Tag: History

No, Karl Marx Was Not Eurocentric

Critics of Marx have accused him of imposing a European model of historical development on the rest of the world. But the real Marx rejected Eurocentric thinking and developed a sophisticated view of world history in all its diversity and complexity.

Source: No, Karl Marx Was Not Eurocentric

Julia Gillard to take ground-breaking misogyny speech to the stage

Ten years ago, Australia’s then-prime minister, Julia Gillard, gave a speech in parliament that would echo long after her leadership came to an end.

“I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not,” said Gillard, in response to the opposition leader, Tony Abbott, accusing her of sexism.

“And the government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever.”

A Final Thought on the Hearings: How Trump Will Be Held Accountable | The Smirking Chimp

In other words, even if he avoids prosecution, even if he is never formally deemed a criminal under the law, Trump will be accountable to history. That is not as satisfying a form of accountability as a criminal judgment, to be sure. But it is a form of accountability that is inescapable. If the committee does its work properly — and I have every confidence it will — it will create a clear record. Which means that for our children and our children’s children — for as far as future generations will know of our recorded history — Donald Trump will live in infamy.

Source: A Final Thought on the Hearings: How Trump Will Be Held Accountable | The Smirking Chimp

9 Coalition years equal 50 years regression, Dutton notwithstanding

Have you heard the one about how the Liberal leopard changed his spots? He moved from the Government spot to a spot in the shadows to pounce on progress at a future date. (Michelle Pini)

THE MORE the Liberal and National parties talk of change, the more things stay the same.

Apart from the front men (for they are usually men) who are quite regularly replaced or recycled, this is true no matter which Coalition yardstick you care to examine: health, gender equality, education, climate change, Indigenous affairs, the economy, cost of living pressures or corruption.

While the regression in these areas certainly fluctuates in terms of severity, the fact that they remain largely unaddressed by the previous Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government is testament to the degree to which the Coalition entrenches inequity across most social parameters.

Source: 9 Coalition years equal 50 years regression, Dutton notwithstanding

O Lucky Man? Albo out to break the Labor hoodoo – Michael West

Labor is back in power. It is a rare gift. The ALP has held the reins of government for less than a third of the time in Australia’s history. And the party seems doomed to get the call from the electorate just as trouble is brewing.

Source: O Lucky Man? Albo out to break the Labor hoodoo – Michael West

Indigenous education: New resource seeks to teach Victorian history through Aboriginal eyes

Worawa Aboriginal College principal Lois Peeler and students arrive at the launch of the Aboriginal Change Makers resource.

What the LNP and Peter Dutton want stopped

When Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung man Tiriki Onus was a schoolboy, he recalls a year 10 teacher telling the class “that the Aboriginal people of south-east Australia were extinct”.

Source: Indigenous education: New resource seeks to teach Victorian history through Aboriginal eyes

Reactionary succession — Peter Dutton, Australia’s new Opposition Leader

New Liberal Leader Peter Dutton has a history of cruelty and corruption, despite the mainstream media telling us we should give him a chance, writes Dr Binoy Kampmark.

Source: Reactionary succession — Peter Dutton, Australia’s new Opposition Leader

Factcheck: the Coalition says Labor always ‘takes China’s side’, but are the parties’ positions so different? | Australian election 2022 | The Guardian

The flag pole of the Australian Parliament is seen behind the roofs of the Chinese Embassy in Canberra,

Morrison is doing a lot of political whining about fairness in our Democracy just as Abbott once did when complaining against the ABC. “Why aren’t they supporting us” he cried and banned MPs from the from any interviews on our national broadcaster, cutting funding by a $1bn over the past decade. “We are the Government and we should be supported” has been Morrison’s catch cry as well. The LNP wants flag-waving, not questions.  Morrison is doing an Abbott crying, and always loudly that nobody loves his government loves or supports him despite the fact that all he’s done for the past 3 years has been campaigning for this election and doing it badly.

1) Abbott closed down Radio Australia and created a vacuum in the region

2) Abbott was far more interested in Europe War Memorials, Knighthoods and Shirt-fronting Putin. Being a Friend of China was a political and economic advantage.

3) However Murdoch Media were constantly rubbing China the wrong way and China asked the Abbott government to intervene but they ignored it because Murdoch was a far more essential associate of the LNP. He was their publicist.

