“It is quite common to hear high officials in Washington and elsewhere speak of changing the map of the Middle East, as if ancient societies and myriad peoples can be shaken up like so many peanuts in a jar.”

― Edward W. Said

"A developing country that wants to develop its economy must first of all keep natural resources in its own hands."
- Deng Xiaoping

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Scholars Who Shill for Wall Street

Academics get paid by financial firms to testify against Dodd-Frank regulations. What’s wrong with this picture?

By Lee Fang

The Nation - October 23, 2013http://www.thenation.com/article/176809/schools-sale#

Professor Todd Zywicki is vying to be the toughest critic of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the new agency set up by the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform law to monitor predatory lending practices. In research papers and speeches, Zywicki not only routinely slams the CFPB’s attempts to regulate bank overdraft fees and payday lenders; he depicts the agency as a “parochial” bureaucracy that is “guaranteed to run off the rails.” He has also become one of the leading detractors of the CFPB’s primary architect, Elizabeth Warren, questioning her seminal research on medical bankruptcies and slamming her for once claiming Native American heritage to gain “an edge in hiring.”

Zywicki’s withering arguments against financial reform have earned him guest columns in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times and on The New York Times’s website. Lobbyists representing the largest consumer finance companies in the country have cited his writings in letters to regulators, and the number of times he has testified before Congress is prominently displayed on his academic website at the George Mason University School of Law.

What isn’t contained in Zywicki’s university profile, CV, byline or congressional testimony is the law professor’s other job: he is a director of the Global Economics Group, a consulting business that boasts in a brochure that its experts have been hired by industry to influence the CFPB and other regulatory agencies. Nor does Zywicki advertise Global’s client list, which includes some of the biggest names in the financial industry, among them Visa, Bank of America and Citigroup.

Last summer, Zywicki’s firm was retained for $500 an hour on behalf of Morgan Drexen, a debt-relief company accused by the CFPB of deceiving consumers and charging illegal upfront fees. None of these potential conflicts of interest, however, have been disclosed during the course of Zywicki’s anti-CFPB advocacy in the media or in government. 

After the financial industry lost the battle to defeat Dodd-Frank, it moved quickly to minimize the law’s impact during the long slog of implementation [see Gary Rivlin, “How Wall Street Defanged Dodd-Frank,” May 20]. Academics like Zywicki have played a key role in this process. As Wall Street firms seek to beat back hundreds of rules still under consideration, sponsored scholars have been at the front lines of obstructing reform.

To read more.....

China: Friend or foe? Ask John Simpson

BBC News World - 30 July 2013

In the latest of our special Q&A sessions, John Simpson, World Affairs Editor for BBC News, will answer questions about his recent interview in Beijing with China's Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Hong Lei.
Hong Lei is one of China's senior officials - and it is the first time in at least 20 years that the BBC has conducted an interview with such a high political figure in Beijing.
People worry that China, which is still notionally Marxist-Leninist, will use its huge economic power to threaten liberal Western values.
In this Q&A John will take your questions on whether China is the West's enemy or its friend, and share his views on how the country is being shaped by its new leadership. He will also answer questions about his career in journalism.

To read more.....

Shackles and Ivy: The Secret History of How Slavery Helped Build America’s Elite Colleges

Democracynow.org - Tuesday October 29, 2013

A new book 10 years in the making examines how many major U.S. universities — Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, Rutgers, Williams and the University of North Carolina, among others — are drenched in the sweat, and sometimes the blood, of Africans brought to the United States as slaves. In "Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities," Massachusetts Institute of Technology American history professor Craig Steven Wilder reveals how the slave economy and higher education grew up together. "When you think about the colonial world, until the American Revolution, there is only one college in the South, William & Mary ... The other eight colleges were all Northern schools, and they’re actually located in key sites, for the most part, of the merchant economy where the slave traders had come to power and rose as the financial and intellectual backers of new culture of the colonies," Wilder says.

To watch the documentary....

Public Intellectuals Against the Neoliberal University

By  Henry A. Giroux

Truthout | Op-Ed - Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Truthout depends on you to continue producing grassroots journalism and disseminating conscientious visions for a brighter future. Contribute now by clicking here!

"The University is a critical institution or it is nothing." - Stuart Hall

I want to begin with the words of the late African-American poet, Audre Lourde, who was in her time a formidable writer, educator, feminist, gay rights activist and public intellectual who displayed a relentless courage in addressing the injustices she witnessed all around her.  She writes:

Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.1

And while Lourde refers to poetry here, I think a strong case can be made that the attributes she ascribes to poetry can also be attributed  to higher education - a genuine higher education.2  In this case, an education that includes history, philosophy, all of the arts and humanities, the criticality of the social sciences, the world of discovery made manifest by science, and the transformations in health and in law wrought by the professions that are fundamental to what it means to know something about the human condition. Lourde's defense of poetry as a mode of education is especially crucial for those of us who believe that the university is nothing if it is not a public trust and social good; that is a critical institution infused with the promise of cultivating intellectual insight, the imagination, inquisitiveness, risk-taking, social responsibility and the struggle for justice. At best, universities should be at the "heart of intense public discourse, passionate learning and vocal citizen involvement in the issues of the times."3 It is in the spirit of such an ideal that I first want to address those larger economic, social, and cultural interests that threaten this notion of education, especially higher education.

Across the globe, the forces of casino capitalism are on the march. With the return of the Gilded Age and its dream worlds of consumption, privatization and deregulation, not only are democratic values and social protections at risk, but the civic and formative cultures that make such values and protections crucial to democratic life are in danger of disappearing altogether.  As public spheres, once enlivened by broad engagements with common concerns, are being transformed into "spectacular spaces of consumption," the flight from mutual obligations and social responsibilities intensifies and has resulted in what Tony Judt identifies as a "loss of faith in the culture of open democracy."4 This loss of faith in the power of public dialogue and dissent is not unrelated to the diminished belief in higher education as central to producing critical citizens and a crucial democratic public sphere in its own right. At stake here is not only the meaning and purpose of higher education, but also civil society, politics and the fate of democracy itself. Thomas Frank is on target when he argues that "Over the course of the past few decades, the power of concentrated money has subverted professions, destroyed small investors, wrecked the regulatory state, corrupted legislators en masse and repeatedly put the economy through the wringer. Now it has come for our democracy itself."5 And, yet, the only questions being asked about knowledge production, the purpose of education, the nature of politics, and our understanding of the future are determined largely by market forces.

To

Education in South Korea: Class struggle


The Economist - Oct 29th 2013

AS THIS week’s special report on the Koreas points out, South Korea’s education system is both inspiring and intimidating. The country’s 15-year-olds ranked fourth in science (excluding Shanghai and Hong Kong), second in maths and first in reading in the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Its youngsters (aged between 16 and 24) did equally well in the OECD’s international survey of adult skills, released this month.
But South Korea’s enthusiasm for education has also been likened to a “fever”. Students spend long hours in hagwon, private cram schools, trying to outdo their peers in crucial exams and tests that have lasting consequences for their subsequent careers. In principle these tests are simply a measuring device, allowing universities and employers to rank students according to their underlying abilities. But the measure is fair only if everyone spends the same amount of time preparing for them. If one student spends his every waking hour (and some half-waking ones) preparing, then everyone else has to do the same, if they are to preserve their position in the rankings. Some of this competitive swotting no doubt improves students’ knowledge and abilities, to the benefit of society and themselves. But some of it is also a socially wasteful zero-sum game.

To read more....

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Xia Yeliang: The China Americans Don't See

By David Feith

A Peking University economics professor who was sacked for his political views explains the underside of elite Chinese higher education.

The Wall Street Journal – October 25, 2013

The 21st-century romance between America's universities and China continues to blossom, with New York University opening a Shanghai campus last month and Duke to follow next year. Nearly 100 U.S. campuses host "Confucius Institutes" funded by the Chinese government, and President Obama has set a goal for next year of seeing 100,000 American students studying in the Middle Kingdom. Meanwhile, Peking University last week purged economics professor Xia Yeliang, an outspoken liberal, with hardly a peep of protest from American academics.

"During more than 30 years, no single faculty member has been driven out like this," Mr. Xia says the day after his sacking from the university, known as China's best, where he has taught economics since 2000. He'll be out at the end of the semester. The professor's case is a window into the Chinese academic world that America's elite institutions are so eager to join—a world governed not by respect for free inquiry but by the political imperatives of a one-party state. Call it higher education with Chinese characteristics.
"All universities are under the party's leadership," Mr. Xia says by telephone from his Beijing home. "In Peking University, the No. 1 leader is not the president. It's the party secretary of Peking University."

