Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 27 September 2014 episode and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the full interview here (soundcloud available soon).
“There’s a lot of real old-fashioned class antagonism at the heart of this. When, on top of that class antagonism, you add an actual war with shooting, it becomes really ugly.”
Chuck Mertz: Our guest, live from New York City, is Keith Gessen, founding editor of n+1 magazine. Keith is co-editor of the new collection celebrating ten years of the cultural literary magazine n+1, Happiness: Ten Years of n+1. Keith also wrote the piece “Why Not Kill Them All?” on Ukraine for the London Review of Books. Good morning, Keith.
KG: Good morning.
CM: You start your story about a Mikhail Mishin, who grew up in a large town next to Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, for several years playing football, rising to the Ukrainian second league. Eventually, as you write, “his father helped him find work in the sports section of city government, where he lobbied for money for sports facilities and attended their opening ceremonies, where he always gave a short speech about the moral and physical benefits of sport. No scholar of languages, he was never able to master Ukrainian fully, which perhaps would have kept him from climbing higher in politics if things hadn’t taken a strange turn for him in the Donbas region earlier this year.”
by Antidote’s Ed Sutton
for the occasion of the one year anniversary of StandortFUCKtor and the breaking of a young Swiss movement to Reclaim the Streets
Tim stood, collecting himself, on the Bahnhofplatz in Winterthur. It was late, but the plaza was swarming with people. As he looked around, trying to make sure he wasn’t in anyone’s way—the crowd streamed around him with uncommon purpose—he kept getting partially blinded by the yellow, haloed streetlights, which seemed too numerous and stood at odd angles.
Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 6 September 2014 episode and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the whole interview:
“We face a state that treats black people as if we are about to rise up in an insurgency at any moment. They preemptively police us as if we are an insurgency.”
Chuck Mertz: Live with us right now, executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, Glen Ford. Good morning, Glen.
Glen Ford: Good morning. Good to be here.
CM: Isn’t it great, this post-racial America? It looks great in Ferguson, Missouri!
GF: Oh, I’m just aglow. I’m bathed in it. Aren’t we all?
As hard as it is to look on the bright side at the moment, we must acknowledge intriguing connections currently being made between disparate and distant movements. Our task now is to make these confluences of action and intent—this growing solidarity across ideological and geographical chasms—much more concrete, combative, and contagious.
By Antidote’s Ed Sutton
By nearly any account, it has been a devastating summer, and a tough year all around.
Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 27 June 2014 episode and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the full interview:
“Human rights really only make sense when we think about them in a world after empire.”
Chuck Mertz: On the line with us right now is historian Samuel Moyn. Good morning, Samuel.
Samuel Moyn: Hi, thanks for having me.
CM: Samuel Moyn is author of Human Rights and the Uses of History and is the Bryce professor of European legal history at Columbia University, where he has taught since 2001. His previous books include 2012’s The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History. Samuel’s book Rethinking Modern European Intellectual History, which he co-wrote with Darren M. McMahon, was published in paperback earlier this year, and he co-authored two books last year: 2013’s Global Intellectual History, which he wrote with Andrew Sartori, and The Breakthrough: Human Rights in the 1970s with Jan Eckel.
Here’s how you describe your writings in your new book: “the emphasis of these essays falls on distinguishing the abuses from the uses of history for thinking about the present and future of one of the most central notions and one of the most illustrious political movements of our time: Human Rights.”
AntiNote: Freelance photographer Alexander Belenkiy posted these photographs* on his livejournal this month, after a trip to Sochi. This is the ghost town he encountered there, only six months after the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Alexander points out in his own commentary that the Olympic Village is not completely abandoned; indeed he took care to include photographs of people there. Ultimately this deepens the images’ chill by providing a sense of scale. Hearing that the Sochi Olympics were a $50 billion waste is somewhat stultifying; seeing the vastness of this crime in (literally) concrete terms really leaves an impression.
by Gavin Rae for LeftEast
“What’s abnormal is not the worst. What’s normal, for example, is world war.”
The 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War takes place in a growing atmosphere of global conflict. The world seems to be once again teetering on the verge of catastrophe. A wave of violence is spreading around the globe, leaving destruction and death in its wake. This surge towards war has developed a momentum that at times seems uncontrollable. Palestine, Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Iraq – the list of conflicts is growing and war is once again becoming normal.
The anniversary of World War One should be a time of deep reflection for the left. How was it possible that the vast majority of the socialist parties in Europe could drop their avowed internationalism and fall in behind the imperialist war adventures of their countries’ elites? How could they become so subsumed with nationalism and chauvinism that they allowed millions of young men to fall on the battlefields?