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Last month, I sailed across the Straight of Georgia to Saltspring Island, during their "Words Without Borders" writers' festival. Included in the program was a panel on Afghanistan featuring writers with recent books out focused on this country. Panelists Terry Glavin and Murray Brewster brought a good dose of honesty and even some optimism to the cynical and simplistic narratives the third panelist, Ann Jones, propagated (= war and militaries are inherently bad / peace is good, even peace with tyranny). After the panelists spoke, a mostly reasonable and civil audience interaction ensued. At the very end, an older woman stood up and said something more or less like this,

We have so many problems here in Canada that need to be dealt with, it seems to me we should be dealing with our own challenges first rather than going into other countries telling them how to solve their problems. I'd prefer if we dedicated our country's resources to tackling our own problems.

Many nodding heads approved, there was even some light cheering.

I've heard one version or another of this statement quite consistently ever since I myself started meddling in other countries. I call it...More >>

No. Capitalism and imperialism killed it, according to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Also, the West is attacking Libya for its water reserves.

"I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet," Chavez said in speech to mark World Water Day.

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ivory tower politically correct imperialist politics university professorThis is a description of an actual course taught at a real university by a living, breathing university professor. It's called "Young people and the global imaginary: History, empire, and identity politics in transnational borderlands".

It seems you'd have to be an absolute masochist to sign up for it, though. What the hell is a post-empire wiki?

This course is focused upon an examination of educational/social sciences and humanities research working at the interdisciplinary interface of youth studies, cultural identity and empire.  The course aims are as follows: to explore the concept of empire and new imperialisms and assess their manifestations in transnational schooling systems; to explore the historical and cultural dimensions of ‘empire’ and imperialism(s) as they have impacted on diverse groups of young people and educational actors living at the fringe of globalizing or mega cities around the world; and to showcase new work on empire, cultural identity and education in comparative educational contexts.  To address these aims, students will explore a range of theoretical orientations to confront the concepts of empire and its contested...More >>


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