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Articles by: Mary Metzger

How Will Trump Respond to Mexican President Lopez Obrador’s Letter?

How Will Trump Respond to Mexican President Lopez Obrador’s Letter?

What Will Happen When Threats Are Met with Reason, When Cruelty is Met by Kindness, When the Call for Humanity Confronts the Reality of Inhumanity?How Will Trump Respond to Mexican President Lopez Obrador’s Letter? We very often speak of “speaking truth to power.”  It is both a powerful and a dangerous thing to do.  Julian Assange is suffering both physically[Read More…]

Assurances That There Will be no War in Iran:  The U.S. Softens its Stance

Assurances That There Will be no War in Iran:  The U.S. Softens its Stance

In the May 16th edition of Countercurrents, I argued that the United States was not going to go to war with Iran.  I cited several reasons why it would not.  First was the revolution in the technology of military weapons such that troops can be struck with smaller, more efficient weapons that could be launched across great distances.  In this[Read More…]

Matryoshka (for Katya)

Matryoshka (for Katya)

Your eyes are the mystery you have willed them to be. From a distance, they are a breeze Bearing the scent of sandalwood, of ginger, Salty sea lather roasting in an oriental sun. When viewed directly, One sees the colors of a spice market Haloed in blue.   Your lips were formed in Russian forests, Kept moist by the same[Read More…]

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Trump’s Trade War was Born out of Class Struggle in America

Trump’s Trade War was Born out of Class Struggle in America

David Dodwell writing in today’s (5/27/2019) South China Morning Post states that “Increasingly, the Trump administration’s trade war is not about tariffs but about keeping China in its place, regardless of the costs to US companies and consumers – and the world.”  Of course, what he is saying is, on the one hand, true in so far as it goes,[Read More…]

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The Timeless Wisdom of the Pagan Understanding of Nature  

The Timeless Wisdom of the Pagan Understanding of Nature  

(A response to Dr. Lubna Sarwath’s “Abhorrence for Wastefulness and Exhortation for Moderation inThe Qur’an”) As any thoughtful person understands, and as every Pagan knows, the destruction of our world is our destruction and our self-destruction, which is not just sad or wrong, but is a Mortal Sin, A Sin of the First Order committed Against the Gods who are[Read More…]

Defiance – Prelude to Revolution

Defiance – Prelude to Revolution

Defiance is not revolution.  Revolution is what Lenin made, what the Founding Fathers of America made; what Mao made, what Ho Chi Minh made, and Fidel, and never forget Che, how he hungered for it, lived and died for it.     No, defiance is a prelude to revolution, it is what comes just before independence, it is what teenagers who have[Read More…]

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The Internal Relatedness of Soybeans, Human Health, Global Warming and the Trade War

The Internal Relatedness of Soybeans, Human Health, Global Warming and the Trade War

The study of soybeans brings home the fact that everything is internally related. We can never fully understand any one thing, even something as humble as the soybean,  without being drawn beyond it to the study of other things, and ultimately to the study of the totality in which they partake. The Dialectic of Soy in the Human body: Soybeans[Read More…]

Why There Will be no War in Iran

Why There Will be no War in Iran

Many journalists are wringing their hands over the possibility of America waging war with Iran just as many did over the possibility of a U.S. invasion in Venezuela.   A decade ago, both might have been real possibilities, two decades ago they would have been absolute certainties, but not today.  Why?  Because there are forces in the world acting to keep[Read More…]

Russia and China, Putin and Xi:  “Best and closest friends”

Russia and China, Putin and Xi:  “Best and closest friends”

Trump’s statement on May 2nd  that  trade wars “were good and easy to win.”  reflected yet another dimension of what he does not know or understand – the nature and history of trade wars. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-on-tariffs-trade-wars-are-good-and-easy-to-win-2018-03-02.     The history of trade wars teaches us that no one wins these wars, save perhaps for those who are not involved in them /https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/08/business/tariff-trump-trade-wars.html  For[Read More…]

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The Great Soybean War

The Great Soybean War

Donald Trump is a great believer in the use of force to change things.  Regretfully, he does not understand either the nature of force or of change.    The nature of force is explained by Newton’s third law of motion which states that as forces exist in pairs, as one exerts force on the other, the second object in turn exerts[Read More…]

The Dialectic of American Greatness and American Decline: Obama versus Trump

The Dialectic of American Greatness and American Decline: Obama versus Trump

Donald Trump may be remembered for many reasons, but not the least of which will be that he was the first American political figure to proclaim before his people and the world that the America of his time was a nation in decline.  In choosing as his campaign slogan “Make American Great Again” he was clearly  stating that America, while[Read More…]

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Mary Metzger – An American Babushka in Moscow: On Arriving at One’s Otherness.

