1525 Chapters
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Medium 9781626567924

1. Destiny

Qazi, Farhana Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Growing up in Texas, I learned about war from my mother. I listened to stories of countries born out of conflict; women taking up arms for national pride; and the speeches, songs, and scholarship created by women to fight their oppressors. Mama taught me about female fighters. I was always curious about why she chose to join the army, why she rallied for a socialist political party, and how she lied to her family to do what she believed was her God-given right as a woman. The right to go to war. The right to vote. And the right to choose her destiny.

We lived on a quiet, tree-lined street in north Austin. I knew very little about the country of my birth, Pakistan, or the religion I was born into, Islam. On faith, Mama preached: Pray when you can. Fast if you’re healthy. Never judge anyone. Take care of the poor and your parents. Islam was made simple and easy, so long as my sister and I followed the cultural traditions cloaked by religion.

When I was a girl, my mother introduced me to Kashmir, a place that bids fair to being Heaven on earth. A tiny fraction of the world’s population lives in the blue-green hills, divided unevenly between the two nuclear-rival countries of India and Pakistan. More than ten million Kashmiris live on the Indian side and six million live in the autonomous territory of Pakistan. By contrast, my childhood home in the state of Texas is twice the size of all of Kashmir. This region is the site of the world’s highest battlefield, at twenty thousand feet, where Indian and Pakistani military troops fought. Though Mama romanticized Kashmir, she had never visited or lived near the white-blue mountains. For her and millions of Pakistanis, the valley symbolized resistance.

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Medium 9781609945923

7 How Wealth Inequality Crashed the Economy

Collins, Chuck Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

An economy so dependent on the spending of a few is also prone to great booms and busts. The rich splurge and speculate when their savings are doing well. But when the values of their assets tumble, they pull back. That can lead to wild gyrations. Sound familiar? It’s no mere coincidence that over the last century the top earners’ share of the nation’s total income peaked in 1928 and 2007—the two years just preceding the biggest downturns.
—Robert Reich (b. 1946)

There are many theories about what triggered the 2008 economic meltdown. These explanations focus on bad actors such as the large banks and financial firms, the unregulated “shadow” financial sector, and unethical subprime mortgage pushers.1

But there is a missing lens to the story, one that shows how the economic meltdown was caused by excessive income and wealth inequality. The two triggers were consumption by the 99 percent based on borrowing rather than real wage growth, and reckless financial speculation by the 1 percent.

Real wages for the bottom 80 percent of households have remained relatively stagnant since the late 1970s. People survived these stagnant wages by working more hours, bringing more family members into the paid labor force, and borrowing more, thanks to easy access to credit. This put enormous stresses on many working families as they got caught on a work-consume-borrow treadmill. But for many, this was the only way to attain or maintain a middle-class standard of living.

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Medium 9781605097060

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Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
Medium 9780253009685

27. In the Kingdom of Tear Gas

Edited by David McMurray and Amanda Ufhe Indiana University Press ePub

GREGG CARLSTROM

The talk of the possible renewal of dialogue between the Bahraini government and the opposition so far has just been talk. The reality is that street protests, after simmering in outlying villages for months, have begun to heat up in the capital of Manama.

Opposition activists staged a large rally in the first week of April 2012 in support of jailed human rights activist ‘Abd al-Hadi al-Khawaja, whose fifteen-week hunger strike turned him into a symbol of resistance to the government in the eyes of many Bahrainis. Khawaja was arrested a year previous as part of the crackdown on the popular uprising that began on February 14, 2011 and became centered in Pearl Roundabout on Manama’s outskirts. He was moved to a military hospital on April 6 because of his rapidly deteriorating health. The February 14 Youth Coalition also organized almost daily protests against the Formula One auto race scheduled for April 22. The government was eager to hold the race to show that Bahrain’s unrest was in the past; the opposition wanted it canceled. Despite demonstrations numbering in the thousands in the days before the race, Formula One held the event as planned.

