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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

When we look back at this time a few decades hence, what changes will we take the pandemic of 2020-21 to have ushered in? How will it have transformed work, recreation, travel and transportation, food, politics, and everything else? The following are some initial thoughts toward a hopeful eco-justice based perspective on how the world […]

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I don’t usually write about local politics on this blog. But why not? Here’s my prediction for next Tuesday’s Burlington,* Vermont, mayoral election. Let this be a test of how good, or bad, I’ve gotten at observing my city’s politics. (For outsiders: this is the city where Bernie Sanders cut his political chops as mayor […]

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There’s a fairly straightforward narrative about media and cultural hegemony in the United States that most scholarly observers have come to largely agree on (with the usual spectrum of variations in emphasis), but that more of the public ought to be aware of. It accounts for how we got here, into this situation where media […]

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Two points of social media use call for more attention as we make sense of this week’s events at the U. S. Capitol. 1) Videos and selfies from Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rallies are circulating online and making it easier to identify those who participated in the attempted coup at the Capitol. Images created and […]

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I am an academic who researches, writes, and teaches about the human relationship with the ecological environment within which we live and on which we depend. I recognize that that relationship is deeply troubled, and I want to be working on untroubling it. Politics — the shaping and implementation of policy to steer collective and […]

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Trump’s parting electoral tantrum puts the exclamation mark on the fundamental flaw of democracy that his presidency has revealed: that a poorly informed electorate can willingly choose its own demise (even as it recites platitudes to the contrary). Two institutions are most implicated in this flaw: public education and the mass media. In well functioning […]

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Cross-posted from e2mc. Note that this post takes the Stoic strategy of preparing for the worst, so as to be pleasantly surprised when the worst fails to come to pass. Deep breath, Americanos. Let’s brace ourselves for what may be the messiest, most litigious and disruptive Interregnum in U.S. history. (“Interregnum” = the 79 day interval between […]

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Rather like the Airborne Toxic Event in Don Delillo’s 1980s novel White Noise, these days seem, to many of us, suffused with a kind of Generalized Floating Dread. I’ve picked this sense up from students, from colleagues, from friends and neighbors. It is as if there is a cloud of dark matter around us, whose […]

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Last night’s presidential debate was, in many ways, superfluous: if a U.S. citizen had not already made up their mind who they will vote for (or not already voted), it’s because they haven’t been paying attention. But there is one factor pollsters and predictors of every stripe have not gotten good at accounting for, which […]

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The Covid-19 situation in the United States, which has become the epicenter of new infections because of its flawed and chaotic response to the pandemic, is seen by some around the world as an emergency case of its own, requiring some sort of defensive response by countries that could become similarly infected. The Week‘s Ryan […]

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I’m reading Shoshana Zuboff’s widely lauded The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, which some have placed alongside Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century as essential reading for understanding today’s global economy. The big conceptual idea I find most useful in it is its insistence that we are in the midst of a “fourth great transformation” […]

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A casual comment on a minor article in a provincial newspaper in a faraway country (Ukraine) got me going on a response to what is, essentially, the white world’s default position on all things racial. (Social media comments, as a rule, aren’t indicative of anything, but this one is so symptomatic it’s worth examining.) The […]

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