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The Ket had seven souls, unlike animals, who had only one.

The Ket from the Lake Munduiskoye (2008, 30 min.) The Ket people are an indigenous group in central Siberia whose population has numbered less than two thousand during the past century. Although mostly assimilated into the dominant Russian culture at this point, a couple hundred of them are still able to speak the Ket language, the last remaining member of the Yeniseian language group. Recent scholarship has proposed a link between Ket and some Native American language groups.
posted by XMLicious on Apr 16, 2014 - 7 comments

 

United States of America

Warning! The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased, entry for the United States of America
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 29, 2013 - 49 comments

Rupert Everett, Really Into Dead Victorian Dreamboats

In 2008 the actor Rupert Everett hosted (seemingly from his apartment) a rather strange documentary: The Victorian Sex Explorer ( 2 3 4 5 ), an attempt to follow in the footsteps of famed Explorer, translator, and author Sir Richard Burton and convince us of Sir Burton's passion for sexual experimentation while laying in lots of bathhouses and visiting brothels. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Jul 4, 2013 - 52 comments

How The Left Has Won

Or, why is there still socialism in the United States?
Why, then, would we look for evidence of socialism only where a state seized by radicals of the Left inaugurates a dictatorship of the proletariat? Or, to lower the rhetorical volume and evidentiary stakes, why would we expect to find socialism only where avowed socialists or labor parties contend for state power? We should instead assume that socialism, like capitalism, is a cross-class cultural construction, to which even the bourgeoisie has already made significant contributions – just as the proletariat has long made significant contributions to the cross-class construction we know as capitalism. What follows?

posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 13, 2013 - 46 comments

Do you have a flag?

Of all the countries in the world, the British have managed to invade or attack all but 22 (Torygraph), making the US look like absolute pikers. Somewhat inflated by the fact that the authors of the study counted everywhere British forces attacking, including pirate attacks on silver ships in the Spanish Main, not just those places where the UK planted a flag.
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 12, 2012 - 87 comments

Border crossings and shifts

Who Draws The Borders Of Culture?(NYTimes) Cultural border, as opposed to national borders, are funny things. One country can contain many (Coke vs. Soda. Vs. Pop, previously and previously-er). Cultural borders often appear as food and drink choices, like sweet tea, forms of alcohol, or BBQ sauce. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 24, 2012 - 61 comments

Pakistan ruined by language myth

Pakistan ruined by language myth.
posted by - on Jul 1, 2012 - 35 comments

Speak white

Speak white.
posted by - on Jun 16, 2012 - 48 comments

Linguistic Imperialism

Is the English language becoming another factor of inequality? How English shaped the academic world? (pdf). Is this linguistic imperialism?
posted by - on Apr 10, 2012 - 63 comments

The Only Winning Move is to Watch This

Most of us reading on the blue lived through at least a portion of it. Forty-plus years of tension between the world's two superpowers and their allies. That's right: The Cold War. Then, they made a documentary. Aired on CNN in 1998, and never released on DVD, the 24 episode, 20 hour series features tons of archival footage, along with many interviews with individuals directly involved at some of the highest levels. You might not be able to see it on DVD, but you can watch the full series on Youtube, starting with Part 1: Comrades (1917-1945).
posted by symbioid on Mar 27, 2012 - 78 comments

Why some people think Noam Chomsky is wrong

It's not news that Noam Chomsky's views on foreign policy are controversial. Paul Bogdanor's The Chomsky Hoax collects links to articles critiquing those views, including the Top 200 Chomsky Lies (pdf) and economist J. Bradford Delong's My Very, Very Allergic Reaction to Noam Chomsky. Other prominent critiques include Noam Chomsky: A Critical Review (by MeFi's own Russil Wvong), George Shadriou's Dissecting Chomsky and Anti-Americanism, and David Horowitz's series of articles on Chomsky in Frontpage Magazine (Part I, Part II, response to rebuttals).
posted by shivohum on Feb 9, 2012 - 284 comments

The Empire Is Dead, Long Live the Empire!

The Age of Imperialism is over, but its impact remains, leaving behind a long-lasting legacy through cultural norms. Comparing individuals on opposite sides of the long-gone Habsburg Empire border within five countries, it shows that firms and people living in what used to be the empire have higher trust in courts and police.
posted by -->NMN.80.418 on Jun 3, 2011 - 21 comments

What is the meaning of the assassination of OBL?

