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adding to the conversation

Category: World News

The Personal Presidential

Kamala Harris is elected the first woman1—a black woman—to the white house as Joe Biden's vice-President, defeating Cheeto Hitler and unseating an incumbent president. In eleven weeks, during which I hope the stochastic cultists face consequences for their support of a deranged narcissist who was openly fascist in ambition.

The work is ongoing, and there are many material problems facing the US, but now the burning airliner of this nation can hopefully glide to a softer landing than going straight down in flames. There is time to find parachutes, maybe repair an engine, find a body of water to...

Readings: Week of August 24

Tired Times

It feels as if 2020 has been a year where both far too much and not enough has happened. Who remembers May? Before the US erupted in protests for justice, before an election in the world's oldest constitutional democracy appeared less and less likely to be fair and open. The brute reality of living contrasts sharply with what feel like huge and portent shifts in the social tectonic—the centre cannot hold, but maybe there never was a center.

Readings (paper)

  • «Poets from the Chinese Revolution: From Chen Duxiu to Mao» Verso
  • «Lightning Rods» Helen DeWitt

Readings (linked)

Readings: Week of June 8

From around the web

  • «Marxism and Intersectionality»
    A super interesting interview with Dr. Ashley Bohrer that goes along well with a lot of contemporary events: from the global George Floyd protests to the (yet again) bailout of the wealthy and banks.

    Theory is a praxis, thinking is a kind of doing. I think I’m less interested in the traditional theory-politics divide and more interested in asking the question: how is what you are doing and thinking contributing to liberation?
    — Dr. Boherer

  • «China's Social Credit System Explained» (PDF)
    Merics China Monitor presents a nifty PDF slide-gui...

Future Capture: Towards A More Equal Moment

Introduction: Our Present History

If 2019 is a year supersaturated in politics, it is also one lacking in informed and hopeful politics. The Financial Times reported on September 30, 2018 that "more than half the world's population is now middle class," with "five people joining their ranks every second."1 Most of this population growth, they also state, is in Asia. We can pretty much take this to mean "China," as the world's most populous country has the lion's share of reduced poverty globally. (And 27 individuals hold more wealth than the 3,500,000,000 on the bottom of the wealth lottery in...

Critical Affairs Part I, A Timed Outburst: Frosty Sino-US Tensions Move Like Clockwork

Image Credit: Financial Times Co Ltd. © 2019

The U.S. and China, as much as those two entities meaningfully exist, have long been in a relationship dominated by “strategic competition.”1 Many would think this is a new feature of the Pacific’s two largest powers. They would be wrong.

Since at least the middle of the 1800s, when the U.S. built its transcontinental railway on the back of Chinese laborers (“immigrant” labor, typically used to mean non-white, built America almost completely; from the Atlantic Crossing and slavery that build the cotton-industrial complex of the South to the timber-c...

Critical Affairs: Series Introduction

"Bring Into Focus" Smithsonian, Freer and Sackler Gallery of Asian Art | Washington, D.C. | Japanese Buddhist Sutra, Photo and Editing by Author

The Goal

It is my aim, through this series, to introduce to a general audience a more thougftul and historical understanding of issues of contemporary international importance. The series will focus largely on U.S. and Chinese events, as these are the two areas where I possess formal training and am hence most comfortable.

I will occasionally focus on a single work, event, or issue that I feel is under-represented in public discourse. This includes p...

Population and Prosperity

Normalization of Relations: China and the United States

In December of 1969, the U.S. ambassador in Warsaw was asked to allude to his Chinese colleague President Nixon's interest in opening “concrete discussions” with China1; three short years later the relationship had progressed more quickly than anyone a few years ago would have thought possible. The symbolic culmination of this development came in January of 1972, when the President of the United States of America, Richard Nixon, visited Beijing for a largely ceremonial meeting with the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, Mao Zedong. ...