If there were an adjective that would describe my personality for most of my life it would be “intense”. My old grandmother who raised me dealt with it by letting me explode out the door with the dog and cat in the morning, and then sitting or standing nearby watching me as I ran across the fields and through the[Read More…]

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Pedagogical Considerations On The Relationship Between Teacher and Student

Pedagogical Considerations On The Relationship Between Teacher and Student

My Tai Chi teacher, Katya, and I sometimes speak about teaching. She is a patient person, as we both agree one must be if one is to teach. However, she holds as her pedagogical first principle that student and teacher can never be “friends”. Much as I dislike the idea of not being her friend, I understand her point. There[Read More…]

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The Cawing of the Crow

The Cawing of the Crow

In time its caws roused me from my ritual morning immersions: sipping coffee, lacing words together, drawing them like fingers Across the surfaces of life, Yet remaining untouched.   How long it cried out for my attention Before I walked to the window to confront it, I do not know, but I knew it was me it had called.  [Read More…]

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Brave Heart:   The Unrelenting Courage of Chelsea Manning

Brave Heart: The Unrelenting Courage of Chelsea Manning

 It takes a lot of courage to be who and what you are when who or what you are contradicts the values of your society.   Thus, even under the best of circumstances it takes a lot of courage to be out and gay.  No matter what laws may exist on the books to protect your rights, there are narrow minded,[Read More…]

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An American Dialectic – As Capitalism Fails, Socialism Succeeds

An American Dialectic – As Capitalism Fails, Socialism Succeeds

  One can say that America’s pythonic grip on the sovereign nation of Venezuela is motivated by a desire to possess its oil or its gold, but that statement would only be partially true.   America wants to destroy Venezuela because it has been for some time a socialist country.  The annihilation of socialists and socialism is the sine qua non[Read More…]

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FILE- In this May 11, 2017, file photo, members of a design team at Cirque du Soleil demonstrate use of Microsoft's HoloLens device in helping to virtually design a set at the Microsoft Build 2017 developers conference in Seattle. Federal contract records show the U.S. Army has awarded Microsoft a $480 million contract to supply its HoloLens headsets to soldiers. The head-mounted displays use augmented reality, which means viewers can see virtual imagery superimposed over the real-world scenery in front of them. Microsoft says the technology will provide troops with better information to make decisions.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

The Rise of the Vanguard: Microsoft Workers Protest the Use of Their Products in War

The 21st Century may well mark the end of capitalism as we know it. The groundwork for the revolutionary transformation of the social and economic relations of the capitalist mode of production are already in place and include, but are not limited to, the following: the transformation from a production based to a knowledge and information based mode of production,[Read More…]

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Warrior in a Murmuration of Snow Flakes

Warrior in a Murmuration of Snow Flakes

It was not a confused snow; Large flakes bobbing and drifting on meek drafts, Uncertain where to land. Nor was it a helpless snow, Each flake driven to its end By a commanding wind. Neither was it a diamond crystal snow, Each particulate sparkling in the light, As it blasted the skin like sand shot by its cruel wind. It[Read More…]

 We Must All Become Yellow Vests

 We Must All Become Yellow Vests

We, the readers of Countercurrents, are very well-informed people, perhaps more well informed than the readers of any other newspaper in the world.  Since the situation in Venezuela has become apparent, scholar after scholar, journalist after journalist, commentator after commentator has come forward to provide information on what is going on there.  America’s actions in Venezuela have been put in[Read More…]

When They Went to Slaughter Communists

When They Went to Slaughter Communists

A Poem After Martin Niemoller’s First They Came for the Communists. When they went to South Korea to slaughter Communists, they were ordered to “kill em all” . They did what they were told And slaughtered helpless innocents at No Gun Ri. I was too young to know or care. My indifference was clearly forgivable   By the time they[Read More…]

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Will Venezuela be The Straw That Breaks Imperialism’s Back?

Will Venezuela be The Straw That Breaks Imperialism’s Back?

I open Countercurrents (No easy task here in Russia where it is blocked) and I am filled with joy at the number of articles that appear day after day on the situation in Venezuela. They show just how important the situation there is to people on the left; how important it is to those who cry out against injustice, against[Read More…]

 The Butterfly Effect With Venezuela as the Attractor

 The Butterfly Effect With Venezuela as the Attractor

It has been said that the laws of physics apply in the economic realm.  However, it would be more precise to say that the same basic laws govern all dynamic systems.  One of the newer “laws” emerges from chaos theory.  Put as simply as possible, it states that in dynamic systems, such as weather patterns or water flow (or human[Read More…]

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 Solidarity Forever:  The Struggle in Venezuela Shows Us That Socialism Lives

 Solidarity Forever:  The Struggle in Venezuela Shows Us That Socialism Lives

As Putin famously put it, the “breakup of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the century.” http://www.nbcnews.com/id/7632057/ns/world_news/t/putin-soviet-collapse-genuine-tragedy/#.XEtKxlwzY2w .  It did indeed, seem as though the breakup of the USSR  left  the United States, “the last man standing” and thus,  the sole hegemon of the world.  As expressed by its foreign policy, it believed at that point, it[Read More…]

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The Birch in Winter

As the snow lands soft on my face,
The memory suffices.
The gray becomes bearable,
and I find myself satisfied.