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Medium 9780253002112

4 Sur Bahir: The Forest

Hillel Bardin Indiana University Press ePub

Jericho was my first experience with the intifada, but it was not my first contact with Palestinians. Like most Israelis, I avoided Arab areas, and I even had a rule that whenever I would cross the Green Line (i.e., enter the areas conquered from Jordan in the 1967 “Six-Day War”) I would carry my rifle. Even though I was part of the Israeli Left in that I opposed Jewish settlement in the occupied areas and favored returning the land someday in exchange for peace, I didn’t know a single Arab except for two social scientists whom I knew at work.

One day in 1978 I came home to our apartment in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood, and found that our son Ariel’s little bicycle had been stolen. Children from the neighborhood told me that they had seen two Arab kids, who made deliveries for the grocery store, taking the bike away. I went to the grocer, who said that he had fired the kids a few days before, but he gave me their names and said that they lived in the neighboring Arab village of Sur Bahir. Sur Bahir had been part of the Jordanian West Bank from 1948 until 1967, at which time we Israelis conquered it and annexed it to Jerusalem, thereby making it part of Israel. Sur Bahir was only a mile down the road from my house, but in the six years that I’d been living there I had never entered the village, nor had virtually any of my Jewish neighbors.

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Medium 9780253015846

5 Capitalist Ethics?

Samuli Schielke Indiana University Press ePub

 

Although People Understand grand schemes as being located outside the ordinary world, they do have material form and shape. And most often in the early twenty-first century, that form is of a commodity.

Commodity and consumption have become a ubiquitous part of life in Egypt. Being a respectable person largely depends on one’s capacity to buy consumer goods. Love is transformed through the consumerist principle of gratification. Religious proselytization is a lucrative trade. This shared sense of existence is in the focus of this chapter. Capitalism is not only a configuration of relations of production and consumption but also a sensibility of existence inherently accompanied by an ideology, promises, and ends of its own. And while Islam may appear to be the moral counterpart to capitalist economy, the Islamic revival has brought key anxieties to the forefront of people’s religious consciousness that resonate with capitalist modes of production and rationality in peculiar ways. Capitalism and religious revival share a sense of temporality that connects the two in complex and unpredictable ways. It is the temporality of a life in the future tense.

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Medium 9781576754597

CHAPTER 4: TARGETING THE PERSUADABLES

Horn, Bernie Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Politics without targeting is like a fire hose without a nozzle. Yet advocates routinely point their spray of messages at the whole population. And then they are surprised when their political house burns down.

Any communications effort—from one person chatting with the neighbors to an entire presidential campaign—has limited resources. And any political decision—from the selection of a grant recipient to the election of a mayor—is made by a limited number of “deciders,” in the lingo of George W. Bush. For example, Bush received sixty-two million votes in 2004, representing just a little more than 20 percent of the U.S. population. Democratic candidates for the U.S. House received forty million votes in 2006, representing about 13 percent of Americans.

But the crucial audience is even smaller. In a general election, most voters are partisan Democrats and Republicans who can never be persuaded to support the other party’s candidate. Only a sliver of voters might vote for either party’s candidate—these are the persuadable voters. The proportion of persuadables is usually a bit larger in local elections, and larger still when you’re trying to galvanize support for an issue instead of a candidate.

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Medium 9780253012890

1 Affect

Foreword by Saskia Sassen Edited by Hil Indiana University Press ePub

DEIRDRE MCKAY

THE GLOBAL EMERGES NOT SIMPLY FROM THE WAYS PROCESSES, programs, and institutions intersect and form more comprehensive wholes, but also through the ways those links are understood in people’s experiences, their lived and felt participation in making a global world. My take on the global in this chapter begins with affect, connection, alliance, and rule-bending, tracking what people make of the term “global”—and the ideas and networks they encounter behind it. For the Filipino migrants I work with, their global is an imaginary—a space of desire in their already-globalized lives. This global is, for them, about hope, possibility, and potential that emerge from their affective connections with other people. Affect is a valuable entry point to framing the global because thinking about the personal challenges and expands accounts of the global where people’s agency is muted or lost. The global is not simply an effect of processes and networks but an object itself—something that people desire, despise, seek out, or avoid and to which they attribute experiences and ascribe meanings.

