Look whose photo graces the campus of UCLA, meant to be an inspiration to incoming students. The woman in the photo is standing above the slogan: “We Question.” For those who can’t identify her, the photo depicts Angela Davis, the notorious former Communist Party USA leader who, beginning in the ‘60s, moulded together black nationalism with Marxism-Leninism... For her loyalty to the Soviet Union and its foreign policies, in 1972 she was awarded a Lenin Centenary Medal in the Soviet Union, after which she spoke to thousands at an outdoor rally in Moscow… As she left Moscow and went up the stairs to enter her plane, she yelled out with a clenched fist: “Long live the science of Marxism-Leninism.” There is not an iota of evidence that she questioned anything about the dreary reality in the Soviet Union and their Eastern European client states.
Davis also received the International Lenin Peace Prize — formerly called the Stalin Peace Prize — from the STASI state of East Germany in 1979. She was awarded it for supposedly strengthening “peace among peoples,” but it was actually for her continued fidelity to the Soviet bloc, which to her represented the future of humanity. Not only did she not “question” authority, Davis openly defended the repressive measures of the Communist states by endorsing their imprisonment of dissident intellectuals.
Paul Krugman and Polly Toynbee are awfully concerned by how much you earn. Themselves, not so much.
When very well-heeled ‘progressives’ decry income inequality as at the very least something to be fixed, and fixed urgently, at what point can we expect the people saying this to act as if it were true? I mean, act individually, themselves, in accord with their own professed values and imperatives. Curiously, the most typical position is to do nothing whatsoever unless the state acts coercively against everyone, thereby deferring any personal action aside from the usual mouthing. And so inevitably that mouthing looks a lot like chaff, a way to divert the envy and tribalism they’re so happy to inspire in others: “Yes, I’m loaded, but look at those people over there – the ones who disagree with us – they have slightly more, or almost as much. Let’s all hiss at them.”
Gender studies lecturer Hila Shachar doesn’t think the public should have any say in how its money is spent.
Dr Shachar is careful not to explain the “contribution to society” made by her own work, or by the humanities research projects that were highlighted as examples of non-essential spending, including a $164,000 grant for studying “how urban media art can best respond to global climate change.” Or by the boldly titled research project Queering Disasters in the Antipodes, which hopes to probe the “experiences of LGBTI people in natural disasters” and ultimately provide “improved disaster response” to gay people, whose needs in such circumstances are apparently quite different from those of everyone else. The princely sum of $325,183 has been spent on this endeavour.
The Guardian unveils its hot and sassy trainee journalists. A snapshot of the nation and its everyday concerns.
There’s Emma Howard, 26, who studied English in Leicester and Strasbourg and lists her credentials as “community organising” and “having fun with other social activists,” which, we learn, “can mean standing on the street with placards.” “I think about power a lot,” says she. Podcast enthusiast Fred McConnell, 27, is the sole male in a group of ten and tells us that, “After university I headed to Afghanistan to produce multimedia for a skateboard charity.” As one does. And there’s Hannah Jane Parkinson, 24, who “performs poetry” and whose areas of expertise are “lifestyle and pop culture.” Ms Parkinson is “from Liverpool, but moved to Russia to drink vodka and play at being Lara from Dr Zhivago.” She moved again, to London, “for a great job,” one in which she “got to look at cat gifs.” “I couldn’t be happier at the Guardian,” says Ms Parkinson. “It’s where I always wanted to work.”
A radical publishing house, Lawrence & Wishart, which at one time was connected to Great Britain’s Communist Party, is demanding the removal from the Marxists Internet Archive of the Marx-Engels Collected Works — hardcover books that sell for up to $50 a pop… “What they are doing is actually restricting the masses’ ability to get these writings because they found a potential revenue flow by digitising the works themselves and selling some product to universities,” [said David Walters, a marxists.org volunteer]. “We think it’s the opposite of a Marxist approach.”
It seems counterproductive, in that you may have to live with capitalism in day to day affairs, but you would think the one item that you would work towards absolutely free, society ownership of is the instruction manual for making your desired mode of existence come to fruition, when that mode of existence depends on an informed, versed-in-Marxist-theory populace.
Selfless Crusader Against Income Inequality to Heroically Accept $225,000 for Nine Months of Sub-Part-Time Work from State-Funded Organisation to Occasionally Give a Few Quotes About the Scourge of Income Inequality.
Hiring Paul Krugman, a Guardian contributor and the left-leaning owner of this humble abode, is part of the City University of New York’s latest “inequality initiative.” Mr Krugman’s will be “a modest role” with no teaching or supervision commitments. In fact, neither party seems able to define what, exactly, that “modest role” will be. Hence the salary of $25,000 per month.
The owner of a building in Queens used a crew of painters to work overnight and paint over graffiti on a warehouse in Long Island City, wiping clean a canvas that was used by thousands of artists over the years to transform an otherwise nondescript, abandoned brick building in a working-class neighbourhood into 5Pointz, a mecca for street artists from around the world. By morning, the work of some 1,500 artists had been wiped clean, the Brobdingnagian bubble letters and the colourful cartoons spray painted on the building’s brick walls all covered in a fresh coat of white paint. “We are supposed to be the vandals, but this is the biggest rag and disrespect in the history of graffiti,” said Marie Cecile Flageul, an unofficial curator for 5Pointz.
The moral of the story, gentlemen, is buy your own canvas.