March 2010

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Interview: Noam Chomsky on Haiti

Picture: Andre Garcia & CIA maps Keane Bhatt - Aid Should Go to Haitian Popular Organizations, Not to Contractors or NGOs For decades, Noam Chomsky has been an analyst and activist working in support of the Haitian people. In addition to his revolutionary linguistics career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he has written, lectured and protested against injustice for 40 years. He is co-author, along with Paul Farmer and Amy Goodman of Getting Haiti Right This Time: The U.S. and the Coup. His analysis "The...

What Is Global Apartheid and Why Do We Fight It?

Picture: Snapsi (picture modified) Yash Tandon - The term apartheid describes a system of governance in South Africa from about 1948 when the Nationalist Party came to power to independence in 1994, but it has acquired a broader usage. “Global apartheid” was first used during the 1980s by scholars, but became famous when Thabo Mbeki, in 2001, explained why the 2006 World Cup was given to Germany, not South Africa, due to a New Zealander’s vote switch. In 2002, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, he defined...

A Dream Deferred

A "Dream Deferred" is a documentary made to accompany the book, "Forgotten Voices in the Present." The book and documentary compile the "oral histories" of some of South Africa's poorest residents who recount their experience of living in the post-apartheid era.  According to information provided by the South African History Archives, "The book is made up of carefully selected excerpts of in-depth interviews with residents of Maandagshoek, Rammolutsi...

The Hurt Locker: An Oscar for America's Hubris

Picture: jeditrilobite Robert Scheer - What a shame that the one movie about the Iraq war that has a chance of being viewed by a large worldwide audience should be so disappointing. According to press reports, members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences finally found a movie about the Iraq war they liked because it is “apolitical.” Actually, “The Hurt Locker” is just the opposite; it’s an endorsement of the politically chauvinistic view that the world is a stage upon which Americans get...

Universities for Bread & for Roses

Picture: David Michael Morris Richard Pithouse - On Thursday last week the South African Students’ Congress (SASCO) attempted to close down nine university campuses to add some punch to their demand for free education. They came closest to succeeding at the University of Johannesburg before the police drove them off a burning barricade with water cannons. These sorts of actions against the commodification of university education have ebbed and flowed since the first days of our democracy. And they have been a regular part of...

South Africa's Social Conservatism: A Real and Present Danger

Picture: Brian Indrelunas Dale T. McKinley - As much as those of us who identify ourselves as social progressives would like to believe otherwise, the reality is that South Africa is a bastion of social conservatism. Indeed, one of the most glaring contradictions of South Africa’s post-apartheid ‘transition’ is that the widely acknowledged (and regularly celebrated) social progressiveness of the Constitution is, in large part, at fundamental odds with the beliefs and views of the majority of South Africans themselves....