Colombia on the Brink

In the last week, Colombia has experienced the most widespread civil unrest of its modern history. Since Wednesday, April 28th, millions of people have taken to the streets to fight back against a regressive national tax reform bill. The bill, farcically called the “law of sustainable solidarity,” aimed to cover budgetary shortfalls resulting from the paralysis of the economy brought on by COVID. In fact, the legislation was a cynical attempt by right-wing President Ivan Duque to shift the burden of the economic crisis onto those who can least afford it. More

Napoleon Between War and Revolution

To avoid losing its power to the royalists or the Jacobins, France’s well-to-do bourgeoisie turned its power over to Napoleon, a military dictator who was both reliable and popular. The Corsican was expected to put the French state at the disposal of the haute bourgeoisie, and that is exactly what he did. His primordial task was the elimination of the twin threat that had bedeviled the bourgeoisie. More

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My (Your) University is Still Racist and Equity Training Won’t Change That

When I began teaching almost 40 years ago, Ronald Reagan was president. Denouncing affirmative action and “welfare queens,” and endorsing “states’ rights” and Apartheid South Africa, Reagan described the America of Jim Crow as a golden age, the “shining city on a hill.” Racism increasingly appeared to be woven into the fabric of national and international politics with no way to unravel it. More

Roaming Charges: We Who Are About to Get Shot, Salute You

My number had finally been called. Well, texted. No one calls anymore, except sexy robotic voices trying to sell me extended warranties for my car and electric toothbrush. On Monday, I was scheduled for my second dose of Pfizer’s COVID elixir, a strange brew which one friend pungently described as a mixture of germs, animal parts, formaldehyde and pus. Yum. My appointment with destiny: High noon at the convention center in Portland, shrouded in tear gas or not. My only choice: right arm or left. More

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