Which is problematic for a professor loudly advocating political change. In 2008, Mr. Xia was among the original 303 signatories of the Charter 08 manifesto calling for democracy, civil liberties and the rule of law in China. "Our political system continues to produce human rights disasters and social crises," declared the charter, written primarily by Mr. Xia's friend Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace laureate who is currently serving an 11-year prison term for "inciting subversion of state power."

To read more....

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pentagon weighs future of its inscrutable nonagenarian futurist, Andrew W. Marshall

By Craig Whitlock

The Washington Post - October 27, 2013

From his office deep inside the Pentagon, Yoda has outlasted the Cold War, countless military conflicts and 10 presidential elections. But can he survive the sequester?
Yoda is the reverential nickname for Andrew W. Marshall, a legendary if mysterious figure in national security circles. A bald, enigmatic 92-year-old strategic guru, he resembles the Jedi master of “Star Wars” fame in more ways than one.

Since the Nixon administration, Marshall has directed the Pentagon’s secretive and obliquely named internal think tank, the Office of Net Assessment, which contemplates military strategy decades into the future. Over his long career, he has foretold the economic collapse of the Soviet Union, the rise of China and the spread of robotic warfare.
Today, confronting a budget crunch, Pentagon leaders are contemplating whether Marshall and his think tank have outlived their usefulness, or need to be reined in. The Office of Net Assessment costs taxpayers only about $10 million a year — pocket change in the $525 billion annual defense budget, but enough to face fresh scrutiny at a time of cutbacks.

To

The Suburbs Are Dead, Long Live the Suburbs

By Eric Jaffe    

The Atlantic - Aug 27, 2013

Regular readers of The Atlantic Cities will be familiar with most of the social trends that Leigh Gallagher of Fortune magazine tracks to produce the title argument of her new book, The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving. Population growth is on the rise in city centers (though total population still favors suburbs), Millennials seem less keen to drive than their parents were, urban home values are increasing faster than suburban ones. The list can and does go on.

What any interested reader will recognize, however, is how well Gallagher welds this enormous amount of data together. The result is a post-mortem worthy of the great American suburban experiment. Which, let's face it, housed so many of us for so long — and which isn't quite over, as Gallagher explains, but will never be the same again.
"I think I marshaled so much evidence partially because I knew I might get attacked, and partially because every stone I turned over yielded these beautiful flowers of evidence," she tells Atlantic Cities. "It was really everywhere."

To read more....

7 ridiculous restrictions on women’s rights around the world

By Caitlin Dewey        

The Washington Post - October 27, 2013

With Saudi Arabian women behind the wheel since Saturday to protest their country's refusal to grant driver's licenses to women, they’re challenging not only long-standing restriction, but also a the larger system of Saudi Arabian gender-based laws, some of the harshest in the world.
According to one measurement, though, there are actually several countries that rank lower on women;s rights than Saudi Arabia. The World Economic Forum, which publishes the preeminent ranking on gender gap issues, ranked Saudi Arabia 10th from the bottom in its 2013 report -- ahead of Mali, Morocco, Iran, Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Syria, Chad, Pakistan and Yemen. Women’s rights abuses are by no means limited to North Africa, West Africa or the Middle East, though that’s where we tend to hear such stories most frequently.
“A lot of the most severe stuff comes out of legal or de facto guardianship systems,” said Rothna Begum, a researcher who tracks women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa for the advocacy group Human Rights Watch.

To read more....

Sunday, October 27, 2013

China's Coming Economic Slowdown

History shows that every economic miracle eventually loses its magic. How much longer can China sustain such astounding growth?

By Josef Joffe

The Wall Street Journal - Oct. 25, 2013

The big question of the 20th century has not disappeared in the 21st: Who is on the right side of history? Is it liberal democracy, with power growing from the bottom up, hedged in by free markets, the rule of law, accountability and the separation of powers? Or is it despotic centralism in the way of Stalin and Hitler, the most recent, though far less cruel, variant being the Chinese one: state capitalism plus one-party rule?
The demise of communism did not dispatch the big question; it only laid it to rest for a couple of decades. Now the spectacular rise of China and the crises of the democratic economies—bubbles and busts, overspending and astronomical debt—have disinterred what seemed safely buried in a graveyard called "The End of History," when liberal democracy would triumph everywhere. Now the dead have risen from their graves, strutting and crowing. And many in the West are asking: Isn't top-down capitalism, as practiced in the past by the Asian "dragons" (South Korea, Taiwan, Japan) and currently by China, the better road to riches and global muscle than the muddled, self-stultifying ways of liberal democracy?

To read more....

Wounds of Waziristan': The Story of Drones As Told By the People Who Live Under Them

By Alex Pasternack

Video: http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/wounds-of-waziristan-the-story-of-drones-by-the-people-who-live-under-them-video

The drone war is obscure by design. Operated by armchair pilots from clandestine bases across the American west, the Predators and Reapers fly over Afghanistan, Yemen, and Pakistan's Tribal Areas at invisible heights, where they are on orders from the CIA to kill "high value" targets with laser-guided "surgical" precision thousands of feet below. But because of where the Hellfire missiles land, and because the program is operated in secret, verifying their precision and their lasting effects isn't easy.

For years, US officials have downplayed the number of civilian deaths in particular, even as a chorus of independent reports have offered their own grim estimates. The latest, according to new research by the United Nations and Amnesty International: 58 civilians killed in Yemen, and up to nine hundred in Pakistan. In a speech in May, President Obama finally broke his silence on drones, acknowledging that civilians had been killed—he didn't say how many—and promising more transparency for the program. “Those deaths," added the President, "will haunt us for as long as we live."

For journalist Madiha Tahir, the numbers are important, but they're not the whole story. Her documentary "Wounds of Waziristan," which premieres above, features interviews with the people who live in the southern part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, bordering Afghanistan, under the eyes of the drones, and in the wake of their destruction. The film switches up the typical calculus that drives the drone debate at home. Tahir, who grew up between Pakistan and the U.S., points out that drone strikes aren't just about the numbers of casualties, or the kinds of ethical arguments that arise around "just war" concepts like proportionality. The effects of the drone war have as much to do with the way those casualties rip apart communities and haunt the living, in distant places that ​exist on the fringes of law and order.

To read more.....

The Winners and Losers of Globalization: Finding a Path to Shared Prosperity

The World Bank -  October 25, 2013

Globalization has benefited an emerging “global middle class,” mainly people in places such as China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil, along with the world’s top 1 percent. But people at the very bottom of the income ladder, as well as the lower-middle class of rich countries, lost out.

The findings, presented by economist Branko Milanovic to a packed audience of more than 120 people at a Policy Research Talk at the World Bank earlier this month, come just as the institution mobilizes around two goals: ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting the income growth of every country’s bottom 40 percent.

“Those goals are very ambitious, since the pace of growth is uncertain,” says World Bank Research Director Asli Demirguc-Kunt, who hosted the event. “Boosting shared prosperity also requires us to tackle inequality, not just within countries, but across countries as well, as globalization has made it easier for goods and people to move around the world.”

The new global middle class, about 400 million people, earned more and consumed more in the 20-year span before the global financial crisis hit in 2008, propelled by economic growth in countries such as India and China, said Milanovic, a lead economist in the Bank’s research department who has been studying inequality since the 1980s. He made the cross-country comparisons using a newly-created database of World Bank- managed household surveys that covers some 120 countries from 1988 to 2008.

To read more....

Technology Of The Future - BBC Documentary

 Technology Of The Future - BBC Documentary

Poor Us: an animated history - Why Poverty?

Poor Us: an animated history - Why Poverty?

Born Into Brothels

Born Into Brothels

"Milton Friedman Speaks" - Is Capitalism Humane?

"Milton Friedman Speaks" - Is Capitalism Humane?

Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey and Milton Friedman - Health Care in a Free Market

  Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey

Milton Friedman - Health Care in a Free Market

Bill Gates Issues Call For Kinder Capitalism

Famously Competitive, Billionaire Now Urges Business to Aid the Poor

By Robert A. Guth

The Wall Street Journal - Jan. 24, 2008

In a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the software tycoon plans to call for a "creative capitalism" that uses market forces to address poor-country needs that he feels are being ignored.
"We have to find a way to make the aspects of capitalism that serve wealthier people serve poorer people as well," Mr. Gates will tell world leaders at the forum, according to a copy of the speech seen by The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Gates isn't abandoning his belief in capitalism as the best economic system. But in an interview with the Journal last week at his Microsoft office in Redmond, Wash., Mr. Gates said that he has grown impatient with the shortcomings of capitalism. He said he has seen those failings first-hand on trips for Microsoft to places like the South African slum of Soweto, and discussed them with dozens of experts on disease and poverty. He has voraciously read about those failings in books that propose new approaches to narrowing the gap between rich and poor.