Guy Rundle teases out the meanings of the bin Laden assassination, in contrast to the Eichmann trial.
posted by wilful on May 5, 2011 - 93 comments

Conflict, Security, and Development

Remove the scourge of conflict - "Taming mass violence is the theme of the World Bank's latest World Development Report, which focuses on 'conflict, security and development' [pdf] ... Mass violence destroys all hopes of progress. We should make a huge effort to eliminate this scourge. It seems feasible. It is desirable. So try."
posted by kliuless on Apr 30, 2011 - 18 comments

The economics of Death Star planet destruction.

Furthermore, let’s remember that Alderaan isn’t gone. It’s just blown up. Suddenly all the metallic elements that were languishing away in the planetary core are floating around in the void, ripe for the plucking. And anyone who can plausibly claim to have owned them is dead. You can build a lot of Death Stars with that much tungsten. Well, not even a lot—but maybe one.
The Overthinking It Think Tank takes a look at “the economic calculus behind the Empire’s tactic of A) building a Death Star, B) intimidating planets into submission with the threat of destruction, and C) actually carrying through with said destruction if the planet doesn’t comply.” [more inside]
posted by kipmanley on Apr 29, 2011 - 78 comments

Islands, Guano, and Imperialism

Islands, Guano, and Imperialism: Columbia University Law Professor Christina Duffy Burnett is interviewed in Cabinet Magazine. Via.
posted by Rumple on Oct 9, 2010 - 12 comments

iPod, iPhone, iDal.

"Every input in agriculture is a war chemical. Every agrichemical is a war chemical." Physicist Vandana Shiva on monoculture, agricultural imperialism, and protests in Delhi conscribed to the hours of 9-5. [more inside]
posted by simulacra on Sep 3, 2010 - 14 comments

Ernest Gellner: An Intellectual Biography

The Rehabilitation of Ernest Gellner - It is easy to imagine why Ernest Gellner would be one of the universally known figures in Anglophone intellectual life. A polymath whose work ranged across anthropology, history, philosophy, and sociology, his mind wrestled with an encyclopedia's worth of nagging questions about nationalism, modernity, civil society, imperialism, Islam, psychoanalysis, ethics and epistemology ... All of this, to repeat, should explain Gellner's monumental prominence – except for the fact that he has no such prominence. (via mr) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 25, 2010 - 7 comments

The storm in a designer teacup

Bruce Nussbaum kicked off a minor hubbub in designa circles this week with his provocative article "Is Humanitarian Design the new Imperialism?" which led to this response by Frogdesign's Robert Fabricant "In Defense of Design Imperialism" and WorldChanging's Alex Steffen's "The Problem with Design: Imperialism or thinking too small?" and finally a whole slew of blog posts, opinions and commentary artfully collated here by the editors of Design Observer. But the question still remains unanswered...
posted by infini on Jul 17, 2010 - 85 comments

The more, the merrier?

The Expansionist Party of the United States ("XP") is a "small, international organization founded over the telephone February 19, 1977 by two gay men in two different boros of New York City." (One of the founders is L. Craig Schoonmaker, known to some as the guiding spirit of Homosexuals Intransigent!.) XP's mission: "to enlarge the United States geographically." First step: Welcoming Canada Home. [more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses on Apr 28, 2010 - 60 comments

Latin American Science

History of Science in Latin America and the Caribbean [flash required] – the history of science from a Latin American perspective.
posted by tellurian on Sep 2, 2009 - 6 comments

Martin Luther King's Anti-Imperialism

King's Anti-Imperialism and the Challenge for Obama.
posted by homunculus on Jan 19, 2009 - 23 comments

The forgotten Holocaust

In 1943, while the Allies were busy battling the Axis Powers and the Nazi Regime, there was another kind of war that was being waged against a helpless populace (living on the Indian Sub-continent). A war that has been largely ignored by the mass media and the history books of our time. It is known as the Great Bengal Famine, and ended up causing the death of an estimated 1.5 million to 4 million people.
posted by hadjiboy on Aug 30, 2008 - 34 comments

US Military Presence Worldwide

Mission Creep: "Bush and Rumsfeld may be history, but America's new global footprint lives on." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 26, 2008 - 33 comments

Bacevich speaks to Moyer about the American Empire

Ret. Col. Andrew Bacevich speaks to Bill Moyers (transcript) about the American empire and his new book "The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism."
posted by geos on Aug 18, 2008 - 81 comments

Who Makes the Nazis?

