Friday, December 15, 2006

get informed 

The January Harper's has two really excellent pieces that are worth checking out if you have time. I'd link to them, but the Harper's website is useless.

The first is by David Graeber, one of the more interesting Left thinkers today, called Army of Altruists: On the alienated right to do good. He'll tell you why America is actually a nation of frustrated altruists and why that has made them vote Republican (until recently). Finally! The secret at last!

The second is a new National Intelligence Estimate on the United States by Chalmers Johnson. In laying out our current choice between Republic or Empire, Johnson neatly outlines the ravages of Military Keynesianism on our politics and how it shapes the choices we've got to make at the moment. His thesis is essentially an updated version of sections of Chomsky's famous Poetry Center Lecture from 1970, Government in the Future.

Also, it was surprising to see that BBC's excellent show In Our Time did a recent episode on the subject of Anarchism which was unually fair and informative by mass-media standards. In Our Time is one of those freakish media anomalies in which people who actually know what they are talking about and know something worth knowing are asked questions about what they think. It's pretty hard to imagine. You really have to actually listen to it yourself to get the full effect.


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