Geoff Mann and Joel Wainwright explore the possible political and economic futures of a planet under rapid climate change - from the emergence of a planetary sovereignty over a global energy system, to the fracturing of the globe into nativistic zones of control and violent exclusion - and explain why nothing is certain but radical change.
Geoff and Joel are authors of the book Climate Leviathan: A Political Theory of Our Planetary Future from Verso.
On this day in 1805 – (211 years ago) — the city of Detroit caught fire and almost completely burned to the ground. Detroit was just a territorial outpost then — an inland seaport, population about six hundred. Lacking any real fire department, the citizens formed a bucket brigade, passing pails of water hand-to-hand from the Detroit River to the burning wooden buildings. Of course, it was hopeless. And soon there was nothing left of the city but one stone building and a few brick chimneys. Amazingly, no one was killed.
On this day in 1837 – (179 years ago) — in Boston, long-simmering tensions between New England Yankees and recent Irish immigrants erupted in violence when a group of firefighters, emerging from a saloon after having put out a fire, ran into an Irish funeral procession on Broad Street in the city center. Trash talking and insults gave way to pushing and shoving, then kicking and punching, and finally an open riot. Estimates vary, but thousands of people were apparently involved, as rioters threw rocks and looters broke into nearby homes. The unrest eventually forced Mayor Samuel Eliot to call in ten military units to make arrests and bring an end to what is still, to this day, regarded as the worst riot in the history of Boston.
On this day in 1963 – (53 years ago) — not one but three rotten historical events occurred within a time span of twenty-four hours. In Saigon, Vietnam (known today as Ho Chi Minh City), in the presence of several international journalists, a Buddhist monk named Thích Quảng Đức calmly sat down in a busy intersection, had gasoline poured on himself, and set himself on fire as a protest against the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government of President Ngo Dinh Diem, who favored the country’s Roman Catholic minority. Gruesome photographs of the monk burning to death shocked the world.
In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Governor George Wallace, recently elected on a campaign promise to keep the state’s schools racially segregated in defiance of federal law, staged a political media stunt by standing in the doorway of a University of Alabama building to prevent two black students from entering to register for classes. Wallace was forced to back down after National Guard troops, acting on orders from President John Kennedy, ordered him to step aside and let the students... read more
Lori is author of the new book Life in the Time of Oil: A Pipeline and Poverty in Chad from Indiana University Press.
Alison wrote Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for Innocence, Independence, and Identity, available now from Haymarket Books.
The Oakland Institute released the report The Unholy Alliance: Five Western Donors Shape a Pro-Corporate Agenda for African Agriculture.
Earlier this week Greg posted the article How California is being stolen from Sanders right now.
Eva is author of the Monthly Review article Radical Leisure.
Is the Bernie the hostage or the ransom in this scenario?
Life in the Time of Oil: A Pipeline and Poverty in Chad - Lori Leonard [Indiana University Press]
Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for Innocence, Independence, and Identity - Alison Flowers [Haymarket Books]
How California is being stolen from Sanders right now - Greg Palast
Radical Leisure - Eva Swidler [Monthly Review]
On this day in 1913 – (103 years ago) — at the prestigious Epsom Derby horse race in Great Britain, a women’s suffrage activist named Emily Davison ran out onto the track just as the lead horses were coming around a bend. Spectators noticed that she was holding a long piece of cloth, believed to be a banner bearing the slogan “VOTES FOR WOMEN.” Davison stood quietly as several horses passed — and then stepped directly into the path of a horse owned by King George V. She raised her arms in an apparent attempt to disrupt the race and capture media attention for the cause of women’s suffrage. But the fast-moving horse hit Davison, knocking both her and the jockey to the ground. The horse and the jockey recovered, but Davison died four days later of a broken skull and internal injuries. Another fifteen years would pass before British women were allowed to vote.
