The Price of Progress: Understanding Capitalism’s Benefits Based on Historical Analysis

If Capitalism is even the pinnacle of economic progress, how ought we analyze the problems within it? Should we be pessimistic about Capitalism? If so, is there a viable alternative to Capitalism? Or should we be optimistic about the progress Capitalism has given us? Continue reading “The Price of Progress: Understanding Capitalism’s Benefits Based on Historical Analysis”

The Sacred and the Profane: Honor Killings in Pakistan

Honor killings are a grotesque reminder of an extremely problematic view of women – as property and commodity – and reflect the overarching patriarchal framework within which women still remain shackled. Despite the title of this work, honor killings are in no way a phenomena specific to Pakistan, or to Muslim countries as a whole. The ‘tradition’ of honor killing is an ancient one, and is not embedded in religion as much as it is in culture. Within the socio-cultural framework, “Women are considered to have monetary value and to be the property of male family members…the preservation of a woman’s chastity and fidelity, through segregation and control, becomes the responsibility of the men to whom she ‘belongs.’” Throughout time, culture, and history, there seems to be a bizarre obsession with interlinking female virginity, or perhaps virginal femininity, to family honor.  Honor killings are psychological turmoil and perversion made manifest into the social script; they project and legitimize the inward dissonance of the Madonna-Whore complex onto female members of society. Continue reading “The Sacred and the Profane: Honor Killings in Pakistan”

A Random Berkeley Student’s Take on Free Speech Week

A few weeks ago, I remember waiting to start a work shift one evening at the Cal Calling Center. Everybody was chatting, catching up, and happily hanging onto the last few minutes of freedom before a team leader would announce the start of the shift. If there was one thing I could recall at the moment, it was the quite depressing anxiety I felt in regards to the upcoming set of midterms. I had tried to fool myself into thinking that being a sophomore at UC Berkeley would mean I wouldn’t be as stressed for such impending horrors. As usual, I was gravely mistaken. However, the booming voice of the residing TL brought me back to reality as he quickly went through some key announcements, but only one really caught my ears. Continue reading “A Random Berkeley Student’s Take on Free Speech Week”

The Mau-Mau Movement: Land, Identity and The Politics of Reclamation

I speak the truth and vow before God

And before this movement.

The movement of Unity,

The Unity which is put to the test

The Unity that is mocked with the name of Mau-Mau.

That I shall go forward to fight for the land,

The lands of Kirinyaga that we cultivated.

The lands which were taken by the Europeans

And if I fail to do this

May this oath kill me,

May this seven kill me,

May this meat kill me”…

Continue reading “The Mau-Mau Movement: Land, Identity and The Politics of Reclamation”

Neoliberalism: The Global Ideology of Today

neoliberalism

What is the most powerful ideology in the world today? Is it individualism? Consumerism? Populism? Although these are powerful ideologies, they are symptoms of a much more powerful and pressing ideology known as Neoliberalism.

In our early 21st century epoch, it can be disturbingly difficult to grasp our current predicament. Self aggrandizing media outlets continually dispel theories about what’s right and wrong about the world; there ideological foundations convince them and ostensibly their readers/listeners/watchers about the ins and outs of the world. The many conflicting views of these corporations make it seem like they are always arguing over the mundane and sensational without any resolution in sight. While this is possibly disturbing and saddening, it is the product of a new economic ideology that was first dispelled in 1973. Continue reading “Neoliberalism: The Global Ideology of Today”

Myriad Show of Force, Lack of Communication in the East China Sea

japan-china-diplomacy-dispute_2189f892-a8ac-11e6-b6db-fc3e04d5bb2c

About 5 years ago, I was living in Xi’an, China, and if you don’t know where it is, it’s a big city quite literally in the middle of China. At that time, my family and I had already lived there for a few years, and I have to say that my younger self did not really know much about the constant conflict that had been brewing in the East China Sea for decades. That is until I heard something from my Chinese tutor. She was exchanging some pleasantries with my mother one day when I happened to eavesdrop on their conversation out of curiosity. Continue reading “Myriad Show of Force, Lack of Communication in the East China Sea”

The New Face of Apartheid: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims

 

141024125241-nget-chaung-8-horizontal-large-gallery

The Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar are described as the most persecuted minority in the world, despite the fact that many people globally remain unaware of the situation entirely. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reports that of the 204 individuals interviewed (people who fled Myanmar after the October 2016 attacks), 65% reported killings, 43% reported rape, 64% reported beatings, while 56% reported disappearances. These statistics paint a bleak, downright morbid picture of a reality that shatters the naive, if not entirely misguided illusions of global “the-days-of-genocide-are-behind-us” peace. The Rohingya Muslims are a “stateless” people; unwanted in their homeland of Myanmar, and unwanted  still by neighboring Bangladesh, despite Myanmar’s claims that Rohingya Muslims are “not Burmese, but Bengali immigrants.” Continue reading “The New Face of Apartheid: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims”

A Black Feminist Approach to Reparations for Colonialism

blackPanther“We have to talk about liberating minds, as well as liberating society” – Angela Davis.

In his book “20 Questions and Answers About Reparations for Colonialism”, Sandew Hira addresses European colonialism by outlining the various debates and types of reparations needed to compensate its injustice and contemporary legacies. Debates surrounding reparations have gained more attention and prominence in recent years, justifiably so. Despite their vitality, the purpose of this article isn’t to continue them in stagnation but rather to utilize black feminism as a means to expand, reshape and inform further discussions on reparations. Black feminist thought would entail an inter-sectional approach to reparations, highlighting various interdependent systems of oppression that have shaped the costs of enslavement for black women. This centralizes specific structures, experiences, and forms of reparations; critical in addressing colonialism and its contemporary legacies.  Continue reading “A Black Feminist Approach to Reparations for Colonialism”

“No Place In The World”: American Hate Speech and the United Nations

 


america-1294996_960_720

Though spared from the brunt of the American Civil War, Charlottesville, Virginia was not spared from the inflammatory tensions between increasingly violent political camps at the wake of its decision to remove a statue of Confederate champion Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park. Eclipsed by multiple clashes (including an act of suspected  vehicular terrorism), the Unite the Right rally shortly ended with 3 fatalities and a minimum of 38 injured, now remembered as a “patchwork of different alt-right groups attempting to show a unified front” and then failing tremendously (Hawley, August 15 2017) Continue reading