As the Banks Crumble: A Look at the Left in Switzerland

Swiss Bank Bailout Protest
If the left draws the majority of its support from those at the lower rungs of the economic pecking pole - organized labor, civil servants, and the working poor - how then in Switzerland, one of the wealthiest countries, with some of the lowest poverty and unemployment rates in the post-industrialized world, does the left ever make it to public office? How on the turf of banking goliaths Credit Suisse and United Bank of Switzerland does the left not get laughed out of town?


The Indigenous and Popular Minga Takes Over Colombia’s Capital

It's been a busy series of days in Bogotá as the MINGA Popular continues to expand and flourish. From the streets in the center of the city, to the Plaza del Ché at the National University where an international forum was held on Saturday, from the media centers of the indigenous movement to the dozens of meetings taking place around the city where "Mingueros" are discussing the five point agenda with all the sectors that are interested to listen, the enthusiasm and energy of the popular movement can be felt.


Hannah Arendt: The Trouble With Representative Government in the US

Hannah Arendt
Having good representatives in government isn't enough. In fact, if you think about it, how on earth can individuals honestly represent the interests of such large bodies of people and their vast views?  Moreover, how involved are we really? We vote, choosing candidate A or B. We have our views expressed via polls. We side with MSNBC over FOX News. Let's face it, representative government isn't all its cracked up to be.


Can Africa Survive Obama’s Advisors?

Paul Volcker
One of US president-elect Barack Obama's leading advisers has done more damage to Africa, its economies and its people than anyone I can think of in world history, including even Cecil John Rhodes. That charge may surprise readers, but hear me out. His name is Paul Volcker, and the 82-year-old banker was recommended as "a legend!" to Obama by Austan Goolsbee, his chief economic adviser.


The Financial Crisis and the Developing World

Once again, developing countries will have to bear the brunt of the global financial crisis originating in the U.S. and other developed countries. The financial positions of many developing countries are much stronger than they were at the time of the financial crises in Asia and Latin America, given their strong foreign reserve positions and generally better fiscal balances. Yet, this does not mean these countries are immune to the crisis originating in the developed countries as suggested by those who claim that the larger developing countries have "decoupled" from the U.S. economy.

Special Reports

Taser Nation: Pain Compliance 101

A decade ago, ordinary Americans would not have tolerated such widespread use of the Taser, a stun gun delivering a 50,000-volt shock. They would not have tolerated the electrocution of unarmed, non-threatening civilians without following the normal "escalation of force" policy. Ironically, American political leaders and the media once cast aspersion on the regimes of Guatemala and Argentina, which used cattle-prods on prisoners. Cattle-prods only deliver 25,000-volt shocks, half that of the Taser.