July 2011

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How the Soaring Price of Bread Will Shake the Foundations of the Global Economy

Picture: I am Kat Christian Parenti - What can a humble loaf of bread tell us about the world? The answer is: far more than you might imagine.  For one thing, that loaf can be “read” as if it were a core sample extracted from the heart of a grim global economy. Looked at another way, it reveals some of the crucial fault lines of world politics, including the origins of the Arab spring that has now become a summer of discontent. Consider this: between June 2010 and June 2011, world grain prices almost doubled....

America's Debt Ceiling Debate: Easier to Attack the Weak than the Wealthy

Video The Real News Network (TRNN) interviews Rob Johnson, senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, who argues that America's debt ceiling crisis is fake. In Johnson's view, America does not have an acute problem with default anytime in the next 15-20 years. Meanwhile in order to have America's debt ceiling increased to prevent a debt default. President Obama is making concessions to the Republicans who control the American Congress. These concessions include budgetary cuts to social security...

Palestine's Norwegians

Picture: Desert Peace Vijay Prashad - Sitting on an Amtrak train from New Haven to Washington DC on Friday, I was enjoying my thriller, Kjell Ola Dahl's The Man in the Window. Dahl's police procedural novels are set in Oslo, Norway, where the remarkable detectives Frank Frølich and Gunnarstranda confront the heart of modern evil: Property is often the hub of the conflict, but so too is the ineluctable history of Nazism and the Second World War. A brave history of pacifism, partly contained in the Norwegian Labour Party,...

Notes on the Underside of South African Democracy

Picture: Andre-Pierre Richard Pithouse - The shacks that ring the towns and cities of the global South are a concrete instantiation of both the long catastrophe of colonialism and neocolonial 'development' and the human will to survive and to hope to overcome. To step into the shack settlement is often to step into the void. This is not, as is so often assumed, because a different type of person finds that the tides of history have washed her into a shack settlement. It is because the shack settlement does not fully belong to...

Anglo American: Homegrown Exploitation Gone Global

Picture: magnusvk Glenn Ashton - During the peak of the anti-apartheid disinvestment campaign the Anglo-American Corporation took full advantage of the situation and snapped up disinvesting companies. By the 1990's Anglo American controlled 85% of the companies and over 60% of the wealth of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, making it the biggest economic beneficiary of apartheid. Through its diversified holdings it controlled vast sectors of the economy. Besides mining it was involved in forestry, paper, retail, car...

Dear Mandela Theatrical Trailer

Video Dear Mandela is a documentary film that follows three young leaders from the social movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, over four years, as they resist evictions and take their case to the Constitutional Court.  Dear Mandela had its World Premiere at the Durban International Film Festival on the 26th July. The film was also screened, throughout the week, in informal settlements where there are no cinemas. It was a special homecoming for the film, which is rooted firmly in the voices of...