Furtherance: A Response to Gail Tverberg’s  “World Economy is Reaching Growth Limits: Expect Low Oil Prices, Financial Turbulence”

Furtherance: A Response to Gail Tverberg’s  “World Economy is Reaching Growth Limits: Expect Low Oil Prices, Financial Turbulence”

I am always delighted to read another piece by Gail Tverberg.  Her articles  are consistently highly informative, and the information she presents to us is without exception well documented,  clear, and concise. Her work flows from and is the extension of that of Donella and Dennis Meadows as expounded in their book The Limits of Growth, which can be downloaded from[Read More…]

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Chinese President Xi Jinping is applauded as he walks to the podium to deliver his speech at the opening ceremony of the 19th Party Congress held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. Xi has told a key Communist Party congress that the nation's prospects are bright but the challenges are severe. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Quo Vadis Mr. Xi?  Quo Vadis China?

 Back in November I wrote an article for Countercurrents about how The People’s Republic of China, a Socialist (as defined by its own constitution) country, has turned on its own citizens because they are Marxists.   On the 6th of this month I wrote (https://countercurrents.org/2019/01/06/considerations-on-chandra-muzaffars-the-uighur-question-a-civil-society-solution/)  about China’s attempt to “reeducate” the Muslim Uighur minority so that they were no longer religious. [Read More…]

Movie Review: “The March of the Wooden Soldiers” directed by Hal Roach

Movie Review: “The March of the Wooden Soldiers” directed by Hal Roach

I am fond of telling my great grand children that when and where I grew up, there were no mobile phones (in fact, we had no phone at all), there were no computers, and for a long time, there wasn’t even a radio because neither my grandparents or I spoke English. I was born in America, but English was my[Read More…]

Considerations on Chandra Muzaffar’s “The Uighur Question: A Civil Society Solution”

Considerations on Chandra Muzaffar’s “The Uighur Question: A Civil Society Solution”

The relationship The People’s Republic of China’s to the Muslim Uighur people who live within its borders and are is best understood when it is viewed from more universal contexts.  The first of these would be the universal context of the political relationship between states and religion in general.  This allows for a classification of such relationships.    A second  context[Read More…]

Coming Out of the Political Closet:   Socialism in America

Coming Out of the Political Closet:   Socialism in America

In the time of hopelessness and fear, of dark days; days of hunger, days of despair known as the Depression, a Perseus came to protect the people of America from the Greedy Gorgons and Monied Monsters.  He was an aristocrat, coming from one of America’s most ancient and noble families, connected by birth or marriage to eleven presidents, to famous[Read More…]

Rounded

Rounded

When a child, she ran the mountains with the dogs. The only voice she heard were those of the toothless old woman, The old man, frail as a robin’s bone, dry coughing, dry coughing. No boxes spoke to her, no images existed that were not there and then. Mystery lived in every unopened bud; she shelled okra So its secrets[Read More…]

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Let Truth be Our Prejudice

Let Truth be Our Prejudice

The title of this essay is a slightly modified version of the title Let Truth be the Prejudice, the book that W. Eugene Smith intended to publish as his way of making the world face up to the reality of “the greed, the stupidity, and the intolerances” that he witnessed and documented in his photographs.  As the New Year approaches, each of us,[Read More…]

Nobel Laureates Nordhaus and Romer, and Karl Marx on Man, Nature and Technology

Nobel Laureates Nordhaus and Romer, and Karl Marx on Man, Nature and Technology

If we compare the economic thought of Romer and Nordhaus, the two men who shared the 2018 Noble Prize for Economics, and that of Karl Marx, in terms of their conceptions of man, nature and technology, we are better able to understand the differences between capitalist and communist economic theory. One of the factors determining the decision to award the[Read More…]

Power to the People!

Power to the People!

