Reviewing Archie Brown’s Book The Rise And Fall Of Communism

July 31, 2009

Reviewing Archie Brown’s Book The Rise And Fall Of Communism

Martin McCauley writes:Karl Marx once famously remarked that hitherto philosophers had only interpreted the world. The real task was to change it. Communism was one of the most successful ideologies which tried to do just that. In doing so it changed the world forever. This may seem strange, given that communism collapsed in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The need to compete successfully with communism forced capitalist states to expand social welfare programmes and much greater participation of the state in running the economy. Archie Brown is a well known scholar of communism, especially on the Soviet Union. His extensive publications testify to a close study of the phenomenon over several decades. The Rise and Fall of Communism is a massive tome of... 

More Breaking News Items. From The Stirring Trouble Team

July 31, 2009

More Breaking News Items. From The Stirring Trouble Team

We present more breaking news items that would not be posted on twitter. Not one of them. Breaking News: U.S President, Barack Obama, denies that he organised the famous ‘beer summit’ just to get the two guys, the academic and the cop, pissed. Breaking News: Nation breathes a sigh of relief as Sarah Palin rejects the idea of writing her autobiography. Breaking News: Bill Clinton announces that he is going to really get his sex addiction under control when his wife, Hillary, ousts Obama and takes over America. Breaking News: Former President George W. Bush says that he did not have sexual relations with THAT OTHER woman. Breaking News: Riots break out in Beverley Hills as top movie stars battle it out for next year’s Oscar nominations. Breaking News: British Prime Minister Gordon... 

BMW’s Decision To Leave Formula 1 Is Not About Money Alone. It Is About Integrity

July 31, 2009

BMW’s Decision To Leave Formula 1 Is Not About Money Alone. It Is About Integrity

Alex Nekrassov writes: The announcement that BMW will not be participating in next year’s Formula 1 season does not come as a surprise. The majority of analysts believe that world’s leading car company’s decision to withdraw from the sport is based solely on the economic climate and that the group is no longer in a position where it can afford to spend hundreds of millions a year on its racing team.But there’s more to it than that. There is no doubt, of course, that BMW, just as most other car companies, are looking at ways to cut costs. The truth is however that even with a major drop in its sales, the Bavarian giants are in a better place than most, if not all, the car companies to weather the storm. The BMW badge has long been more than just a car manufacturer, but... 

Why Is Nigeria Descending Into Civil Strife

July 31, 2009

Why Is Nigeria Descending Into Civil Strife

Martin McCauley writes: Nigeria is one of the richest countries of Africa. Its oil revenues may have reached $70 billion in 2008. Yet it is racked by civil strife and is taking on many of the characteristics of a failed state. Muslin militants in the north have launched attacks on police and government buildings and Niger Delta rebels have been destroying oil installations in the former capital of Lagos. Why is this happening? What is the solution to Nigeria’s problems? Boko Haram (literally books are prohibited) is a fundamentalist Islamic group whose aim is to introduce Sharia or Islamic law in Muslim areas in northern Nigeria. Dubbed the Nigerian Taleban its leader, until yesterdays, July 30, was Mohamed Yusuf, who had been influenced by the Wahhabi strain of Islam. He was captured... 

Is NATO Expansion An Important Issue For China?

July 31, 2009

Is NATO Expansion An Important Issue For China?

Martin McCauley writes: The eastward expansion of NATO over the last decade has sent alarm bells ringing in Beijing. China is opposed to the expansion of military blocs and the strengthening of military alliances. It fears they could lead to containment. It also opposes all ballistic missile defence systems.China has been careful not to go public on NATO expansion. Its opposition is contained indirectly in its White papers on National Defence. The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence serve as the foundation of its foreign policy. They are i) mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity; ii) mutual non-aggression; iii) non-interference in other states’ domestic affairs; iv) equality and mutual benefit; v) peaceful coexistence. These principles have now been fused into the... 