To

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jeremy Scahill on "Dirty Wars" and U.S. National Security

Jeremy Scahill on "Dirty Wars" and U.S. National Security

Dirty Wars Official Trailer

Reification: History of the Concept

by F. Vandenberghe

Logos, a journal of modern society & culture
Fall 2013: Vol 12, No 3

Until fairly recently, reification was a central diagnostic concept of critical social theory and social philosophy. Due to its heavy metaphysical baggage and its grounding in an obsolescent philosophy of history, the theory of reification has, however, lost much of its credibility and prestige. To explain, describe and criticize various forms of dehumanization in modern capitalist societies, it is occasionally rediscovered, refurbished and actualized by authors within the Marxist tradition of Left Hegelianism. Through a grand narrative of reification, systemic processes of commodification, exploitation and domination that lead to a loss of community (anomie), meaning (disenchantment) and freedom (domination) are connected to a phenomenological description of the alienation of the modern self from itself, others and the world. As a critical category, reification squarely ascribes the blame of alienation to the system. The denunciation of reification is paradoxical, however: to the extent that it presupposes that the object is really a subject, it denies what it affirms (that the world is inhuman) and affirms what it denies (namely that there still is a subject that can act and change the world).

Literally, reification (Verdinglichung) refers to the transformation of human properties, relations, processes, actions, concepts, etc. into things. As a technical term, the term reification emerged in the English language in the 1860s out of the contraction of the verb facere (to make) and the substantive res (thing), which can refer both to concrete and empirically observable things (ens) and to abstract, indeterminate things (aliquid). As a synonym of ‘thingification,’ the inverse of personification, reification metaphorically refers to the transformation of human properties, relations, processes, actions, concepts, etc. into res, into things that act as pseudo-persons, endowed with a life of their own. Depending on the grammatical subject of reification – who reifies what: is it the analyst who reifies the concepts or is it society that alienates the subjects? – the transformation of human properties, social relations,  abstract concepts, etc. into things, types and numbers can operate both on an epistemological and on a social level. Both levels are united by an ontology of practices and a common insistence on the primacy of action over structure. In the philosophy of the social sciences, the concept is used to criticize structuralist, naturalist and positivist theories that hypostatize macro-social entities, dehumanize action and naturalize the system from a dialectical and praxeological position. In Marxist-Hegelian social philosophy, the concept is used by theorists related to the Frankfurt School to criticize capitalism´s systemically induced social pathologies of the life-world that distort the relation between actors and the world, the others and the self and bring the dialectics between agency and structure to a standstill. The concept is never a neutral one. Positive instances of reification (Gehlen, Latour, Virno) are rather rare, though. Usually, the concept is used polemically to denounce the ‘violence of abstractions,’ either of conceptual abstractions (Denkabstraktionen) that suppress the reflexive embeddedness of concepts into their social context, treat social facts as things, and transform metasubjects into megasubjects, or of real abstractions (Realabstraktionen) that strip individuals of their autonomy and reduce them to cogs of an abstract social machinery.

To

Friday, October 25, 2013

Economics students aim to tear up free-market syllabus

Undergraduates at Manchester University propose overhaul of orthodox teachings to embrace alternative theories      

Phillip Inman, economics correspondent    

The Guardian, Thursday 24 October 2013

Few mainstream economists predicted the global financial crash of 2008 and academics have been accused of acting as cheerleaders for the often labyrinthine financial models behind the crisis. Now a growing band of university students are plotting a quiet revolution against orthodox free-market teaching, arguing that alternative ways of thinking have been pushed to the margins.
Economics undergraduates at the University of Manchester have formed the Post-Crash Economics Society, which they hope will be copied by universities across the country. The organisers criticise university courses for doing little to explain why economists failed to warn about the global financial crisis and for having too heavy a focus on training students for City jobs.
A growing number of top economists, such as Ha-Joon Chang, who teaches economics at Cambridge University, are backing the students.
Next month the society plans to publish a manifesto proposing sweeping reforms to the University of Manchester's curriculum, with the hope that other institutions will follow suit.

To read more....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Do Muslim Women Need Saving?

By Lila Abu-Lughod 

Anthropologist Lila Abu-Lughod analyzes the rise of a pervasive literary trope in the West—that of the abused Muslim girl.
The Daily Beast – Women in the World – October 22, 2013

This book seeks answers to the questions that presented themselves to me with such force after 9/11 when popular concern about Muslim women’s rights took off. As an anthropologist who had spent decades living in communities in the Middle East, I was uncomfortable with disjunction between the lives and experiences of Muslim women I had known and the popular media representations I encountered in the Western public sphere, the politically motivated justifications for military intervention on behalf of Muslim women that became common sense, and even the well-meaning humanitarian and rights work intended to relieve global women’s suffering. What worldly effects were these concerns having on different women? And how might we take responsibility for distant women’s circumstances and possibilities in what is clearly an interconnected global world, instead of viewing them as victims of alien cultures? This book is about the ethics and politics of the global circulation of discourses on Muslim women’s rights.

Primed for Moral Crusades

To understand why the new common sense about going to war for women’s rights seems so right despite the flaws I have laid out—whether its reliance on the myth of a homogeneous place called IslamLand or its selective and moralizing imperative to save others far away—we need to look sideways. Two other popular ways of talking about violations of women’s rights that have emerged in the past few decades lend support to the kinds of representations of women’s suffering that writers like these present. On one side is a political and moral enterprise with tremendous legitimacy in our era: international human rights. Women’s rights language and the institutional apparatus that has developed in tandem have been associated with human rights since the 1990s: feminists began to campaign with the slogan “women’s rights are human rights.” Their successes have led some in legal studies to detect the emergence of governance feminism (GF), the domination by radical feminists of legal, bureaucratic, and political institutions around the world. At the center of this set of institutions is a claim to universal values.

To read more....

Mexico orders investigation into alleged US spying

The Voice of Russia - October 23, 2013

Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said he had asked the CISEN intelligence agency and federal police to conduct an "exhaustive" investigation to see whether such spying took place and whether any Mexican officials were complicit.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto ordered an "exhaustive" probe into claims that the National Security Agency, headquartered close to the US capital, hacked his emails while he was running for office last year. Mr. Peña Nieto also alleged that former president Felipe Calderon had been subjected to US eavesdropping while in office.
The Mexican Foreign Ministry condemned the new evidence of alleged spying over the country’s officials by US intelligence. France is also demanding explanations after a report that the US NSA secretly recorded millions of phone calls made in the country, its interior minister said Monday.
"The Mexican government strongly condemns the spying practice over communication tools and internet activity of the country’s state agencies and its citizens," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. It added that such cases were completely unacceptable, unlawful and contrary to international legislation.
Thus the Mexican Foreign Ministry reacted to an article published by Germany’s Spiegel magazine. The publication says NSA "has been spying the email of Mexican ex-president Felipe Calderon (2006-2012) and the correspondence of several cabinet officials."

Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_10_23/Mexico-orders-investigation-into-alleged-US-spying-7288/

Report questions drone use, widely unpopular globally, but not in the U.S.

By Bruce Drake

PEW Research - October 23, 2013

The U.S. drone campaign in Pakistan aimed at targeting al Qaeda and Taliban is again coming under intense scrutiny, and the debate comes against a backdrop in which U.S. public opinion about the use of drones in general sharply differs from the widespread opposition to the missile strikes among other nations.
A new report from Amnesty International investigating the strikes in Pakistan said its findings raised “serious concerns” over whether some of the killings have been unlawful and “may amount to extrajudicial executions or war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law.” The report comes at a time when Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a critic of the drone campaign, is to meet with President Obama, and when the United Nations has also raised questions about civilian deaths and U.S. transparency about the underpinnings of the program.
To read more....

Berlin Complains: Did US Tap Chancellor Merkel's Mobile Phone?

By Jacob Appelbaum, Holger Stark, Marcel Rosenbach and Jörg Schindler

Der Spiegel - October 23, 2013

German Chancellor Angela Merkel phoned United States President Barack Obama on Wednesday to discuss suspicions that she may have been targeted by US intelligence agencies for years, SPIEGEL has learned.
The chancellor asked for a thorough explanation of serious indications that US intelligence agencies had declared her private mobile phone to be a target in their operations. Merkel made it clear that, should these indications turn out to be true, she "unequivocally disapproves" of such methods and finds them "totally unacceptable," her spokesman Steffen Seibert said. "This would be a grave breach of trust," he added. "Such practices must immediately be put to a stop."

