Monday, January 10, 2022

PressTV Discussion of Continuing Saudi War on Yemen (1/8/2022)

Saudi Arabia has upped the ante in the war on Yemen by conducting a new round of airstrikes against various areas across the war-wracked Arab country, as Riyadh and its regional allies press ahead with their devastating war and brutal siege against the Yemeni nation. Discussion with Jim Kavanagh and Elijah J. Magnier

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

PressTV Discussion on the Anniversary of the Soleimani Assassination (1-2-2022)

In this edition of Spotlight, we have conducted an interview with Syed Mohsin Abbas and Jim Kavanagh on the occasion of the second anniversary of the assassination of Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani by the United States.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Reconcile This: Lessons From The Latest Legislative Debacle

Reconcile This: Lessons From The Latest Legislative Debacle

Jim Kavanagh

So the Biden administration has achieved passage of, and signed into law, its Infrastructure Bill, and its Reconciliation/Social Spending Bill, dubbed Build Back Better (BBB), has passed the House and is awaiting decision by the Senate. Watching this process play out over the past months has demonstrated, in a way that could not be more definitive, a couple of core truths about the prospects for achieving social policies that could provide socio-economic security and justice for working-class—most—Americans, let alone any kind of transformative, lasting change in socio-economic structures.


The Outer Limits

The first of those truths, which left-socialists have long understood and many more sincerely concerned progressives are finding inescapable, is that the necessary social policies will never be achieved through the extant two-party system and the normal legislative process. This is so, it is becoming hard not to acknowledge, because that process and those two parties—the Democrats (including their “progressive” squaddies and their “socialist” auxiliary) at least as much as the Republicans—are institutionally designed to be obstacles to any such reform. They are representatives of the donor caste, not of their ostensible popular constituencies.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Danger to Society: Against Vaccine Passports

Danger to Society: Against Vaccine Passports

Jim Kavanagh

The Dictatorship of the Virus

We are in the midst of a radical restructuring of American society that involves imposing a regime of comprehensive discrimination, segregation, and social control not seen since the dismantling of Jim Crow.

To be clear, my central concern here is the policy of vaccine passports. Whatever one thinks many of the other issues involved here– lockdowns, masks, etc.—forcing people to inject a novel pharmaceutical into their bodies is something of an entirely different order of intrusion.

The first thing is to recognize that this is what vaccine passports and mandates of the kind Bill De Blasio (in New York) and Joe Biden (nationally) are doing. It is not a matter of some temporary, minor inconvenience to a few people that can be waived off as no-big-deal. “If you want to participate in our society fully, you've got to get vaccinated” is an extraordinary, radically divisive directive.

It is telling millions of Americans, for whom our Dear Leader’s “patience is wearing thin”—including me and >70% of black Americans—that they are going to be thrown out of work, school, and social life unless they agree to surrender their bodily integrity and right of informed consent, and submit to being injected with a pharmaceutical treatment of a kind that has never been used widely on humans before, that induces their bodies to produce a toxic protein, that has unknown medium- and long-term effects, that does not prevent them from getting or spreading the targeted disease, and that’s going to have to be re-administered every 5 months.

This will change our lives and transform society. Not just the lives of the unvaccinated, who will be thrown out of normal society, be refused probation, and lose their kids, but all of our lives—starting with the friends, loved ones, and workmates of the unvaccinated, who will have to leave them behind. If you are unvaccinated, you will not be able to go to a restaurant, a movie, a museum, or a political meeting with your friends. You and your vaccinated friends will be subject to constant demands for proof of your extraordinary eligibility to exercise what should be normal and unquestionable social rights.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Playing the Field: A Critique of the DiMaggio Paradigm

Playing the Field: A Critique of the DiMaggio Paradigm

Jim Kavanagh

Anthony DiMaggio, in his recent polemic on Counterpunch, Rise of the Right: How the Vaudeville Left Fuels White Supremacy, asserts that

there is a heavily corporatized, nominally left segment of the punditry…who are mainstreaming and popularizing Republican talking points…mainstream[ing] the idea of a left-right political alliance in the U.S… populariz[ing] noxious reactionary propaganda… and normalizing rightwing views, bigotry, and neofascistic politics. These are not individuals that any thoughtful leftist – whether one who advocates for liberal reform, progressive transformation, or socialism – should entertain. 

DiMaggio’s “vaudeville” lineup includes “Jimmy Dore, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Joe Rogan, Caitlin Johnstone, and Krystal Ball, among others.” (I’ll call them the Left-Fielders, because it will economize words, and I like cute analogies, too, and they’re way out there.) According to DiMaggio all these players have, “for all intents and purposes, thrown their lot in” with the “neofascistic Trumpian movement.” They have "driven Democratic voters toward the Republican Party," they "send Democratic voters to the right in general elections," and they are, DiMaggio constantly asserts, “normalizing white supremacy and the right’s neofascistic politics.” 

Whew! Hell of an indictment. 

I reject it. I reject the idea that any thoughtful leftist and socialist (as I consider myself) should accept the charge that these pundits are responsible for “normalizing” the “neofascistic Trumpian movement.” Frankly, I think it’s ridiculous, and can’t survive any fair-minded perusal of the entirety of their work. 

Featured Post From The Archive:

The American Farce Unravels: Shreds of January 6th

  Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam/boodhua The storming of the Capitol on January 6 th by Trump supporters was an acceleration in the unraveli...