The Parliamentary Expenses Scandal: One Name Is Missing From The List Of Shame

July 31, 2009

The Parliamentary Expenses Scandal: One Name Is Missing From The List Of Shame

Thomas Mathew writes: So let me get this straight: a large number of the members of the House of Commons, including Prime Minister Gordon Brown, have been caught out abusing the parliamentary expenses and allowances system and yet, all of them insisted it was the system that was to blame and not them. Then, in an effort to demonstrate that they were serious in putting their house in order, the MPs forced the Speaker of the House, Michael Martin, to step down, pretending that he carried most of the blame for the whole scandal. To listen to some of the servants of the people you would think that Martin’s departure has improved things dramatically and all the MPs stoped milking the system for all it is worth. The new rules on expencss and allowances have been pushed through and a supposedly... 

Breaking The Law Isn’t Cool. Only Total Idiots Think That It Is. And Most Politicians

July 30, 2009

Breaking The Law Isn’t Cool. Only Total Idiots Think That It Is. And Most Politicians

R.F.Wilson writes from London: You may not be aware of this but there are loads of people out there who think that breaking the law is cool. Yep, they actually believe that committing crimes and offences makes them look tough, original and even appealing to the opposite sex. And there are also people who don’t consider breaking the law to be a big deal as it gets them the results that they want. As in: ‘The end justifies the means.’ This mistaken belief that crime pays develops at an early age, when young impressionable individuals see how their elders casually ignore all sorts of rules and break the law without showing any sort of guilt or remorse, often behaving as if they’re actually proud of it. These examples embed themselves in the minds of youngsters and, as... 

More Breaking News Items. From The Stirring Trouble Team

July 29, 2009

More Breaking News Items. From The Stirring Trouble Team

We present more breaking news items from the Stirring Trouble team. The Beatles of current affairs. Breaking News: President Barack Obama denies rumours that he has neutered his dog. He is as frisky as he was when we took him, he says. Just like Tim Geithner. Breaking News: Nation breathes a sigh of relief when it becomes known that President Obama and his family are going to holiday in the U.S. There were suspicions that they were heading for Cuba. Breaking News: Bill Clinton says that he would often feel very lonely when he was in the White House. My not having sexual relations with that woman was a cry for help, he explains. Breaking News: Former President George Bush has the words ‘Mission accomplished’ tattooed on his chest removed. It was fun when we thought we did it, he says. Breaking... 

Anyone Who Promotes Assisted Suicide Should Be Banged Up In Jail. Period

July 29, 2009

Anyone Who Promotes Assisted Suicide Should Be Banged Up In Jail. Period

Adam Lovejoy writes: The sick and twisted supporters of assisted suicide in Britain continue their disgraceful quest to get this type of murder officially legalised. A ‘martyr’ for the sickening cause has emerged, a certain Doctor Michael Irwin, who has announced that he had helped a terminally ill man to commit suicide two years ago. The man, Raymond Cutkelvin, travelled to Switzerland in 2007 where he was helped’ to die by those monsters from the Dignitas clinic who murder terminally ill people for money. The disgusting man, Dr Irwin, covered Cutkelvin’s costs to get killed in Switzerland and now wants the British police to arrest him and put him on trial in order to become a’ martyr’ for the cause of assisted suicide.At the moment assisting in suicide is a... 

China And India: Chinese Military Stranglehold Tightens Around India

July 29, 2009

China And India: Chinese Military Stranglehold Tightens Around India

Martin McCauley writes: The Chinese leadership regards India as a long term threat to its dominance of Asia. A third key player in Asia is Russia. Moscow regards itself as a great power and is seeking a strategic alliance with China. But Beijing will only grant Moscow a ‘partnership’ and distances itself from any tight military or economic alliances. This indicates that China believes it will dominate relations with Russia in the future. India is quite a different story. There are those who surmise that India will beat China to world dominance sometime in the future. They point to the fact that India has a functioning democracy, albeit imperfect, an understanding of the importance of the rule of law, a growing middle class with technical expertise and, last but not least, command of... 

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