Category Archives: Books

Murdoch’s Politics – How one man’s thirst for power shapes our world (David McKnight):

“Rupert Murdoch and Fox News are fiercely dedicated to a political project that will eliminate trade unions, abolish and/or commercialise public education, increase economic inequality and the power of billionaires and big business, ignore and aggravate the environmental crisis that threatens human existence, promote endless wars and militarism, governance for the rich, a corrupt judicial system, and elections that go to the highest (and anonymous) bidders. Above all, Murdoch champions the elimination of independent journalism. All the institutions that make for a credible modern democracy are in his crosshairs.

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Dark Commerce – How a new illicit economy is threatening our future (Louise I. Shelley):

Yikes. Prepare to be unsettled & alarmed. This is an urgent & weltering assessment & tally by Professor of Public Policy & director (& founder) of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, Prof Louise Shelley. An advanced veteran on the subject & a skilled scribe, we are delivered a withering & disturbing stream of highly accurate warnings & acute details concerning illicit trade, smuggling, organised crime & a wide diversity of corruption in its many forms & appliances.

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The Contrarian-Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s pursuit of power (Max Chafkin):

Thiel is sometimes portrayed as the tech industry’s token conservative – a view that wildly understates his influence. More than any other Silicon Valley investor or entrepreneur – more so even than Jeff Bezos, or Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, or Zuckerberg himself – he had been responsible for creating the ideology that has come to define Silicon Valley: that technological progress should be pursued relentlessly – with little, if any, regard for potential costs or dangers to society.

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The School of the Americas – military training and political violence in the Americas (Lesley Gill):

This book examines how the United States constructs a repressive military apparatus, in a region long considered by many to be its “back-yard,” through the lens of the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas (SOA). The School of the Americas is a U.S. Army centre for Latin American militaries that, since its establishment in the Panama Canal Zone in 1946, has trained over sixty thousand soldiers in combat-related skills and counter-insurgency doctrine. It has been at the centre of an intense public controversy over the last decade, because of the participation of some of its alumni in human rights atrocities. Some of the most notorious graduates include Argentine General Roberto Viola who was convicted of murder, kidnapping, and torture during Argentina’s “dirty war” (1976-2983); former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega; Salvadoran Colonel Domingo Monterrosa, who commanded the brutal Atlacatl Battalion that massacred nearly one thousand civilians in El Mozote; Guatemalan Colonel Julio Alpirez, who tortured and murdered guerrillas and a U.S. citizen while on the CIA’s payroll; and Honduran General Luis Alonso Discua, who commanded an army death squad known as Battalion 3-16.

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Labour, the Anti-Semitism Crisis & the Destroying of an MP (Lee Garratt):

When the Marxist philosopher, Antonio Gramsci, said “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear”, he could of been describing the situation we are facing today. Socialists and anti-imperialists therefore have an obligation to find common cause help the new to be born and reverse the morbid symptoms we are already witnessing., like the rise of the far right.

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An Ugly Truth-Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination (Cecilia Kang & Sheera Frenkel):

It was a line of thinking that came directly from Zuckerberg. In Facebook’s earliest days, when their office was still a glorified loft space, “Company over country” was a mantra the CEO repeated to his employees. His earliest speechwriter, Kate Losse, wrote that Zuckerberg felt that the company had more potential to change history than any country – with 1.7 billion users, it was now in reality already larger than any single nation. In that worldview, it made sense to protect the company at all costs. Whatever was best for Facebook, whatever continued the company’s astronomic growth, user engagement, and market dominance, was the clear course forward.

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… And What Do You Do? – What the royal family don’t want you to know (Norman Baker):

Why, and under what legal provision, was there a hearing in private to discuss the sealing of the wills? Why was seemingly no formal record of this hearing made public? Most of all, what does it say about our democratic and legal safeguards if a judge can subvert the law relating to the openness of wills by issuing a ‘practice direction’ to help the royal family, and then keep it secret that this has occurred?

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Serve The People-making Asian America in the Long Sixties (Karen Ishizuka):

After growing up alien in a black-and-white world, we founded the home/land we never had and gave birth to ourselves as Asian Americans – a political identity based in the alternative universe of the Third World. As part of the worldwide revolution, we said puckyooo to racism, to imperialism, to assimilation, to white standards, to a failed democracy [America], to our own internalized boundaries and barriers, to everything that had kept us distanced from out sovereignty of our communal selves. And with this new voice we created a new world. With the power of new conciseness and new language, and ample doses of audacity and naivety, we created a new sense of community and culture with few resources and no experience – because until then we had nothing to lose.”

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