4) Morrison and Dutton have always known “impressing Murdoch in Australian politics was a must”. More so than being friends of China’s and so they set out to do just that as neither were really Murdoch’s picks. China simply ran second to Domestic politics, the next election was always in the front of mind. Without Murdoch Media the LNP were dead in the water. It’s Murdoch that makes MORRISON’s MIRACLES HAPPEN.

As the Coalition campaign seeks to revive the talking point that Labor always “takes China’s side”, Scott Morrison implored reporters to “just look at the record”. So we did just that and found the claims by the prime minister and his senior ministers are either factually inaccurate, misleading, or lack context.

Source: Factcheck: the Coalition says Labor always ‘takes China’s side’, but are the parties’ positions so different? | Australian election 2022 | The Guardian

The Left Has a Long, Proud Tradition of Opposing War

If you want PEACE

There’s a long and rich tradition of the Left’s opposition to militarism that dates back to the First International. It’s an excellent resource for understanding the origins of war under capitalism and helping leftists maintain our clear opposition to it.

Source: The Left Has a Long, Proud Tradition of Opposing War

Analysis Shows How Putin’s Flawed Decisions Are Similar to the Ones That Led to Hitler’s Demise | The Smirking Chimp

The Real Nazi of Eastern Europe

Pointing to historical timelines, history professors are highlighting how Putin’s decisions are relatively similar to the same ones German dictator Adolph Hitler made during Operation Barbarossa, the mission he led when the German army invaded the Soviet Union.

Source: Analysis Shows How Putin’s Flawed Decisions Are Similar to the Ones That Led to Hitler’s Demise | The Smirking Chimp

Scott Morrison engulfed by racism accusation as campaign looms

Scott Morrison

Last week Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells called Mr Morrison unfit to be Prime Minister and said he had campaigned against a preselection rival, Michael Towke, because of his Lebanese heritage. The contents of statutory declarations signed in 2016 by Mr Towke and a preselector, Scott Chapman, were made public this weekend – first reported by The Saturday Paper – and included claims Mr Morrison had made comments about the political downsides of Mr Towke’s race while spreading misplaced rumours that he was a Muslim. “These are quite malicious and bitter slurs, which are deeply offensive, and I reject them absolutely,” Mr Morrison said while campaigning in Tasmania on Sunday.

Source: Scott Morrison engulfed by racism accusation as campaign looms

A tale of two “liars” – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Liar

On August 16, 2010, five days before the federal election, Julia Gillard said “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”. On August 20, the day before the election, she said “I don’t rule out the possibility of legislating a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a market-based mechanism. I rule out a carbon tax.” When she announced the market-based carbon pricing scheme on February 24, 2011, the government’s press release said: The two-year plan for a carbon price mechanism will start with a fixed price period for three to five years before transitioning to an emissions trading scheme. Despite these easily verifiable facts, Peta Credlin and Alan Jones decided it would be politically expedient to label Gillard a liar, even promoting the puerile putdown “Juliar”. The fact that the Coalition got rid of a well-functioning emissions trading scheme only to introduce their own fatally flawed emissions reduction fund and carbon offsets scheme shows they are far more interested in the politics than the outcomes. Julia did not lie. Scott, on the other hand – well, how long have you got?

Source: A tale of two “liars” – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Deconstructed: The War Over Ukrainian History and Identity- podcast

“Ukraine is not just a neighboring country for us,” declared Russian President Vladimir Putin last week. “It is an inalienable part of our own history, culture, and spiritual space.” This conception of Ukrainian history forms the bedrock of Putin’s justification for invading the former Soviet republic, independent since 1991. On this week’s podcast, Ryan Grim talks with Ukrainian sociologist Volodymyr Ishchenko about his country’s history, from the Dark Ages up the current war. They discuss Ukraine’s history of anarchist politics, the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution that toppled pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych, and the tangled question of modern Ukrainian identity.

Source: Deconstructed: The War Over Ukrainian History and Identity

Ukraine as a ‘borderland’: a brief history of Ukraine’s place between Europe and Russia

Ukrainians tell a story of the origins of the Ukrainian nation going back to 11th century Kyiv, surviving centuries of oppression by Russia and Poland, and, finally, emerging out of the wreckage of the Soviet Union as a sovereign Ukrainian state in 1991.

