05 October 2007


Federici, Sylvia. Caliban and the Witch: Women, The Body, and Primitive Accumulation. Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia, 2004.

Federici claims that the class revolts that characterized the Middle Ages were settled by significant gains made by working people after the Black Death. Working-class power was thereafter "shut down" by an elite strategy that promoted sexism, racism, and genocide between, more or less, 1450 and 1650, through the battles against heresy, the reintroduction of slavery, and the burning of "witches." In this reactionary period, Federici claims, concepts such as the mind-body distinction and self-ownership acquired canonical status, and were incorporated into the development of capitalism. The hidden history of "primitive accumulation," the violent appropriation of wealth and power in the imposition of capitalism, is portrayed here as interlocked with the histories of sexist and racist cultural imposition and bodily repression.

Eliasoph, Nina. Avoiding Politics: How Americans Produce Apathy In Everyday Life. Cambridge, England: U of Cambridge P, 1998.

In this book, Nina Eliasoph relates an ethnographic study back in the '90s of popular American political attitudes. Her main concern is understanding how American apathy is produced. One predominant group, the "country" people, believe in an idyllic romanticism of community as characterized by caring, "Down Home" people. Their concerns about a wider political world of distant issues were consciously suppressed. They use a wide variety of strategies to effect this suppression: not worrying about problems they can't fix themselves, claiming not to know enough about politics, claiming that their political work is merely "self-interested," among others. Eliasoph also notices, in portions of her ethnography, communities of "cynical chic solidarity" that make fun of the "country" people while telling dark jokes about the present-day political nightmare, and genuine activists, whose activities are regularly disrupted by the news media. A must for political thinkers.

Goff, Stan. Full Spectrum Disorder: The Military in the New American Century. Brooklyn, NY: Soft Skull, 2004.

Goff is a Vietnam vet with a revolutionary view of the US invasion of Iraq. He recognizes the contradictions in the current geopolitical and political-economic situations, and thinks he can provoke some kind of resistance against empire, military or otherwise, out of the current situation. Test yourself: do you believe in Goff's brand of optimism? This book should at least be a real eye-opener for people who think the future will be a continuation of the present and past.

Fischer, Sibylle. Modernity Disavowed: Haiti and the Cultures of Slavery in the Age of Revolution. Durham NC: Duke UP, 2004.

Fischer argues that the Haitian revolution, and the culture of revolutionary antislavery in general, has been forgotten by patrons of Western culture precisely because the "modernity that took shape in the Western Hemisphere" did not place racial liberation on a par with nationalist idealism. If you read this book you'll learn a lot about Caribbean history, chic, updated theories of modernity, and the history of racism.

The Green Alliance requested a Walt Sheasby article. Yoshie Furuhashi has one online bibliography of Walt, I have another. Here is mine, repeated:


Here is a Walt Sheasby article on the "Peak Oil" issue that may raise some eyebrows. I've also made a copy here.

Growing the Red-Green Paradigm, an article about ecosocialism.

Corporation Capitalism: How The System Hid For A Hundred Years, an article about corporate history.

Ralph Nader and the Legacy of Revolt, an essay about "populism" and "progressivism"...

Handy Hints For Building Your Own Ralph Nader Campaign, a Nader strategy/ joke collection for 1996.

George Soros and the Rise of the Neo-Centrics -- this article is probably also on Yoshie's weblog too...

Objections to Nader, a discussion of why Nader chose not to run as a Green in 2004.

"Coming Up with a Mixture of Integrity and Diversity," a 1997 article discussing problems with the Greens.

"Third Parties '96: Birds of a Feather," an article about a conference in January of 1996.

A report on a Pittsburgh meeting which I attended with Walt...

the Manifesto for a New Green Movement, the call-to-action which wound up being the Green Alliance.

01 October 2007



I am led by recent discussion on DKos to imagine hearing more of that "The Greens are Republicans" urban legend from the Democrats again in this election cycle.

So, in the hopes of remedying some of this ignorance, and in light of my experience as a fellow traveler of the Green Party of California (and, for some small time, of a fledgling effort in Ohio) I've decided to publish (at least on the Web) "A GUIDE TO THE GREENS (FOR THE UNINFORMED DEMOCRAT)".


The Green Party is a political party of utopians who imagine that they can create a political party out of noble ideals. These ideals, as stated by the Green Party itself, are outlined in great detail on Cameron Spitzer's unofficial Green Party "Ten Key Values" page. Pretty much all of these values are innocuous ones. Together, they form a utopian vision of a global human society that would be better than the society we have today. The most contentious of these values would have to be "Community-Based Economics" -- there are situations where communitarian economics is not the best solution to problems arising from the inability to "make a living."


Too often, the Green Party attempts to resolve differences within the ranks by using "consensus process" -- talking until everyone agrees. This allows a few people in attendance at Green meetings to "gum up the works" -- block action indefinitely against the will of the majority.