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Field Notes


“In the model country of the democratic swindle this election time is full of contingencies that may give the logic of events ... a quite unexpected smack in the face.” —Karl Marx to Friedrich Engels, September 7, 1864.

The Stakes Are High:
An Interview with Noam Chomsky

No slight challenge, but the stakes are very high: literally, survival of organized human society in any decent form.

The Road Not Taken

Back in the mid-’60s Stokely Carmichael won a faction fight within the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) against John Lewis and others that made the civil rights group all black. It was a blow to white activists like myself.

Donald J. Trump, or How He Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Establishment

By occupying the strange position of both problem and solution, democracy in the twenty-first century has become something surprisingly reminiscent of the totalizing, ideologically laden politics to which it is often deemed antithetical.

The Presidential Election of 2016: The Rise of the Kakistocracy

The failure of the formal political process to protect the vulnerable from becoming victimized by the likes of Trump and his backers necessitates united action outside of this show democracy, beyond electoral politics controlled and confined by corporate power. It means taking the fight not only to the streets but to the workplace, the homes, the communities and the hearts and minds of all who hold out hope for a better world.

A Door to the Unknown

On November 5, just three days before the presidential election, Hillary Clinton was quoted on the first page of The New York Times saying she believed “our economy is posed to really take off and thrive.

Delete Your Account: A Brief History of an Election Night Collapse

A full week has passed and in that time left-leaning social media have become a form of political hospice care. It is a grief-stricken, digital requiem mass of lamentations, rent garments, and gnashed teeth.

Infinite Crisis

Did the world already end? Did we miss the moment of our own expiration? That seems to be the question we are collectively asking ourselves at this moment through the medium of popular culture.

White Noise: Gun Deaths in the Background

Learning about gun violence in the United States means learning about a daunting network of interconnected problems: segregation, inequality, fear and corruption in government and our criminal justice system, lack of quality public education, and the power of corporate interests over civil rights.

Take It Off!: An Evening on the Jersey Shore with God and Michael Bolton

For my mother’s sixtieth birthday, I bought her and her boyfriend tickets to come see Michael Bolton with me in Ocean Grove, New Jersey.


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 16-JAN 17

All Issues