Democracy

Catalonia mulls options as stakes go up

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Catalonia’s separatists were planning their response on Oct. 22 after Spain took drastic steps to stop the region from breaking away by dissolving its separatist government and forcing new elections MADRID – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his regional executive — who sparked a major political crisis by holding an independence referendum on Oct. 1 — will be stripped of their jobs and their ministries taken over under measures announced on Oct. 21 by Prime Minister Mariano ... Read More »

John Pilger On Hillary Clinton, Julian Assange And The ABC’s War On Truth

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ABC journalist Sarah Ferguson’s recent interview with Hillary Clinton was almost as devoid of journalism as it was of reality and facts. John Pilger reports New Matilda – the insider On 16 October, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation aired an interview with Hillary Clinton: one of many to promote her score-settling book about why she was not elected President of the United States. Wading through the Clinton book, What Happened, is an unpleasant experience, like a stomach upset. Smears and tears. Threats and ... Read More »

US, France slam detention of leading Turkish activist Osman Kavala

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U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has said the arrest of the prominent activist and businessman Osman Kavala was an example of a “very alarming trend” of the detention of civil society leaders, human rights defenders, journalists, academics and… Hurriyet “We have expressed to the Turkish government our concerns on many occasions about this trend … It remains a major concern of ours,” Nauert told reporters in Washington on… The French Foreign Ministry also stated on Oct. 19 that it ... Read More »

Joyce McMillan: Are the Tories imploding over Brexit?

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Back in a different world, in April last year, I wrote a column about the difficult questions posed for then-prime minister David Cameron, and his chancellor George Osborne, by the decision of Tata Steel to sell off its entire UK operation. Joyce McMillan The Scotsman To the right of them, they faced the free market ideologues of post-Thatcher Toryism, who view state intervention to save threatened industries with scorn. Even further to the right, with Boris Johnson in the lead, ... Read More »

Trump Likely to Block Release of Some JFK Files

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If the decision holds, it could contribute to the belief that the government has something to hide. Conspiracy theorists of the world, get ready for some bad news. Philip Shenon Politico Trump administration and other government officials say privately that President Donald Trump is almost certain to block the release of information from some of the thousands of classified files related to the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy that are scheduled to be made public in less ... Read More »

The Revolt that Shook the World

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What we can learn from the triumph of the Russian Revolution and its subsequent demise Pete Dolack  History does not travel in a straight line. The Indypendent I won’t argue against that sentence being a cliché. Yet it is still true. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t be still debating the meaning of Russia’s 1917 October Revolution on its centenary, and more than a quarter-century after its demise. Neither the Bolsheviks nor any other party played a direct role in the ... Read More »

Capitalism is ending because it has made itself obsolete, former Greek finance minister Yannis Varoufakis says

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Exclusive: Former economics professor says rise of artificial intelligence will spell end of neoliberal system Tom Embury-Dennis The Independent  Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has claimed capitalism is coming to an end because it is making itself obsolete. The former economics professor told an audience at University College London that the rise of giant technology corporations and artificial intelligence will cause the current economic system to undermine itself. Mr Varoufakis, who took on EU institutions over Greek debt repayments in 2015, said companies ... Read More »

Judges turn to extreme remedy to block Trump administration

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(CNN) — As the Trump administration seeks to obliterate Obama-era policies, progressive lawyers are racing to court asking for an extreme form of relief, urging judges to reach deep into their judicial tool kits and issue national — even global — injunctions. Ariane de Vogue Such injunctions are a relatively new phenomenon, and some legal scholars worry they are bad for the country and bad for courts. The experts say the extreme remedy squelches the benefit of having multiple judges ... Read More »

Ancient Greek wisdom for today’s leadership crisis

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What makes a good leader? This question confronts us at every election and with every domestic and international policy decision. Emily Anhalt As a professor of classical languages and literature for more than 30 years, I marvel at our insistence on addressing this question as if it were brand new. The Conversation Centuries ago, myths helped the Greeks learn to reject tyrannical authority and identify the qualities of good leadership. As I write in my book “Enraged,” the same myths ... Read More »

How the oligarchy wins: lessons from ancient Greece

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Ganesh Sitaraman looks at what two recent books – Classical Greek Oligarchy by Matthew Simonton and Oligarchy by Jeffrey Winters – can teach us about defending democracy from oligarchs Ganesh Sitaraman The Guardian A few years ago, as I was doing research for a book on how economic inequality threatens democracy, a colleague of mine asked if America was really at risk of becoming an oligarchy. Our political system, he said, is a democracy. If the people don’t want to ... Read More »

Angola Has an Opportunity to Lead

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A change in leadership often signals a natural time for transformation and, of course, challenges. The first peaceful transition of power in Angola took place in August, with the election of João Lourenço as the new president, replacing long-serving José Eduardo dos Santos, who led the country for thirty-eight years. Eugen Iladi  The National Interest International observers called the election process fair, with the ruling MPLA party taking 61 percent of the votes. In mid-September, the Constitutional Court of Angola ... Read More »

Steve Bullock and the Lost Art of Political Persuasion

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He’s one of the most popular governors in the country. Some Democrats think he’d make a great presidential candidate There’s just one problem: Few outside of Montana have heard of the guy. GABRIEL DEBENEDETTI Politico BOZEMAN, Mont. —A small collection of the older women of Bozeman, Montana, are deep into their water aerobics class at the Holiday Inn’s indoor pool on a recent cold and gusty Wednesday when the governor strolls by. About 10 feet from the pool area, Steve ... Read More »

The Infantilization of the President

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Aides have doubted prior presidents’ wisdom, health, or sobriety, but never have so many insiders treated the commander in chief like a child. David A. Graham The Atlantic  As every toddler knows, bigger is better, whether that’s two scoops of ice cream (versus one for everyone else), a border wall, or a nuclear arsenal.And that was President Trump’s reaction during a July meeting with military and national-security leaders about the nuclear arsenal, too, according to NBC News. In total, he ... Read More »

The Prophet of Germany’s New Right

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From a tiny village in the country’s rural east, a leading nationalist intellectual builds a vision for the future of his movement across Europe. James Angelos The New York Times Götz Kubitschek, a self-proclaimed “rightist intellectual,” lives in a medieval manor house in Schnellroda, a rural village in eastern Germany. From this isolated, antique outpost, Kubitschek, who is 47, wields considerable influence over far-right thinkers, activists and politicians across Germany, who make regular pilgrimages to Schnellroda for an audience with ... Read More »

The Domestic Challenge to Kyrgyzstan’s Milestone Election

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While Kyrgyzstan’s 15 October elections are a rare milestone for Central Asian democracy, the campaign is exposing dangerous fault lines. Deirdre Tynan  In the largest city of Osh, the new president will have to face down robust local power brokers, defuse Uzbek-Kyrgyz tensions and re-introduce the rule of law. ICG Kyrgyzstan’s forthcoming presidential elections on 15 October are a milestone for Central Asia: for the first time, a president from the region will voluntarily stand down at the end of ... Read More »

Pierre Omidyar: 6 ways social media has become a direct threat to democracy

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While it’s hard to believe that helping strangers connect through the Internet was ever a radical idea, when I started eBay 22 years ago, it felt more like a social experiment than a business endeavor. Pierre Omidyar The Washington Post And in many ways, it was. Back then, online commerce was a new and wild frontier.I believed in our mission to empower people to conduct private trade on the Internet, but there were unforeseeable challenges lurking deep in those uncharted ... Read More »