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When 64-year-old Vietnam vet John Constantino burned himself to death on the DC Mall in October of 2013 I couldn’t stop thinking about this man and his act. Who was he? What compelled him? What was his life’s story? What were his political views, his life’s station, etc?  I...
Lately, we’ve been talking about the techniques of manipulation used by the government and mass media, regarding the privatization of public education, and all public benefits. In these first months of legislature, the better part of this manipulation has been aimed at...
The EU is negotiating two far-reaching trade agreements: one with the USA (TTIP = Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) and one with Canada (CETA = Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement). The official line is that this will create jobs and increase economic...
There is a huge political divide between the Democrat Party’s leadership and its local voters. There is an equally huge political divide between the Republican Party’s leadership and its local voters. In a nutshell, the divide can be summed up like this. Voters from across...
PRINCETON, N.J.—Tariq Ali is part of the royalty of the left. His more than 20 books on politics and history, his seven novels, his screenplays and plays and his journalism in the Black Dwarf newspaper, the New Left Review and other publications have made him one of the...
In the UK, an insidious secret network of violent extremists is plotting to subvert democracy. The members of this network detest our way of life, and hate our freedoms. Walking amongst us, this dangerous fifth column is exploiting the very laws we hold dear to campaign for...
Wherever you see angry black people in motion, you'll find Democratic party elements doing their thing, protecting the careers of the elected and unelected members of the black political class from politicians to preachers and prison wardens, misdirecting black rage...
The lead-up to an election is a tough time to be an anarchist. There's always someone wagging a patronising finger and telling you that your, or their, or someone's grandparents died for your 'right' to submit agency over your life to someone who also claims to represent...
When you’re given the opportunity to publish Ursula K. Le Guin, you leap at it—even if you’re ​ostensibly a fiction magazine and what lands on your desk is one of Le Guin’s political essays. It’s all connected, anyways. The recent ​National Book Award-winner and science...
The Greeks have voted for SYRIZA in order to be able to breathe, but deeper aspirations for freedom, social justice and radical democracy are very high. Welcome to Greece. This is the first time since the Spanish revolution of 1936 that a left party wins general elections...
Hugo Chávez was elected President of Venezuela four times from 1998 through 2012 and was admired and supported by a large majority of that country’s citizens, largely due to his policies that helped the poor. King Abdullah was the 
World leaders and business executives will be meeting at Davos to discuss how they want to run our economy - in their own best interests. We're led to believe that without their entrepreneurial talent that we would all be worse off than we are now. The myths of this elite...
“The economy inhabited by the vast majority of Americans grows smaller and more cutthroat, with nearly all the new wealth accruing to the rich.” Tuesday night, in his next-to-last State of the Union address, President Obama flashed the suckers a bag of tricks that has no...
It’s past time to wake up, America, and look around Americans who live abroad -- more than six million of us worldwide (not counting those who work for the U.S. government) -- often face hard questions about our country from people we live among. Europeans, Asians, and...
There is no “but” about what happened at Charlie Hebdo. Some people published some cartoons, and some other people killed them for it.  Words and pictures can be beautiful or vile, pleasing or enraging, inspiring or offensive; but they exist on a different plane from physical...
In less than an hour of the dreadful shooting of 12 people at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, the politicians had already started to lie to their own public. John Kerry, US Secretary of State, declared that, “freedom of expression is not able to be killed by this kind of...
The identity of the Sony hackers is still unknown. President Obama, in a December 19 press conference, announced: “We can confirm that North Korea engaged in this attack.” He then vowed: “We will respond. . . . We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can...
For brutal wannabe fascists like police union thugs, for liberal authoritarian politicians like President Obama, the Congressional Black Caucus and most big city mayors, for media talking head like CNN's Don Lemon, and for weaseling civil rights spokesleaders eager to throw...
It was the most thrilling bureaucratic document I’ve ever seen for just one reason: it was dated the 21st day of the month of Thermidor in the Year Six. Written in sepia ink on heavy paper, it recorded an ordinary land auction in France in what we would call the late summer...
Dystopian narratives have long been an alluring and thought-provoking form of entertainment, especially for those who take an interest in studying social and political structures. From classics like Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World to the current hit, The Hunger...
Law is pretty abstract. Unlike the role of a doctor or a builder, that of a lawyer is difficult to explain to a young mind. When my children eventually ask me about what I do when I “work” (confusingly simultaneously a place I seem to go to and a thing I do at home; either...
What happens when you take a nation with a history of white supremacy and racial insecurity, paint on a superficial glaze of political correctness, and add politicians willing to exploit xenophobia for electoral gain? If the nation in question is Australia, you get a set of...
Did you vote yesterday? Are you under 30? Well, congratu-fucking-lations. You are among the few and the proud. Yesterday, Republicans swept to what I'm bound by day-old tradition to refer to as "historic victories," taking the Senate, increasing their majority in the House...
Colonialism past and present. As for the future, it's up to us to confine colonialism to the history books.
In the battle for Kobane on the Syrian border everyone talks about the enemy - IS - and the frightening ideas that drive them. No-one talks about the Kurdish defenders and what inspires them. But the moment you look into what the Kurds are fighting for - what you discover...
Occupy is back in London, UK, with a renewed focus on politics and an ambitious vision: to galvanise a mass movement for real democracy and establish a huge People's Assembly to debate a list of specific demands for radical political reform. This week, stalwarts of the...