On this day in 1974 – (42 years ago) — in Cleveland, a special event called “Ten Cent Beer Night” drew some twenty-five thousand fans to a baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and the Texas Rangers. An estimated sixty thousand cups of beer were sold, and by the sixth inning, with the Rangers leading 5–3, the drunken crowd was a security nightmare. Hot dogs, bottles, chairs, and firecrackers came raining out of the stands. Dozens of spectators, some of them naked, ran onto the field before being subdued. One woman tackled an umpire and tried to kiss him. A father and son entered the outfield and pulled down their pants to moon the crowd. But in the seventh inning, after Cleveland scored two runs to tie the game, the jovial, drunken mood turned ugly when two Cleveland fans threw a punch at a Rangers outfielder, and the outfielder punched back. It triggered an all-out riot as thousands of people poured onto the field — including players from both teams, armed with baseball bats. The bloody chaos went on for twenty minutes before umpires pulled the plug, and Cleveland was forced to forfeit the game.
On this day in 1989 – (27 years ago) — the Chinese political leadership decided it had finally had enough of the massive pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, where for several weeks, thousands of students and other nonviolent protesters had been occupying the public space, demanding major government reforms and... read more
Chris is author of the new book The Money Cult: Capitalism, Christianity, and the Unmaking of the American Dream from Melville House.
David will be moving somewhere with just as distinctive an accent, he'll reveal that on his segment.
Elizabeth wrote the In These Times story New Study Reveals Just How Brutal Meat and Poultry Work Is for Workers.
Wenonah is author of Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment from The New Press.
Kathleen is one of the contributors to the collection False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton from Verso Books.
Jeff got his subject to me a day early this week, so he's already up on planning for the future.
Here is what Chuck is reading to prepare for Saturday's show:
The Money Cult: Capitalism, Christianity, and the Unmaking of the American Dream - Chris Lehmann [Melville House]
New Study Reveals Just How Brutal Meat and Poultry Work Is for Workers - Elizabeth Grossman [In These Times]
Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment - Wenonah Hauter [The New Press]
False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton - Kathleen Geier [Verso Books]
On this day in 1830 – (186 years ago) — US President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, authorizing the forced relocation of Native Americans from the southeastern United States. Spurred in part by white settlers’ desire for farmland, it reversed a US government policy, advocated by Presidents Washington and Jefferson, of respecting Native Americans’ land rights and encouraging their assimilation into white European-based culture. Jackson, for his part, opposed the idea of treating Indian tribes as sovereign nations with whom treaties could be negotiated. The forced expulsion, which came to be known as the Trail of Tears, involved moving tens of thousands of Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, and Muscogee people hundreds of miles from their ancestral homelands to areas west of the Mississippi River. Some tribes, such as the Seminoles, responded with armed resistance in battles with federal troops that claimed thousands of lives. Later, the series of forced journeys to the West under rugged and difficult conditions would prove deadly to many more thousands of Native American people.
On this day in 1934 – (82 years ago) — Oliva and Elzire Dionne, poor farmers living in rural Ontario, became parents of the first quintuplets ever to survive past infancy. News of the birth spread fast, and the Dionne quintuplets became a pop-culture sensation. The provincial government of Ontario declared the parents unfit, and took custody of the five infant girls, who soon became the stars of a tourist trap called “Quintland,” where thousands of paying spectators every day watched them eat, sleep, and play in a specially built observation center. The quintuplets also generated millions of dollars through commercial endorsements and appearances in Hollywood films. When they were nine years old, their parents regained custody, and in their teenage years they were treated with extreme discipline and allegedly were sexually abused by their father. When they turned eighteen, the Dionne quintuplets severed connections with their parents. One entered a Catholic convent and died there of a seizure in 1954; another died of a blood clot in 1970. After their marriages ended in divorce, the three remaining sisters chose to live together quietly in a house near Montreal, breaking their public silence in a open letter to the parents of septuplets in 1997. “Our lives have been... read more