Don’t Torture in My Name
On September 13, 2003, Alyssa Peterson tragically ended her life. The third female soldier to die in Iraq since the invasion, Alyssa was a devout Mormon who had served a mission in the Netherlands. Shortly after her religious service, Alyssa volunteered to serve in the military. She was adept at learning languages and was sent to Arabic training school. Alyssa later volunteered to go to Iraq in place of another who did not want to go. Read more here.
As vividly portrayed in Walden’s Pond, Henry Thoreau was engaged in an epic struggle with his “bean field.” Needing strength he called upon the gods: “They (the beans) attached me to the earth, and so I got strength like Antaeus.” Like the Greek god Antaeus, son of Poseidon and Gaea, the Goddess of Earth, he found that the more his body was attached to the soil the greater his strength, and as Hercules discovered, Antaeus’ strength could only be rendered powerless by removing Antaeus from the soil. Read more here.
Racism, Violence, and the United States, Part 1: The Prison System
Many Latter-Day Saints, while believing racism to be a great evil and a sin, assume that violent racism and racism as government policy are things of the past. In this article, and others forthcoming, I will explore the U.S. prison system, the practice of torture, and the wall at the nation’s southern border as three particular projects that bely such an assumption. I intend to show that, far from fading away or becoming superficial, racism remains a vicious and violent a force in this country. Read more here.
The Iraqi Resistance, Al-Qaeda, and US Propaganda
In reporting on the violence in Iraq, most news organizations tend to focus on attacks carried out by the Al-Qaeda in Iraq organization (AQI), which largely consist of suicide bombings targeting Shiite civilians. Similarly, when briefing the press on its military activities, US army spokespersons focus almost exclusively on operations directed at AQI. One thus gets the impression that the war in Iraq today consists of largely two sides: the US-led coalition forces and the Iraqi security forces on the one hand, and AQI militants on the other. Because Americans view AQI as the primary armed group resisting the US presence in Iraq, we easily assume that the US Army must remain in Iraq until the AQI threat is eliminated. Read more here.
The Zion/Babylon dualism in Mormonism and Anarchism
What sets the anarchist critique of society apart from other political projects is the view that, because the state is as an inherently hierarchical, and therefore oppressive institution, the project of human liberation must necessarily do away with all forms of economic and political oppression, not simply attempt to reform them or mitigate their damage. This critique of society can be easily compared to the Zion/Babylon dualism found in Mormon scripture and as elaborated by Hugh Nibley in his seminal and radical work Approaching Zion. Read more here.
The Unattained Enlightenment
Calling oneself a socialist has always been a challenge, and it seems especially challenging to adopt that description at this particular time and place. Advocating the empowerment of a working class which seems profoundly conservative puts the socialist in one of two positions. Either she is an inconsequential pretender, taking a place on a stage that is watched by only a few other fellow travelers, or she is forced to subsume the conservatism of the working class in an attempt to reach the subject of her concern. Read more http://wp.me/P1tZdT-1V
Modern democratic republicanism, in all its varieties, theoretical or realized, be they liberal, social democratic, or even anarchistic 1, took root in the events surrounding the English Revolution (1642-1652), and the establishment of that short-lived republic, the Commonwealth of England. The precedent set by this revolution was of great importance to the subsequent American and French revolutions because the absolutism of monarchical authority was not only questioned, but challenged, and ultimately overthrown. Read more here.
The Fascist Roots of Corporate America (And the Bush Family)
“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism–ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power…Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.” Franklin D. Roosevelt. Read more here.
The Life of Peter Chelcick (c. 1390 – c.1460)
As the Protestant Reformation swept through Europe, John Wyclif’s teachings inspired Jan Hus, a Czechoslovakian, to initiate reform in his own country. During the years of 1415-1419, Jan Hus organized the Czechoslovakians in a movement that would be known as the Hussite Revolution. Hus, in turn, inspired several others including Martin Luther and Peter Chelcicky to question the Catholic Church’s deviation from Christ’s teachings. The Hussites published the heretical Four Articles of Prague, which were a kind of forerunner to Luther’s 95 theses. Read more here.
Palestinian / Israeli Conflict: A Cooperative Effort
As the year 2008 begins and a new hope has emerged in the Middle East peace process, one stands wondering which party, the Israelis or Palestinians, wants peace more, or if any of them want peace. Over the years it has become clear to any one observing the peace process and the situation in the Middle East that Israel is more interested in its security than in peace with its neighbors. Read more here.
Space Technology or Social Progress?
As criticisms of U.S. “missile defense” (MD) technology increase around the world, it is interesting that the reaction of the Bush administration is to accelerate efforts to deploy the system in as many countries as possible. Read more here.