Category Archives: Short interventions

Brief 1-2 paragraphs that do the work

How DARE the Russians and Iranians interfere in internal affairs!? Don’t they know that that’s our role? – A reminder of CIA (and SIS) foreign involvement

Today, Theresa May has joined trump in accusing Russia in secret programmes for destabilising Nato societies and interfering in free elections. Concerning indeed! But both leaders have refrained from comiting not to do the same in other societies that democratically elect a leadership that the US and the UK disfavors, as they have done in the past.

A brief reminder of historical episodes like Syria (1949),  Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Brazil,  Chile, Guyana, Nicaragua, Libya, and many more, some of which are still concealed under the guise of security and secrecy.

But for now, we can all start educating ourselves here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_involvement_in_regime_change

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_policy_of_the_United_States#Covert_actions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_electoral_intervention

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A simple answer for why humanities (and social science) are as important as ‘real’/applied/natural sciences

Asking why studying society is important when we can prioritise cures, engineering and profits? 

The answer is: look at the case of NHS cuts. Doctors and scientists cannot work without the politics that allow them and their work. Even the best invention or discovery are meaningless if we don’t allocate them funding, it cut them, or worse, use them to cause damage (e.g. TNT, atom, gas chambers, torture, etc.). Science is nothing without politics, morals and perspective. Studying these is as important and difficult, but their benefits are often less obvious.

The Paradox of the political everything: Easiest explanation

This will surely be useful for many colleagues, who teach undergrads in the humanities and social sciences:

Saying that everything is political is like saying that everybody’s special. If everybody is special, nobody is really special, because we are all the same. Therefore, saying that everything is political (and this is applicable to many other things too), means that politicality loses its definition.

(some have coped with this by saying that everything is potentially political, i.e. politicisationable; or that things can be more political or less. But this is less important for this brief post).

I will use this notion further in other posts, so keep an eye on the pingbacks below.