Democratic Socialism or Corporate Cronyism

It's mid-April, and the 74-year-old democratic socialist senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders is not only still in the race for the Democratic nomination, he is in the midst of a spring surge to overtake the most inevitable candidate in modern political history. On Wednesday (April 13th), Bernie held a rally in Washington Square Park in NYC [...]

“black bloc” anarchists strike again…

Last fall, I expressed my frustrations with the "black bloc" tactics of some anarchists after attending the otherwise successful General Strike in Oakland (HERE and HERE). Now they are at it again, only this time in San Francisco's Mission district. Across the country in NYC, there have been reports of white powder being sent to [...]

Cosmopolitical Reflections on Economy, Society, and Religion

  When was the day that money became an idol instead of an instrument? Was it August 15, 1971, when to pay for the Vietnam War Nixon shocked the world by erasing the Gold Standard, thereby unilaterally making the value of the US Dollar the reserve currency of the world economy? Or was it in the [...]

Reich speaks at #Occupy Cal

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich speaks at Occupy Cal in Berkeley yesterday (Nov. 15th): One thing that really sunk in: if the Supreme Court ruled that money is speech and corporations are people, then our government must also protect the rights of ordinary Americans to speak, and indeed, to speak in non-traditional ways (i.e., with [...]

Work and Play in Human Evolution

At the center of Robert Bellah's 700 page account of the axial turn in the evolution of religion (Religion in Human Evolution, 2011) is a theory of play. The relaxed field generated by playfulness, according to Bellah's richly empirical story, is the source of all human ritual and religion, and indeed of culture more generally. Play is [...]

Anarchy of the Heart

I am still struggling to understand what motivates the black bloc vandalism of the anarchists. I gather that they believe the big banks of the world have lost the ability to communicate with anything but monetary ammunition. It’s true, the bank’s way of transacting with the world is inherently violent, since their modus operandi is [...]

Occupy Oakland General Strike 11/2: Peaceful protest shuts down Port of Oakland while anarchists throw temper tantrum

A few classmates from CIIS and I attended Occupy Oakland's General Strike on Wednesday. I meant to report on my experience earlier (in today's fast-paced world, news gets old within 2 days), but I was unable to gather my thoughts after the day's (and evening's) events unfolded. As an intellectual and an introvert, I am [...]

Notes on the Occupation from the Mountaintop

I walked to the top of Grand View Park here in the Sunset district of San Francisco. I wanted to clear my head by ascending to the mountaintop, where place expands into space and time transforms into history. History, as we know it, has a beginning and an end. Civilizations, and the cosmopolitical habitats they [...]

#OccupySF 10/26 – rumors of attempted SFPD raid… did the people prevent it?

I went down to the #Occupy camp here in San Francisco earlier tonight after reading rumors on Twitter about a possible police raid. I arrived at about 11:30pm, after walking several extra city blocks to Justin Herman Plaza due to the closure of the closest MUNI station at Embarcadero by police to prevent an influx of protestors to [...]