"By the time I cut his balls off," one settler boasted, "he had no ears, and his eyeball, the right one, I think, was hanging out of its socket." The soldiers were told they could shoot anyone they liked "provided they were black".
posted by nasreddin on Jan 11, 2008 - 74 comments

Bonaparte and Bush on Deck

Lessons from Past Western Incursions in the Middle East. A speech by Juan Cole at the New America Foundation in which he discusses his new book, Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East, and the relevance and lessons of Napoleon's expedition in Egypt to the current American occupation of Iraq. A shorter version, covering many of the same points, is in this article: Pitching the Imperial Republic.
posted by homunculus on Aug 26, 2007 - 17 comments

To the Person Sitting in Darkness

"The Blessings-of-Civilization Trust, wisely and cautiously administered, is a Daisy. There is more money in it, more territory, more sovereignty, and other kinds of emolument, than there is in any other game that is played. But Christendom has been playing it badly of late years, and must certainly suffer by it, in my opinion. She has been so eager to get every stake that appeared on the green cloth, that the People who Sit in Darkness have noticed it – they have noticed it, and have begun to show alarm. They have become suspicious of the Blessings of Civilization."
posted by homunculus on Jun 13, 2007 - 13 comments

It appears...that the people of the United States prefer the Roman approach

Chalmers Johnson whose Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic is out today, provides something the CIA won't: a National Intelligence Estimate for the United States.
posted by inoculatedcities on Feb 6, 2007 - 44 comments

Echoes of the past.

Democratic presidential candidate rails against US imperialism. "The platform . . . condemns the experiment in imperialism as an inexcusable blunder, which has involved us in enormous expense, brought us weakness instead of strength, and laid our nation open to the charge of abandoning the fundamental principles of a republic."
A prominent American author who initially supported the conflict, changed his mind, calling it "a mess, a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of extrication immensely greater.” The US is “the kind of World Power . . . that a prairie-dog village is . . . it is the duty of our Government to stand sentinel, with solemn mien, and lifted nose, and curved paws, on top of our little World-Power mound.”
posted by insomnia_lj on Mar 20, 2006 - 25 comments

SAMMY: "That's democracy?"

"I am an American, so that is why I make films about America. America is sitting on our world, I am making films that have to do with America (because) 60% of my life is America. So I am in fact an American, but I can't go there to vote, I can't change anything. We are a nation under influence and under a very bad influence… because Mr. Bush is an asshole and doing very idiotic things."
Lars Von Trier introduces his new film at the Cannes Film Festival: «Manderlay» picks up where «Dogville» left off, with the character originated by Nicole Kidman -- now played by Bryce Dallas Howard -- stumbling onto a plantation that time forgot, where slavery still operates in the 1930s. The film (5 MB .pdf file, official pressbook) ends, as Dogville did, with David Bowie’s Young Americans played over a photomontage of images that range from a Ku Klux Klan meeting to the Rodney King beating, George Bush at prayer and Martin Luther King at his final rest, American soldiers in Vietnam and the Gulf, the Twin Towers. More inside.
posted by matteo on May 16, 2005 - 69 comments

Is Iraq really Cuba?

Freedom's Defenders or Politicians' Pawns? No pretense of protecting Americans’ freedom went into the decision to enter into the Spanish-American War. It was out-and-out imperialism and nothing more. Veterans of that war may have helped to liberate Cuba , Guam , Puerto Rico , and the Philippines from Spanish rule; but those same veterans then turned around and rammed the jackboot of the U. S. military into the faces of those they had just liberated. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans and Filipinos, who had thought they were being freed only to find out they had merely exchanged one colonial master for another, were killed in their own independence-from-Uncle-Sam movements. When they finally did throw off direct U. S. rule, they were then saddled with dictators of Uncle Sam’s choosing. No credit for the defense of Americans’ freedom can be granted to veterans of this war. Compare to this: Gunning For Saddam We report, you decide indeed...
posted by Elim on Mar 6, 2005 - 23 comments

The world's first multinational

The world's first multinational I found this informative piece via Arts&Letters. "Corporate greed, the ruination of traditional ways of life, share-price bubbles, western imperialism: all these modern complaints were made against the British East India Company in the 18th century. Nick Robins draws the lessons...
posted by Postroad on Dec 10, 2004 - 12 comments

The Grace Of Wrath

"The people of Dogville are proud, hypocritical and never more dangerous than when they are convinced of the righteousness of their actions" (NYT link) "The movie is, of course, an attack on America—its innocence, its conformity, its savagery—though von Trier is interested not in the life of this country (he’s never been here) but in the ways he can exploit European disdain for it." (The New Yorker). Lars Von Trier's new movie, Dogville, is under attack from critics who consider it anti-American. Von Trier, of course, has never been to the US but he counters that he knows more about U.S. culture through modern media than, say, the makers of "Casablanca' knew about Morocco. Kafka hadn't been to Amerika either. Should non US-ian artists leave America alone if they've never been there? Von Trier says that "in my own country, I'm considered anti-Danish - again, that's more about politics than issues of nationality." (more inside)
posted by matteo on Mar 22, 2004 - 42 comments