To read more....

Yakuza Bosses Whacked by Regulators Freezing AmEx Cards

By Terje Langeland & Takahiko Hyuga

Bloomberg News - - Oct 23, 2013

The yakuza, Japan’s organized-crime syndicates that have reaped billions from activities ranging from extortion to human trafficking, are finding their ranks decimated by authorities employing methods similar to those used to jail Al Capone: going after their money.

Japan’s Financial Services Agency delivered the latest blow, last month ordering Mizuho Financial Group Inc. to improve compliance and then demanding that top executives report by Oct. 28 what they knew and when about a consumer-credit affiliate found making loans to crime groups.

The regulator’s slap adds to pressure from yakuza-exclusion ordinances enacted nationwide in 2011 making it illegal to do business with gang members, as well as a U.S. executive order that year requiring financial institutions to freeze yakuza assets. The U.S. Treasury Department so far has frozen about $55,000 of yakuza holdings including two Japan-issued American Express cards, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News under the Freedom of Information Act. 

To

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Russia and China strengthen trade ties with $85 billion oil deal

Russia Today - October 22, 2013

The world’s fastest-growing energy market China and world’s biggest oil producer Russia have strengthened their business ties on Tuesday after signing 21 trade agreements, including a new 100 million ton oil supply deal with China’s Sinopec.
Under the new energy deal, Rosneft, the world’s largest-listed oil producer, will supply China with up to 100 million tons of crude oil over 10 years. The agreement is testimony the neighbors have "reached a higher and a brand new level of cooperation,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during an online chat with Chinese citizens, Xinhua reported.
Rosneft will export through China’s Sinopec, company chief Igor Sechin said. Up to 30 percent of the shipment payments will be prepaid. Rosneft controls nearly 40 percent of Russia’s crude oil.
Medvedev is on an two-day official visit to Beijing and met with Chinese Premier Li Kegiant and Zhang Yujing, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, at the 18th annual economic summit of Russian and Chinese government and finance ministers.
To read more....

World’s Longest Flight Ends, Travelers Enter JFK Chaos

By Kyunghee Park

Bloomberg News - Oct 22, 2013

The end of the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight, a 19-hour slog between Singapore and New York, is bad news for Chia Teck Fatt.

The 9,000-nautical mile journey from Singapore to Newark, New Jersey, helped him avoid congestion at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Passengers will instead fly to JFK via Frankfurt, adding five hours. Singapore Airlines Ltd. (SIA) stops the services with its all-business class four-engine Airbus SAS A340-500 next month, after ending the second-longest flight from Los Angeles to the island city yesterday.

“It could take over an hour just to get through customs at JFK,” said Chia, after checking-in at the business-class lounge at Singapore’s Changi Airport. “I’m looking for another way to travel to New York so I can avoid flying into JFK,” said Chia, dressed in casual pants, t-shirt, a jacket and loafers.

With oil prices tripling in the last decade, the carrier struggled to ferry executives on the 100-seat flights profitably for the past nine years, a sign that the airline industry is once again putting profitability ahead of glamor. The iconic transatlantic flights with the supersonic Concorde were scrapped a decade ago. The shrinking of Wall Street firms and travel cutbacks after the global financial crisis have made it difficult for airlines to lure top-dollar clients.

To

A Book Review: Gambling with Civilization

By Paul Krugman

The New York Review of Books - November 7, 2013

The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World

by William D. Nordhaus
Yale University Press, 378 pp

Forty years ago a brilliant young Yale economist named William Nordhaus published a landmark paper, “The Allocation of Energy Resources,” that opened new frontiers in economic analysis.1 Nordhaus argued that to think clearly about the economics of exhaustible resources like oil and coal, it was necessary to look far into the future, to assess their value as they become more scarce—and that this look into the future necessarily involved considering not just available resources and expected future economic growth, but likely future technologies as well. Moreover, he developed a method for incorporating all of this information—resource estimates, long-run economic forecasts, and engineers’ best guesses about the costs of future technologies—into a quantitative model of energy prices over the long term.

The resource and engineering data for Nordhaus’s paper were for the most part compiled by his research assistant, a twenty-year-old undergraduate, who spent long hours immured in Yale’s Geology Library, poring over Bureau of Mines circulars and the like. It was an invaluable apprenticeship. My reasons for bringing up this bit of intellectual history, however, go beyond personal disclosure—although readers of this review should know that Bill Nordhaus was my first professional mentor. For if one looks back at “The Allocation of Energy Resources,” one learns two crucial lessons. First, predictions are hard, especially about the distant future. Second, sometimes such predictions must be made nonetheless.

Looking back at “Allocation” after four decades, what’s striking is how wrong the technical experts were about future technologies. For many years all their errors seemed to have been on the side of overoptimism, especially on oil production and nuclear power. More recently, the surprises have come on the other side, with fracking having the biggest immediate impact on markets, but with the growing competitiveness of wind and solar power—neither of which figured in “Allocation” at all—perhaps the more fundamental news. For what it’s worth, current oil prices, adjusted for overall inflation, are about twice Nordhaus’s prediction, while coal and especially natural gas prices are well below his baseline.

To read more....

Drones: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Always Afraid to Ask

Which other nations have them? Did they exist during the Civil War? What do they have to do with tacos and rhinos?

By Asawin Suebsaeng

Mother Jones | Tue Mar. 5, 2013

UPDATE October 22, 2013, 10:29 a.m. EDT: Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch released two separate new reports on civilian deaths in US drone strikes. Amnesty's report examines 45 strikes in North Waziristan in northwestern Pakistan between January 2012 and August 2013, and HRW's examines six examples of targeted killing in Yemen. "The drones are like the angels of death," says Nazeer Gul, a shopkeeper in the Pakistani town of Miramshah. "Only they know when and where they will strike."
If you've checked out the news these past few (or many) months, you've probably noticed some news about drones. Drones used by the CIA to vaporize suspected terrorists. Drones used by the United States military. Drones that deliver food. Drones used by cops. Drones possibly violating the US Constitution. Drones protecting wildlife. Drones in pop culture. Maybe this has left you with some burning questions about these increasingly prominent flying robots. Here's an easy-to-read, nonwonky guide to them—we'll call it Drones for Dummies.
When was the drone invented? Assuming you're talking about the scary kinds of drones that bomb America's suspected enemies, you're probably thinking of the MQ-1 Predator, developed by military contractor General Atomics. This Predator drone was first introduced in 1995 as a surveillance and intelligence gathering tool, and was then tricked-out to launch weapons like hellfire missiles.

To read more....

Monday, October 21, 2013

China’s Major Cities Post Home-Price Gains as Curbs Kept

By Bloomberg News - Oct 21, 2013

Home prices in China’s four major cities rose the most since January 2011 last month, raising concerns that a lack of new property curbs is allowing a bubble to form.
New home prices climbed in 69 of the 70 cities the government tracked in September from a year earlier, led by 20 percent increases in the southern business hubs of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement today. Prices in Beijing rose 16 percent and advanced 17 percent in Shanghai, the biggest gains since the government changed its methodology for the home data in 2011.

Premier Li Keqiang has come up with no additional measures to rein in property prices since his predecessor Wen Jiabao stepped up a three-year campaign in March to cool the housing market, ordering the central bank to raise down-payment requirements for second mortgages in cities with excessive cost gains. Some Chinese cities are facing increasing pressure to meet annual home-price targets they set earlier this year and to cap gains at the growth rate of local disposable incomes. 

To read more....

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Who’s Afraid of Chinese Money?

