A beautiful article by Karma Nabulsi for the London Review of Books on the state of the Palestinian liberation movement:
Palestinians are currently trapped in a historical moment that—as the contemporary world sees it—belongs to the past. The language the situation demands had life only inside an ideology which has now disappeared.
Everyone else has moved on. In a world whose intellectual framework is derived from university courses in postcolonial or cultural studies, from the discourse of post-nationalism, or human rights, or global governance, from post-conflict and security literature, the Palestinians are stuck fast in historical amber.
Echoing the thoughts of many (but not yet enough for why are they not out shouting in the streets?), Robin Blackburn opens his recent article "For a Public Utility Finance System" with this crucial statement:
It is truly astonishing that a crisis caused by the bankers has to be solved at the expense of nurses, teachers, pensioners, students and the unemployed.
In addition to advocating the general share levy that Blackburn defends in his book Age Shock, the key conclusion of this essential article is:
The banks—large and small—could be obliged to issue shares equivalent to 40 per cent of their annual profits, to a regional network of social funds. Using these funds as their security the regional funds could then draw up—in association with local elective bodies—a ten year programme of productive investment, embracing both public and private ventures.
And in case we wondered whether this kind of measure is intended as a transitional demand:
The classic device of 20th century socialism was the nationalisation of industry. In the 21st century the key institution may well prove to be the publicly-owned and controlled financial fund.
Visit New Left Project to read the article in full (highly recommended.)
In an extended—and fascinating—article for the Sri Lanka Guardian, Vijay Prashad finds cause to mention Tariq Ali's similarly myth-busting The Obama Syndrome:
The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad documents the collapse of the Myth into a thousand pieces (David Remnick's The Bridge admits to much of the same defenestration of a New Deal charter into the Potomac, where it floated past the Pentagon to hearty cheers). Tariq indicts Obama for hypocrisy and a failure of nerve, whether in dealing with the banking crisis or the escalation in Afghanistan. The charge sheet is comprehensive, but of course not exhaustive ...
Visit the Sri Lanka Guardian to read the article in full.