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Medium 9780253018595

An Afropean Travel Narrative

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

THIS JANUARY, I found myself squashed in a small room with perhaps a hundred other people, mainly black, cocooned within a snow-covered Paris for a conference on Black Portraiture. As I looked beside me, I noticed the silhouettes of my fellow attendees’ African features contrasted against the icy white brightness gleaming through the windows. I had my camera poised—it would have made a great photograph, but Simon Njami, the influential French art critic, was finishing his talk entitled “The Black Body as an Artistic Metaphor.” His eyes were heavily lidded and self-possessed, and speaking in English with a French accent he exuded authority.

I have searched for my blackness as though it were a missing piece of luggage containing important ID.

“Of course,” he said, “this whole idea of the ‘black body’ is preposterous—if you are black it isn’t a black body, it is just a body. I don’t see anybody talking about the white body in such a way.”

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Medium 9780253006691

6 The “Marie NDiaye Affair,” or the Coming of a Postcolonial évoluée

Dominic Thomas Indiana University Press ePub

Conrad portrays a void; Hamidou Kane celebrates a human presence and a heroic if doomed struggle. The difference between the two stories is very clear. You might say that difference was the very reason the African writer came into being. His story had been told for him, and he had found the telling quite unsatisfactory.

Chinua Achebe1

The awarding of the Prix Goncourt to Marie NDiaye on November 2, 2009, for her novel Trois femmes puissantes (Three Strong Women) may at first sight appear to have brought further confirmation of the “Copernican revolution,” which, according to signatories of the manifesto “Pour une ‘littérature-monde’ en français,” has been sweeping through the world of literatures of French expression, casting aside hierarchical distinctions inherited from the colonial era.2 Yet scarcely had the announcement of NDiaye’s triumph been made when it unleashed a public controversy that showed her to be trapped in a web of identity politics which, in the optic of the manifesto, had supposedly been consigned to the trash can of history. Though the word was not publicly used, NDiaye was, I will argue, treated as a latter-day évoluée.

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Medium 9781576757611

Caral, Peru: A Thousand Years of Peace

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

From Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture

Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind…. War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.

—JOHN F. KENNEDY

When you realize how small the earth is in relation to the cosmos, and how small we are in relation to the earth, then you can understand the appropriate place of humans in relation to the earth. These people looked up at the stars and understood this. We look at the earth too much and miss the big picture, the stars. We must see a larger view if we are to live in peace.

—DR. RUTH SHADY

THROUGHOUT HUMANITY’S 160,000-PLUS-YEAR HISTORY, CULtures ranging from tribes to city-states have undergone a three-stage process. They start out (stage one) immature: exploitative of one another and of the world around them. Like children, as a society they think they’re the center of the universe, the only “real people” and thus unique from all other forms of life (and other cultures), so they think they have the (often divinely ordained) right to dominate and exploit everything around them. This exploitation inevitably leads to stage two: environmental and cultural disaster. Cultures then disappear, disperse, or reach stage three: maturity.

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Medium 9780253019264

4 Participatory Empire, 1855–1881

Charles R. Steinwedel Indiana University Press ePub

4

PARTICIPATORY EMPIRE

1855–1881

MUKHAMETSALIM UMETBAEV, SON of a Bashkir canton head and translator for the Orenburg Muhammadan Ecclesiastical Assembly, recalled February 4, 1877, as a day of celebration. The akhund presiding over prayers that Friday at Ufa’s main mosque called the attention of those present to Mufti Salim-Girei Tevkelev, the great-grandson of Kutlu-Mukhammad/Aleksei Tevkelev. When Tevkelev turned to face the crowd, the crowd was struck by the extraordinary red ribbon with stars he wore. The emperor had awarded Tevkelev the Orders of St. Stanislav and of St. Anna, first class.1 The mufti then spoke.

Muslims! I thank the Most High for his favor; preserve our Sovereign in the future. I convey my thanks to all of you. No way can I think that this honor belongs to me alone; I am obliged, Lord, to the Muslim community of the entire empire. I hope, in the future, that your descendants, too, will forever enjoy peace and pray for the tsar with thanks, and that your love and good feeling will belong to him.

