Canada Is Waging an All-Front Legal War Against Indigenous People -

Louis Proyect

Re: How the transgender woman showing her penis in a sauna was a myth

Alan Ginsberg

responding to Ken Hiebert -- the story in The Militant is unverified. As far as I know, it has not been proven to be false (though I think it is virtually certain that the story is a fabrication; there seems to be no evidence to support the assertion that the event occurred).

Here are two articles:

Re: How the transgender woman showing her penis in a sauna was a myth

Ken Hiebert

I read this with interest. In my broader acquaintance I do know people who are quite alarmed by trans people and I’d like to be able to discuss this with them. This item says the story was a myth, but it does not go beyond that.
Who started the story? And how was it discovered to be false? It would be helpful if I knew.
ken h

Solidarity, Inc. Part II: What Western anti-imperialists prescribe for their Arab counterparts - New Politics

Louis Proyect

Moderator's note

Louis Proyect

Although, it is not written anywhere, there is an informal posting limit of 5 per day. This is meant primarily for allowing debate to take place. If comrades begin posting links, however, to commonly available websites like Alternet  and Huffington Post just to remind us that Zionism or Donald Trump is evil, it begins to show up on my radar. Today, Charles Keener unwittingly sent a page full of links. That's an even bigger no-no. So this is a reminder. I am going to crack down unless comrades voluntarily learn to keep track of their output.

What Do You Call a World That Can’t Learn From Itself?


The question is this: why don’t Americans understand how poor their lives have become? Is it even a fair question to ask?

Of course, one can speak of capitalism and false consciousness and class war, of technology hypnotizing people with outrage. But I think there is a deeper truth here. There is a myth of exceptionalism in America that prevents it from looking outward, and learning from the world. It is made up of littler myths about greed being good, the weak deserving nothing, society being an arena, not a lever, for the survival of the fittest — and America is busy recounting those myths, not learning from the world, in slightly weaker (Democrats) or stronger (Republicans) forms. Still, the myths stay the same — and the debate is only really about whether a lightning bolt or a thunderstorm is the just punishment from the gods for the fallen, and a palace or a kingdom is the just reward for the cunning.

How the transgender woman showing her penis in a sauna was a myth

John Obrien

The U. S. SWP newspaper The Militant, July 26, 2021 (included below)  has a shameful  article on this non-existent scam event 
orchestrated by a right wing evangelist Christian woman, with the internet account: Cuban Angel.  

This another example on the past couple of years, with the SWP orienting itself to the trumpsters, with such articles.  
The Barnesites seem clearly on the same road that the Larouchites took, to become advocates of reactionary views and promoted 
conspiracy theories.    

Please note that the SWP's governor candidate statement below includes the religious right wing ideology of "sexual preference" 
and not: sexual orientation.   

Of course, no recognition of class issues, since as who actually the spa clients are and can afford their rates. 
But somehow the SWP writer seems needed to mention sexual orientation on something around clothing and gender identification, 
as that "threatens both Women and Gay/Lesbian rights".   The U. S. SWP has joined those targeting transgender people, as actively 
being carried out by the religious right for political advantage and to cover their attacks on working women in jobs, health care, services, etc.

Last year the US SWP 2020 presidential election campaign demands prominently included defense of religious beliefs and no mention
of LGBT rights, who were actually under attack by the trumpsters..  Within four years, we are possibly to see if the SWP is still existing,
their statements against communists for their attacking working people carrying out their religious beliefs - and arguing why the 
need to defend religious liberty (and bigotry).

"Special Rights" one of the right wing talking points - will also likely be in print over the next period in this publication.
We saw this same turn to the right by the Larouche Sect.  

Women’s rights at stake in fight over men in female spa area

July 26, 2021

LOS ANGELES — A widely viewed video of a woman complaining about a man being in the women’s section of a spa in Los Angeles has deepened a debate here. The question is whether women have rights to privacy in spaces designated for them, such as women’s locker rooms, hot tubs, etc.

The customers in the spa were nude, and included children, and the man, who said he was a transgender woman, also was nude, with his penis exposed. The spa personnel told the women who complained that they have to abide by whatever a customer says they are, because a recent California law forbids discrimination against transgender people.

A protest called by women against the stance of the spa’s owners July 3 was met by a countermobilization of dozens of antifa supporters. They planted a sign in front of the spa saying “Trans women are women,” and moved to surround and push around anyone they deemed to be “transphobe.”

Gaye Chapman, who went to meet up with some women she’d met on social media, told the Militant, “I think women and girls have the right to shower and dress outside the presence of male people, regardless of how they identify.” Chapman is a city electrical inspector and runs a lesbian-themed podcast. Not knowing who had called the protest, she didn’t bring a sign and walked around at first watching. She saw a few people being harassed by the antifa people, including someone taking a video.

Amie Ichikawa, one of the women who met up with Chapman, was targeted by antifa thugs because she was wearing a T-shirt featuring the dictionary definition of a woman — “Woman: a female adult human.”

Chapman said she was quickly surrounded by around 20 people shouting, “We don’t talk to Terfs,” an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminists. It is used to denigrate women’s rights supporters they disagree with. “They hit me with a piece of cardboard,” she said, “and tried to prevent me filming.

“They were shouting ‘get out transphobe,’ and they pulled my glasses off and knocked my phone out of my hand, pushed me, threw water at me. It was nasty,” Chapman said. She reported on Twitter that she has since been threatened with being “doxed,” that is, having her personal information, including her home address, widely publicized to encourage further harassment.

Ichikawa said she came to meet up with some women’s rights activists and wasn’t expecting the level of vitriol directed against them. She’s the founder of WomanIIWoman, which aids women getting out of prison find jobs and housing.

She explained the new state law is having an effect on women behind bars, as growing numbers of men have requested transfers to women’s prisons based on changed self-identity. Women have written to her fearing they won’t be able to avoid being housed with a male in cells designated for eight women, with communal toilets and showers.

In the wake of the protests, the “woke” Los Angeles Times ran an editorial backing the spa owners’ actions. “Even though the sight of male-appearing genitalia discomfited at least one female customer,” the editors opined, “no one has an absolute right to feel comfortable all the time.”

“What’s at stake is women’s rights, not transphobia,” Dennis Richter, Socialist Workers Party candidate for governor in California’s upcoming special election, told the press. “Women have fought to close the pay gap, including the right to access a range of nontraditional jobs, from coal mining to the railroad. They have joined labor battles, defended abortion clinics, and fought rightist assaults aimed at shutting them down. These are the kinds of fights we need today.

“But the state law, adopted under the guise of opposing transgender discrimination, demands that women and girls surrender their right to privacy. It denies the facts of biology and has nothing to do with advancing rights.

“I oppose discrimination in housing and jobs based on sexual preference or how one identifies. Earlier struggles for women’s rights helped advance the fight for the rights of gays and lesbians,” Richter said. “But efforts today to dissolve sex into gender, and the idea that your sex can be ‘chosen,’ deal blows to women. They open the door to new attacks on women’s rights and set back the fight against discrimination against gays.”

From: <> on behalf of Louis Proyect <lnp3@...>
Sent: Wednesday, August 4, 2021 5:25 PM
To: <>

(From Rick Sklader on FB)
Do you remember the persistent stories by national and local media about a transgendered woman who went into a women’s bathroom and exposed her male genitalia? That story was and remains a myth and a crass lie,one that was it seems deliberately not fact checked. This is now a favorite right wing talking point that is being used repeatedly to attack transgendered people but additionally Lesbians, Gays and Bisexual people.

Black Agenda Report : Glen Ford Tribute Issue

Charles Keener

Glen Ford's Journalism Fought for Black Liberation and Against Imperialism
Margaret Kimberley, BAR Senior Columnist
Glen Ford's Journalism Fought for Black Liberation and Against Imperialism | Black Agenda Report
Glen Ford: A Remarkable Revolutionary
Danny Haiphong, BAR Contributing Editor
Glen Ford: A Remarkable Revolutionary | Black Agenda Report

Honor Fallen Black Freedom Fighters: Two Letters on Black August, 1979
Editors, Black Agenda Review
Honor Fallen Black Freedom Fighters: Two Letters on Black August, 1979 | Black Agenda Report
“Greetings! Power to the People!” In the Words of Glen Ford
Ann Garrison, BAR Contributing Editor

“Greetings! Power to the People!” In the Words of Glen Ford | Black Agenda Report
Glen Ford and the Black Radical Critical Tradition
Ajamu Baraka, BAR Editor
Glen Ford and the Black Radical Critical Tradition | Black Agenda Report
Glen Ford: Revolutionary, Friend, Leader, Lover of Black People
Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, BAR Editor and Columnist

Glen Ford: Revolutionary, Friend, Leader, Lover of Black People | Black Agenda Report
Glen Ford: In Memoriam
Peter James Hudson and Jemima Pierre

Glen Ford: In Memoriam | Black Agenda Report

… For Brother Glen
Raymond Nat Turner, BAR Poet in Residence
…For Brother Glen | Black Agenda Report

Glen Ford, Presente!
Nellie Bailey
Glen Ford, Presente! | Black Agenda Report
Power to the People!
Nia Ford

Glen Ford, Presente! | Black Agenda Report
Glen Ford and the Need for Black Radical Analysis
Pascal Robert
Glen Ford and the Need for Black Radical Analysis | Black Agenda Report
Haiti: On Interventions and Occupations
Peter James Hudson and Jemima Pierre
Haiti: On Interventions and Occupations  | Black Agenda Report
BAR Book Forum: “The Psychic Hold of Slavery”
Roberto Sirvent, BAR Book Forum Editor
BAR Book Forum: “The Psychic Hold of Slavery” | Black Agenda Report
U.S. Corporate Media Watch: An Interview with Richard Medhurst
Richard Medhurst and Roberto Sirvent

U.S. Corporate Media Watch: An Interview with Richard Medhurst | Black Agenda Report

Farewell to Glen Ford, A True Friend to Eritrea
Elias Amare

Farewell to Glen Ford, A True Friend to Eritrea | Black Agenda Report

Glen Ford’s Passing – Devastating Blow for Africans Everywhere

Milton Allimadi
Glen Ford’s Passing – Devastating Blow for Africans Everywhere | Black Agenda Report
Glen Ford - From Elder to Ancestor
Ready for the Revolution
Glen Ford – From Elder to Ancestor | Black Agenda Report
Glen Ford and Haiti: A Tribute with Dr. Jemima Pierre
Danny Haiphong and Margaret Kimberley
Glen Ford and Haiti: A Tribute | Black Agenda Report



This Week with David Rovics: Remembering 1921: The Battle of Blair Mountain

Louis Proyect

The biggest multiracial uprising in the history of the United States took place in the hills of West Virginia in 1921.  Ever heard of it?

How the transgender woman showing her penis in a sauna was a myth

Louis Proyect

(From Rick Sklader on FB)
Do you remember the persistent stories by national and local media about a transgendered woman who went into a women’s bathroom and exposed her male genitalia? That story was and remains a myth and a crass lie,one that was it seems deliberately not fact checked. This is now a favorite right wing talking point that is being used repeatedly to attack transgendered people but additionally Lesbians, Gays and Bisexual people.

All over the world political rightists and anti-trans bigots, mainly who’re also anti-Gay  are hellbent on convincing the broader public that transpeople are a threat to some woman or girl. But it is athletics which these forces see an opening to a broader audience. Having discussed those particular points over the last two days  as you can read those posts and the discussions that followed. Here’s though what I learned by doing simple searches that “our”anti-trans “leftists” and “socialists” would easily find if they chose too look, what we should consider as a damning indictment itself.

The Williams Institute of the UCLA Law School undertook a study to determine the number of transgender people in the US analyzing 11 scientific studies. They came up with 1.4 million people who identify as transgender out of 321 million people in the US. It needs to be added that 48% of those transitioning are Black. Latin and Indigenous and overwhelmingly Working Class. By the way, I was unable to locate any figures in the number of transgender athletes participating in individual or group sports, but honestly how many could this realistically be.

Pressing on curiosity got the better of me. What I wondered is the advantage, if any at all that any transgender women
might have. Transitioning involves many different parts and is a very difficult path to traverse. Medical Doctors that possess the most scientific knowledge stated that in the first year of transitioning that a transgender women would have a slight advantage. This is an abstract advantage as it remains unrelated to any concrete activity including the people involved and the nature of the activity. In the second year of hormonal treatment that slight advantage completely disappears. At this point it should be obvious except to the brain dead that those screaming that  transgendered women are coming (instead of the British) are what we said they are reactionaries.

August 7: Webinar: Three Historians Speak on Tulsa 1921 | Discussion with Robin D.G. Kelley, John Womack, Jr., and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz | Claudia Jones School for Political Education

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo

Greetings Family,

This is an invitation to our next event titled Three Historians Speak on Tulsa 1921 featuring scholars Robin D.G. Kelley, John Womack, Jr., and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.

Oklahoma was a powder keg of struggle in the years preceding the Tulsa atrocity of 1921. Tenant farmers, sharecroppers, and workers: Black, white, and indigenous, joined forces in struggles against landlords, usurers, the Klan and the police.

In 1917, the "Working Class Union" (the name of the Oklahoma-based organization) tried to launch a US-wide armed insurrection against the U.S. government and its impending entry into World War I. In November of that year, the "Knights of Liberty", a Klan precursor, tarred and feathered more than a dozen IWW members in Tulsa. Even the 80-years-late 2001 Oklahoma Commission on the "Tulsa Race Riot" (the Commission's term) admitted that the attack on the IWW "proved to be an important step along the road to the race riot."

In 1921, the Klan, police, and oil company planes burned and bombed Tulsa's Black section. Day-after images of Tulsa resemble modern-day images of Gaza after Israeli bombing.

Famed–and committed–historians John Womack, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and Robin D.G. Kelley provide insights into the forces that led to the Tulsa atrocity of 1921.


When: Saturday, August 7 at 2:00pm Eastern Time

This event will feature:

Robin D.G. Kelley is a historian who holds the position of Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at UCLA. His research has explored the history of social movements in the U.S., the African Diaspora, and Africa; Black intellectuals; music and visual culture; Surrealism, Marxism, among other things. His essays have appeared in a wide variety of professional journals as well as general publications, including the Journal of American History, American Historical Review, The Nation, Monthly Review, New York Times, Color Lines, Counterpunch, Souls, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir, Social Text, The Black Scholar, Journal of Palestine Studies, and  Boston Review, for which he also serves as Contributing Editor. 

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. After receiving her PhD in history at the University of California at Los Angeles, she taught in the newly established Native American Studies Program at California State University, Hayward, and helped found the Departments of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies. Her 1977 book The Great Sioux Nation was the fundamental document at the first international conference on Indigenous peoples of the Americas, held at the United Nations’ headquarters in Geneva. Dunbar-Ortiz is the author or editor of seven other books, including Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico. She lives in San Francisco.

John Womack, Jr. is a professor emeritus of history at Harvard University and the author of Zapata and the Mexican Revolution. 

Re: Glen Ford ¡Presente! -

Charles Keener

Beautiful ! Thank you for sharing your wonderful perspective on a very special man.

I am glad to see Glen and his many contributions being honored.

I also appreciated what Jeffrey St Clair said in his column on Friday : 

" I was stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the death of Black Agenda Report editor Glen Ford, a consistent voice of sanity and resolve in an era of societal madness and political delusion. Glen was a fighter for economic, environmental and racial justice and he didn’t waver when the threat changed parties. In fact, he doubled down when Obama came into power, knowing that Obama was a more efficient manager of empire than Bush and thus even more of a long-term threat. He was fierce to his opponents, kind and generous to his friends. He taught us new ways to fight and will leave a void that will never be filled. "

Charles Keener

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Stewart <hasc.warrior.stew@...>
To: Marxism List <>
Sent: Wed, Aug 4, 2021 5:11 pm
Subject: [marxmail] Glen Ford ¡Presente! -

Best regards,
Andrew Stewart

Glen Ford ¡Presente! -

Andrew Stewart

H-Net Review [H-LatAm]: Ortiz Díaz on Birn and Necochea López, 'Peripheral Nerve: Health and Medicine in Cold War Latin America'

Andrew Stewart

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: H-Net Staff via H-REVIEW <h-review@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 4, 2021 at 1:51 PM
Subject: H-Net Review [H-LatAm]: Ortiz Díaz on Birn and Necochea López, 'Peripheral Nerve: Health and Medicine in Cold War Latin America'
To: <h-review@...>
Cc: H-Net Staff <revhelp@...>

Anne-Emanuelle Birn, Raúl Necochea López, eds.  Peripheral Nerve:
Health and Medicine in Cold War Latin America.  Durham  Duke
University Press, 2020.  384 pp.  $29.95 (paper), ISBN

Reviewed by Alberto Ortiz Díaz (University of Texas at Arlington)
Published on H-LatAm (August, 2021)
Commissioned by Casey M. Lurtz

For several decades now, historians of medicine have gradually
shifted their attention away from the biological and epidemiological
imperatives that long characterized the field. New histories of
medicine not only underscore how social, cultural, political, and
economic factors have shaped medical logics and practices, but also
stretch who has qualified to produce and exercise medical knowledge
and power. An emphasis on variable health and medical actors is a
defining feature of Anne-Emanuelle Birn and Raúl Necochea López's
_Peripheral Nerve_, an ambitious volume that traces the footsteps of
Latin American medical professionals, scientists, and political
intermediaries during the Cold War. Geographically expansive and
compelling, the text challenges binaries in, and the traditional
periodization associated with, the history of Cold War Latin
America--namely that the region was inextricably caught between the
rigid prerogatives of the United States and the Soviet Union (pp. 4,

_Peripheral Nerve _adds to the burgeoning scholarship on the Cold War
in Latin America.[1] What distinguishes it from recent predecessors,
however, is its focus on health and medicine as fields of
multifaceted, multidirectional encounter and action that defied being
ensnared by unidimensional influence (p. 22). Birn, Necochea López,
et al. instead spotlight the many applications, interpretations, and
meanings of health and medicine emanating from Cold War Latin America
and their imbrication with politics. Contributing authors lay bare
that health, medicine, and science were fused to "high" and
subjective politics--ideological, national, international, and so
on--as well as the convoluted search for solidarities within and
beyond the region.

Part 1 features essays on a transnational nurse with
humanist-idealist sensibilities surveilled by intelligence agencies
across the United States-Mexico border (Katherine Bliss), a
forthright Bolivian university rector perceived as out of step with a
brand of Rockefeller philanthropy sensitive to United States
anticommunism (Nicole Pacino), and US policymakers and Mexican
embassy staff on the front lines of major shifts in what was once
Mexico's steroid production monopoly (Gabriela Soto Laveaga). Part 2
dives into health experts, the knowledge they produced, and the
ideologies they contested. In this section, Necochea López examines
Puerto Rico's Center for Social Research fertility surveys, which
were engineered by US scholars eager to produce a showcase of
democracy at the crossroads of the Americas, critiqued by Puerto
Rican nationalists, and compiled by local research assistants.
Gilberto Hochman and Carlos Henrique Assunção Paiva then delve into
the junction of scientific, medical, and communist ideas in the
career of a Brazilian parasitologist who started out as a golden
child of Rockefeller philanthropy but whose political trajectory
diminished his clout. Finally, Jennifer Lambe probes Cuban
psychiatric debates anchored in the functional-organic (Freud-Pavlov)
dyad that provided mental health professionals the tools with which
to wage revolutionary politics. Part 3 considers health politics and
publics first in Chile, where Jadwiga Pieper Mooney looks at how
health policymakers negotiated social and socialized medicine to
circumvent certain global political paradigms while borrowing from
others to enact public health initiatives. Marco Ramos then turns to
Argentina, where militant psychiatrists and their European
interlocutors espoused conflicting global visions of anti-imperialism
and the Third World, resulting in a nationalist model for engagement
with oppressed peoples. Lastly, Cheasty Anderson takes us to
Nicaragua, where Cuban medical brigades cooperated with Sandinistas
to introduce a socialist health care system but had limited ability
to promote communism and become part of the host society. In each of
these chapters, authors go to great lengths to account for the
political factors, forces, and contingencies informing health and
medical enterprise, which in many cases also included the human or
social sciences.

After reading _Peripheral Nerve_, however, one is left wondering how
health and medicine circulated on the ground among nonprofessionals
and ordinary people. Like many histories of science and medicine,
_Peripheral Nerve_, too, leans toward underscoring credentialed
health and medical actors on their own terms. The volume does not
orbit the United States, but medical professionals, scientists, and
politicians are certainly at its core. This restrains our
understanding of what can be taken as scientifically legitimate and
medically knowable. The approach results in fascinating local and
transnational snapshots of primarily privileged actors and the
overlapping contexts they navigated. A consequence of such framing is
that we miss out, for the most part, on the vernacular experiences
and narratives of everyday Latin Americans--patients and otherwise.
Several essays in _Peripheral Nerve _achieve some of this, but in
fleeting fashion (pp. 42, 67, 98-99, 195, 232-33, 254). Overall, the
volume by and large concerns a class of aspiring, resourced health
and medical globalists either able to travel or somehow plugged into
advantaged networks on multiple scales. Despite gesturing toward
marginalized views, the "subaltern" are, generally speaking,
discussed, acted upon, and helped further but did not dominate
knowledge production processes in _Peripheral Nerve_.

More broadly, in the text's forward, Gilbert Joseph signals the
double meaning of "peripheral nerve" (pp. ix-x). The book's title
identifies Latin America as a periphery of the broader Western world,
and more specifically, the United States. This world-systems
perspective is shackling, though, for it turns out the periphery
itself was multipolar and showed a great deal of audacity in the face
of ironclad US and Soviet Cold War command. Birn appends a third
meaning, a physiological metaphor indicating that "peripheral nerves
often cause the most insistent shock (pain) that makes the body take
note, evoking the ways in which health and medicine actors and
activities in Cold War Latin America, though often overlooked,
created enormous shockwaves that affected both peripheral and core
places and players" (p. 19). I believe _Peripheral Nerve_ pushes us
to go even further in the sense that Birn and Necochea López invite
us to assume the equality of Latin America and Latin Americans during
the Cold War. [2] Rather than rehash a superpower binary that
requires troubling, we are now faced with the empirical reality that
Latin America could set the terms and dictate the pace of health and
medical interactions with the global North, as well as pursue
South-South exchanges. Nuanced competing supremacies, then--instead
of reductive center-periphery or (neo)colonial-imperial
relations--afford a more fruitful framework with which to understand
this history.

The range of these competing supremacies is not restricted to the
mainly professional actors documented in _Peripheral Nerve_. As Birn
and Necochea López acknowledge in their conclusion, more can be done
to unpack how blackness, indigeneity, gender, and the internal
diversity of these and other categories of analysis shaped the
histories contained in their volume. Several essays in _Peripheral
Nerve _start to go down this road, but not as comprehensively as they
could have. This reflects a broader pattern in modern histories of
health and medicine, which still tend to revolve around scientists'
and medical professionals' adherence to specialized training,
protocols, institutional circumstances, vested interests, and their
own idiosyncratic takes on what ought to be said and remembered.
Leaving the task of more thoroughly exploring race, ethnicity, and
gender beyond how they are usually cast in existing scholarship to a
future generation of scholars is one of the most glaring missed
opportunities of _Peripheral Nerve_, particularly in light of the
concurrent circulation of assumptions about these very demographics
and dimensions in many of the locations represented in the volume
(pp. 75, 122, 139, 169, 176, 199, 227, 259).

_Peripheral Nerve_'s brilliance, on the other hand, is on full
display when it creatively reimagines the role of the United States
in Cold War Latin American historiography. The point here is not that
the United States was passive or irrelevant--clearly, that was not
the case--but rather that (in)formal US hegemony, policies, and
interests can be presented in a way that checks and balances the
extent to which it is used as an analytical straw man. Webs of
interaction that find resonance with those illuminated by Cold War
scholars like Heidi Tinsman in her _Buying into the Regime_[3] are
evident throughout much of _Peripheral Nerve_, for instance in how
the volume sheds light on Latin American synergies with the Soviet
Union and Eastern bloc (pp. 1-3, 7, 10, 12-16), on Latin American
universities and how they served as a collective nexus of Cold War
conflicts (most chapters), and on the roles of US companies and
foundations that have escaped deep historical scrutiny to date (pp.
93, 95, 219, 224-25). In other words, regionalizing US power, or
tracing how developments in the periphery influenced organization and
policies on the mainland, allows us to rediscover the utility of
researching Cold War Latin America from the vantage point of the
United States.[4]

In the end, _Peripheral Nerve _proposes several pathways forward.
Whether recognizing that hemispheric and international organizations
merit study, advocating for deeper graduate training in Asian
languages so that future historians can access Russian and Chinese
sources, planting the seed that oral histories can unsettle what we
think we know about health and medicine in Cold War Latin America,
pointing toward revisiting the health-conflict nexus across the
region, or reflecting on the post-Cold War period, Birn and Necochea
López know that _Peripheral Nerve _only begins to scratch the
surface of histories of the Cold War that zoom in and out of
individual nation-states and world regions. Realizing a project of
this magnitude is no easy feat for a single tome. _Peripheral Nerve
_is a welcome addition to the scholarly literature precisely because
it articulates the urgency of doing so and demonstrates how we might
go about it. The volume encourages readers to humanize health and
medical practitioners on biographical and collective levels, and to
see Latin America not just as audacious but as self-assured and an
activist on the world stage.

Still, this reviewer would add, more needs to be done to temper
romanticizing Latin America in this regard. Interrogating the
biomedical, sociocultural, and political harm unleashed not only by
authoritarian regimes but by self-styled social justice-oriented
Latin Americans and their partners is one way to curb such
idealization. Since science and medicine always exist in context,
another area ripe for examination is not just the politicization of
knowledge production but its culturally motivated manipulation, an
insight gifted by Stephen Jay Gould many moons ago.[5] Though perhaps
harder to accomplish, scholars also still need to transcend the cast
of characters that often stand in for the periphery or Third World
(i.e., Frantz Fanon, Che Guevara, etc.). While _Peripheral Nerve
_admirably does so from the middle up, few of the volume's numerous
protagonists were themselves "wretched of the earth." This creates an
opportunity to explicitly reconsider how class dynamics and
identities function as levees that delimit and guide the substance
and flow of radical political desires like those chronicled in
_Peripheral Nerve_.

Finally, there are many poignant lessons to be drawn from _Peripheral
Nerve _in our current COVID-19 moment as governments, industries,
mass and social media companies, and populations, particularly in the
global North, blur the boundaries between humanitarianism and
biosecurity while at the same time inching toward contemporary
manifestations of health-based exclusion and medical coercion and
tyranny. As _Peripheral Nerve _makes clear, there is great value in
historically corroborating the heterogeneity of medicine and the
medical class. It is a stark reminder that health issues and medical
knowledge, treatments, and technologies can and should be debated in
the public square. Meaningful, effective solutions to health and
medical problems must take seriously varied perspectives and fuse the
positions of incompatible stakeholders. Academics, students,
scientists, policymakers, and many others who should and will pick up
_Peripheral Nerve _would be wise to "sit with" these insights, as
well as the fact that health and medical activism still cuts in
multiple ideological directions, as we endeavor to problem-solve in a
polemical present.


[1]. Thomas C. Field Jr., Stella Krepp, and Vanni Pettinà, eds.,
_Latin America and the Global Cold War _(Chapel Hill: University of
North Carolina Press, 2020); Tanya Harmer, _Beatriz Allende: A
Revolutionary Life in Cold War Latin America _(Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 2020); Eyal Weinberg, "'With
Colleagues Like That, Who Needs Enemies?': Doctors and Repression
under Military and Post-Authoritarian Brazil," _The Americas_ 76, no.
3 (July 2019): 467-505; Stephen G. Rabe, _The Killing Zone: The
United States Wages Cold War in Latin America _(New York: Oxford
University Press, 2012); Gilbert M. Joseph and Greg Grandin, eds., _A
Century of Revolution: Insurgent and Counterinsurgent Violence during
Latin America's Long Cold War _(Durham, NC: Duke University Press,
2010); Gilbert M. Joseph and Daniela Spenser, eds., _In from the
Cold: Latin America's New Encounter with the Cold War _(Durham, NC:
Duke University Press, 2008).

[2]. Mariola Espinosa, "Globalizing the History of Disease, Medicine,
and Public Health in Latin America," _Isis _104, no. 4 (December
2013): 798-806.

[3]. Heidi Tinsman, _Buying into the Regime: Grapes and Consumption
in Cold War Chile and the United States_ (Durham, NC: Duke University
Press, 2014).

[4]. Alfred W. McCoy and Francisco A. Scarano, eds., _Colonial
Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State
_(Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009).

[5]. Stephen Jay Gould, _The Mismeasure of Man _(New York: W. W.
Norton &amp; Company, 1996 [1981]).

Citation: Alberto Ortiz Díaz. Review of Birn, Anne-Emanuelle;
Necochea López, Raúl, eds., _Peripheral Nerve: Health and
Medicine in Cold War Latin America_. H-LatAm, H-Net Reviews. August,

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States

Best regards,

Andrew Stewart

Re: Slavery vs. White Supremacy,Van Gosse, reply by Sean Wilentz

Mark Lause

Sorry for the quality of that last email.  Eye surgery next week. :-)

On Wed, Aug 4, 2021, 1:31 PM Mark Lause via <> wrote:
Wilentz demonstrates how it's possible to be correct in the particulars, but not in the general.  Certainly everything is in contradiction and permits a bit of cherry-picking.  The point he does not want to concede is the the default reality. 

Yes, all those northern colonies and states got rid of slavery but they weren't essential to their economies.  But this never came close to balancing the lived reality of Americans, ruled and rulers. Most America slaves remained American slaves despite the laudable work of Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys in Vermont.   

This is not to disparage that work.  To the contrary, realizing just how important and admirable requires acknowledging the power of what they had to resist.  Yes, there was resistance and struggles, sometimes winning but mostly defeated, thwarted, or misdirected.

That default reality of the American experience is the role of race in the ubiquitous injustices of American capitalism.

Re: Slavery vs. White Supremacy,Van Gosse, reply by Sean Wilentz

Mark Lause

Wilentz demonstrates how it's possible to be correct in the particulars, but not in the general.  Certainly everything is in contradiction and permits a bit of cherry-picking.  The point he does not want to concede is the the default reality. 

Yes, all those northern colonies and states got rid of slavery but they weren't essential to their economies.  But this never came close to balancing the lived reality of Americans, ruled and rulers. Most America slaves remained American slaves despite the laudable work of Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys in Vermont.   

This is not to disparage that work.  To the contrary, realizing just how important and admirable requires acknowledging the power of what they had to resist.  Yes, there was resistance and struggles, sometimes winning but mostly defeated, thwarted, or misdirected.

That default reality of the American experience is the role of race in the ubiquitous injustices of American capitalism.

Nina Turner’s Loss Is Oligarchy’s Gain

Charles Keener

Moderator posted: " [NSPA & ACP / CC BY-NC 2.0] By Norman Solomon The race for a vacant congressional seat in northeast Ohio was a fierce battle between status quo politics and calls for social transformation. In the end, when votes were counted Tuesday night, tra"

New post on

Nina Turner’s Loss Is Oligarchy’s Gain

by Moderator
[NSPA & ACP / CC BY-NC 2.0]
By Norman Solomon
The race for a vacant congressional seat in northeast Ohio was a fierce battle between status quo politics and calls for social transformation. In the end, when votes were counted Tuesday night, transactional business-as-usual had won by almost 6 percent. But the victory of a corporate Democrat over a progressive firebrand did nothing to resolve the wide and deep disparity of visions at the Democratic Party’s base nationwide.
One of the candidates -- Shontel Brown, the victor -- sounded much like Hillary Clinton, who endorsed her two months ago. Meanwhile, Nina Turner dwelled on the kind of themes we always hear from Bernie Sanders, whose 2020 presidential campaign she served as a national co-chair. And while Brown trumpeted her lockstep loyalty to Joe Biden, her progressive opponent was advocating remedies for vast income inequality and the dominance of inordinate wealth over the political system. Often, during the last days of the campaign, I heard Turner refer to structural injustices of what she called “class and caste.”
A major line of attack from Brown forces was that Turner had voted against the party platform as a delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Left unsaid was the fact that nearly one-quarter of all the convention delegates also voted ‘no’ on the platform, and for the same avowed reason -- its failure to include a Medicare for All plank.
Scarcely mentioned in media coverage of this race is that Ohio has an “open primary,” and Republicans received public encouragement to cross over and vote in the Democratic primary. We may never know how many GOP voters took the emphatic advice from the likes of right-winger William Kristol and voted for Brown to help beat Turner.
“Reminder: Tuesday’s Democratic primary is effectively the general election, and all registered voters can vote in the Democratic primary,” Kristol tweeted on July 29. “Just request a Democratic ballot.” After sending out a similar tweet on Sunday, he got more explicit via Twitter at dawn on Election Day: “To Akron, Beachwood, Cleveland, Shaker Heights, etc.: Today’s OH-11 primary is in effect the general election. The choice is a radical leftist or a Biden Democrat, @ShontelMBrown. Any registered voter -- including independents & Republicans -- can request a Democratic primary ballot.”
Prominent Republicans didn’t only pitch in with targeted messaging. Some GOP-aligned donors kicked in big bucks, such as Donald Trump’s billionaire pal Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots in the NFL, who personally maxed out at $5,800 to Brown’s campaign and whose family gave a total of more than $20,000.
Tacitly aligned with the Republican likes of Kristol and Kraft in zeal to boost Brown and defeat Turner was the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus, augmented by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, the highest ranking African-American in Congress. Caucus leaders and Clyburn were busy traveling around Ohio’s 11th Congressional District last weekend, singing Brown’s praises and aiming darts at Turner.
President Biden is popular in the district, and Brown’s forces were intent on framing the choice as pro-Biden or anti-Biden. Days ago, Cleveland’s CBS affiliate reported that the race “has largely come down to Brown, who has positioned herself as the ‘Biden candidate,’ and Turner, who has enjoyed the support of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.” An NBC affiliate asserted that national media and outside groups had made the race “a contest between loyalty to President Biden’s agenda and a more progressive wing of the party.”
Turner’s defeat is a victory for an array of wealthy individuals and corporations alarmed at her willingness to challenge such corporate powerhouses as Big Pharma, insurance firms and the fossil-fuel industry. The relentless and often defamatory advertising barrage against Turner was mainly funded by huge contributions from such vested interests to two outfits, Democratic Majority for Israel and Pro-Israel America, which placed the attack ads.
If the Democratic Party establishment thinks the defeat of Turner has turned back the progressive upsurge, it’s mistaken. Just this week, successful organizing led by Congresswomen Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez forced Biden’s hand, pushing him to extend an eviction moratorium that otherwise would have expired. Bush, AOC and other strong progressives -- including Jamaal Bowman, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Mondaire Jones -- got to the House by winning Democratic primaries, often ousting entrenched corporate-friendly Democrats in the process. Next year, many Democratic incumbents will face potentially serious primary challenges from the left.
A continuing political reality is that most voters are in favor of policy positions that progressives keep fighting for. In the Brown-Turner race, that reality was largely obscured as Turner’s opponents relentlessly attacked her in personal terms, citing -- and often twisting -- her outspoken record of criticizing top Democratic Party leaders for failing to walk the walk of their platitudes.
Turner’s vigorous critiques of Biden, especially a crude one last summer, provided very useful fodder for ads attacking her. But foes didn’t have much to say about the transformative policies that she champions. Reporting on her defeat, Politico noted that “the moderate attacks against Turner did not take aim at the progressive proposals she supports, such as Medicare for All or a Green New Deal -- an indication they are popular with the base.”
In a statement released late Tuesday night, Turner looked ahead to the future of progressive populism, saying: “We will continue this journey until every working person earns a living wage, including passing a $15 minimum wage. We will continue this journey until every person has health care as a right and not a privilege. We will continue this journey until children’s destinies are not determined by their zip code or the color of their skin. We will continue this journey until we have torn down racism, sexism, homophobia, religious bigotry and every kind of hatred and discrimination. We will continue this journey until justice is equal for every person in this country. And this journey will continue until we have ensured that this planet will be habitable for our children and our grandchildren. So, my friends, it is OK to be sad tonight. But tomorrow we must roll up our sleeves and continue the fight to which we are all committed.”
Norman Solomon is the national director of and the author of many books including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 and 2020 Democratic National Conventions. Solomon is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. 
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Why Roger Casement is still remembered by the people of the Amazon

Louis Proyect

Casement is famous for his Congo crusade. But ‘Roger’ is also a hero in Colombia, where he investigated atrocities allegedly committed against rubber-gatherers

Bertolt Brecht and Marxist Art - Left Voice

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Marxism and Imperialism – Spectre Journal

Louis Proyect

A group of Critical China Scholars and editors from Spectre got together to talk through the complexity of responding to the intensifying US-China rivalry, with an eye towards formulating anti-capitalist and liberatory politics on both sides of the Pacific. Our conversation has been slightly edited and split into two parts. This second part addresses Marxism and theories of imperialism. In the first part, we discussed views of China on the US left

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