There isn’t much hard news on Sunday, but to make up for that France 24, the English language French channel, airs amazing features from around the world.
Today I was gratified to see that the Islamic Reformation I wrote about last month (http://otherjones.com/2012/06/29/islams-reformation/) is alive and well in Tunisia, as evidenced by a high class fashion show featuring men’s wear intended by its designer as a gentle tease to Salafists.
I’ve repeatedly heard China referred to as the world’s second largest polluter, but France 24 featured a city that is trying to be the greenest in the Middle Kingdom: kids are taught to spare the planet from day one in school, some electricity is already being generated by solar panels, and the government sends scientists to the wind turbine factory. More people need to realize that without strong governments we have almost no chance of beating the climate threat.
In that respect, the August 27/September 3 Nation was a disappointment. Had I not seem Ari Berman on TV I would have thought his piece on Obama had been written by a senior member of the parliamentary left in this country. The phrase ‘despite the many disappointments of his presidency, Barack Obama remains a vehicle for change in America’ contradicts the one that follows: (his) ‘weaknesses reflect (those of) the left in a system dominated by money, democratic disfunction and a myopic media.‘
Such hand-wringing typifies what I call the modern Mensheviks, whose timidity in Tsarist Russia led to 70 years of Communism. Neatly ducking that responsibility, Berman warns that a Romney victory would result in chaos. Did he really mean to deny that anarchism represents the highest level of political philosophy, in which each individual is responsible to himself and the community (unlike libertarianism in which it’s each individual for himself....)?
With the demise of the global Communist threat, as the Republican Convention approaches, the Tampa security apparatus warns of the role ‘anarchists’ might play in the protests. As in the days of the Czar, a black bloc emerges when Mensheviks reach a nadir of pusillanimity.
P.S. Britain today backed down from its threat to invade the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, confronted with a solid Latin American block condemning its readiness to disregard centuries of international diplomatic rules. Another example of an increasingly polarized world in which the 99% countries - formerly known as the Third World - are beginning to weigh more than the 1% countries, soon to be known as the former rulers of the world.