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With the election of Joe Biden to the office of the President, accompanied by the many grassroots organizers around the country succeeding in state and local races, Democrats are uniquely positioned to move forward on a “transitional agenda” that builds America toward a progressive future. As the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be making a resurgence along with a burgeoning economic crisis threatening the stability of working families, Democrats have the opportunity to work on a Universal Healthcare program and a community-safe infrastructure package. …


In a post-George Floyd America, Democrats must put up a robust anti-war agenda

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In a post-George Floyd America, where many are now calling to “defund the police” and focus on community-based investment, Democrats must listen to those who have been a victim of police brutality and racism. Beyond being a conversation about race, it is also a conversation about unbridled power and the brutality of draconian law. If we are to request massive reassessments that divest from punitive criminal authority to more holistic public safety standards, we have to be honest about America’s defense spending.


Who will shine after the first two debates? What ideas will prevail?

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Although the crowded field of Democrats is drawing criticism from late night talk show hosts and pundits, the truth is that the amount of choice offered to voters this June is a positive step forward in restoring faith and trust in the DNC and the party as a whole. The Democratic field will feature a wide array of voices ranging from establishment loyalists, liberals, progressives, and even a socialist. There is no doubt that the primary debates will become volatile at points; however, it is expected that the top players will engage in a contest of Trump bashing to gloat leadership chops, as some have already begun (i.e., Biden, Booker, Klobuchar, Harris, etc…). But policy substance will be the most critical test for many candidates. To clearly communicate a vision in return for public support will be a primary task. …


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John Reed’s journalistic testament of the Russian Revolution in the Ten Days That Shook the World promotes a ‘glorified’ picture of the revolution, most classically, as furnishing a global upshot of socialist politics. In the preface, he states, “No matter what one thinks of Bolshevism, it is undeniable that the Russian Revolution is one of the great events of human history, and the rise of the Bolsheviki [is] a phenomenon of world-wide importance.” [15] Reed seems to hold genuine confidence in the global ramifications of the Russian Revolution, which was, as most scholars attest, ‘caused by the struggle for international socialism.’ However, Reed’s work has been subject to popular debate by liberal scholars as having quite ‘dramatized’ features in his account of the historical moment — his work has received criticism of being a work of propaganda (especially given Vladimir Lenin’s praiseworthy introduction). Yet, Reed’s contribution is essential reading in Russian and Soviet historiography. Moreover, the discord among scholars about Reed’s work mirrors the two different world-views of the Russian Revolution, i.e., from the Western perspective (or Global North) and the “backward” East (or Global South). More closely, if we are to consider the world-wide importance of the Russian Revolution, there needs to be greater attention placed on Global South perspectives fitted within the national context. Perhaps, this view can open new considerations concerning how revolutionary and resistance movements in the underdeveloped world were influenced by the discourse and political action in Revolutionary Russia. …


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In modern academia, the role of the historian takes on many shades of thought and varies in philosophical perspective and practice. Whether the vast differences within the discipline is “ethical” or not is to be determined by analyzing what historians define as “history.” While many may envisage history as a study of analyzing the past, or as a way to predict the future, it should be understood as a method aimed at keeping human consciousness of the political past enduring through the present and future. As Rosenzweig and Thelen have discovered in their extensive study of people’s personal histories, we are very much shaped and molded by our distinctive historical narrative.[4] These narratives are impacted by the external political environment. In order for humankind to progress naturally, it is imperative to remain introspective to our political reality so as to change when necessary and maintain what can be considered a transcendental good. …


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Paul Krugman’s New York Times article about “Moochers Against Welfare” points to a fundamental problem that has been getting worse in America since the Clinton era: awareness of social welfare policies. After a recent conversation with a friend on Facebook, it demonstrated what Krugman emphasized — a majority of people who are against social welfare make up the largest share of welfare recipients. This mostly includes the white working-class in red states, seniors, and veterans. Krugman’s article speaks to a more extensive body of research about the opaque nature of private intermediaries involved in the procurement of social welfare policies; some of the most renowned works on the subject being Morgan & Campbell’s The Delegated Welfare State, and Mettler’s The Submerged State. …


POP-CULTURE OPINION

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WWE’s Paige (Saraya-Jade Bevis)

We all know wrestling is choreographed. But for decades, wrestling has had the power to captivate our minds artistically and expressively. It prompts fans to aspire to be bold in the things they believe in. The WWE has captured an immense audience for many years displaying a variety of strengths and controversy, and at times, corny storylines. While WWE has not always played a role in shaping societal conventions, over the past two years, it has been the loudest in raising women’s voices to the forefront of wrestling. This historic shift has been primarily due to the work of many women wrestlers seeking to make their mark. …


The Republican Party was once a party of property redistribution, workers, and the liberation of Africans. . .

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After reflecting on the materialization of discourse in revolutionary France during 1789, one can’t help but notice the prevalence of radical republicanism. Republican virtue was synonymous with liberty, solidarity, and equality. In bringing such ideas to prominence in government, Maximilien Robespierre once wrote on “Political Morality” professing

Republican virtue can be considered in relation to the people and in relation to the government; it is necessary in both. When only the government lacks virtue, there remains a resource in the people’s virtue; but when the people itself is corrupted, liberty is already lost. . . [7]

For fear of subversion from royalists and external duress from British invaders, the crazed and emboldened leader of France proclaimed the Revolution belonged to those fighting the struggle to bring down the monarchy and the unholy alliance made between clergy and nobility — the republicans. There was a direct bond between the people and virtue for Robespierre. He argued that when a people become apathetic to the need for virtue, freedom is lost. Therefore, there must be a concerted effort on behalf of the government to preserve virtuousness. This philosophical discourse establishes important historical precedents for the development of a radical society. One being the dialectical reiteration of “republican” as the radical archetype in revolutionary France, both ideologically and regarding praxis. The fermentation of these ideas transcended Europe and spread far and wide, including toward America. In fact, some of Jefferson’s writings are pertinent to this phenomenon. …


What Nadezhda Krupskaya can teach us about Labor and Education

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Since researching the stages of national development in the Soviet Union, I came across a very interesting trend that places the female subject front-and-center in Soviet political history. Not only do women play a critical role in the Russian Revolution that brought forth the first socialist experiment in world history, but women are able to enhance their labor and educational agency post-Russian Civil War in ways that propel them into high places. For one, women are key players in the agricultural sector, and become the teachers for future generations of Soviet citizens, using their vocation as a political revitalization agenda. Policies such as eight-week paid family leave and universal access to education are instituted. …


POP-CULTURE OPINION

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What if Rey were a Palpatine?

Think about it. Let it simmer in your mind a little. Search your feelings, “you know it to be true. . .”

At least it makes for a good story. It even fits well with the recent trilogy’s notion suggesting that the force is reemerging, awakening, and that this most recent film will be about the “Last Jedi.” Rey can’t be a Solo, Rey has an English accent. She can’t be a Skywalker, Luke is chaste. Nor can she be a Kenobi, Obi Wan went into hiding and died well before any possibility of Rey being his daughter. If she were to be a descendent of any of those, it would be a seismic error in the storytelling of Star Wars. It would also be a sad day for Disney, as most fans are awaiting a real cathartic twist, the same kind that hit movie screens during The Empire Strikes Back. If Rey were to discover she were Palpatine’s descendent, it would make for a unique and interesting introspection of her characterization, putting her at the center of it all. …

About

M. A. Iasilli

Vi veri universum vivus vici: politics, history, and the occasional pop-culture.

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