Counterpunch Articles

Buy Them Up!: Why We Must Nationalize the Banks

Image by Jack Cohen.

As we struggle to emerge from the COVID pandemic, it’s hard to imagine fending off our economic malaise without addressing the elephant in the room: Wall Street. The 2008 financial crisis destroyed 40% of the world’s wealth in less than a year. Almost no one has gone to prison for the white-collar crime Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs perpetrated. Wall Street apologists have spent thousands of hours on talk shows and millions of dollars in courts downplaying their behavior – but the banks crashed our economy, and they will do so again as long as they remain underregulated. Though it’s been over a decade, American political and economic life won’t be put on a solid footing until we achieve closure by redressing Wall Street’s 2008 offenses. The safest thing for our economic future is nationalizing the banking industry.

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Sex Workers and COVID-19: Resisting the Pandemic and Criminalization

“What the state does not regulate,” Orellano says, “the market regulates.” The market, for sex workers, is framed by the fact of the criminalization of sex workers. Because sex workers “lack recognition and rights, markets emerge that thrive through our precariousness,” states Orellano. More

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Sorry Twitter. It Wasn’t Personal. It’s Political.

Image by Alexander Shatov.

It seems that finally we are having a wider public discussion on the inherent dangers of the social media platform Twitter. A debate that has been certainly galvanised by a recent article from a self-confessed “Twitter Addict” Caitlin Flanagan in The Atlantic, titled “You Really Need to Quit Twitter”. Explaining how she found herself constantly seduced by the platform, Flanagan writes, ‘I know I’m an addict because Twitter hacked itself so deep into my circuitry that it interrupted the very formation of my thoughts. Twenty years of journalism taught me to hit a word count almost without checking the numbers at the bottom of the screen. But now a corporation that operates against my best interests has me thinking in 280 characters. Every thought, every experience, seems to be reducible to this haiku, and my mind is instantly engaged by the challenge of concision’. Realising that the likes of George Orwell would probably have never been found dead on this platform, while also noting the anxiety the platform induces in both its users and those who have the temerity to leave, Flanagan finally realised that ‘Twitter is a parasite that burrows deep into your brain, training you to respond to the constant social feedback of likes and retweets. That takes only a week or two. Human psychology is pathetically simple to manipulate. Once you’re hooked, the parasite becomes your master, and it changes the way you think’. Twitter then not as a mere arbitrary communications outlet; rather as a viral disease for reconfiguring human connections by literally cutting into language and altering the very structure of consciousness itself.

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Rise of the Right: White Supremacy and the Myth of the “White Working-Class”

America’s battle over “critical race theory” reminds us of an ugly truth about the enduring white supremacy that’s long defined this country. In a potent racist backlash moment against the rising Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, many states have moved in Orwellian “Big Brother” style to entirely ban discussions of structural and institutional racism from K through 12 and college classrooms. And much of the public is on board with this agenda, as July polling from Ipsos reveals that 36 percent of Americans support “a ban on CRT in public schools.” More

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Surveillance, Roombacops, White Rage, and the End of Empathy

Labels aside, those who perpetrate or acquiesce to racial abuse are not confined to a single race, ethnicity or gender. Joe Gutierrez, the officer who pepper-sprayed Nazario, is a white Latino. An officer involved in the Louisiana strip search is black. Freddie Gray’s killers in blue are black and white. The female officers who molested Charnesia Corley are also black and white. The three uniformed accomplices who abetted Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd are white, black, and Asian. This is not the kind of diversity of which America should be proud. More

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Roaming Charges: Bedtime for Bezos

There can be no doubt that Ham, the first chimpanzee in space, would have made a more evocative and intelligent description of his suborbital flight than the vapid mutterings of Bezos, who didn't even have the sense to hire a professional peddler of pomp, like Jon Meacham, to script a few uplifting lines. More

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Progress or War: On Islamophobia and Europe’s Demographic Shifts

Europe’s identity crisis is not confined to the ceaseless squabbles by Europeans over the EU, Brexit or football. It goes much deeper, reaching sensitive and dangerous territory, including that of culture and religion. Once more, Muslims stand at the heart of the continent’s identity debate. Of course, anti-Muslim sentiments are rarely framed to appear anti-Muslim. More

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Have You Heard That Trumpism is “Becoming Fascist”?