By Jonathan Mirsky

The New York Review of Books - October 19, 2013

China is what it is. We have to be here or nowhere.” Chancellor George Osborne, Britain’s second-highest official, was laying out the British government’s view last week, near the end of his trip aimed at selling Britain to Chinese companies. Western governments used to go to great lengths to say they were standing up for human rights in China. Now, trade ties with Beijing are so lucrative that Western leaders no longer need to lie: China is what it is.
A fundamental shift has appeared in British rhetoric in the twenty-four years since the Tiananmen Square crackdown. In the autumn of 1991, then-Prime Minister John Major became the first Western leader to visit China after the Tiananmen killings. I was part of the press group on that trip, and on the plane going to China, I gave Major a list of several hundred political prisoners in Chinese jails given to me by Amnesty International. After his meeting with Chinese Premier Li Peng, Major told us that he had handed the list to the Chinese leader and spoken forcefully about political freedom. Dazzled, I hurried to file a long story for my newspaper on Britain’s moral courage. In fact, as I learned later from an official who had been in the room, no list was handed over and political freedom was never mentioned. Major’s lie, I was told—repeated by his Foreign Secretary Hurd, who was also in Beijing—was intended to influence how we reported the trip.
Contrast that with the statements by Osborne and Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, who accompanied him, during and after their trip to China last week. The trip, which involved no meetings with senior officials, was aimed solely at doing business with some of China’s largest companies. In their enthusiastic deal-making, they were at pains to explain why they needed to avoid any moral concerns. “We’ve got to start by understanding that China is an ancient civilization with a long and proud history,” Osborne said. That the Chinese Communist Party has turned its back on that ancient culture appears unknown to the chancellor; in any event, Syria and Iran, with equally long histories, are not treated with respect by the British.

To read more....

Business as Usual

By George Packer

The New Yorker - October 28, 2013

Jenny Brown started working for the Internal Revenue Service right out of high school, in 1985, typing numbers from tax returns into a computer. Her home town, of Ogden, Utah, has not only a large I.R.S. facility but an Air Force base, Hill Field, where Brown’s father worked as a civilian. Her stepfather and her late sister used to work at the base; a brother, a son, and a nephew work there now. Her other son is with the Army in Afghanistan, and two other nephews are in the Air Force. “We’re really just a government family,” Brown said last week, on the second-to-last day of the shutdown. And Ogden is a government town, with twenty-four thousand federal employees. Brown grew up with the belief that a government job was secure, well-paying, and honorable, but, when she told her new doctor recently that she works for the I.R.S., he replied, in all seriousness, “Do you need a prescription for Xanax, or some kind of stress reducer?”
In fact, a lot of Brown’s colleagues, in Ogden and around the country, are taking pills for stress. They haven’t had a raise in three years. Every I.R.S. employee lost three days of pay last summer, owing to furloughs brought on by the blind budget cutting known as sequestration, and during the shutdown ninety per cent of the agency’s employees were sent home without pay. Many of them now live paycheck to paycheck, and some had to turn to food banks during the sixteen days of the shutdown, while the charity at the Ogden local of the National Treasury Employees Union (Brown is the president of Chapter 67) ran low on supplies. Nationally, the agency’s workforce has been cut by almost twenty-five per cent in the past two decades, while the number of individual tax returns filed has grown by an even larger figure.
With the extra workload, face-to-face audits have dropped by half since 1992, as have the odds of being convicted for a tax crime. Frank Clemente, the director of Americans for Tax Fairness, says, “When the I.R.S. doesn’t have the money to do its job, it’s easier for wealthy people and big corporations to cheat the system, especially by hiding profits offshore.” For every dollar added to the I.R.S. budget, the agency is able to collect at least seven dollars in revenue, but in times of austerity that money doesn’t come in—which means that, in recent years, the Treasury has lost billions in taxes, starving government services and increasing the deficit. Another result, Jenny Brown pointed out, is that wait times at the Ogden call center have risen from ten or fifteen minutes a few years ago to an hour or more today. “By the time they get the I.R.S. on the phone, they’re frustrated, and they vent awhile, which takes up more time,” she said.

To read more....

Sold Out

By Stefan Collini

London Review of Books
Vol. 35 No. 20 · 24 October 2013pages 3-12 | 10518 words

It’s time for the criticism to stop. Whatever you think about the changes to higher education that have been made in recent years, in particular the decision in the autumn of 2010 largely to replace public funding of teaching with student fees, this is now the system we’ve got. Carping about the principle or sniping at the process is simply unhelpful: it antagonises ministers and officials, thereby jeopardising future negotiations, and it wins little sympathy from the media and wider public. This country is in desperate need of jobs and of economic growth, and in higher education as in every other sphere we are now competing in a global market. So pipe down, and let’s all focus on making this system work as effectively as possible.

If this is your view, you may not wish to read on – or you should at least be warned that this article contains material of an economically explicit nature and some strong language (not all of it mine). But everyone else, including those who are being cowed by their local variant of the pragmatist in a suit, may be interested to learn from these two exceptionally well-informed books just how far-reaching are the changes now under way in British (or at least English) higher education. The provenance of their authors could hardly be more different. Roger Brown has been, successively, a senior civil servant, the chief executive of the Higher Education Quality Council, and vice-chancellor of Southampton Solent University; he is currently professor of higher education policy at Liverpool Hope University. Andrew McGettigan did his doctorate at the highly regarded Centre for Modern European Philosophy that Middlesex University summarily closed down in 2010; in recent years he has distinguished himself as one of the best-informed analysts of the legal and financial changes reshaping universities in this country. Brown’s book is a sober, data-heavy overview of higher education policy in Britain since 1979, drawing on extensive secondary and comparative scholarship as well as first-hand experience. McGettigan’s is a detailed, at times technical, analysis of the funding of English universities since 2010; he explains these arcane matters with exemplary clarity and spells out the long-term financial implications of the new arrangements. But for all their differences, these two books provide a chillingly convergent description of the huge gamble that is being taken with higher education in England: an unprecedented, ideologically driven experiment, whose consequences even its authors cannot wholly predict or control.

To

Mahathir’s Son Mukhriz Loses UMNO Bid to Najib’s Cousin

By Manirajan Ramasamy

Bloomberg News - Oct 20, 2013

Mukhriz Mahathir, the 48-year-old son of Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister, lost his bid to become a vice president of the country’s biggest political party, setting back plans to establish himself as a future national leader.

Mukhriz came in fourth in a weekend vote by members of the ruling United Malays National Organisation to select three vice presidents, beaten to third place by Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Prime Minister Najib Razak’s cousin. Fellow incumbents Rural and Regional Development Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi secured the most votes, official results on the party’s website show.

To read more....

Documentary: Behind the Rhetoric: The Real Iran | BBC Documentary

Behind the Rhetoric: The Real Iran | BBC Documentary

Documentary: Inside the kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Inside the kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Documentary: Oil Across Arabia - 1950 Middle East Oil Field

Oil Across Arabia - 1950 Middle East Oil Field

Corporate Globalization and Conflict in New India

By Graham Peebles

Dissident Voice / October 19th, 2013

Developing divisions
Participation is a cornerstone of the democratic ideal. It sits alongside those other marginalized tenets: social justice, freedom, and equality. Forgotten principles in a world of corporate politics driven by the quest for endless economic growth and maximum market share. Hailed as the world’s largest democracy and touted as ‘an emerging economic powerhouse’, India’s economy is beginning to cough and splutter with the rupee trading at an all time low, and the ‘current account’ showing an $88 billion deficit.
A decade of 9% growth has created 55 US$ billionaires, a new and burgeoning middle class and a vast underclass of people living in extreme poverty. The middle class has doubled since 2001, growing from 6% to 13% (amounting to around 153 million). Yet inequality stalks the land: in the cities with their sprawling, overcrowded slums alongside the new high-rise designer boutiques and between desperately poor rural communities and urban dwellers. There is inequality within inequality, as government definitions of what constitutes poverty are re-imagined to exclude great swaths of people in need.
India’s economic growth, (neatly tied together with government corruption and neglect) has been fuelled by a toxic cocktail of elements that includes: twenty years of market liberalisation, land grabbing and mineral extraction, the privatization of water supplies and extensive dam building. Millions of mainly Adivasi (indigenous), who make up 9% of the population and Dalits (so-called untouchables) have been displaced by a range of enormous infrastructure projects, most notably the corporate takeover of the countryside, which has seen subsidies to small holder farmers scrapped, access to credit made all but impossible, the Indian market opened up to foreign multi-nationals, and a plethora of state incentives provided to Indian corporations. The selection box of socially unjust, government policies have been promoted “in the name of the poor, but [are] really meant to service the rising demands of the new aristocracy”, Arundhati Roy states in Democracy’s Failing Light (DFL). They are driving a rupee rich wedge between the elite, the aspiring elite, and the millions in poverty, causing divisions to deepen, resentments to grow, and tensions to strengthen. The most acute sign of the community carnage being inflicted on the poor is (perhaps) the plague of farmer suicides. Drowning in debt and despair, farmers are committing suicide at the unimaginable rate of one every 30 minutes, with around 250,000 taking their own lives between 1995 and 2009 alone.

To read more....