As if by magic, the fierce political unrest in France appeared suddenly and unexpectedly before the eyes of the world. Of course, it did not appear completely and evenly, but in brief and scattered images, as if a strobe light had been focused upon the people in yellow vests raging through the streets of Paris and then other cities in[Read More…]

A furtherance of “Donald Trump: The Perfect President of The Perfect Capitalist State”

A furtherance of “Donald Trump: The Perfect President of The Perfect Capitalist State”

In response to Robert Delaney’s 12/11 column in The South China Morning Post Robert Delaney, wrote an article today in his column in entitled “In the Huawei, Patrick Ho and Chinese spy cases, Trump sees only bargaining chips for his trade war” It is a column which both states the obvious and bemoans it; the obvious being that, as I[Read More…]

Donald Trump:  The Perfect President of a Perfect Capitalist State  (And What That Implies for the Working Class)

Donald Trump:  The Perfect President of a Perfect Capitalist State  (And What That Implies for the Working Class)

When we look beyond his most offensive personal traits, which are in themselves the products and natural reflection of capitalist character structure: narcissism, bullying, tantrumped tweets, adolescent name calling,  the dismissal of all those who do not support him, and the denigration and objectification not only of women, but of other human beings in general, we are able to see[Read More…]

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As You Labor so You Become: The Way Work Shapes Us

In Russia no less than in America, in Moscow no less than in New York, people are obsessed with keeping “fit”. When I see people running off to their “fitness clubs” I think of my grandfather and grandmother. My grandfather was a coal miner. He had been a coal miner since he was fourteen years old and his body reflected[Read More…]

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The Creation Code: Towards an Understanding of Dialectic

The Creation Code: Towards an Understanding of Dialectic

There is a code that underlies all creation.  It is not something hidden from us, but rather, like the purloined letter, something we do not notice because it is too obvious. On any brisk fall day, we see but do not see the creation code that openly operates before our eyes, as our minds engage a subliminal process of comparing[Read More…]

When Snakes Eat Their Tails: Marxist Self Consumption in China

When Snakes Eat Their Tails: Marxist Self Consumption in China

A snake will begin to consume itself under two circumstances – first, when mistakes its tail for prey, and second, when under conditions of extreme stress, it attempts reptilian suicide.  The People’s Republic of China, that great repository of Maoist/Marxist ideology, is today consuming its ideological tail for both reasons. Any discussion of modern-day China must begin with the question[Read More…]

On the True Nature of Revolutionary Theory: A Response to Dr. Pravat Ranjan Sethi

On the True Nature of Revolutionary Theory: A Response to Dr. Pravat Ranjan Sethi

  Dear Comrade Dr. Pravat Ranjan Sethi, Thank you for your most knowledgeable reflections on revolutionary theory and practice.  I enjoyed them and benefited from them, as I am sure many others did as well.  I would like to respond by putting a slightly different perspective on the subject. First, revolutionary thought is always “dialectical” because the dialectic is inherently[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Obsidian King-When Moscow Went to the Dogs

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Obsidian King-When Moscow Went to the Dogs

I skim like a gull across the dark sea of sleep.  I cannot settle.  When I finally do, I dream that my teacher has come to visit me.  I sit across the table from him, put my hand over his, look intently in his eyes, and tell him that I have written an equation.  I watch to see his response. [Read More…]

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On Marches:  Military, Murderous and Mighty

On Marches:  Military, Murderous and Mighty

Marches are the supreme symbolic subsumation of the ego.  Individuals do not march, only unified groups of people sharing a common mass identity march.  Soldiers, who qua soldiers, have had their   individualities destroyed and been taught to obey unquestioned and unquestionable orders, move as one.  The very uniform movement their uniformed bodies, the sight and sound of their precision –[Read More…]

Dear Comrade:  A respectful response to Saral Sakar

Dear Comrade:  A respectful response to Saral Sakar

 A response to Saral Sakar’s “ From Marxist Socialism to Eco-Socialism — Turning Points of a Personal Journey Through a Theory of Socialism.” Dear Comrade, I want you to know that you are not alone; that anyone who has taken the long walk with and through Marx has at times felt like there was something “missing” some “not quite right”[Read More…]

Sheer Hypocrisy:  How America and Americans meddled in Yeltsin’s Election: Addendum 3

Sheer Hypocrisy:  How America and Americans meddled in Yeltsin’s Election: Addendum 3

I have been writing a series on how America and Americans interfered in Russian at all levels of Russian society to bring about the fall of the Soviet Union.  First of all, they sent American economic advisors to Russia to implement “shock therapy” policies which rapidly transformed The Soviet Union from a communist to a capitalist country, giving rise to[Read More…]

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Sheer Hypocrisy: How America and Americans Interfered in The Election of Boris Yeltsin – An Addendum

Sheer Hypocrisy: How America and Americans Interfered in The Election of Boris Yeltsin – An Addendum

Communism in the Soviet Union did not, as anti-communist propaganda would have us believe, fail because it was inhumane, impracticalor unworkable.  It failed because it was not allowed to grow in a world dominated by American capitalism.  It was assaulted from without by American armed forces, and from within by spies and agents provocateurs.  It existed under the constant threat[Read More…]

Sheer Hypocricy:  How America and Americans Interfered in the Election of Boris Yeltsin

Sheer Hypocricy:  How America and Americans Interfered in the Election of Boris Yeltsin

