A Closer Look At “The Enemy of the People”

“With so much recent mainstream press evocation of Joseph Stalin and claims of “enemy of the people” comparisons to Donald Trump we thought it timely to share some recent thoughts on the subject from journalist, professor and writer Saswat Pattanayak. As an additional side note, and given what Pattanayak exposes about the nature and history of the association of a phrase, rather than with Stalin some of us would be more familiar with the play by Henrik Ibsen and further note that this is also where the late Dr. John Henrik Clarke got the inspiration for the spelling of his own middle name.” (Dr. Jared Ball, iMixWhatILike)

Tribute to Woody!

Woody Guthrie, the labor organizer and agitator who redefined the entire genre of folk music through his political philosophy was an unrepentant Marxist-Leninist, an avowed supporter of Joseph Stalin and a lifelong adherent of Communism. By today’s standard, it certainly is not a flattering introduction to the man America has glorified to a postage stamp and whose centennial is being celebrated across corporate media in full flair without any mention of his political legacies. But to understand Woody Guthrie’s contributions, it is critical to explore why he has been stripped of all the aspects he held closest to heart. If…

Vaclav Havel :: Freedom Fighter or Militarist Capitalist?

The biggest myths perpetuated in the history of political economic analysis are the established contradistinctions between ‘democracy’ and ‘dictatorship’. Based on outlined differences, democracy is canonized as the opposite model of political governance to what is disgraced as dictatorship. And with this logic in place, Vaclav Havel is glorified to be a “freedom fighter” of his land, and Kim Jong-il is denounced as a dictator who throttled freedom in his country. It may be an irony that both these leaders died around the same time, but what is way bigger a concern is the manner in which they are being…

Media Lies and Libyan Lives

Although corporate western media have been reporting more than 50,000 dead in Libya – from the assaults of Gaddafi’s army – the reality is not even more than a couple of hundred bodies have been found so far. And what is more ironic is that over 49,800 bodies are missing, right under NATO supervision. This leads to critical questions: a) If 50,000 were actually killed, where are the bodies? b) Who must be held responsible for the missing bodies, considering that Gaddafi regime has nothing to do with post-mortem or morgues? c) If indeed less than 200 were allegedly killed…

Free Market War on Gaddafi: Unjust, but Natural

The war against Libya is a continued assault on part of the imperialist and rogue nations of the First World against the champions of anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism and progressive socialism of the Third World. Contrary to corporate media spins, the war is neither about oil money, nor about installing democracy. It is neither about the rebel uprising in the Arab world, nor about merely ending a dictatorial regime. The war against Libya is an attack on every remnant of collective human aspiration for freedom, peace, justice and equality. The war against Libya is a war against every future possibility that can…

Arab World Witnessing Anarchy, Not Revolutions

Events in parts of North Africa and the Middle East have been heralded as ‘revolutions’. The levels of optimisms surrounding political restructuring apparently crafted by the ‘people’ themselves are defining. Some observers have even gone to the extent of declaring these mass movements as byproducts of Facebook and Twitter activists. In a world craving sensationalistic news, these demonstrations have more than provided for the fodder. In times of large-scale global political corruptions, these protests are being characterized as new hopes. In our continued saga of drab and visionless compromises with oppressive status quo, these uprisings are revolutions, romanticized. However, if…

A World Without America?

“It’s coming to America first, the cradle of the best and of the worst. It’s here they got the range and the machinery for change and it’s here they got the spiritual thirst. It’s here the family’s broken and it’s here the lonely say that the heart has got to open in a fundamental way: Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.” – Leonard Cohen: “Democracy” No country in the world history has been as yearned for and despised as the United States of America; even more so in recent times, as the unipolar superpower of the world. Ironic is the…

Remembering Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922 – January 27, 2010)

(For publication in Radical Notes) By Saswat Pattanayak “To be neutral is to collaborate with whatever is going on, and I as a teacher do not want to be a collaborator with whatever is happening in the world today.” (Howard Zinn) In the grossly unequal world that we inhabit, it is always tempting to remain apolitical, especially if one is an academician materially benefiting from the status quo system of education. It is only logical to separate classroom instructions from political activisms, since teachers are desired by the system to enhance employability of students within the social framework, not to…

Militarist Obama and Corporate Nobel: Peaceful Partnership

By Saswat Pattanayak (Written for publication in Radical Notes and VoxUnion) There simply need not be any elements of surprise or shock at Barack Obama receiving Nobel Peace Prize. Almost every year, this award has been granted to neoliberal policy brokers otherwise known as liberals, social democrats, or simply the firm believers in Eurocentric democratic ethos that can be ruthlessly applied on lesser countries via doublespeaks. Obama joins Ahtisaari, Gore, Dae-jung, Trimble, Belo, Walesa, Robles, Esquivel, Begin, Sakharov, Sato, Cassin, Kissinger, Wilson, etc., as the latest torchbearer of the most overrated award in the human history. Liberal media are attributing…

Martina Navratilova Clarifies

It is unfortunate, but unsurprising at the same time, how the media reports have been targeting Navratilova for her decision to opt for dual citizenship. Not just the greatest tennis player of all time, she is a tireless champion of human rights – and no matter if it discomforts the institutional left or conservative right, one needs to pay attention to (and accept the experiential basis of) what Navratilova has to say. Hope this statement puts the controversy to rest. My Dual Citizenship: Why Did the Media Get It So Wrong? April 4, 2008 By Martina Navratilova They say bad…