The new globalization

By Robert J. Samuelson

The Washington Post - October 16, 2013

Globalization isn’t what it used to be. In its heyday, trade and international investment (“capital flows”) boomed. Consider. From 1980 to 2007, the value of global exports increased by nearly sevenfold, reports the World Trade Organization. As for capital flows, the annual amounts rose from $500 billion to $11.8 trillion over the same period, estimates the McKinsey Global Institute. New middle classes emerged. Hundreds of millions of people escaped abject poverty. All this seemed a real-world triumph of economic theory. Trade allowed countries to specialize in what they did best. Liberalized capital enabled investment to seek the highest returns.

Times have changed. Globalization hasn’t been repealed, but it has entered a more cautious and regulated phase. We’re creating a “gated globe,” argues Greg Ip, U.S. economics editor of the Economist in a masterful analysis. “Walls have been going up” to obstruct the free flow of trade and money, he writes. But the walls have “gates” that countries can open or close as they please. “Governments increasingly pick and choose whom they trade with, what sort of capital they welcome and how much freedom they allow [firms] for doing business abroad.” The private sector also embraces restraint; multinational companies have become more selective in their global commitments.

To

Basketball and Globalization

By Sam Riches

The New Yorker - October 7, 2013

Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian businessman who is one of the richest people in the world, is also one of the first non-Americans to own an N.B.A. team. Along with the Brooklyn Nets, he owns almost half of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where the Nets play their home games. This season, his roster is worth approximately a hundred and eighty million dollars, according to ESPN, making it the most expensive N.B.A. team ever assembled. Notably, that team includes several international players—Mirza Teletovic, of Bosnia; Tornike Shengelia, of Georgia; and Andrei Kirilenko, of Russia.
The amount paid for the Nets roster exceeds an N.B.A. cap by such a wide margin that Prokhorov will be required to pay an eighty-seven-million-dollar luxury-tax bill to the N.B.A., ESPN reports. Prokhorov’s willingness to pay that bill illustrates his desire to make the Nets a championship-calibre team with international appeal.
The Nets’ C.E.O., Brett Yormark, recently travelled to China and Russia to meet with local executives. (“We want to be the home N.B.A. team in Beijing,” he told Bloomberg TV. “I just got back from Moscow yesterday, and we want to be the home N.B.A. team in Russia.”) In August, Brook Lopez, the Nets’ starting center, took part in coaching clinics in Singapore. Kevin Garnett, a forward, travelled to China last month to promote a signature shoe with a Chinese sportswear company.

To read more....

Spain's communist model village

Marinaleda, in impoverished Andalusia, used to suffer terrible hardships. Led by a charismatic mayor, the village declared itself a communist utopia and took farmland to provide for everyone. Could it be the answer to modern capitalism's failings?   

By Dan Hancox            

The Observer, Saturday 19 October 2013   

In 2004, I was leafing through a travel guide to Andalusia while on holiday in Seville, and read a fleeting reference to a small, remote village called Marinaleda – "a communist utopia" of revolutionary farm labourers, it said. I was immediately fascinated, but I could find almost no details to feed my fascination. There was so little information about the village available beyond that short summary, either in the guidebook, on the internet, or on the lips of strangers I met in Seville. "Ah yes, the strange little communist village, the utopia," a few of them said. But none of them had visited, or knew anyone who had – and no one could tell me whether it really was a utopia. The best anyone could do was to add the information that it had a charismatic, eccentric mayor, with a prophet's beard and an almost demagogic presence, called Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo.

Eventually I found out more. The first part of Marinaleda's miracle is that when its struggle to create utopia began, in the late 1970s, it was from a position of abject poverty. The village was suffering more than 60% unemployment; it was a farming community with no land, its people frequently forced to go without food for days at a time, in a period of Spanish history mired in uncertainty after the death of the fascist dictator General Franco. The second part of Marinaleda's miracle is that over three extraordinary decades, it won. Some distance along that remarkable journey of struggle and sacrifice, in 1985, Sánchez Gordillo told the newspaper El País: "We have learned that it is not enough to define utopia, nor is it enough to fight against the reactionary forces. One must build it here and now, brick by brick, patiently but steadily, until we can make the old dreams a reality: that there will be bread for all, freedom among citizens, and culture; and to be able to read with respect the word 'peace '. We sincerely believe that there is no future that is not built in the present."

To read more.....

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Required Readings: Social, Political and Economic Theories

Theoretical Foundations of Global Studies
Social, Political and Economic Theories
INTL 390 - FALL 2014
Portland State University 

  1. Social Theory The Multicultural, Global, and Classic Readings By Charles Lemert (Author) March 2013.  http://www.westviewpress.com/toc.php?isbn=9780813346687

  1. Readings in Globalization: Key Concepts and Major Debates By George Ritzer (Editor), Zeynep Atalay (Editor) 2010. http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405132736.html

Recommended Readings on Social, Political and Economic Theories

Theoretical Foundations of Global Studies
Social, Political and Economic Theories
INTL 390 - FALL 2014
Portland State University