PT 2 – The Gentlemen From Harvard Russia has been invaded, but it has never been conquered.  When the Mongols invaded her Ivan responded first by becoming their agent and collecting tribute from the other princes, then later by refusing to pay them their tribute and finally by uniting the princes against the invaders.  The Nazis tried, but they faced[Read More…]

Sheer Hypocrisy:  How America and Americans Interfered in the Election of Boris Yeltsin: a tale told in five parts. Pt. 1 – The Economists

Sheer Hypocrisy:  How America and Americans Interfered in the Election of Boris Yeltsin: a tale told in five parts. Pt. 1 – The Economists

There is a great wailing arising and much wringing of hands going on in the United States over the assertion that Russia interfered inour last electionto ensure that Donald Trump and not Hilary Clinton was elected president.  This is sheer hypocrisy.  The fact of the matter is that American presidents, universities, economic and political advisers, government institutions and banks worked[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow:  False News About Russia: A Longstanding Tradition

An American Babushka in Moscow:  False News About Russia: A Longstanding Tradition

When I first came to Russia, the key political event of the moment was the “war” over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two independent provinces in Georgia.  The response of the American media to the situation was, quite unsurprisingly, to accuse Russia of instigating the “war” by invading Georgia.  The people of Russia were furious over what was a blatant lie,[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Front Page of the Star Ledger

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Front Page of the Star Ledger

Although I usually spend at least an hour every day reading the news, it has been years since I have held a newspaper in my hands.  But my son-in-law Emile, and his father, my friend Henry LaFargue, like to sit and “read the newspapers.”   They are stacked up on the kitchen table:  The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow: Babette as Sisyphus

An American Babushka in Moscow: Babette as Sisyphus

I come awake to the rattle snake sound of the cicadas, nuanced, orchestrated, ebbing and flowing on the air; the buzz of lawnmowers, the swish of tires puckering up from the tarmac.The dog barking in the yard completes the suburban symphony that plays daily in the well to do communities of Northern New Jersey. I have been here two weeks,[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow: Home Sweet Soviet Home

An American Babushka in Moscow: Home Sweet Soviet Home

It is not the case that we can live long in places without them becoming part of us and we becoming part of them. I am not here talking about countries or cities, but the quarters in which we live and to which we return daily to satisfy our most basic needs. Our spaces shape our thoughts and feelings, and[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow:  On Contradiction-the Dialectic of Putin and Trump

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On Contradiction-the Dialectic of Putin and Trump

After Helsinki, where Putin and Trump exposed their personal relationship to the world, in a perfect exemplification of the dialectic, Trump returned to feel the wrath of his people, and Putin to feel the pride of his.   Yet the dialectic is no simple polarity, no either or.  Alongside the rage that spewed forth from so many (see below), the voices[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow: You Can’t go Home Again

An American Babushka in Moscow: You Can’t go Home Again

It should come as no surprise to me, but it does, that after decades of studying the thinking of the ancient Greeks, I have begun to think like them. In saying this I am not merely speaking of their philosophy but also in reference to their religious beliefs, which, no less than their philosophy, set great insights about Being before[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow: A Flicker of Fear

An American Babushka in Moscow: A Flicker of Fear

A flicker of fear passes through me this morning when I read the lead article in The Moscow Times titled “Foreigners in Russia are Panicking Over New Migration Rules”(https://themoscowtimes.com/news/foreigners-in-russia-are-panicking-over-new-migration-rules-62130). Panic indeed. It has never been easy or cheap to stay in Russia legally. To begin with, one must apply for, but not necessarily obtain, a visa. One can be denied[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow:  Why Are You Here?

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Why Are You Here?

Sooner or later- sooner if they are rude and later if they are polite enough to wait until we have developed a relationship that would allow them to ask a personal question, Russians  will inevitably ask  “Why are you here?”  Some in a tone of suspicion or contempt,  will ask me as if they were throwing down a gauntlet  The[Read More…]

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An Immigrant’s Tale: The blood of the Tatars

An Immigrant’s Tale: The blood of the Tatars

They are the sources of the paced slivers of sound played across seasons, sounds I awaken to, sounds that inform my days, Their sounds, although varying in tone and intensity, are always paced, steady, sure. This summer morning it is the soft swish of small tree branches, cut and tied to a wooden pole. There has been a storm in[Read More…]

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The crowd in Metro Moscow

An American Babushka in Moscow: An immigrant’s tale

If James Joyce’s The Dubliners are stories about people who cannot escape their unhappiness, and Katherine Anne Porter’s Ship of Fools is about those who believe that they will find happiness when they arrive at their destinations, this story is about immigrants to Russia who once believed that when they arrived here they would find love, money or adventure. Instead,[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Elimination of Labor and the State in the 22nd Century

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Elimination of Labor and the State in the 22nd Century

