Repost From C-Span | Book TV
Bill Ayers talks about his book Demand the Impossible!: A Radical Manifesto, in which he presents his thoughts on contemporary political and social issues.
By Michelle Lugalia-Hollon, Contributing Editor, Global Health
Universal government-funded health insurance goes as far back in history as 1883. Developed countries such as Germany, Sweden, Britain and Norway began providing some form of universal health insurance to citizens as early as the 19th century. According to Physicians for a National Health Plan, a single issue organization advocating for a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program, the main reason that these health insurance programs were established was to protect citizens against wage loss during sickness and to win their political favor. Like today, these programs were highly politicized, but back then it was for very different reasons. Even though universal health care is considered a left-wing ideal today, in the 19th century, the conservative British and German working class heavily supported these programs to counter the growth of socialist and labor parties.
There’s a strange irony in printing the image of someone who spent her life on the run because she was worth money onto money itself, as a supposed honor. This hasn’t stopped the US Treasury Department from announcing a change replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the face of the $20 bill. While many people see the change as progressive and indicative of respect, others have taken issue with the contradictions therein. Capitalism, bolstered by slave labor and steadily craving more chattel, showed the US Bill of Rights and the Constitution to be fictional documents.
By Dara Cooper, Environment, Food, and Sustainability Contributing Editor
“We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own – indeed, to embrace the whole creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. This will happen if we see the need to revive our sense of belonging to a larger family of life, with which we have shared our evolutionary process.”-Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai
“We’ve worked to get ourselves off the plantation, or out of the fields, why would you be going back? Because the fields is where it all starts. That’s how civilization is built…. These are the steps that have always been pushing everything forward. So we’re on the cutting edge on the next civilization as this one begins to crumble.” –Veganic farmer, chef and activist JoVonna Johnson-Cooke.
by William C. Anderson, Race, Class and Immigration, Contributing Editor
When President Obama was running for office to secure his first term in the White House, an age-old claim used to smear politicians, activists, and celebrities in the U.S. appeared about him. He was labeled a socialist. As far back as McCarthyism and even before that, people have been blacklisted, imprisoned, and even killed for being described as such.
President Obama denies the “charge” of socialism, but the term itself was favorable with 36% of people across the country around the time. Socialism was still overwhelmingly viewed as negative by conservatives, but not with liberals. A more recent poll found that 43% of millennials favor socialism as opposed to capitalism. Though much more will be needed than good approval ratings from millennials, a steadily progressing acceptance might be aiding the slow growth of openness around this political identity. Still, despite the excitement created by candidates and politicians who identify as socialist, we should reserve praise for their delivery of socialist policy and not just for the title.