Vodou

Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou. 'Vodou is Haiti's mirror. Its arts and rituals reflect the difficult, brilliant history of seven million people, whose ancestors were brought from Africa to the Caribbean in bondage. In 1791 these Africans began the only successful national slave revolt in history. In 1804 they succeeded in creating the world's first Black republic: the only one in this hemisphere where all the citizens were free. Their success inspired admiration, fear and scorn in the wider world. Cut off from Euro-American support, Haitians managed to created their own dynamic "Creole" society-one rooted in Africa but responsive to all that was encountered in their new island home.' History, theology and religious art.
Related :- an essay on the Vodou concept of soul, Voodoos and Obeahs on sacred-texts ('required reading if you want to understand the background of Haitian and Jamaican Vodun, and the profound influence of imperialism, slavery and racism on its development').
posted by plep on Jan 2, 2004 - 10 comments

A new Philippines?

In 1898, the United States made a major move in the direction of colonial imperialism with the acquisition of the Philippine Islands from Spain. President Bush, in a recent speech in the Philippines, pointed to that country's story as a model for rebuilding Iraq. Perhaps a history lesson about the American and Filipino experience in this occupation is in order for both us and our President. The atrocities committed during the Filipinos' struggle for independence (including the use of concentration camps), the high death toll (between 250,000 and 1,000,000, according to this article), and the American occupation which spanned six decades lead me to question whether Bush is just ignorant of the associations made in this comparison, or if it's a subtle way for the administration to set the stage for what possessing Iraq is actually going to entail. (Most links courtesy of the outstanding BoondocksNet, a collection of primary and secondary sources related to American imperialism.)
posted by UKnowForKids on Oct 22, 2003 - 25 comments

Mark Twain on War and Imperialism.

Mark Twain on War and Imperialism. A collection of Twain's satirical writings on imperialism and the Philippine-American War, including his famous "To the Person Sitting in Darkness" and "The War Prayer" (the later was previously discussed here.)
posted by homunculus on Feb 16, 2003 - 8 comments

Monroe Doctrine

December 2, 1823 President James Monroe made his annual speech to congress and outlined his policy that the American continents were "henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers" Since then the US has, for better or worse, at times stood by the Monroe Doctrine, ignored it when they had bigger issues back home and even argued that it doesn't apply in the case of American imperialism. Is it time to retool our Latin America policy now that Europe doesn't seem so bent on imperialism there, or is the Doctrine needed as much as ever?
posted by Pollomacho on Dec 2, 2002 - 9 comments

Are Americans really so imperial?

A Funny Sort of Empire: Are Americans really so imperial?
posted by hama7 on Nov 28, 2002 - 31 comments

Is it wrong for the US to tell other countries how to behave?

Is it wrong for the US to tell other countries how to behave? Is it cultural imperialism when we point out that some practices are backward and savage? Are we justified doing something about it? Should we even try to do something about it? Who decides if a cultural practice is "good" or "evil"?
posted by mrmanley on Jul 31, 2002 - 28 comments

Brazil is in some trouble.

Brazil is in some trouble. So the question must be asked, can globalization be an extension of imperialism? If so, in this case, is it? If not, how would one explain the current crisis felt in Brazil and all of Latin America?
posted by BlueTrain on Jun 25, 2002 - 3 comments

The serious business of selling all-American fun

The serious business of selling all-American fun "There could hardly be a better summation of the opportunity that American pop culture companies like Disney are enjoying overseas. With the end of the Cold War, the opening of China, and the worldwide triumph of American-style capitalism, the brand-name purveyors of American food, fashion, and entertainment have never had it so good."
posted by owillis on Feb 15, 2002 - 10 comments

Trouble for Pakistan?

Trouble for Pakistan? It looks like the Pakistanis have really managed to piss of their Afghan neighbors with their imperialist ambitions. The foreigners who so eagerly rushed to help the Taliban are getting shot for their troubles, some have wised up and are refusing to surrender. Should we be trying to stop such behavior, or is this a case of If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen?
posted by jaek on Nov 16, 2001 - 2 comments

Missionaries are frank imperialists.

Missionaries are frank imperialists. But because they operate in the spiritual realm, they continue to enjoy a fuzzy kind of permission to conduct a kind of business that is largely impossible in other less ethereal spheres of life.
posted by rushmc on May 22, 2001 - 26 comments

Canadian Imperialists Unite!

Canadian Imperialists Unite! Watch out world, soon you will feel our power. No more Mr. Nice Guy!
posted by kaefer on Aug 10, 2000 - 4 comments

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