An article by Neil Irwin in the New York Times posted on June 12, 2018, carries the provocative title: “If the Robots Come for Our Jobs, What Should the Government Do? This question proceeds from two primary assumptions which should not be accepted at face value.  The first is that the “Robots” will come for our jobs, which is to[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  I Don’t Give A Rat’s Ass

An American Babushka in Moscow:  I Don’t Give A Rat’s Ass

You know things are bad when you confront the blurry image of Robert De Niro on the front page of Revolution Newspaper, that proud electronic banner of the Revolutionary Communist Party, U.S.A.  It gets worse when you read the accompanying blurb – “Robert De Niro came on stage at the Tonys on Sunday night and said: “I’m going to say[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow:  On the Boundless Pride of Skilled Labor and once again, on Anthony Bourdain, Chef

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On the Boundless Pride of Skilled Labor and once again, on Anthony Bourdain, Chef

Without my glasses the trees outside the window are misconceived mosaics.  No young breezes have come to play among them, nor has the west wind come to make them dance.  It is only the residual droplets of water that create motion and a semblance of sound.  The birds are quiet.  It is a distinctly cold morning in Moscow.   It is[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Further notes on killing ourselves – In Memory of Anthony Bourdain

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Further notes on killing ourselves – In Memory of Anthony Bourdain

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that the suicide rate in America had gone up twenty five percent over the course of the last sixteen years, and then drew out some capitalist social relations which could explain this drastic increase.  First and foremost is the psychopathology of capitalism itself which tells people they are independent individuals and as such, must[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  You don’t have to kill us, we will do it ourselves

An American Babushka in Moscow:  You don’t have to kill us, we will do it ourselves

Those who cherish justice throw their bodies against the armies of injustice.  Those who love freedom die fighting for it.  Those who hate oppression are willing to rise up against it.  Those whose lives have some higher meaning beyond their own person, love life in a way that only poets can express.  Even those of us who fight for bread,[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Singularity and Social Space

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Singularity and Social Space

Like Oedipus I was never able to escape my fate.  In principle, if not in actuality, I was orphaned before I was born: a father dead from the war, a mother lost to desire and chance.  My grandmother came to save me when I was less than two weeks old.  The first thing she did the morning after she returned[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On falling in love with Moscow and its pastrami

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On falling in love with Moscow and its pastrami

I am from New York City, and what that means is that I know a good pastrami sandwich when I see, or more properly, taste one.  For those of you who do not know what pastrami is, let me give you a quick course in Jewish cuisine.According to David Sax, author of “Save the Deli,” pastrami is not actually a[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Tai Chi Babushki: How I was taught I wasn’t a Communist

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Tai Chi Babushki: How I was taught I wasn’t a Communist

It is late spring in Moscow, and the day is exquisite.  I sit on my balcony and drink my coffee and watch  a mischievous breeze run through the trees.  It brushes against them, makes them bob and sway like off balance dancers.    When it scuttles away, the branches slide back into the sun, hold still, and the space we share[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Superstition and Slaughter: the Wars of the Lords of Opium

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Superstition and Slaughter: the Wars of the Lords of Opium

There is something in the white trunked birches of Russia that dumbs my mind and irritates my flesh.  Every May, their leaves, still small and weak from just being born into the world, provoke me to exhaustion and the coughing and sneezing begins.  This 11th spring of my Moscow years, is the worst, and the congestion becomes a bronchitis which[Read More…]

The Psychopathology of Capitalism- Chapter 2, Part 2

The Psychopathology of Capitalism- Chapter 2, Part 2

While the specifics of human character structure vary across time and from place to place, there are certain human characteristics which seem to arise out of primordial human needs and/or instincts.  One of these characteristics is our propensity to conceive and tell stories.  By stories I make no distinction between folk tales, legends, myths or religious fantasies.   From my perspective,[Read More…]

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A Miracle in the State of Pennsylvania

A Miracle in the State of Pennsylvania

An American Babushka in Moscow:  A Miracle in the State of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. – four socialists backed by the Democratic Socialists of America win primary seats. I am exhilarated today, not because it is a beautiful day in Moscow, nor because of anything Putin has done, but because of what has happened in the State of Pennsylvania.  Not one, not[Read More…]

The Psychopathology of Capitalism – Chapter 2, Pt. 1

The Psychopathology of Capitalism – Chapter 2, Pt. 1

As we have seen, theideontologicaldelusion of exclusionary oneness that forms the ideological superstructure of capitalist social relations forcedearly liberal democratic theorists to create an imaginaryindependent and antisocial individual who initially exists in a state of nature.   This individual only goes against his essential antisocial nature and enters into society out of rational self -interest embodied in the fear of death.[Read More…]

The Psychopathology of Capitalism

The Psychopathology of Capitalism

Chapter 1.  Part 2 The psychopathology of capitalism is, as I have proposed above, rooted in the delusion that there exists anabstract, exclusionary “one” or “I”.   This delusion negates the existence of an “inclusionary One” or a larger temporal/spatial natural and social whole of which the “individual” is but a particular moment and manifestation.  That is to say, it is[Read More…]

Countercurrency as Insurgency:  Reflections on the old and new face of the “internet” in light of Gale and Null.

