Open Democracy

Science Has Moved Past Worship of the 'Selfish' Gene: Why Can't We?

What do all these ideas have in common—a tax on carbon, big investments in renewable energy, a livable minimum wage, and freely accessible healthcare? The answer is that we need all of them, but even taken together they’re utterly insufficient to redirect humanity away from impending catastrophe and toward a truly flourishing future.

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The Conservative Party in the UK Is in Such Terrible Political Spot, They Have Had to Ally with This Far-Right Fringe Group to Save Their Majory

The Democratic Unionist Party now look like the Tories preferred coalition partners. The DUP, which is the biggest Unionist (ie pro-UK) party in Northern Ireland, are often treated as though they are just the same as the other Unionist party they have essentially replaced – the Ulster Unionists. But while the UUP have a long running relationship with the Tories, and are a centre right party, the DUP are another thing entirely. The idea that they are near power in Westminster should worry us all. Here are some things you need to know.

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A Decade of Militarized Drug Policies in Mexico: More Violence, More Human Rights Violations

Mexico decided over ten years ago to militarize their drug policies and rely on the armed forces to conduct counter-narcotic operations and other public safety tasks. The so-called “war on drugs” has taken since then a very real dimension in the country.

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Trump Is Taking Corporate Power to Historic Extremes

After 100 days in office, the Trump Administration continues to wear its abject disdain for human rights on its sleeve. It has threatened to leave the United Nations Human Rights Council and has signalled Trump’s enthusiasm for the most extreme forms of torture. A number of his executive orders have directly contravened the principles of human rights, including his racist attack on particular categories of immigrants and his restrictions on a woman’s right to choose.

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How Do We Reclaim Control Of Our Lives When the Economy Looms So Grim?

As my friend David Fleming once wrote, conventional economics ‘puts the grim into reality.’

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What 'Citizen Bannon' Misremembered and Misread on His Path to Becoming a Top Trump Adviser

The Wall Street Journal’s decade-long decline as a trustworthy source of news about politics can't have surprised anyone who knows that it’s been owned since 2007 by Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump’s closest and most powerful friend in news media. (I predicted the Journal’s decline in 2006 in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” rebutting a fawning profile of Murdoch as he was winning ownership of the paper.)

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America's President Will Try to Rule Like a Roman Emperor

As Donald Trump rampaged through the Republican primaries last March, I argued here and on the New York National Public Radio station's Brian Lehrer Show that neoliberal Democrats as well as free-marketeering Republicans were leaving it to Trump to do what his Inaugural Address has given him no choice but to do: become the dictator of the nationalist, plutocratic regime that he is installing under the banner of what he called "a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before."

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Violence Gave Us Donald Trump - It Won't Save Us from Him

What’s next? That's the big question facing the United States after the presidential election. And many people have been sharing their thoughts on that over social and traditional media, over dinner conversations, at the office and on the bus with complete strangers. And, as expected, people are all over the map with ideas and strategies.

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Illicit Drug Sales on the Dark Web Don't Really Make the Industry Safer

The creativity and resilience of drug markets makes drug policy developments immensely challenging. One of the most interesting innovations in recent years are crypto markets, a kind of eBay for drugs, that provides participants with anonymity, uses crypto currencies for payment, and aggregates and displays customer feedback ratings and comments.” The question many are asking now is whether crypto markets permit drug transactions without violence, or at least with less violence. Drug trafficking, after all, is responsible for a wide variety of human rights violations, from farmers being driven from their land, or air sprayed with toxic agrochemicals that contaminate riverbeds and licit crops, to minors being exploited for labor to citizens being executed. Can a shift towards deep web trading mitigate any of these problems?

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Fascism Rising

Is this how it begins? With rage, with the demands of the entitled millions who feel their birthright has been stolen, with those who claim “we built this country, we fought its wars, when is it our turn?” Donald Trump is by any stretch of the imagination an awful candidate to be president of the most powerful state on earth, a sexistracist, impulsive narcissist who lies with abandon and hates with fervour. His handlers don’t even trust him with his own Twitter accountanymore. And now he is the standard bearer for an increasingly familiar social coalition, angry white working class men (and women) with weak formal education and weaker job prospects, along with disaffected white middle class conservatives, many of them religious, who are furious that they lost the culture wars. We’ve seen this coalition before: it’s a breeding ground for fascism. Liberals need to wise up and fast. The International Criminal Court (ICC), global human rights, international norms? These are sideshows. The battle is much more present and visceral than that now. It is the battle of democracy and in that struggle, human rights are too compromised by their association with the very liberal elite—exactly the elite that the Putin/Trump/Brexit coalition hates—to be a principal mobilizing banner. 

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