Source: Ukraine as a ‘borderland’: a brief history of Ukraine’s place between Europe and Russia

Still under the bed? Red-baiting’s long history in Australian politics – and why it’s unlikely to succeed now

The Reds are back. Scott Morrison’s Liberal-National government has recently launched an offensive of “red-baiting”, a practice long thought consigned to the history books, in preparation for an anticipated May 2022 election. Last November, Defence Minister Peter Dutton hounded Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong, charging her with “not standing up for [Australian] values” in comments on the China-Taiwan dispute. This week, News Corp has targeted Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese after the Chinese Global Times offered him some backhanded compliments. A video also emerged of Albanese speaking Mandarin at an economic summit, and he was found to have participated in a forum for Tribune, newspaper of the defunct Communist Party of Australia. (This interview, it should be noted, was 31 years ago.) Such claims have long plagued the progressive side of politics. Since the first news of the Bolshevik victory in the 1917 Russian Revolution reached our shores, fears of Australia following Vladimir Lenin’s lead have been used and abused by conservative politicians for electoral gain. But, how successful have these “moral panics” been? And do they still pass muster with today’s electorate?

Source: Still under the bed? Red-baiting’s long history in Australian politics – and why it’s unlikely to succeed now

The national history curriculum should not be used and abused as an election issue

The Liberal Party claims its ethos is “free thinking” individuals. It’s reality is to create and action Institutional systems to produce the opposite. Single-minded thought is a priority and Education is their training ground. Education to teach individuals to think freely is in no way on their agenda and resistense begins in primary schools. Training not learning the emphasis and a strict control of history the planned method. History turned into myth and learned as truth. Hitler, it must be reminded, had exactly the same program in mind.

Everyone has an opinion about what should go into history curriculum. Politicians are especially good at expressing theirs. The acting federal education minister, Stuart Robert, has announced a delay in approving the revised Australian Curriculum until at least April. This means the ongoing debate about Australian history in the curriculum is likely to be dragged out to the eve of the next federal election. History curriculum is political but should not be used as a political plaything at election time. The federal government and Western Australian government are concerned that the revised history curriculum is “very busy”. Robert said Western civilisation “is well and truly back in the curriculum, but it remains quite cluttered”.

Source: The national history curriculum should not be used and abused as an election issue

“No Rights which the White Man was Bound to Respect” What SCOTUS once Ruled about a Black Woman, as Biden prepares to Nominate One

Chief Justice Roger Taney said that members of the “Negro race” were not U.S. citizens and that they had no federal rights at all that white men were bound to respect, including the right to sue in federal court. He actually spoke of whites as the “citizen race” to the exclusion of “Negroes” and “Indians,” who were not eligible (unlike white immigrants from Europe) for naturalization. So President Biden’s nominee will be joining a court that once upon a time denied that Harriet Robinson Scott was or could be a citizen or had any human or civil rights at all. Harriet lived to see the Emancipation Proclamation and the Fourteenth Amendment, which bestowed citizenship on everyone born in the US. Only people who privately still believe in the exclusive privileges of the white “citizen race” will complain about having an African-American woman on the Supreme Court, in an epochal slap in the face to moral monsters like Chief Justice Taney.

Source: “No Rights which the White Man was Bound to Respect” What SCOTUS once Ruled about a Black Woman, as Biden prepares to Nominate One

Facebook’s Tamil Censorship Highlights Risks to Everyone

According to Jillian York, director for international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the rigidity of Facebook’s DIO roster risks causing what she described as “cultural and historical erasure,” a status quo under which one can’t publicly and freely discuss a group designated as an enemy by the U.S., even after that enemy ceases to exist. “We’ve seen this with some groups in Latin America that are still on the U.S. [terror] list, like FARC,” the Colombian guerrilla army that dissolved in 2017 but remains banned from free discussion under Facebook policy. “At some point, you have to be able to talk about these things.”

Source: Facebook’s Tamil Censorship Highlights Risks to Everyone

Where ‘mutual obligation’ began: John Howard’s paradigm shift on welfare | Cabinet papers | The Guardian

Prime minister John Howard in 2001. Cabinet papers from that year show a shift to a ‘mutual obligation’ welfare system and refusal of apology to stolen generations

“The election of the Howard government marked a paradigm shift in welfare policy with the implementation of far reaching reforms around the concept of mutual obligation,” they wrote. “Howard’s new welfare paradigm defined welfare as a problem associated with ‘dependency culture’ and linked reforms to specific social groups (single mothers, young unemployed, new migrants).”

