[Marxism] Swans Release: August 15, 2011

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Aug 14 16:55:21 MDT 2011

Welcome to Swans Commentary http://www.swans.com/ August 15, 2011

$$$ Many thanks to Thalia Pandiri and Steven & Xuan Hohensee for their 
generous financial contributions. We've raised $2,160 so far and need to 
reach $4,000 by the end of the year. We've just spent close to $800 in 
the last month (had to buy a new "off-lease" computer and monitor, and 
renew our yearly subscription to our e- mail ISP -- we also need to 
replace the fans of Gilles's main workhorse). Your money helps us 
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Note from the Editors:   A dispiriting yet powerful Op-Ed by Neal Gabler 
in today's New York Times (which, remarkably, we received -- read 
Chapter 2 of Jan Baughman's ongoing rural delivery saga) describes the 
current post-idea world, overrun by facts, outrageousness, and social 
media, in which thinking is no longer done. If thinkers still exist, 
says Gabler, "...they are not likely to get traction in a culture that 
has so little use for ideas, especially big, exciting, dangerous ones, 
and that's true whether the ideas come from academics or others who are 
not part of elite organizations and who challenge the conventional 
wisdom." One should direct Mr. Gabler's attention to Swans Commentary 
("The Companion of Thinking People") and the work of its resident 
thinkers. Gilles d'Aymery, for one, has given a great deal of thought to 
current events and the economy; his latest Blips analyze everything from 
the tracking of the stock market and the spending of the happy few; the 
secret behind the S&P downgrade that the corporate mainstream media 
ignores; to lost-generation insurrections, and much more. Michael Barker 
continues his hard-hitting challenges to elite organizations, this time 
taking on British media propagandist Jon Snow, who like otherwise 
intelligent individuals "can serve as hacks for ruling elites while 
professing to do just the opposite." Bashir Sakhawarz thinks back to the 
Afghanistan he knew and experienced in 1972, prior to the Soviet Union's 
invasion; one doubts whether the elites attempting to manipulate the 
future of this war-torn country have any understanding of its history or 

Speaking of culture, Jonah Raskin recalls his first European vacation 
and shares his impressions of this summer's holiday, full of joie de 
vivre and crisis-free locals. Harvey Whitney, Jr. thinks that the 
release of Captain America couldn't be any more antithetical to 
liberalism, as Hollywood is not immune to selling movies used to promote 
American exceptionalism, whitewashing dubious American domestic or 
foreign policy. Likewise, Charles Marowitz looks beyond the one-time 
villain in his liberal-leftist world, Elia Kazan, who testified before 
the House Un-American Activities Committee. Marowitz concludes that it's 
time to honor Kazan's unsurpassed mastery and potent imagination that 
fertilized some of America's most treasured playwrights and inspired 
many of its greatest performers. Peter Byrne gives thought to the 
horrifying prisoner torture and abuse recorded in the diary of a British 
Army private at an Iraq prison camp, the topic of the London play 
"Tactical Questioning, Scenes from the Baha Mousa Inquiry"; while Raju 
Peddada is tortured by dangerous, texting drivers. We close with 
Claudine Giovannoni & Guido Monte's multilingual tribute to the 
admirable poet Derek Walcott, your letters, and our sincere thanks to 
those who continue to support the ideas, thoughts, and opinions we 
present in this otherwise post-idea era.

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Gilles d'Aymery -- Swans

"Hungry man, reach for the book: It is a weapon."  B. Brecht

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