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GARY LEUPP – The Utter Stupidity of the New Cold War

It seems so strange, twenty-seven years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, to be living through a new Cold War with (as it happens, capitalist) Russia. The Russian president is attacked by the U.S. political class and media as they never attacked Soviet leaders; he is personally vilified as a corrupt, venal dictator, who arrests or assassinates political opponents …

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JONATHAN KIRSHNER – Five Looming Geopolitical Crises of the Trump Administration

Foreign policy crises are inevitable, and no American president can prevent them from arising. But it is possible to provoke, mismanage, and even exacerbate them, making a fraught situation catastrophically worse. We are only here today in part because John F. Kennedy overruled the hotheads among his advisors—they were in the majority—during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the anxious heat …

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Paul Brown – Nuclear energy revival remains elusive

LONDON, 25 December, 2016 – There have been three well-documented major nuclear accidents in the last 60 years, each one accompanied by official lies and cover-ups. There have been other less well-known serious accidents that have been so effectively hushed up that decades later there are only the sketchiest details available. The legacy of these disasters is a deep distrust of the …

William Astore – Tomgram: William Astore, All the President’s Generals

In a sense, human history could be seen as an endless tale of the rise and fall of empires. In the last century alone, from the Hapsburgs and Imperial Japan to Great Britain and the Soviet Union, the stage was crowded with such entities heading for the nearest exit. By 1991, with the implosion of the USSR, it seemed as …

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Ian Welsh – The Lies at the Heart of Our Dying Order

One should understand why people have lost trust in experts, the media, and politicians. It is not difficult, it is the same reason people lost faith in Soviet Communism: Promises were made that turned out to be lies, those promises were not kept. Soviet Communism was supposed to lead to a cornucopia and a withering away of the state. Instead …

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MEL GOODMAN – Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”

President-elect Donald Trump probably never read Fletcher Knebel and Charles Bailey’s “Seven Days in May” in 1962 and never saw John Frankenheimer’s film version in 1964, which dealt with the threat of a military coup due to opposition to a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  President John F. Kennedy read the book after the …

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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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Chernobyl disaster site enclosed by shelter to prevent radiation leaks

Reactor No 4 at Chernobyl, the scene of the worst nuclear accident in history, has been enclosed by a vast steel shelter designed to prevent radiation leaks from the site. The structure covers the reactor and the unstable “sarcophagus”, which was hastily built around it by Soviet authorities in the immediate aftermath of the disaster 30 years ago. The shelter …

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Michael A. Lebowitz – What Is Socialism for the Twenty-First Century?

Often the best way to begin to understand something is to consider what it is not. Socialism for the twenty-first century is not a society in which people sell their ability to work and are directed from above by others whose goal is profits rather than the satisfaction of human needs. It is not a society where the owners of …