In October 2014, the Plymouth Institute for Peace Research (www.pipr.co.uk) asked Noam Chomsky to comment on some important world developments, including the threat of nuclear war, the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, and the growth of ISIS in Iraq. This year...
The word “anarchist” is thrown around a lot these days. When discussing their mild disagreements over foreign policy, healthcare, tax rates, gun control, immigration, torture, or the war on drugs, it’s not uncommon for a Republican or Democrat to hurl the word at each other...
“Kill the Messenger” tells the tragic tale of journalist Gary Webb who revived the Contra-cocaine scandal in the 1990s and saw his life destroyed by the mainstream media. The question now is: Will the MSM continue its cover-up of this sordid part of Ronald Reagan’s legacy...
Just as Sunday’s big People’s Climate March and next week’s UN global summit on climate converge here in New York City, the nation and world are experiencing weather of an intensity that should rattle the stubborn false convictions of even the most fervent climate change...
I recently read about a cash-strapped seven-year Walmart employee in Louisiana who says she'd live in her car if she could figure out how to do it. Another Walmart employee claims that many Walmart "associates" actually do that to make ends meet, but it's really not an option...
Public uprisings and mass occupations have become a significant force for change on the world stage since 2011, as evidenced in the Middle East revolutions and Occupy protests across North America and Europe. This essay explores the nature of this new social actor, which...
Our kills are clean and secular; theirs are messy and religious. “In their effort to create a caliphate across parts of Iraq and Syria,” CNN tells us, “ISIS fighters have slaughtered civilians as they take over cities in both countries. “In Syria, the group put some of...
Start by recognizing where ISIS came from. The U.S. and its junior partners destroyed Iraq, left a sectarian division, poverty, desperation, and an illegitimate government in Baghdad that did not represent Sunnis or other groups. Then the U.S. armed and trained ISIS and...
Pleased to meet you Hope you guess my name What’s confusing you Is the nature of my game - The Rolling Stones The reason that Internet trolls are effective is that people still don’t understand their game. There are 15 commonly-used trolling tactics to disrupt, misdirect...
There’s little dispute among social scientists that most of our major public programs are counter-productive on their own terms. There is also little analysis of this phenomenon as a pattern in need of an explanation and a solution. Prisons are supposedly intended to reduce...
Nearly two years ago a group named Occupy Sandy organized an unprecedented response to the unprecedented disaster that was Hurricane Sandy. Occupy Sandy, which was sparked by a few radical activists who knew each other from Occupy Wall Street, accomplished very significant...
A Wikileaks post published on The Nation shows that the Obama Administration fought to keep Haitian wages at 31 cents an hour. (This article was taken down by The Nation due to an embargo, but it was excerpted at Columbia Journalism Review.) It started when Haiti passed a...
CBS News, August 18, 2011: President Barack Obama officially demanded that Syrian President Bashar Assad resign for the sake of his own people, saying he was no longer fit to lead after “imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering his own people” during a crackdown on...
Smearing a Progressive Website to Support Israel Like many other news websites, Common Dreams has been plagued by inflammatory anti-Semitic comments following its stories. But on Common Dreams these posts have been so frequent and intense they have driven away donors from...
Nobody in their right mind wants more violent protests. But, as Martin Luther King said, ‘a riot is the language of the unheard’ In 1966, Martin Luther King started to campaign against segregation in Chicago only to find his efforts thwarted by violent mobs and a scheming...
Every once in a while, a dramatic news story can actually produce real reform. More often the momentum peters out once the story disappears from the news (remember how Sandy Hook meant we were going to get real gun control?), but it can happen. And now, after the aftermath of...
I don’t cry. It didn’t used to be this way – I was a somewhat sensitive kid growing up, and often wore my emotions openly, crying naturally when the world demanded tears. I’m now 40, and haven’t cried in 12 years. Maybe more. I admit that, during the past month, I’ve written...
At a certain point, if you have any relationship with dignity, you're supposed to get sick of being used and abused. Speaking of which: liberal Democrats. Democratic politicians act like right-wingers. Liberals vote for them anyway. The Democratic Party espouses right-wing...
The Glorious Fourth is a day to let ‘er rip, be as red-white-and-blue as you like, hang out the flag, join the parade, keep an eye on the sky where those fireworks are bursting in air. Start early: pop a Sousa into the sound system, turn up the volume (not too loudly out...
Just ahead of the sixth episode of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” comedian John Oliver admitted on “CBS This Morning” that he and his crew are “still trying to work out what this is.” But Oliver seems to know what “Last Week” isn’t: “The Daily Show.” Oliver, of course, is a...
"Modest yet bold, liberal and fun-loving." Naming Uruguay the country of the year in 2013, the Economist may very well have described the rising nation's head of state, President José "Pepe" Mujica. Known for his unusual frankness, fiery oration and bold leadership to turn...
If you are one of the 135 million people [1] who have contacted Congress by letter, phone call, or online petition in the last few years, you've probably asked yourself: "Did that matter?" Despite how good your civic action may have made you feel, the overwhelming odds are...
The reader should be aware that this is not your typical review. As a world-weary academic, disillusioned by the failed promises of the ivory tower and its pretensions to inevitability, I think I know full well how reviews ought to proceed. Little wonder Steve Wasserman wrote...
As history has shown, France is capable of the best and the worst, and often in short periods of time. On the day following Marine Le Pen's Front National victory in the European elections, however, France made a decisive contribution to the reinvention of a radical...