Source: Where ‘mutual obligation’ began: John Howard’s paradigm shift on welfare | Cabinet papers | The Guardian

You heard that Right – “Peace Movements in Islam” – Juan’s new Book Challenges Stereotypes

This groundbreaking volume fills a gaping hole in the literature on global peace movements, bringing to the fore the many peace movements and peacemakers of the Muslim world. From Senegalese Sufi orders to Bosnian women’s organizations to Indian Muslim freedom fighters who were allies of Mahatma Gandhi against British colonialism, it shows that history is replete with colorful personalities from the Muslim world who made a stand for peaceful methods.”

Source: You heard that Right – “Peace Movements in Islam” – Juan’s new Book Challenges Stereotypes

The Week Ahead: Why Has America Rescued Our Elderly from Poverty but Not Our Children? | The Smirking Chimp

But we’re not as generous now. Even though the American economy is far larger than it was then, the middle class is a smaller share of it. For the last four decades America has been dividing into well-off professionals who don’t feel any connection to the poor, and a beleaguered working class that’s easily convinced any help to the poor will cause their taxes to increase. Hence, in 1996 even a Democratic president decided to end aid to poor kids, largely because polls showed that most Americans — including the vast majority of the working class — no longer supported welfare. Twenty-five years later — and even after the awful consequences of that decision have become apparent — a Democratic Congress has chosen not to provide permanent help to the nation’s poor kids. In other words, I don’t think we’ve prioritized the elderly poor over poor children. The big difference is we have become far less equal as a society, which has made us less willing to remedy poverty at all.

Source: The Week Ahead: Why Has America Rescued Our Elderly from Poverty but Not Our Children? | The Smirking Chimp

Morrison Government notches up 40 ‘worst on record’ economic outcomes

Morrison says the LNP are the best economic managers and that’s no lie. Well the facts prove otherwise.

Today we heard him say that his government has instituted more changes than any other to deal with bullying and sexual abuse in the work place. When you bunjee jump and publicly take the LNP to the lowest state ever in the history of the parliament any changes made could be considered the “most” ever. However the historic record public humiliation still shows the Morrison government the worst. So much so the changes were in fact slow and forced on him by the victims and not really any SNAGs male or female in the LNP ministry or Scott Morrison himself. How clear was he whe he said he wasn’t going out to speak to the protesting women. He was too busy. Compared with the ALP the Morrison LNP remains lower in the eyes of the public than any other time in history. Victims sacked, mocked and gone while the perpertrators merely slapped on the wrist praised and then promoted.

I’ve just finished watching Dopesick about the Sacklers,their Pharmaceutical Company, Oxycontin and how they managed to avoid prosecution for years by applying the same token strategies as Morrison. Who like the Sacklers was found  praising himself for some nominal changes while continuing to carry on down the same road. Morrison has the ad-mans confidence but he certainly lacks any real leadership skills.

Recent economic data brings the tally of failures in economic management by Prime Minister Morrison and Treasurer Frydenberg to 40, as Alan Austin documents. WORLD BANK DATA shows the value of manufacturing in Australia as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) was 13.83% when that dataset began in 1990. It stayed above 12% until 1999, when a decline began. This fell to an all-time low of 5.64% in 2019, six years after the Coalition was elected on promises to ‘re-invigorate manufacturing industry’. The 2020 level was 5.72%, the second-lowest ever. The Australian Sovereign Capability Alliance reports that Australia now has the lowest manufacturing self-sufficiency of any country in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Source: Morrison Government notches up 40 ‘worst on record’ economic outcomes

Inflation worse under Coalition than Labor, contrary to Morrison’s claims

Scott Morrison’s latest scare campaign claims interest rates and inflation will be worse under Labor than the Coalition, but the historical data refutes that, writes Alan Austin.

Source: Inflation worse under Coalition than Labor, contrary to Morrison’s claims

Tudge flags freedom of speech while whitewashing Australia’s past

White retrenchment theory. By a practicing white male misogynist preaching values he doesn’t practice.

Education Minister Alan Tudge continues to argue that an obscure version of our history – one that students “can be proud of” – is the only one worth teaching, writes Dechlan Brennan.

Source: Tudge flags freedom of speech while whitewashing Australia’s past

Britain’s Imperial Heyday Is Nothing to Be Nostalgic For

The British Empire should be a fading memory. But modern-day conservatives have turned imperial nostalgia into a powerful weapon in the country’s culture wars, vilifying those who want a more honest reckoning with Britain’s historic crimes.

