Note from the Editor

Reading in The New York Times about the friendship between the Bush and the Lamont families brought to mind once again the similarities between the Republicrooks and the Democraps (to borrow the words of Joel Hirschhorn). Some actually believe that a vote for Lamont is a vote for the working people -- just the kind of twisted thinking that inspired Jan Baughman's electoral cartoon. Don't get too excited about the electoral circus leaving town and the fresh smell of "change" in the air. We'll have the post-game analysis, the posturing, the repositioning, and when all is said and done the spotlight will shine fully on Campaign 2008, when the Third Way New Democrats will reinvent themselves once again to appeal to fake progressives and arch-conservatives alike, since nothing really will have changed. It's enough to make you want to turn the channel and just watch the Evangelicals and closet Republicans implode. Except it's not funny, and we'll keep talking until we're blue (or Green, as it were) in the face about the need to stop with the "useful idiots" strategy (or is it tactics?) and support Third-Party candidates and vote on the issues.

On to less banal matters, Professor Aleksandar Jokic has provided a summary of his excellent essay on genocidalism -- a quintessentially Western phenomenon -- and the sociopolitical conditions that foster it. It's a useful tool for maintaining the Long War, particularly when international law is trumped by domestic, and it helps that the majority have little knowledge of non-Western cultures. Case in point, Afghanistan, which Milo Clark has been focusing on with the help of former NPR correspondent Sarah Chayes's new book. That lack of knowledge is also what helps labels like "Islamo-fascist" stick, yet Philip Greenspan won't be snowed; he took the time to research the history and definition of fascism. His conclusion may or may not come as a surprise.

Peter Byrne is alive and well following the recent invasion in Italy -- by Eugenio Barba's experimental theatre troupe. Peter shares the experience of the October Surprise and all its idiosyncrasies, and he still took the occasion to review Moris Farhi's Young Turk. For his part, Charles Marowitz was inspired to remark on a review of Leszek Kolakowski's Main Currents of Marxism; and some humor -- we can't get enough humor -- is brought to you by Robert Wrubel in the character of a novice (and nubile?) blogophile, a story that the scowling subjects of Gerard Donnelly Smith's poem would be well served to read. Finally, the Blips share some snippets on culture in the boonies, no longer an oxymoron thanks to modern technology; and your letters, from Eli Beckerman inside the Green-Rainbow campaign (go Eli!) and more.

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans.


US Elections & Democracy

Jan Baughman:  Revolutionaries For Democrats

The author wishes to acknowledge Stan Goff, Andrew Austin, and all the Marxist Revolutionaries who have called to vote for the Democrats in the midterm elections out of tactical flexibility.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  The Democratic Salvation And The Idiotic Left

What do American fake-Progressives, busy signing liberal manifestos, self-defined pseudo-Marxists, and laptop-Revolutionaries do when they want to fight the Republicrooks du jour?   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Aleksandar Jokic:  The Unbanality Of Genocidalism

This is a summary of a lengthy essay, "Genocidalism," published in The Journal of Ethics 8 No. 3 (2004), pp. 251-297, which is available in full on this Web site.   More...


Milo Clark:  Afghanistan: Who, What, Where, When, And Why?

With so little being what it may seem at any given time, where to turn for a sense of balance? Or a sense that accurate or even useful information is out there?   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Philip Greenspan:  Has Fascism Arrived In The U.S.?

Bush has dug up a label more sinister than "terrorists" to portray the Middle East enemies. The word? "Fascists"! He and those who might agree with that designation are ignorant of what fascism is, what it stands for, who are its most important backers, and who are its primary benefactors.   More...


Arts & Culture

Peter Byrne:  Italy Invaded By Troupes Armed With Theory

Eugenio Barba came back to the heel of Italy. It wasn't the first visit of course and he'd sent his troupe to perform on several occasions over the years. But this time it was different.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Re-Marx

Book reviews are commonplace, article-reviews less so. But occasionally a piece of journalism appears which is so prodding and succinct, it deserves a critique of its own despite the fact that it is itself a critique of another writer's work.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  Moris Farhi's Young Turk

Rifat is on the innocent side of puberty in Istanbul at the end of the 1930s. Ataturk has been consecrated as savior of the nation. The idea of Turkey as an ethnic monolith has been planted but its foliage has not yet obscured the evidence of the senses.   More...


Humor in the Blogosphere

Robert Wrubel:  Peace Kitten, Where Are You?

Just think, a year ago I didn't even know what a "blog" was. I thought it was a British expression for a person, or a man. Everyone else seemed to know, so I was embarrassed to ask.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Root Out These Negative Attitudes

Dry mouths flap in the dust,
tent canvas covering falsehoods:
propaganda instead of respect,
mouthfuls of noth'n but rhetoric
served past expiration dates;   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #43, from the Martian Desk

"Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of this: that you are dreadfully like other people."
—James Russell Lowell, My Study Windows, 1871

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from Frank Sinatra re-mastered; to live opera at the Met and a chance meeting of Israeli hitchikers in the boonies; some thoughts on the Occupied Territories; to Boonville news and the Anderson Valley Advertiser, to name a few.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Eli Beckerman reports from inside Jill Stein's Green-Rainbow campaign in Massachusetts; debating the alleged difference between Democrats and Republicans; long-awaited evidence that the Zionists brought the U.S. into WWI; more on Peter Byrne's obituary of Oriana Fallaci; and the Iraq-Vietnam connection as discussed by Andrew Bacevich and George Kenney.   More...



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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: November 7, 2006