Nicholas Freudenberg – The Capitalist Diet

Link to a review by Nicholas Freudenberg of Gerardo Otero’s book The Neoliberal Diet: Healthy Profits, Unhealthy People (2018):

“The Capitalist Diet: Energy-dense and Profitable”

 

Bonus link: “Nick Freudenberg on the Corporation the Individual and Public Health” – though his invocation of liberal pluralism along the lines of the FCC’s old “fairness doctrine” is subject to criticism and probably still isn’t sufficient.

Rob Urie – Toward an Eco-Socialist Revolution

Link to an article by Rob Urie:

“Toward an Eco-Socialist Revolution”

 

There are many reasons to question the proffered solution here, which would be unpopular and prone to the all the problems that have historically accompanied peasant societies (rigid social hierarchies, etc.).  Still, this article thinks seriously about real issues and the necessary scope of solutions, and actually ventures to offer a solution.

Ted Rall – The Difference Between Liberals and Leftists

Link to an article by Ted Rall:

“The Difference Between Liberals and Leftists”

 

Bonus links: Virtue and Terror and Review of Domenico Losurdo’s Liberalism: A Counter-History and  Non-violence: A History Beyond the Myth and War and Revolution: Rethinking the Twentieth Century and Violence and Slavoj Žižek On Political Struggle and Trouble in Paradise and Revolution at the Gates and The State and Revolution and “The Guardian’s Populism Panic” and “Oregon’s Republican ‘Walkout’ Was a Serious Defeat For the Left” and “Democracy Is the Enemy” and “Don’t Mourn, Repoliticize!”

Malloy Owen – Don’t Mourn, Repoliticize!

Link to an article by Malloy Owen:

“Don’t Mourn, Repoliticize!”

 

Bonus links:  Mladen Dolar on “university discourse” and Review of Domenico Losurdo’s Liberalism: A Counter-History and Slavoj Žižek On Political Struggle and Read My Desire (Chapter 6) and “Was I Right to Back Donald Trump Over Hillary Clinton? Absolutely” (“Democratic elections are a method to settle disagreements between people who already agree on the basics. When this agreement on basics falters, the only procedures at our disposal are negotiations or (civil) war.”)

Scapegoating Mountain Bikers

There is a small but determined group of people claiming to protect wilderness by scapegoating mountain biking and mountain bikers.  Their normal tactic is to highlight one or two absolutely true—but nonetheless isolated—facts about how mountain bikers are a threat to wildlife in particular areas to suggest that mountain biking should be banned to protect wilderness/wildlife.  On the surface, this seems appealing.  But the problem is that once you scratch the surface this is a highly chauvinistic approach that involves absolving hikers/backpackers/horseback riders/etc. from their own threats to wilderness/wildlife.  This can be detected even in the language that these self-styled protectors of wilderness use.  The best is “backcountry”.  This is a term that denotes at least limited openness to hiking/camping/homesteading!  When deployed in conjunction with words like “protecting”, what we see is not a plea to protect wildlife and wilderness, but to protect certain human uses in certain sparsely populated areas from certain other human uses thus reserving those areas for selected uses.  Here is an article that sums up this phenomenon:  “Griz Expert Says Mountain Bikes Are a Threat To Montana’s Bears.”  (actually, the headline was changed in response to some of the negative feedback).  It is worth reading the comments because people absolutely nail the author’s anti-bike bias (which the author explicitly denies!) and cite countervailing evidence that the author ignores or actively minimizes.  This article is not isolated, though.  People like George Wuerthner write similarly—for instance, he deplores the self-identities that mountain bikers and ATV operators cultivate but excludes from his scorn the self-identities that hikers, etc. cultivate (he does note in passing that hikers can also harm wilderness, but minimizes those admissions and quickly returns to biker-bashing scapegoating).  This is basically typical political liberalism: policing the line between the community of the free (the “good” hikers/backpackers/etc.) and those unworthy of liberal freedoms (the “bad” mountain bikers).  What is pernicious is that this is “discourse of the university”, that is, the advancement of normative political/ideological positions in support of a disguised mode of social domination.

Michael Hudson – Food Blackmail, the Washington Consensus and Freedom

Link to an interview of Michael Hudson summarizing his essential books Super Imperialism and Trade, Development and Foreign Debt, conducted by Bonnie Faulkner:

“Food Blackmail, the Washington Consensus and Freedom” and

“De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire”

 

This interview provides an excellent summary of many of the main points of Hudson’s books.  For a latter-day treatment of a portion of these topics, see also The Global Minotaur and “Imperialism in a Coffee Cup.”