Source: Britain’s Imperial Heyday Is Nothing to Be Nostalgic For

The Great Silencing | The Smirking Chimp

That’s how terrorism works and how the silence grows wherever the forces of zealotry and fanaticism dominate a culture. It’s beginning to seem a bit Brown Shirt-y in this country, verging on Third Reichian, a place where neighbors fear neighbors and teachers teach warily, succumbing to fear as the great silencing settles over us.

Source: The Great Silencing | The Smirking Chimp

Tudge sore over suggestion we question Anzac Day

Education Minister Alan Tudge should look closely at history before criticising expert’s proposed curriculum changes, suggesting school students challenge ideas about Anzac Day, writes Dechlan Brennan.

Source: Tudge sore over suggestion we question Anzac Day

Closing the Gap: Indigenous suicide and incarceration rates rising

Just three of the 17 new Closing the Gap targets are on track to be met.

Indigenous people are still far more likely to be jailed, die by suicide and have their children removed than non-Indigenous people a year after the new Closing the Gap agreement was signed, according to the Productivity Commission.

Source: Closing the Gap: Indigenous suicide and incarceration rates rising

Justin Trudeau says his ‘heart breaks’ with more Indigenous graves found

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau lays a teddy bear at a small flag at the site of a former residential school where ground-penetrating radar detected a potential 751 unmarked graves, in Cowessess First Nation, Saskatchewan.

Is it any surprise that British Colonial settler territories have so much in common? Australian history with it’s “stolen generations” had very similar experiences even if the specific details differed. However Canada doesn’t have the denialist racist attitudes expressed by the Murdoch media organization when it comes to resisting the re-investigation of their history.

The Kuper Island Indian Industrial School was operated by the Roman Catholic Church from 1890 until 1969, when the federal government took it over. The school was closed in 1975 and the building was demolished in the 1980s.

Source: Justin Trudeau says his ‘heart breaks’ with more Indigenous graves found

There’s A New Big Lie In Town | Crooks and Liars

There's A New Big Lie In Town

Embarking on a vast propaganda campaign designed to erase one of the deadliest bouts of domestic, political terrorism in this country, Trump media and their GOP acolytes are moving quickly to peddle the next Big Lie, claiming that the January 6 insurrection never happened.At this point, there’s nothing too big for the right-wing noise machine to try to whitewash and gaslight — like the fact that a pro-Trump horde was responsible for breaking into the U.S. Capitol, attempted to disrupt the congressional vote certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory, and then chanted death threats against then-Vice President Mike Pence.Yet leading the charge on Sunday, Trump during a Fox interview called the insurrection “a lovefest between the Capitol police and the people that walked down to the Capitol” that day. He insisted the protesters were “peaceful.”

Source: There’s A New Big Lie In Town | Crooks and Liars

Friday essay: beyond ‘statue shaming’ — grappling with Australia’s legacies of slavery

Colonisation was enacted by all those who came to Australian shores, rich and poor, willing or reluctant, and the inevitable effects on Indigenous people resulted from this collective and continuing process. Colonial legacies such as white privilege and Indigenous disadvantage — exemplified by the Stolen Generations and appalling Aboriginal deaths in custody statistics — are therefore a collective responsibility all Australians must shoulder.

Source: Friday essay: beyond ‘statue shaming’ — grappling with Australia’s legacies of slavery

Stolen wages: Northern Territory class action will hold the Commonwealth to account

On August 23 1966, Vincent Lingiari and his fellow Aboriginal stock workers walked off the Wave Hill cattle station in the Northern Territory. Their action, in pursuit of fair working conditions, wages and land, was supported by unions across the country, and lasted nine years – the longest in Australian history.

Source: Stolen wages: Northern Territory class action will hold the Commonwealth to account

Book review: Farmers or Hunter-gatherers? The Dark Emu Debate rigorously critiques Bruce Pascoe’s argument

Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu will continue to be granted recognition, if not immortality. But Sutton and Walshe’s Dark Emu Debate will undoubtedly be acclaimed. As a critique of Pascoe’s book, it’s just about perfect — a volume with the twin virtues of rigour and readability.

Source: Book review: Farmers or Hunter-gatherers? The Dark Emu Debate rigorously critiques Bruce Pascoe’s argument

WA’s first governor James Stirling had links to slavery, as well as directing a massacre. Should he be honoured?

