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Samplings

The idea - the reality - of punishment and revenge still dominates every second of prison life, all the propaganda about "rehabilitation" and "correction" notwithstanding. When the bureaucrats' fancy social-worky phrases come at us like last week's snow-storms, it's sometimes easy to forget - if we know at all - what prisons are really like, what life in them is like, and what prisons do to the people in them.
Make the Don a Museum of Horrors

Mysterious George - Photo by Ulli Diemer

Marcus Gee's defense of President Bush is peculiar indeed. He says, well of course there wasn't a shred of truth in what Mr. Bush said, but we shouldn't single him out for blame because other members of his administration also misled the public, and the Democrats also misled the public, and the compliant media also misled the public.
Mr. Bush and the truth

The "right to self-determination" as promulgated by Panitch and much of the left is in fact nothing more than mindless cheerleading for bourgeois nationalism. By contrast, socialists like Karl Marx and Rosa Luxemburg argued that it was necessary to analyze the political, economic, and class content of nationalist movements on their individual merits, and support them only if they were progressive.
Thinking About Self-Determination

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  • If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter.
  • – Blaise Pascal

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Samplings

Most anarchist publications avoid any discussion of strategy ... like the plague. People organizing unions and people organizing against unions receive equally uncritical coverage; pie-throwing and bomb-throwing are seen as equally valid activities, and no attempt is made to discuss the relative strategic merits of the one or the other in a given context.
Anarchism vs. Marxism

Rarely is there any serious political debate within the anarchist movement, while polemics against the bugbear of "Marxism" (as essential to anarchism as Satan is to the Church) are generally crippled by a principled refusal to find out anything about what is being attacked.
Anarchism vs. Marxism

Selected Letters
A-Z by Title

Against Censorship
Believe it or not, some of us would rather not have customs officials and cops deciding what we can read or look at. We'd rather decide for ourselves.
Anti-Chomksy fictions
Unable to refute Chomsky's arguments, his critics resort to slander.
Broadcast licenses for religious groups
A democratic, pluralistic society is possible only if there exists the opportunity for on-going dialogue and debate among the many different points of view existing in society.
The Buzz Hargrove election controversy
Is the NDP so wonderful that we'll lose our souls if we don't support everything the NDP does, no matter how ill-advised it may be?
Cuba's Invasion Fears
The U.S. administration continues to display pathological hatred toward the Cuban government, which it has been continuously working to overthrow since 1959, with tactics which range from a total economic embargo (still in effect), through crop poisonings, to attempted assassinations.
Debating the NDP
The Left has been trying to 'move the NDP to the left' since 1933, achieving pretty much the same result as a dog chasing its tail.
Flatly Outrageous
The Fraser Institute, like the Flat Earth Society, clings to an obsolete world-view in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Foreign Funding for Canadian Political Parties
How about an inquiry into the campaign funds which the Liberal and Progressive Conservative Parties receive, year after year, from American-owned companies?
Globe's pro-Israel stance reeks of double standards and historical amnesia
The conditions in Gaza resemble nothing so much as the Warsaw ghetto after the German conquest of Poland.
Health Care monopoly
The evidence shows that the private sector is far more bureaucratic and much less efficient than the public sector when it comes to providing health care.
Inflated claims about Software Piracy
Money that isn't spent on software isn't 'lost' to the economy -- it is spent on something else.
Israel's attack on the UN post in Lebanon
Israel's leaders can afford to ignore to world outrage. Israel's superpower patron, the United States, supports everything Israel does and keeps supplying money and arms, while the U.S. and Canadian media provide uncritical support.
Keep stressing the issue of democracy
The issue of democracy, or the lack of it, connects, or has the potential to connect, many struggles and movements.
Kyrgyzstan's dubious “success”
What a success! Everybody is better off, except for the people.
A manufactured crisis in education
This is a government which openly stated that it intended to create a crisis in education, and then went ahead and did so.
Marcus Gee’s Confusion
When Indonesia invaded East Timor, the United States rushed to provide aid to the invader.
The Meaning of Democracy
When the corporate media talk about democracy, what they have in mind is a safe election every four years or so in which voters choose between corporate-dominated parties whose policies are virtually indistinguishable on all fundamental issues.
Monogamous Voles
If only a tiny minority of mammals are monogamous, then presumably non-monogamous behaviour offers an evolutionary advantage.
The myth of a free market in publishing and high-tech
The high-tech industries owe their existence not to 'free enterprise', but to massive levels of government subsidies and intervention.
One-sided discussion of free trade
What is good for a male investment dealer is not necessarily good for a female textile worker who will be thrown out of work by so-called free trade.
Opposing Censorship
The question is: who is to decide a particular piece of art is good or bad, whether it is exploitative or non-exploitative, whether it should be banned or not? Surely the answer must be that no one should have the power to make such decisions for other people.
Polluted Logic
The idea of letting companies buy their way out of complying with the law is an idea with vast untapped potential.
Public Housing Redesign
Our obsessive and utterly futile 'war' against drugs is turning tens of thousands of people into 'criminals' and corrupting our entire society.
Psychotherapist Out of Touch
In this psychotherapist's emotionally constipated vision of family life, there is no room for spontaneous physical expressions of affection.
The reliable tyrant
Saddam Hussein was a truly nasty piece of work when he was in power, but his methods, including mass murder and torture, didn't stop the U.S. from supporting him enthusiastically throughout the 1980s, the period of his greatest crimes.
Review falsifies history
The voters rejected free trade -- and got it anyway. That's how our democracy works.
Rosa Luxemburg Available in Spanish
Rosa Luxemburg's revolutionary perspective includes supporting pressure for reforms within capitalism, but she is utterly clear that reforms cannot bring about fundamental change, that socialism can only come about through revolution.
Self-determination for whom? Available in Spanish
Do the Cree of Northern Quebec have the right to self-determination? If some regions of Quebec want to stay part of Canada, do they have the right to self-determination?
Smearing Noam Chomsky
The deliberate use of outrageous lies to smear others is a favourite tactic of hate propagandists.
The Star's biased reporting
George Orwell would be impressed. Residents of the community are illegitimate intruders at a public meeting to discuss the future of their community. Outsiders brought in to tell them that resistance is futile are the forces of legitimacy.
Taking the company helicopter to the cottage
A case of misappropriating corporate resources for personal use.
Wente’s chutzpah
Neo-con con game: First starve the public sector of resources so it can't act, then blame it for not acting.
Why Does the CBC Always Turn to American Experts?
The CBC can't seem to air any discussion of any issue without turning to American experts.
Why doesn't Saddam use his alleged weapons of mass destruction if he has them?
If Saddam Hussein actually had weapons of mass destruction, why wouldn't he use them now, when his back is against the wall?
Yes Means No?
Puritans may not like it, but some people actually enjoy sex under circumstances that puritans don't approve of.