Politics

Feudalism and Stagnation in South Africa

soweto-SA.jpg

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

jobless-men-go-home.jpg

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

170920-F-HT977-004.jpg

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

george-floyd-protests.jpg

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

sorry-we-are-closed.jpg

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

Minneapolis_Police_Department_3th_Precinct_2020-05-28.jpg

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

vengeance-of-serfs.jpg

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 »

The Coronavirus Is Also Spreading a Dark New Era of Neo-Feudalism

kotkin-neo-fuedalism_NG.jpg

Adapted from The Coming of Neo-Feudalism (Encounter Books). 

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the global shift already underway towards a neo-feudal society. With the middle-class economy largely shut down and, in the best-case scenario, in for a long and painful recovery, the population that is barely hanging on is expanding rapidly in America and around the world.  read more »

American Regionalism: Convergence on COVID-19

american-flags_Circe-Denyer.jpg

America’s many regions are once again in the news given the Coronavirus pandemic with various states forming groups – such as the Western States Pact of California, Oregon, and Washington or the eastern “COVID corridor” centered around New York – to manage and mitigate the response to  read more »

Subjects:

Hygienic Fascism: Turning the World Into a 'Safe Space' — But at What Cost?

michel_life-under-quarantine.jpg

Author Aldous Huxley once said, “A thoroughly scientific dictatorship will never be overthrown.”

Even as we try to battle the COVID-19 pestilence, we may be contracting a more dangerous virus — hygienic fascism. This involves a process when our political leaders defer to a handful of “experts,” amid what Dr. Joseph Ladopo, an associate professor at the UCLA School of Medicine, describes as an atmosphere of “COVID-19-induced terror.”  read more »

Subjects: