Armed with a Pen

Views from a worker and student

Category: Commentary

Immolation & Embodying

On June 11, 1963, Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc, contemplating an upturned moral order, self-immolated at a crowded intersection in then-occupied Saigon. He is seated in the lotus position, remaining still as fire engulfs and overtakes him. Brother monks surround the area and throw themselves under police boots and batons to prevent them from breaking up the protest.

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‘Genocide Joe’ Abandons the Mandate of Heaven

To justify the unjustifiable, leaders in Washington tout the economic advantage of endless war—they admit to imperialism—and do so because they’ve no domestic or international mandate for spiraling conflict on multiple continents. The Emperor is naked, he has stripped right in front of us. United States has lost—has willfully abandoned—the Mandate of Heaven.

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Mao on Maoism: The Dialectical Case for Mao Zedong Thought

Maoism has been around, at least in name, since the mid-1940s. Numerous attempts were made to elevate Mao Zedong Thought to the level of an “-ism,” much to Mao’s displeasure. In 1948, in a correspondence with Wu Yuzhang, then president of North China University, he refused to allow his name to be listed alongside Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin, writing, “there is no Maoism”.  In 1955, at a conference, again it was suggested that Mao Zedong Thought be elevated to Maoism. Mao replied simply, “Marxism-Leninism is the trunk of the tree; I am just a twig.” This was not mere modesty, this was dialectical.

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In Their Own Words: Hamas

Once again, bombs are raining down on Gaza. In response to rockets fired into Israel, the Israeli military has begun attacking alleged Hamas positions in what may be the most severe escalation of violence since 2014. As always, many innocent Palestinians have been caught in the crossfire, though the big target for Israel and its allies is apparently Hamas, the so-called “leaders” of the Gaza Strip. Israel and the United States label them a terrorist organization. But what is Hamas actually?

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