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Medium 9780253008374

3: Multipolar Politics and Regional Integration in East Africa: Opportunities and Challenges for Nonstate Actors

Edited by Kenneth Omeje and Tricia Redek Indiana University Press ePub

Opportunities and Challenges for Nonstate Actors

Doreen Alusa

THIS CHAPTER EXPLORES the predicament of regionalism in East Africa with a specific focus on the challenges and opportunities faced by nonstate actors in a multi-polar international system. For slightly over a hundred years, formal regionalization has been part of the East African political landscape. Regionalization commenced during the colonial period as an effective tool of colonial management. During that time, Britain and Germany perceived the region as one economic unit and sought to coordinate it as a regional bloc. They did this through the creation of the East African Common Market, which became fully functional in 1927 and stipulated the terms of a customs arrangement between British East Africa and German East Africa. Within this common market, the three East African states shared a common currency, a joint income tax board, a joint economic council, and a single East African high commission. There were also over forty East African institutions in the fields of research, social services, education, training, and defense (Kasaija 2006, 4).

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Medium 9780253009722

17 The Sovereign Debt Crisis in the Eurozone

Andreas Staab Indiana University Press ePub

17

The Sovereign Debt Crisis in the Eurozone

A mere ten years after its introduction, Economic and Monetary Union was rattled to its core by the large public deficits and faltering economies of some of its members. The severity of the economic downturns prompted some commentators to predict the end of EMU and indeed of the entire European integration project, arguing that the union could no longer sustain the strains imposed by the working mechanisms of the single currency. While the EU might be able to avert such a doomsday scenario, it is unquestionable that a policy that was trumpeted as a bold achievement went spectaculary wrong and caused hithero inconceivable hardship to millions of European citizens. The key issues surrounding these extraordinary developments are the following:

1. How severe were the economic downturns and which states were most affected?

2. Why did these crises develop?

3. To what extent did the working mechanisms of EMU contribute to these crises?

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Medium 9780253018618

“I Like the Way You Die, Boy”

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

fantasy’s role in Django Unchained

Glenda R. Carpio

“And I am taking the story of a slave narrative and blowing it up to folkloric proportions . . . worthy of high opera. So I could have a little fun with it. One of the things I do is when the bad guys shoot people the bullets usually don’t blow people apart. They make little holes and they kill them and wound them, but they don’t rip them apart. When Django shoots someone, he blows them in half.”

—QUENTIN TARANTINO

DJANGO UNCHAINED IS not supposed to be experienced or understood as a historically accurate representation of slavery; surprisingly, this point has been lost on many a viewer. It is, as the film critic Chris Vognar rightly notes, a typical Tarantino movie, which is to say that it is “more concerned about movies than anything else.” At the same time, the film is deeply situated in both the history of cinema and historical fantasy. Tarantino has “a little fun” telling the story of a slave named Django, a reference to the titular hero of Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 spaghetti Western, himself named after the virtuoso jazz musician Django Reinhardt. Tarantino also makes multiple visual and narrative allusions to the blaxploitation tour de force, the 1975 film Mandingo, and other films in this genre—The Legend of Nigger Charley (1972) and its sequels, The Soul of Nigger Charley (1973) and Boss Nigger (1975), as well as direct and oblique references to Norse mythology, to D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915) and the novel that inspired it (Thomas Dixon’s 1905 The Clansman), to the slave narrative genre, and a host of other cultural artifacts. But Django Unchained also jolts viewers with scenes of chattel slavery that are so violently horrific that watching without squirming is impossible, as when a slave is torn apart by dogs or when two slaves are made to fight each other to death with bare hands. The combination of Tarantino having “a little fun” and his subject matter, arguably the mostly explosive and, especially from a contemporary perspective, most earnestly treated topic in American history, risks trivialization. Yet Django Unchained is also a richly allusive cultural text that, through its intertextuality and its arguably excessive use of violence, makes vivid the brutality of American chattel slavery.

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