Today, councillors in Perth’s City of Stirling will vote to decide whether to change their city’s name. This follows a residents’ motion arguing a new name would better “reflect the long standing and relevant history of this land in such a way that is inclusive and in recognition of the Nyoongar community”. This is not about erasing history, said Whadjuk Noongar Elder Len Collard. It is about extending history, “so that all experiences are reflected”.

Source: WA’s first governor James Stirling had links to slavery, as well as directing a massacre. Should he be honoured?

Georgia Board of Education Votes to Censor American History

An enslaved family picking cotton outside Savannah, Ga., in the 1850s. Photograph by Pierre Havens.

The state board drafted a resolution restricting classroom discussion of racism, then blocked comments from the YouTube livestream.

Source: Georgia Board of Education Votes to Censor American History

If You Love Our Country, Don’t Ban Its History | The Smirking Chimp

The question opponents of critical race theory don’t want us to ask is: How did the past affect the present? What parts of the ugly side of our history have we retained, even unintentionally? Understanding these lessons is the whole point of studying history. We do a disservice to our own history if we do not study all of it, in all of its complexity, in order to secure a better future.

Source: If You Love Our Country, Don’t Ban Its History | The Smirking Chimp

Gough Whitlam’s Government Was the Victim of a Right-Wing Coup

In 1975, an Australian constitutional coup brought down Gough Whitlam’s reforming Labor government, with the Queen’s governor-general delivering the fatal blow. Whitlam’s fate was a crucial lesson for left-wing movements everywhere: capitalists will only allow so much democracy before pushing back.

Source: Gough Whitlam’s Government Was the Victim of a Right-Wing Coup

Alan Tudge advocates for Westernised Australian history curriculum

The new draft curriculum for Australian history, says Education Minister Alan Tudge, is not getting “the balance right”. Andrew Bolt took up the cause, telling his Sky viewers: “Race propaganda — coming to a classroom near you.”

Along with Tony Abbott, John Howard and others, Mr Tudge is a gatekeeper of Western culture. The gatekeepers take criticism of their hallowed ground as a personal insult — “Disparage my culture and you disparage me”. And they strike back like cut snakes.

Like all imperialists, Western colonisers have dispossessed, dislocated, enslaved, sickened and murdered the people whose lands they invaded. But history is written by the victors and the privileged descendants are the gatekeepers.

What’s my point?

The gatekeepers prefer to keep their privileges. As men born to rule, they believe they deserve them. They’re in Australia’s richest top 10%, which owns half the nation’s wealth. The bottom 60% owns 16% of the wealth.

Source: Alan Tudge advocates for Westernised Australian history curriculum

The Far-Right War on History, Education, and Thinking | The Smirking Chimp

Knowing the real history of the U.S., is essential to advancing the struggles of today to achieve a more just society for all the multi-racial, multi-ethnic people who live in a nation becoming more diverse every day. It undermines the rationalizations for suppressing the rights to vote and protest, and for protecting political and economic power for an entrenched white and corporate elite that continues to profit off structural racism today.

Source: The Far-Right War on History, Education, and Thinking | The Smirking Chimp

Republicans tried to overturn the election. We can’t just forget that | Robert Reich | The Guardian

Senator Josh Hawley voted to throw out the results of the 2020 election and gave a clenched-fist salute to the Trumpist mob on 6 January – but is somehow a welcome guest on mainstream media.

America prefers to look forward rather than back. We’re a land of second acts. We move on. This can be a strength. We don’t get bogged down in outmoded traditions, old grudges, obsolete ways of thinking. We constantly reinvent.  The downside is a tendency toward collective amnesia about what we’ve been through, and a corresponding reluctance to do anything about it or hold anyone accountable.

Source: Republicans tried to overturn the election. We can’t just forget that | Robert Reich | The Guardian

You Must Work or Die: The Long History of “Worker Shortages”

Recently "freed" workers on a sugar plantation in the West Indies, 1849, their progress is watched by a white supervisor with a whip.

The current blizzard of stories about a “worker shortage” across the U.S. may seem as though it’s about this peculiar moment, as the pandemic fades. Restaurants in Washington, D.C., contend that they’re suffering from a staffing “crisis.” The hospitality industry in Massachusetts says it’s experiencing the same disaster. The governor of Montana plans to cancel coronavirus-related additional unemployment benefits funded by the federal government, and the cries of business owners are being heard in the White House. In reality, though, this should be understood as the latest iteration of a question that’s plagued the owning class for centuries: How can they get everyone to do awful jobs for them for awful pay?

Source: You Must Work or Die: The Long History of “Worker Shortages”