  1. Republic By Plato. http://www.amazon.com/Plato-Republic/dp/0872201368/
  2. The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History By Ibn Khaldûn. N. J. Dawood (Editor), Franz Rosenthal (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Muqaddimah-Introduction-History-Bollingen/dp/0691120544/
  3. The Prince By Nicolo Machiavelli. http://www.amazon.com/Prince-Nicolo-Machiavelli/dp/1613823509/
  4. Leviathan By Thomas Hobbes. http://www.amazon.com/Leviathan-Penguin-Classics-Thomas-Hobbes/dp/0140431950/ 
  5. The Critique of Pure Reason By Immanuel Kant. http://www.amazon.com/Critique-Pure-Reason-Immanuel-Kant/dp/1466265418/ 
  6. Introduction to the Philosophy of History By Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Leo Rauch (Translator, Introduction). http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Philosophy-History-Wilhelm-Friedrich/dp/0872200566
  7. The Wealth of Nations By Adam Smith. http://www.amazon.com/Wealth-Nations-Adam-Smith/dp/1490944052/
  8. The Theory of Moral Sentiments By Adam Smith. http://www.amazon.com/Theory-Moral-Sentiments-Adam-Smith/dp/1619491281/
  9. Karl Marx: Selected Writings Second Edition Edited by David McLellan. Oxford University Press, 2000. http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780198782650.do#.UmBxJyQZ9oQ
  10. The German Ideology, including Theses on Feuerbach By Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. http://www.amazon.com/German-Ideology-including-Feuerbach-Philosophy/dp/1573922587/
  11. Democracy in America By Alexis de Tocqueville. Harvey C. Mansfield (Translator) and Delba Winthrop (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Democracy-America-Alexis-Tocqueville/dp/0226805360/    
  12. On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life By Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. http://www.amazon.com/On-Advantage-Disadvantage-History-Life/dp/0915144948
  13. Civilization and Its Discontents By Sigmund Freud. http://www.amazon.com/Civilization-Its-Discontents-Sigmund-Freud/dp/1603865519
  14. Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis By Sigmund Freud. www.amazon.com/Introductory-Lectures-Psychoanalysis-Sigmund-Freud/dp/0871401185/  
  15. The Rise and Fall of Elites: An Application of Theoretical Sociology By Vilfredo Pareto. http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Fall-Elites-Application-Theoretical/dp/0887388728/
  16. The Ruling Class By Gaetano Mosca. http://www.amazon.com/The-Ruling-Class-Gaetano-Mosca/dp/124557096X/ 
  17. Economy and Society Two Volume Set. Max Weber. Guenther Roth (Editor), Claus Wittich (Editor) University of California Press, 2013. http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520280021
  18. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism By Max Weber.
  1. The Sociology of Religion By Max Weber. Ephraim Fischoff (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/The-Sociology-Religion-Max-Weber/dp/0807042056   
  2. The Philosophy of Money by Georg Simmel http://www.eddiejackson.net/web.../Philosophy%20of%20Money.pdf 
  3. Illustrations of Political Economy: Selected Tales By Harriet Martineau. Deborah Anna Logan (Editor). http://www.amazon.com/Illustrations-Political-Economy-Selected-Tales/dp/1551114410/
  4. The Division of Labor in Society by Emile Durkheim
  1. Suicide By Emile Durkheim. George Simpson (Editor), John A. Spaulding (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Suicide-Emile-Durkheim/dp/0684836327
  2. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life By Emile Durkheim. Mark S. Cladis (Editor), Carol Cosman (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Elementary-Religious-Oxford-Worlds-Classics/dp/0199540128
  3. Mind, Self, and Society from the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist (Works of George Herbert Mead, Vol. 1 and 2) George Herbert Mead (Author), Charles W. Morris (Editor).  http://www.amazon.com/Society-Standpoint-Social-Behaviorist-Herbert/dp/0226516687
  4. Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy By Joseph Schumpeter. http://www.amazon.com/Capitalism-Socialism-Democracy-Joseph-Schumpeter-ebook/dp/B00AWO0CYI/
  5. Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism By Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. http://www.amazon.com/Imperialism-Highest-Capitalism-Penguin-ebook/dp/B003ZUXX5G/
  6. History of the Russian Revolution By Leon Trotsky. Ahmed Shawki (Introduction). http://www.amazon.com/History-Russian-Revolution-Leon-Trotsky-ebook/dp/B0042JSRHI/ 
  7. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money By John Maynard Keynes. http://www.amazon.com/General-Theory-Employment-Interest-Illustrated-ebook/dp/B00B336PI4/
  8. The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents By F. A. Hayek. http://www.amazon.com/Road-Serfdom-Fiftieth-Anniversary/dp/0226320618/  
  9. Ideology and Utopia: An Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge By Karl Mannheim. 1936. http://www.amazon.com/Ideology-Utopia-Introduction-Sociology-Knowledge/dp/0156439557 
  10. Man and Society: In an Age of Reconstruction: Studies in Modern Social Structure By Karl Mannheim. http://www.amazon.com/Man-Society-Reconstruction-Studies-Structure/dp/0156569205
  11. The Souls of Black Folk By W. E. B. Du Bois. http://www.amazon.com/Souls-Black-Folk-W-Bois/dp/149239792X/
  12. The Accumulation of Capital By Rosa Luxemburg. Agnes Schwarzschild (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/The-Accumulation-of-Capital-ebook/dp/B00AQM8Z9U/
  13. Being and Time By Martin Heidegger. http://www.amazon.com/Being-Time-Martin-Heidegger/dp/0061575593/
  14. Being and Nothingness By Jean-Paul Sartre. Hazel E. Barnes (Translator). www.amazon.com/Being-Nothingness-Jean-Paul-Sartre/dp/0671867806/   
  15. The Authoritarian Personality By Theodor W. Adorno. http://www.amazon.com/The-Authoritarian-Personality-Studies-Prejudice/dp/0393311120 
  16. The Antonio Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916-1935 By Antonio Gramsci. David Forgacs (Editor), Eric J. Hobsbawm (Introduction). http://www.amazon.com/The-Antonio-Gramsci-Reader-1916-1935/dp/0814727018
  17. Illuminations: Essays and Reflections By Walter Benjamin. Hannah Arendt (Editor, Introduction), Harry Zohn (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Illuminations-Essays-Reflections-Walter-Benjamin/dp/0805202412
  18. Mythologies By Roland Barthes. Annette Lavers (Translator).
  19. Marxism and Literature By Raymond Williams. http://www.amazon.com/Marxism-Literature-Marxist-Introductions-Williams/dp/0198760612
  20. The Concept of the Political By Carl Schmitt. George Schwab (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/The-Concept-Political-Expanded-Edition/dp/0226738922/
  21. Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty By Carl Schmitt. George Schwab (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Political-Theology-Chapters-Concept-Sovereignty/dp/0226738892/  
  22. The Human Condition By Hannah Arendt, University of Chicago Press, 1998. http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/H/bo3643020.html
  23. The Origins of Totalitarianism By Hannah Arendt. 1948. http://www.amazon.com/The-Origins-Totalitarianism-Hannah-Arendt/dp/0156701537  
  24. Dialectic of Enlightenment (Cultural Memory in the Present) By Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno. Gunzelin Schmid Noerr (Editor), Edmund Jephcott (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Dialectic-Enlightenment-Cultural-Memory-Present/dp/0804736332
  25. The Power Elite By C. Wright Mills. Oxford University Press, 2000. http://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-power-elite-9780195133547?cc=us&lang=en&
  26. White Collar: The American Middle Classes By C. Wright Mills. http://www.amazon.com/White-Collar-American-Middle-Classes/dp/0195157087/
  27. The Sociological Imagination By C. Wright Mills. http://www.amazon.com/Sociological-Imagination-C-Wright-Mills/dp/0195133730/ 
  28. The Wretched of the Earth By Frantz Fanon. Richard Philcox (Translator) , Jean-Paul Sartre (Preface). http://www.amazon.com/The-Wretched-Earth-Frantz-Fanon/dp/0802141323
  29. Black Skin, White Masks By Frantz Fanon. Richard Philcox (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Black-White-Masks-Frantz-Fanon/dp/0802143008/ 
  30. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life By Erving Goffman. Anchor Books, 1959. http://www.amazon.com/The-Presentation-Self-Everyday-Life/dp/0385094027 
  31. The Structure of Social Action, Vol. 1 and 2: Marshall, Pareto, Durkheim By Talcott Parsons. 1967. http://www.amazon.com/Structure-Social-Action-Vol-Marshall/dp/0029242401/
  32. The Talcott Parsons Reader By Bryan S. Turner. 1991. http://www.amazon.com/Talcott-Parsons-Reader-Blackwell-Readers/dp/1557865442
  33. On Social Structure and Science By Robert K. Merton. Piotr Sztompka (Editor). http://www.amazon.com/Social-Structure-Science-Heritage-Sociology/dp/0226520714/
  34. Social Theory and Social Structure By Robert K. Merton. 1968. http://www.amazon.com/Social-Theory-Structure-Robert-Merton/dp/0029211301/
  35. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions By Thomas S. Kuhn. University of Chicago Press, 1962. http://www.amazon.com/The-Structure-Scientific-Revolutions-Edition/dp/0226458083
  36. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge By Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann 1967. http://www.amazon.com/The-Social-Construction-Reality-Sociology/dp/0385058985
  37. Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays By Louis Althusser. http://www.amazon.com/Lenin-Philosophy-Other-Essays-Althusser/dp/1583670394/
  38. For Marx By Louis Althusser. Ben Brewster (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Marx-Radical-Thinkers-Louis-Althusser/dp/184467052X/
  39. Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison By Michel Foucault, Alan Sheridan (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Discipline-Punish-The-Birth-Prison/dp/0679752552
  40. The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception By Michel Foucault. http://www.amazon.com/The-Birth-Clinic-Archaeology-Perception/dp/0679753346
  41. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason By Michel Foucault. http://www.amazon.com/Madness-Civilization-History-Insanity-Reason/dp/067972110X
  42. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences By Michel Foucault. http://www.amazon.com/The-Order-Things-Archaeology-Sciences/dp/0679753354
  43. The History of Sexuality By Michel Foucault. Robert Hurley (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/The-History-Sexuality-Vol-Introduction/dp/0679724699
  44. The Sources of Social Power: Volume 1 (A History of Power from the Beginning to AD 1760); Volume 2 (The Rise of Classes and Nation-States, 1760-1914); Volume 3 (Global Empires and Revolution, 1890-1945). By Michael Mann. http://www.amazon.com/The-Sources-Social-Power-Beginning/dp/1107635977 
