It has become a truism: every election is the most important of our lives. Is this any more true of the 2020 presidential election? Of course it is! As we approach what is already shaping up to be another prolonged and contentious primary season, I want to offer an autobiographical preamble to my ongoing commentary [...]
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 [...]
This is a talk I gave back in September for my colleagues at CIIS during our annual retreat to Esalen in Big Sur, CA.
A few good posts on the polis recently. One by Adam Robbert. Another by Bill Thorn. ... Re-thinking politics is something most Athenian citizens never had to do. They had common categories to guide them in the agora, as well as comedy and tragedy to form and re-form their feelings for them at the theater. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Adam (Knowledge-Ecology.com) and I discuss the Occupy Movement...
Some film clips I recorded on Wednesday:
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]