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links for 2009-12-05

Saturday, December 5, 2009
  • "This is the story Shane Ross – journalist, independent Senator, and long-time champion of citizens against misbehaving corporations – tells in The Bankers, going behind the scenes and the headlines to explain what happened, how it happened, and who made it happen. They're all here: Sean Fitzpatrick and the other bank bosses; Patrick Neary and the other members of Ireland's failed regulatory apparatus; the property developers, who dominated the banks' lending to a ruinous degree; and the politicians, who inflated the property bubble and have allowed the banks to dictate the terms of their bailout to an astonishing degree."
  • "History, however, proved PC Joshi right. Freedom, blighted as it was, had indeed arrived. But this was not the only manner in which PCJ was redeemed. His advocacy of a Congress- Communist alliance to defeat Right reaction has been by and large accepted even by the CPM, evident in its support for the UPA between 2004-2008. PCJ’s other major contributions- of involving the party cadre in relief work, as in 1943 when the CPI cadres were at the forefront during the Bengal famine, and his ability to branch off a cultural renaissance (IPTA, PWA) have not been surpassed. The communist cadre is rarely involved in any kind of social action nowadays, leaving the field open to organizations like the RSS and religious outfits."
  • ""Arroyo's long-standing scheme actually involves grabbing a congressional seat in her home district as an initial step, maximizing her presidential powers to the hilt up to the last day of her official term to ensure her factotums' continued majority hold on Congress, making the next president merely transitionary and using all this as leverage to continue her Cha-cha scheme. The objective of the entire plot is for her to resume at the soonest time possible the top position of the national government, this time as prime minister under a new parliamentary system," the CPP pointed out."
  • "this extraordinary collection, entitled Alasdair Macintyre's Engagement With Marxism, demonstrates the importance of his early marxism to his ongoing philosophical labours. The pleasurably terse and argumentative style that is so familiar in his philosophical writing is forcefully on display in a bewildering variety of contexts – arguments with left reformism, discussions of British capitalism, social democracy, nuclear weapons, Gaitskell and clause 4; thumbnail critiques of figures such as Sartre (whom he obviously admires, but regards as profoundly ignorant of the real situation of the working class – perhaps Ian Birchall can tell us how accurate this is), Marcuse, Lukacs, Mills, Williams and Deutscher; a dissection of the Sunningdale agreement (a 'colonial solution'); theological exposition, etc etc. It also contains 'Notes from the moral wilderness', and extracts from 'Marxism and Christianity' among other important texts."
  • "What if Obama was not a latter-day FDR but a repackaged Herbert Hoover, however? Would Hoover have pushed through Social Security legislation if he had been President? Maybe if the pressure was sufficient to do so, but clearly Hoover was more hostile to the poor and to the working class than the aristocratic FDR whose combination of noblesse oblige and long-term strategic thinking on behalf of the class he served made him more amenable to change."

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