Countercurrency as Insurgency:  Reflections on the old and new face of the “internet” in light of Gale and Null.

There is news, there is old news, and there is history.  Gale and Null’s article is old news on the verge of becoming history.  Moreover, it is full of unsubstantiated grandiose pronouncements and distortions of all kinds.  To begin with the title itself is deceptive.  Is Wikipedia a new venue in and through which Communists are identified and persecuted?? Are[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow: May Day in the Former Soviet Union

An American Babushka in Moscow: May Day in the Former Soviet Union

When I first came to Russia I was thrilled by any artifact of the Soviet Union, by every Red Star I saw atop a building, by every hammer and sickle bas relief.  The statues of Marx across from the Bolshoi, of Engles standing tall in the small park across from Kropotkinskaya Metro sent shivers up my spine.  But I will[Read More…]

Blockchain Technology: From the Chaos of Capitalism a New(Revolutionary) World Order Emerges

Blockchain Technology: From the Chaos of Capitalism a New(Revolutionary) World Order Emerges

While there are many approaches to it, there is only one truth: that the world is One and thus that all is internally related.  The genius of Einstein is that he expressed and established this as the physical truth of the universe by negating Newton’s profound misconception of the world as separate and isolated units coexisting in an ether which[Read More…]

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Photo by akk_rus

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The five people you will meet when you first get to Moscow

Back in the day, ten years ago when I first set foot in Moscow, when the Moscow Metro was the home of the Minotaur from which I felt myself lucky to escape each day; when the Russian language was tumultuous; when I could not ask for what I wanted and needed, when the sophisticated splendor of the city sent me[Read More…]

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The Psychopathology of Capitalism – Chapter 1.  Part 2

The Psychopathology of Capitalism – Chapter 1.  Part 2

Chapter 1.  Part 2 The psychopathology of capitalism is, as I have proposed above, rooted in the delusion that there exists anabstract, exclusionary “one” or “I”.   This delusion negates the existence of an “inclusionary One” or a larger temporal/spatial natural and social whole of which the “individual” is but a particular moment and manifestation.  That is to say, it is[Read More…]

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Putin’s Greatest Battle Is Against The “Gods of Technology” Themselves

Putin’s Greatest Battle Is Against The “Gods of Technology” Themselves

I don’t know how or why I ever got an invitation to come and teach in Moscow.  I was hesitant to come: after all I was teaching at two small colleges near my home, I had a large family who lived close to me, and a lot of friends.  I was comfortable right where I was.  But as one of[Read More…]

The Psychopathology of Capitalism: Chapter 1 – part 1

The Psychopathology of Capitalism: Chapter 1 – part 1

The psychopathology of capitalism arises from the delusionthat there exists an exclusionary “one” rather than an inclusionary One.  This delusion is both a product of the historical development of capitalism and, as contemporary physics shows us, the natural result of the internal relationship between the structure of reality and ourselves as observers of that reality.  Yet, even though it is[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Brave Hearts of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Edward Snowden

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Brave Hearts of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Edward Snowden

Perhaps the first signs of his bravery were the fights he fought against bigger, tougher boys in the courtyard of the St. Petersburg building where he grew up.  He fought not only for himself, but also to protect other boys; one could say that even back then, he fought for justice.  Then there was the incident at Dresden when an[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Reflections on the logic of the permanent war economy

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Reflections on the logic of the permanent war economy

Monogamy and growing old produce the same results.  Sleeping with the same person over and over again takes the razor sharp blade of passion and dulls it flat.  So too, living in the world, truly living in it and not just in one small cell of it, reduces the sharp peaks of our emotions, rounds them out into dull stones[Read More…]

If Asifa Were The First, The Last or The Only One I Could Weep

If Asifa Were The First, The Last or The Only One I Could Weep

If Asifa were the first, the last or the only girl child to be tortured, raped, murdered, discarded like garbage, perhaps the callous that has formed around my life would not exist, and I could weep.  But she is not, and I do not want to weep but to make revolution against the patriarchy. If Asifa were the first, the[Read More…]

Homeless

Homeless

Into the night he releases his wordless poem, rhythmic and perfectly metered; then pauses to consider it before a new trope of sound rises with the steam from his mouth.   This cold winter, this Moscow night, loneliness, or some ancient ache for belonging is our common inspiration. But I am the lesser poet, in need of words to beg[Read More…]

Photo by hepingting

The Dialectic of Autism

The term dialectic as it is used here is a way of looking at the world that corresponds to the actual structure of the world itself without regard to whether that word is holographic or material.  Put in more philosophical terms, it is an epistemological assumption about the ontological structure of being.  Hegel will write a book about it called[Read More…]

