The classes of capitalism
Capitalist society is divided into different classes, and the relationships between those classes shape the production of wealth, the dissemination of ideas and the nature of politics.
In 1848, Marx and Engels wrote that “society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other: bourgeoisie and proletariat”. By bourgeoisie they meant the capitalist class, those who made their living by owning capital, which means both factories and other equipment used in the production process, and the money used to invest in production. By proletariat they meant the modern working class—wage-earners who don’t own land or equipment, and who have to make money by selling their time to capitalists.
Born secret — the heavy burden of bomb physics
How data restrictions shaped nuclear discovery, energy research and more.
In March 1950, an official from the Atomic Energy Commission — then the guardian of US nuclear secrets — oversaw the burning of thousands of copies of the magazine Scientific American. The contention? They contained information so secret that its publication could jeopardize the free world.
Several statements in an article about the hydrogen bomb had raised red flags with government officials, even though they had all been reported publicly before. The government’s concern was not about what was said, but about who said it. Physicist Hans Bethe, who wrote the article, had been the head of the theoretical division at the Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico during the Manhattan Project, the top-secret Second World War programme that led to the atomic bomb.
America’s year of hunger: how children and people of color suffered most
Investigation of a year’s worth of data reveals the scale of America’s hunger and food insecurity crisis during a year of Covid-19
Black families in the US have gone hungry at two to three times the rate of white families over the course of the pandemic, according to new analysis which suggests political squabbling over Covid aid exacerbated a crisis that left millions of children without enough to eat.
An investigation into food poverty by the Guardian and the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) at Northwestern University found gaping racial inequalities in access to adequate nutrition that threatens the long-term prospects of a generation of Black and brown children.
Shining Path: Guerrilla War in Peru’s Northern Highlands (Liverpool University Press – Liverpool Latin American Studies)
The jagged edges of South American societies attest to innumerable wars, relentless poverty, and a host of illicit activity that make the region a tumultuous brew of politics and military aggression.
Peru in particular suffered one of the bloodiest civil wars in contemporary Latin American history during the 1980s and early 1990s, when the Sendero Luminoso, or “Shining Path,” launched an assault to overthrow the national government.
Indonesia: Peoples and Histories
Indonesia is the fourth largest country in the world. It comprises more than 17,000 islands inhabited by 230 million people who speak over 300 different languages. Now the world’s largest Muslim nation, Indonesia remains extraordinarily heterogeneous due to the waves of immigration―Buddhist, Hindu, Arab, and European―that have defined the region’s history.
Fifty years after the collapse of Dutch colonial rule, Indonesia is a nation in the midst of dramatic upheaval. In this broad survey, Jean Gelman Taylor explores the connections between the nation’s many communities, and the differences that propel contemporary breakaway movements. Drawing on a broad range of sources, including art, archaeology, and literature, Taylor provides a historical overview from the prehistoric period to the present day. The text is enlivened by brief “capsule” histories on topics ranging from pepper to Maharajas to smallpox.