  45. The Civilizing Process: Sociogenetic and Psychogenetic Investigations By Norbert Elias. http://www.amazon.com/The-Civilizing-Process-Psychogenetic-Investigations/dp/0631221611
  46. Discourse on Colonialism By Aimé Césaire. Joan Pinkham (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Discourse-Colonialism-Aim%C3%A9-C%C3%A9saire/dp/1583670254/
  47. The Colonizer and the Colonized By Albert Memmi. Jean-Paul Sartre (Introduction). http://www.amazon.com/The-Colonizer-Colonized-Albert-Memmi/dp/0807003018/
  48. Decolonization and the Decolonized By Albert Memmi. Robert Bonnono (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Decolonization-Decolonized-Albert-Memmi/dp/0816647356
  49. Toward the African Revolution By Frantz Fanon. Haakon Chevalier (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Toward-African-Revolution-Fanon-Frantz/dp/0802130909
  50. Social Systems (Writing Science) By Niklas Luhmann. John Bednarz Jr. (Translator), Dirk Baecker (Translator). 1996. http://www.amazon.com/Social-Systems-Writing-Science-Luhmann/dp/0804726256/ 
  51. Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method By Herbert Blumer. http://www.amazon.com/Symbolic-Interactionism-Perspective-Herbert-Blumer/dp/0520056760 
  52. History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics By Georg Lukács. Rodney Livingstone (Translator). 1968. http://www.amazon.com/History-Class-Consciousness-Studies-Dialectics/dp/0262620200
  53. Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Vol. I: The Structure of Everyday Life (Civilization & Capitalism, 15th-18th Century) By Fernand Braudel (Author), Siân Reynold (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Civilization-Capitalism-15th-18th-Century-Vol/dp/0520081145
  54. The Modern World-System I, II, III, IV and V - Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century, With a New Prologue Immanuel Wallerstein (Author) University of California Press, 2011.
  1. Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society By Ralf Dahrendorf (Author) http://www.amazon.com/Conflict-Industrial-Society-Classic-Reprint/dp/B00937UDH6/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_4
  2. Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient By Edward W. Said. Penguin Books, 2003. http://www.amazon.com/Orientalism-Edward-W-Said/dp/039474067X
  3. Of Grammatology by Jacques Derrida and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak . http://www.amazon.com/Grammatology-Jacques-Derrida/dp/0801858305
  4. Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, The Work of Mourning & the New International By Jacques Derrida. http://www.amazon.com/Specters-Marx-Mourning-International-Routledge/dp/0415389577/
  5. Margins of Philosophy By Jacques Derrida. Alan Bass (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Margins-Philosophy-Jacques-Derrida/dp/0226143260/
  6. The Gift of Death, Second Edition & Literature in Secret By Jacques Derrida. David Wills (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Second-Edition-Literature-Religion-Postmodernism/dp/0226142779/  
  7. One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society By Herbert Marcuse. http://www.amazon.com/One-Dimensional-Man-Ideology-Advanced-Industrial/dp/0807014176/
  8. Eros and Civilization : A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud By Herbert Marcuse.
  1. Outline of a Theory of Practice By Pierre Bourdieu. Richard Nice (Translator). Cambridge University Press, 1977. http://www.amazon.com/Outline-Practice-Cambridge-Cultural-Anthropology/dp/052129164X
  2. Practical Reason: On the Theory of Action By Pierre Bourdieu. Randall Johnson (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Practical-Reason-On-Theory-Action/dp/0804733635
  3. The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art By James Clifford. http://www.amazon.com/The-Predicament-Culture-Twentieth-Century-Ethnography/dp/0674698436
  4. The Logic of Practice By Pierre Bourdieu. Richard Nice (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/The-Logic-Practice-Pierre-Bourdieu/dp/0804720118
  5. The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature By: Pierre Bourdieu (Collège de France) Polity Press, 1993.
  1. Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings By Jean Baudrillard. Mark Poster (Editor), Jacques Mourrain (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Jean-Baudrillard-Selected-Writings-Edition/dp/0804742731
  2. The Foucault Reader By Michel Foucault. Paul Rabinow (Editor). http://www.amazon.com/The-Foucault-Reader-Michel/dp/0394713400
  3. Why Government Is the Problem By Milton Friedman. http://www.amazon.com/Government-Problem-Essays-Public-Policy/dp/0817954422/
  4. Capitalism and Freedom By Milton Friedman. http://www.amazon.com/Capitalism-Freedom-Fortieth-Anniversary-Edition/dp/0226264211/
  5. The Open Society and Its Enemies By Karl R. Popper. http://www.amazon.com/Open-Society-Its-Enemies-One-/dp/0691158134/   
  6. The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume 1 and 2: Reason and the Rationalization of Society By Jürgen Habermas. 1981. http://www.amazon.com/Theory-Communicative-Action-Rationalization-Society/dp/0807015075/
  7. The Fashion System. Roland Barthes 1967. http://www.amazon.com/The-Fashion-System-Roland-Barthes/dp/0520071778
  8. The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion By Peter L. Berger. http://www.amazon.com/The-Sacred-Canopy-Elements-Sociological/dp/0385073054/
  9. Legitimation Crisis By Juergen Habermas, Thomas Mccarthy (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Legitimation-Crisis-Juergen-Habermas/dp/0807015210 
  10. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge By Jean-Francois Lyotard. Geoff Bennington (Translator), Brian Massumi (Translator), Fredric Jameson (Foreword). http://www.amazon.com/The-Postmodern-Condition-Knowledge-Literature/dp/0816611734
  11. Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity By Talal Asad. www.amazon.com/Formations-Secular-Christianity-Modernity-Cultural/dp/0804747687/
  12. Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam By Talal Asad. http://www.amazon.com/Genealogies-Religion-Discipline-Reasons-Christianity/dp/0801846323/  
  13. Capitalism and Modern Social Theory: An Analysis of the Writings of Marx, Durkheim and Max Weber by Anthony Giddens. 1973. http://www.amazon.com/Capitalism-Modern-Social-Theory-Analysis/dp/0521097851/
  14. The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration By Anthony Giddens. 1986. http://www.amazon.com/Constitution-Society-Outline-Theory-Structuration/dp/0520057287/ 
  15. The Consequences of Modernity By Anthony Giddens. 1991. http://www.amazon.com/Consequences-Modernity-Anthony-Giddens/dp/0804718911/
  16. Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity By Ulrich Beck. http://www.amazon.com/Risk-Society-Modernity-Published-association/dp/0803983468
  17. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia By Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Robert Hurley (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Anti-Oedipus-Capitalism-Schizophrenia-Penguin-Classics/dp/0143105825/
  18. Empire By Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Harvard University Press, 2001. http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674006713
  19. The Everyday World As Problematic: A Feminist Sociology By Dorothy E. Smith. 1987. http://www.amazon.com/The-Everyday-World-Problematic-Northeastern/dp/1555530362
  20. Public Religions in the Modern World By Jose Casanova. http://www.amazon.com/Public-Religions-Modern-World-Casanova/dp/0226095355/ 
  21. American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization By Neil Smith. University of California Press, 2004. http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520243385
  22. The Secularization of the European Mind in the Nineteenth Century By Owen Chadwick. http://www.amazon.com/Secularization-European-Nineteenth-Century-original/dp/0521398290/
  23. Liquid Modernity By Zygmunt Bauman. http://www.amazon.com/Liquid-Modernity-Zygmunt-Bauman/dp/0745624103/
  24. Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty By Zygmunt Bauman. http://www.amazon.com/Liquid-Times-Living-Age-Uncertainty/dp/0745639879/
  25. Culture in a Liquid Modern World By Zygmunt Bauman. Lydia Bauman (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Liquid-Modern-Zygmunt-Bauman/dp/0745653553/
  26. We Have Never Been Modern By Bruno Latour. http://www.amazon.com/We-Have-Never-Been-Modern/dp/0674948394/
  27. The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo By Saskia Sassen. http://www.amazon.com/Global-City-York-London-Tokyo/dp/0691070636/
  28. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community By Robert D. Putnam. http://www.amazon.com/Bowling-Alone-Collapse-American-Community/dp/0743203046
  29. Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World By Arturo Escobar. http://www.amazon.com/Encountering-Development-Making-Unmaking-Escobar/dp/B00DIKX27M/
  30. Social Theory and Modernity: Critique, Dissent, and Revolution By Timothy W. Luke. http://www.amazon.com/Social-Theory-Modernity-Critique-Revolution/dp/0803938616 
  31. A Brief History of Neoliberalism By David Harvey Oxford University Press, 2006.  http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199283279.do#.UmB79iQZ9oQ
  32. The Plague of Fantasies By Slavoj Zizek. http://www.amazon.com/The-Plague-Fantasies-Essential-Zizek/dp/1844673030/
  33. The Sublime Object of Ideology By Slavoj Zizek. http://www.amazon.com/Sublime-Object-Ideology-Essential-Zizek/dp/1844673006/
  34. State of Exception by Giorgio Agamben. http://www.amazon.com/State-Exception-Giorgio-Agamben/dp/0226009254/
  35. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life By Giorgio Agamben. Daniel Heller-Roazen (Translator). http://www.amazon.com/Homo-Sacer-Sovereign-Meridian-Aesthetics/dp/0804732183/  
  36. Critical Race Theory: An Introduction By Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic. http://www.amazon.com/Critical-Race-Theory-Introduction-University/dp/0814721354/ 
  37. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment By Patricia Hill Collins. http://www.amazon.com/Black-Feminist-Thought-Consciousness-Empowerment/dp/0415964725  
  38. Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives By Carole Mccann (Editor), Seung-kyung Kim (Editor). http://www.amazon.com/Feminist-Theory-Reader-Global-Perspectives/dp/0415521025/
  39. Modernity as Experience and Interpretation By Peter Wagner (Professor of Social and Political Theory, European University Institute) 2008. http://www.polity.co.uk/book.asp?ref=9780745642192
  40. Modernity By Peter Wagner. http://www.amazon.com/Modernity-Peter-Wagner/dp/0745652913/