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John Rees – 5 novels every revolutionary should read

Some of the best pieces of fiction ever written about revolutionary experience are outlined by writer and historian John Rees When I first started to research the Levellers I had it in mind that I might write a kind of collective biography of Leveller activists. I thought of two previous models. One came from the 17th century itself, John Aubrey’s …

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Henry Giroux – American Dystopia

In spite of their differing perceptions of the architecture of the totalitarian superstate and how it exercises power and control over its residents, George Orwell and Aldous Huxley shared a fundamental conviction. They both argued that the established democracies of the West were moving quickly toward a historical moment when they would willingly relinquish the noble promises and ideals of …

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Mark Kernan – The Economics of Exploitation: Indigenous Peoples and the Impact of Resource Extraction

In 1937 George Orwell said that coal mining was the ‘metabolism’ of western civilisation. What he meant by this striking metaphor was that coal was the catalyst for an earlier industrial revolution, just as enzymes act as the life-sustaining catalyst within the cells of living organisms to maintain life. If Orwell were alive today however he would have good cause …

UK

The Coming Dissolution of Great Britain – PATRICK COCKBURN

I have spent most of my working life writing about countries where communal or nationalist differences determine and, on occasion, convulse the political landscape. My first experience of this was at Queen’s University Belfast, where I was writing a PhD on the Irish Home Rulers in Ulster pre-Irish independence, during the worst years of the troubles in Northern Ireland between …

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Humans v Honeybees

Close to three quarters of a century ago—all of 13 years before William Golding’sLord of the Flies came out, just 4 years before George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and just months before Pearl Harbor—Arthur Koestler’s dystopic novel, Darkness at Noon, was published in England.  The author would end badly: he’s remembered as the mini-Lamarckian, para-normalist contributor to an Encyclopedia for Sexual Knowledge, and as a vice president of the Voluntary …