Juan, a skinny 19–year–old whom I met there that year, told me that he was trying to get out of a local gang (the name of which he wouldn’t reveal). He had started working for the gang as a halcone (a lookout) when he was 15, he said. But now as the drug war raged in the city and the local gangs were pulled into the infighting between the big cartels, his friends in the gang were being asked to do much more than he wanted to do—to kill. Without any training, they were given assault weapons. Having no shooting skills, they just sprayed bullets in the vicinity of their assigned targets, hoping that at least some of the people they killed would be the ones they were supposed to kill, because if they didn’t succeed, they themselves might be murdered by those who had contracted them to do the job.
In the inevitable power struggle between students and teachers, the former have gained the whip hand. The large majority of instructors today are adjuncts working term to term for a few thousand dollars a course, or contract employees with no long-term job security, or untenured professors whose careers can still be derailed. With the expansion of Title IX in 2011—the law is now being used, among other things, to police classroom content—even tenured faculty are sitting with a sword above their heads. Thanks not only to the shift to contingent employment but also to the chronic oversupply of PhDs (the academic reserve army, to adapt a phrase from Marx), academic labor is cheap and academic workers are vulnerable and frightened. In a conflict between a student and a faculty member, almost nothing is at stake for the student beyond the possibility of receiving a low grade (which, in the current environment, means something like a B+). But the teacher could be fired. That is why so many faculty members, like that adjunct instructor at Scripps, are teaching with their tails between their legs. They, too, are being silenced. Whether they know it or not, student activists (and students in general) are exploiting the insecurity of an increasingly immiserated workforce. So much for social justice.
The real difference between the Founders’ welfare policies and today’s is over how government should lift the poor out of poverty and prevent permanent ...
China is no longer the “crazy, first-rate man o’ war” described by Macartney in 1793. In spite of its many problems, it is a sleeker, more modern ship. Over 200 years, through much pain and suffering, it has transformed the very core of its identity, changing itself from an inward- and backward-looking power to an outward- and forward-looking one. Since 1978, it has shown both flexibility and unwielding resolve in its continued pursuit of wealth and power. Now those goals are within reach and China stands on the verge of greatness. The next few decades may prove to be the most difficult of all.
Acheson thus offered support for the re-imposition of French control over Vietnam but cautioned that the French should strive to gain the support of the people. It was a contradictory formula, as the vast majority of Vietnamese had no desire to live under French rule. Yet it allowed the Truman administration to rationalize its support for French imperialism as something other than imperialism. In deference to American sensibilities, the French made a symbolic gesture to “Vietnamese independence” by appointing former emperor Bao Dai as “head of state” in March 1949.
Democrats can’t retake Congress without more white working-class votes. In conjunction with The Democratic Strategist, we present 13 articles on why the Democrats should, and how they can, win those votes—progressively.