Have you heard that Lebron James is becoming a basketball player? Did you know that Maury Povich is becoming an ass? That the United States is becoming an imperialist nation? That Joe Biden is getting old? That the Democrats are becoming a capitalist, imperialist, and corporate-backed party? That the Chicago White Sox are becoming a More

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What’s Really Going on in Cuba

With mind-boggling hypocrisy, Joe Biden expressed his concern about the situation, and called on the Cuban government to listen to the people. But if Biden were actually concerned, and listening to the Cuban people, he would lift the sanctions. This was a demand I heard from every Cuban I spoke to at a rally of 200,000 in Havana on 17 July, when hundreds of thousands took to the streets around the island. More

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The Schnacke Affidavit: U.S. Admission of Offensive Germ Warfare Capability During the Korean War

True crime devotees are familiar with the concept of the “cold case,” which Oxford Languages defines as “an unsolved criminal investigation which remains open pending the discovery of new evidence.” Allegations from China and North Korea that the U.S. used biological weaponry (BW) during the Korean War is an example of just such a cold More

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Brazil, Amazon, World: Part Two

A pandemic that won’t go away, floods in Western Europe, permafrost thawing with deadly methane burps, wildfires in Canada, starving manatees in Florida, murderous heatwaves, water and food shortages, 90% of primates severely endangered, and the latest report that the Amazon rain forest is now emitting more carbon dioxide than it absorbs (so that rather More

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Biden Gives Pregnant, Nursing and Postpartum Mothers a Pass

Here’s a scrap of good news. ICE will no longer target migrant women who are pregnant, nursing or within the year postpartum. This new rule is, well, actually civilized, especially when you consider the barbarity of Trump’s ICE policies, when migrant women giving birth in border detention centers risked having their newborns snatched from their More

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The Slogan No Justice, No Peace Gets It Backward.  Peace is the Key to Justice 

Humans have developed many frames, or mental models, through which the world can be understood and possibly changed—for better or worse.  Economics, race, gender, psychological, religious, cultural, ecological, various iterations of “science,” and other tools of description, analysis and action have been developed and refined over long periods of time.  Homo sapiens have a prolific More

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Why Regenerative Farming Works and Regenerative Ranching Fails

“Regenerative agriculture” is a trending concept these days. But what does it mean? The buzzword “regenerative” gets bandied about by all sorts of agricultural operations, lobby groups, and would-be thought leaders. However, with no agreed-upon definition, it’s become the latest version of ‘natural’ or ‘sustainable’ – claimed by many, but achieved by few. The dominant More

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The Italian Cinema and the Left: On Rediscovering Roberto Rossellini-Filmmaker

Rome. The story of Roberto Rossellini is a very Italian story, not an European story, encompassing Italy in change from the Fascist period until 2009. It is a very Italian story because Italy, separated from the rest of Europe by the Alps, is, and perhaps always has been, something apart, still today considered by North More

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The Beast that Kills the Beauty

The heat was intense. I stood on the side of some highway in Kansas. I was heading east. Behind me were uncountable acres of farmland covered in corn. The stalks were mostly above my head. In front of me were miles and miles of flat land covered in more corn. The farmer’s son who had More

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Would Jean-Jacques Rousseau Get Vaccinated?

In the name of liberty and inherent individual rights, many people are refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Demonstrators demonize political leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron who have the audacity to impose obligatory vaccinations. Government interference in citizens’ health choices is equated with fascism; anti-vax websites flourish, all prioritizing the right of the individual More

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AMLO and Coup Insurance

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has resorted in recent weeks to the open promotion of certain possible presidential candidates during his daily press conferences. These are semioficial, not campaign events. And it’s three years before the next election. More worrisome than what appears to be a return to the days in which the More

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The Oligarch’s Mythology of Cowboy Individualism: Bezos in a 10-Gallon Hat

By some strange synchronicity, I finished Heather Cox Richardson’s magnificent work of historical revisionism, How the South Won the Civil War, on July 20, the day Jeff Bezos shot himself into space. The juxtaposition provided insights on Bezos’ cowboy hat that I otherwise would not have had, how the myth of cowboy individualism was leveraged More

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The Return of Logging Without Laws

In 1995, Congress passed the now infamous “Salvage Rider,” which effectively suspended environmental safeguards for three years allowing the U.S. Forest Service to ramp up industrial logging and road building across the American West, including in previously protected ancient, old-growth forests. The rider was an unprecedented power grab by the timber industry, giving the U.S. More

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