Over the past two months, Brazil has been convulsed by a series of strikes, protests, and public demonstrations.
On 16 May, thousands of students and teachers took to the streets in opposition to budget cuts imposed on the education system by the new far-right government of president Jair Bolsonaro.
Between June and September of last year, the International Monetary Fund provided an emergency bailout package to the Argentinian government totalling nearly $60 billion.
The move was prompted by Argentina’s descent, during the preceding months, into headlong financial collapse, fuelled by a rapid pile-up of foreign debt and a dramatic decline in the value of the peso.
Last Thursday night, the United States almost went to war with Iran.
According to a report in The New York Times, Donald Trump approved military strikes against the Islamic Republic in response to the downing of an American surveillance drone near the Strait of Hormuz on 20 June—before abruptly changing his mind.
In October, Canadian voters will get the opportunity to elect a new Conservative government or re-elect the current Liberal one, under the leadership of prime minister Justin Trudeau.
From a distance, this may not seem like a particularly taxing decision.
A group of Guatemalan women have come forward alleging they were sexually harassed and threatened with deportation at a company owned by the Aquilini family, who also own the Vancouver Canucks.
In 2016, Donald Trump stormed Washington promising to “drain the swamp.”
Two and a half years into his presidency, he has one major legislative achievement to his name—a massive tax cut for the ultra-rich—and a cabinet packed with Wall Street insiders and libertarian billionaires.
In his new book, Clear Bright Future: A Radical Defence of the Human Being, Paul Mason, the former BBC journalist turned roving political commentator, presents a vision of humanity under siege. He identifies four distinct but related threats: the rapid advance of artificial intelligence, coupled with the vast, unaccountable tech monopolies that administer it; neoliberal economics and the adjoining “cult” of free-market competition; the rise of the authoritarian right, as embodied in the politics of Donald Trump and other populist strongmen; and academic post-modernism, which has steadily undermined public support for scientific inquiry and the legacy of the Enlightenment.
If you think this sounds like a lot to pack into 300 pages, you’d be right: it is. Mason shifts frenetically from one theme to the next, stringing together references from popular culture, political philosophy, tech science, and neurology, as well as drawing on his own experiences as a reporter in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. He has a habit of lunging into distracting tangents: an entire chapter on the worldview of Xi Jin Ping, the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, for instance, could’ve been better summarised in a few short paragraphs. But for the most part, his bracing premise—that human freedom will either thrive as a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or be obliterated by it—survives his anarchic writing style.