Politics

Urban Blues

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On the surface, progressive “Blue America” has never appeared stronger. President Donald Trump’s leadership failures exposed by the pandemic and the recent disorders, is sinking him in the polls. His rival, Joe Biden, seems likely to concede his traditionally moderate stances to placate the Democrats’ youthful activist and identitarian wings.  read more »

State of the Nation on July 4 and How It Has Changed Over Time

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Coronavirus, a shattered economy, racial tensions, deep partisan polarization. Is it any surprise that Americans are down in the dumps? How could it be otherwise? Putting today’s sentiments in historical perspective using polls conducted over many years helps to assess our current malaise.  read more »

Triumph of the Oligarchs

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A new class of overlords are making their bid for world domination.

The Coronavirus has trammeled the prospects of most Americans, particularly low-income workers. But for one small group, the pandemic has proved something like manna from heaven. Already ascendant beforehand, the tech oligarchy—a relatively small number of companies, venture, and private equity funds—are riding the current crisis to unprecedented dominion over our ever-weakening Republic.  read more »

Feudalism and Stagnation in South Africa

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As I am writing this article, South Africa is predicted, following the coronavirus crises, to have an unemployment rate of 50% i.e. 1 in 2 working adults .The country’s lockdown has now been longer than the one in authoritarian China and to make matters worse, South Africa’s credit rating has been recently downgraded by agencies such as Fitch, Standard and Poor, and Moody’s.  read more »

Neo-Feudalism in California

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From the beginning, California promised much. While yet barely a name on the map, it entered American awareness as a symbol of renewal. It was a final frontier: of geography and of expectation.
—Kevin Starr, Americans and the California Dream: 1850–1915  read more »

Racism and the Working Class

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When I tell other middle-class professionals who don’t know me well that I’m writing a book about working-class culture, it’s amazing how often they respond approvingly that “white racism” is an important subject.  My reaction, depending on the circumstance, ranges from embarrassment to rage.  read more »

Police Violence, George Floyd, and Renegotiating the American Social Contract

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It's time to put the current protests revolving around the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd in the appropriate emotional and historical context. More importantly, it's time to consider what comes next.  read more »

Coronavirus: Why California's Small Businesses May Not Survive

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Whatever the medical benefits achieved from the prolonged coronavirus lockdown, California’s small business community will be suffering severe symptoms, likely for decades to come. The state’s small entrepreneurs, particularly in poorer areas, face major readjustments and perhaps obliteration, a situation further complicated for some by damage stemming from the protests over the killing of George Floyd.  read more »

Pandemics and Pandemonium

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Minneapolis and urban centers across America are burning, most directly in response to the brutal killing of a black man by a white Minnesota police officer. But the rage ignited by the death of George Floyd is symptomatic of a profound sense of alienation that has been building for years among millions of poor, working class urbanites.  read more »

How Coronavirus Pandemic is Bringing a Return to Feudalism

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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many things, but also accelerated America’s descent into a new form of feudalism. The preexisting conditions of extreme economic concentration, inequality and reduced social mobility already were painfully evident before, but the pandemic has made them considerably worse.  read more »