Category Archives: Hegemony

A different feminist take on population

A couple of days ago I spotted something rare — an article from the mainstream press looking squarely at the population issue. Reprinted on Alternet with the title, It’s Time to Fight Population Growth, Which Exacerbates Global Warming and Sprawl, Katha Pollitt’s piece appeared originally in The Nation, as Europeans do it Better.

Paris likes equality

Pollitt’s feminist perspective on population growth competes with, and arguably trumps that of Betsy Hartmann. Hartmann is so concerned that a focus on population will distract from such problems as women’s rights and class bias that she mostly refuses even to acknowledge that population growth is a problem. Pollitt though, judging from her article, chooses simply to see each set of problems for what it is. There are women’s and other social issues and there is population growth. Yes, they interact in important ways, but each must be acknowledged and examined in its own right to understand and approach it effectively.

Pollitt’s piece is important in part because it has a feminist writer bringing to a wider audience the recognition that the traditional drivers of population growth are disempowering to women. (That is why the need to address population growth should rightly be seen, in part, as a feminist cause.)

Isn’t it weird?

She explains that some European governments, concerned about the prospects of declining populations, have instituted policies aimed at increasing fertility rates. (more…)

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Economic “his-story” Ă  la Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron in graffiti

Gil Scott-Heron on GIM? It makes sense. I was watching a brief video of GSH addressing how black history was rewritten to suit the dominant white culture in North America, and it struck me that it made an equally cutting commentary on aspects of Western economic history.

Of course, I also just thought it would be cool to get Gil on here. 🙂 He’s long been one of my favorite musicians, as much for his political commentary as for the excellence of his music. Along with long-time collaborator, Brian Jackson, GSH built a unique and significant body of work. He is sometimes called, the “Godfather of rap,” for long before the advent of rap/hip-hop, his “soul jazz” songs were often interspersed with spoken word, poetry-based pieces, invariably expressing intensely felt social messages. The most famous, of course, was The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

The piece in the video is an adaptation of “Black History of the World” from his album, Moving Target. It’s a snip from a a DVD called Black Wax, parts of which take place in a wax museum: (more…)