The Great Skripal Poison Mystery: What Jane Marpel Said

The Great Skripal Poison Mystery: What Jane Marpel Said

The West points its finger at Russia, Russia points its finger at the West.  As for us, we do not really know who did it or why.  We know nothing beyond what we are told, and we can be sure that the details are being kept hidden from us.  So, faced with the mystery of who poisoned the Skripals and[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  An enigmatic sky and the stillness and silence of Moscow

An American Babushka in Moscow:  An enigmatic sky and the stillness and silence of Moscow

Of course, one never knows the degree to which what one sees is distorted by “subjectivness”; the extent to which one projects oneself upon the screen of existence.  But it does seem to me that Moscow, from Tverskaya Boulevard to the streets of KitayGorod, to the familiar paths of Perovo Park,  a great stillness has descended upon the people.  A[Read More…]

Disembodiment As Alienation

Disembodiment As Alienation

Alienation as Disembodiment: considerations on Edward Curtin’s Disembodied Americans and the Crucifixion of the World.  I am not writing to criticize Curtin’s piece because to my mind there is nothing to criticize; it is a well written, interesting and insightful piece.  I am only writing to address his primary question which, as I see it, is why are so many[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Russia: The Putin Youth

An American Babushka in Russia: The Putin Youth

  I find two things that catch my eye this morning.  One is an article in the Moscow Times, a liberal English language newspaper written for Moscow expats, the other, a website sent to me by my friend, Alexey Vasilyev.  They are of interest to me because they deal with what might be called the “Putin Generation” – those young[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On Toilet Paper And  Ketchup

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On Toilet Paper And  Ketchup

Life in Russia, for the average person, is lived “close to the bone.”  Closer and closer to the bone as the economy suffers under the relentless attacks of the capitalist world.  Well, there is no profundity in that statement I think to myself.  On the one hand, what is true of Russia is true of the whole world,  The vast[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Sun, Warmth and American Football in Perovski Park

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Sun, Warmth and American Football in Perovski Park

Three things have occurred simultaneously to bring joy to the hearts of the Babushki of Perovo on this Sunday morning:  the sun is shining brilliantly, the fierce cold of the past months has subsided, and the paths are clean enough to walk.  We emerge from our apartments to walk and sit in the sun in Perovski Park. My bones and[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow:  Putin, Hemingway and Paranoia as True Perception

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Putin, Hemingway and Paranoia as True Perception

Frontline has done a series on Vladimir Putin, called The Putin Files. They are available on Youtube and are well worth the watch. In them, a variety of “experts on Putin”, ranging from people who worked with him in Russia, such asGlebPavlovsky (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp84TerPgyI&t=4487s) who helped him with the PR for his first campaign for president, through John Bannon, former head[Read More…]

Vladimir Putin, The Man And The Leader

Vladimir Putin, The Man And The Leader

Heraclitus, the brilliant Presocratic philosopher, is remembered for having said “You cannot step into the same river twice,” to which one of his contemporaries responded, “you cannot even step into the same river once.”  The doctrine of change or “flux”is, in the mind of Heraclitus, logically tied to two other important concepts.  The first of these is the concept of[Read More…]

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The Pigeons of Zhulebino

The Pigeons of Zhulebino

Those first days in Moscow,
they were the enemy:
their gray down gathering in corners
like the frail remains of long dead cicadas.
their dropping scarring the glass,
melding with black soot.

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An American Babushka in Moscow: It Is All About The Elections Now

An American Babushka in Moscow: It Is All About The Elections Now

It is all about the Russian election now: the world press, the Russian press is filled with articles about the upcoming elections.  Of course, the position of the West, which views Putin as Public Enemy #1, focuses on the fact that except for a brief hiatus when his friend Medvedev served as Prime Minister, Putin has led Russia since 2000. [Read More…]

An American Babuska In Moscow:  Remembering The Red Star,  Health Care In The Former Soviet Union

An American Babuska In Moscow:  Remembering The Red Star,  Health Care In The Former Soviet Union

In his Lectures on the History of Philosophy, in his Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel drove home the point that one thing does not replace another, just like that, plain and simple.  Rather, that which has been is carried forward, moved from one level to another in an ongoing evolutionary process.  So it is with the Soviet Union; it is not[Read More…]

Dacha Gardens

An American Babuska In Moscow:  Reflections On The Myth of the Failure of the Soviet Union, and On Happiness, Housing and Stability  

  I read with some interest a piece on CNN today https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/14/europe/russia-us-election-compare-intl/index.html, which compared the “happiness” of people living in Russia and America in regards to factors such as wages, housing, the status of women, etc.  While I would like to address all the factors, I cannot do so without writing a small book.  However, I would like to address[Read More…]

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