Friday, January 13, 2012

A History of Socalism for the small screen

It has been out for some time but if you missed the opportunity to catch it on PBS, the film version of Joshua Muravchik's excellent book, Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism (hosted by Ben Wattenberg) is now available in its entirety on youtube (with multiple comments from the Hitch). For those unfamiliar with Muravchik, he is now a leading neo-conservative, but was once a leading figure in the democratic socialist left, heading the Young People's Socialist League in the 1960s. He would later drift right, but his work documenting various socialist movements last century is one that still contains a tinge of nostalgia and honesty about the desire for a better world imbedded in various socialist movements. The successes of social-democratic models in Europe, America, and Asia are also presented in fair, and positive light. Additionally, Muravchik's work focused on some lesser known socialist leaders and movements, such as Julius Nyerere in Tanzania and Pandit Nehru in India.

Part 1: Part 2:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Elsewhere in 2012

Fine thoughts from Bob on the Stephen Lawrence case. A follow up here.

Anti-German Translation on the Hitler Youth haircut.

Adam Holland has provided great criticism and fact-finding related to Ron Paul. His most recent piece on the topic should be read by all.

The Fat Man ponders morality.

Marko's 2011 retrospective is worth the time.

Poumista on books and obituaries.

Johnny Guitar - Defending the indefensible with the absurd.

Terry Glavin on China.

Social Media and Insurgencies

Sean Kennedy has an excellent piece up at Small Wars Journal detailing the power social media has in changing the political landscape, while also providing a means to insurgent groups. Just a bit:
"Although social media has been widely lauded as a positive force for social change, the successes of insurgents in Egypt might be best explained by the Mubarak regime’s unwillingness to develop a proactive approach to the insurgency, and specifically his disregard of the Internet. Counterinsurgents of the future will likely conduct a pervasive, coordinated, preventive Internet propaganda campaign designed to undermine opposition groups. China and Russia already practice these methods with the purpose of preventing insurgencies from forming in the first place. Pro-regime forces in Syria have used the same new media tools as insurgents to disseminate information."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

When Mitt Romney Came to Town

I would have never believed the following video would be released during a Republican primary by someone within the party, let alone Newt Gingrich. But it is great, and worth a watch.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Santorum: The Trojan Working-Class Candidate

Watching the Republican debates, I occasionally found myself nodding to Rick Santorum’s proclamations. Much like Ron Paul, Santorum seemed to be challenging the status quo of the Republican Party. Ron Paul looked to further libertarianism at every level of government, while Santorum argued that the trickle-down, pro-business model of social and economic order that has become the norm in the Republican Party hurt America and its culture. Having a Republican candidate talks about putting public funds towards supporting families or working to re-energize our manufacturing sector was the type of talk that could energize even a stalwart Democrat. Santorum quickly revealed himself to be a shill for corporate interests, as his actual polices demonstrate. Yglesias wrote:

“For A Working Class Champion Focused On Social Mobility, Rick Santorum Seems To Be Pretty Interested In Cutting Rich People's Taxes.”

Santorum may claim to look out for the working class (when he is not denying class entirely), but his candidacy is yet another in a long list of corporate minded individuals that works to pull support away from candidates that may actually support working class interests.