Portside Snapshot - December 15, 2016



Capitalism, Democracy, and Du Bois’s Two Proletariats

J. Phillip Thompson
Items: Insights From the Social Sciences
What could emerge from an understanding of the struggle between the two proletariats and its connection to US democracy and institutions is a more powerful and forward-looking narrative of class and race than either a utopian universalist liberalism or a narrow-minded working class incapable of advancing democracy.

Media Have Misjudged Fascists Before

John Broich
The Conversation
Not long before Mussolini and Hitler came to power, much of the US press believed that power would "moderate" them, or considered them something of a joke. Are we seeing similar mistakes today?

After a Crime, the Price of a Second Chance

Shaila Dewan and Andrew W. Lehren
New York Times
Diversion is intended to relieve overburdened courts and crowded jails, and to spare low-risk offenders from the devastating consequences of a criminal record. But an examination by The New York Times found that in many places, only people with money could afford a second chance. Though diversion was introduced as a money-saving reform, some jurisdictions quickly turned it into a source of revenue.

Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" as a Parable of Our Time

Clint Smith
The New Yorker
“Invisible Man” ends with the protagonist being chased by policemen during a riot in Harlem, and falling into a manhole in the middle of the street. The police put the cover of the manhole back in place, trapping the narrator underground. “I’m an invisible man and it placed me in a hole—or showed me the hole I was in, if you will—and I reluctantly accepted the fact,” he says.

The Hidden Powers Andy Puzder Would Hold at the Department of Labor

Danny Vinik
The secretary of labor isn’t exactly the sexiest job in the government. But president-elect Donald Trump’s pick of Andy Puzder, a fast-food restaurant CEO, could have profound effects that touch millions of U.S. workers and companies almost immediately.

The Underground Railroad

Hope Wabuke
The Root
In this novel, Whitehead reimagines both slavery and the resistance to it.




Portside aims to provide material of interest to people on the left that will help them to interpret the world and to change it.


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