of the gangster in me. (Posted in Systemic/Essays) READ MORE.

Shaming, Self-improvement, and Political Action

  • Shaming, Self-improvement, and Political Action, Wade Lee Hudson. “In “The Shaming-Industrial Complex, Becca Rothfeld describes the problem: Absent structural change, self-improvement will be limited. A large network of supportive small teams whose members are aware of this problem could be one solution. In itself, this network could constitute structural reform, which Rothfeld seeks. It could also nurture a strong sense of community whose members, given their awareness of the Shaming-Industrial Complex, would logically pursue structural reform in other social sectors and, ideally, cultivate holistic and systemic transformation.”(Posted in Systemic/Essays) READ MORE

America Has Turned Its Back on Its Poorest Families

  • America Has Turned Its Back on Its Poorest Families (behind paywall), Ezra Klein

    The expanded child tax credit. It gave parents $3,000 for every child age 6 to 17 and $3,600 for every child under age 6. There were no strings attached. It was just money. It could be used for child care, for food, for clothes, for anything. It treated parents, even poor parents, as the experts on their family’s finances, a quietly radical idea in American social policy. It was a huge experiment, it was studied exhaustively, and we can now say this definitively: It worked…

    The Biden administration added an extension in Build Back Better, but that bill died, and there’s no immediate hope of revival. Once again, we are accepting our prepandemic levels of child poverty as a permanent feature of our democracy.

    And so the Biden administration’s single biggest policy success has turned, for now, into a signal political failure.

    READ MORE (behind paywall)

Opposition to NATO Expansion

  • Opposition to NATO Expansion

    On June 26, 1997 a group of 50 prominent foreign policy experts that included former senators, retired military officers, diplomats and academicians, sent an open letter to President Clinton outlining their opposition to NATO expansion. They said, “We, the undersigned, believe that the current U.S.led effort to expand NATO, the focus of the recent Helsinki and Paris Summits, is a policy error of historic proportions. We believe that NATO expansion will decrease allied security and unsettle European stability… Because of these serious objections, and in the absence of any reason for rapid decision, we strongly urge that the NATO expansion process be suspended… In Russia, NATO expansion, which continues to be opposed across the entire political spectrum, will strengthen the nondemocratic opposition, undercut those who favor reform and cooperation with the West, bring the Russians to question the entire post-Cold War settlement, and galvanize resistance [to arms control treaties]…”

    On February 21, 2022, after Russia had invaded Ukraine, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman published “This Is Putin’s War. But America and NATO Aren’t Innocent Bystanders” in which he reported:

    On May 2, 1998, immediately after the Senate ratified NATO expansion, I called George Kennan, the architect of America’s successful containment of the Soviet Union. Having joined the State Department in 1926 and served as U.S. ambassador to Moscow in 1952, Kennan was arguably America’s greatest expert on Russia….I asked for his opinion of NATO expansion. [He answered]:

    “I think it is the beginning of a new cold war. I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever… Don’t people understand? Our differences in the Cold War were with the Soviet Communist regime. And now we are turning our backs on the very people who mounted the greatest bloodless revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime…” (Posted in Political/Foreign Policy)

Dr. Cornel West: Philosophy in Our Time of Imperial Decay (Video)

  • Dr. Cornel West: Philosophy in Our Time of Imperial Decay. American philosopher, political activist, social critic, and educator public lecture.

    “SirFortesque: Is any living human being gonna try to tell me that you couldn’t listen to Dr West talk about any topic for hours on end and just feel better about your life and want to hug somebody? Who else can seamlessly meld Philosophy, Literature, History, Music, Religion, Politics, and Ethics together in such a manner that you smile for no reason while challenging your beliefs. The vast knowledge from so many diverse fields and a computer-like memory mixed with the outpouring and nonjudgmental LOVE just envelops me every time i hear this world treasure speak. This is the sort of Christian warrior that even as an Atheist I find so mesmerizing. He can critique anything without being condescending or mean-spirited. I feel honored to be able to watch this man.” (Posted Systemic/Videos)