Books

Who rules the world?

When first reading the title of this book – who rules the world? – my mind instantly spurred up images of conspiring men sitting in a dark, secret room, making the world’s most important decisions. While this image isn’t entirely true, Chomsky (author of the book) explains that many of the imperative decisions are made behind closed doors. What’s even more interesting, the explanations for the decisions are often off, very off. Remember the invasion of Iraq? As Chomsky rightfully points out, this wasn’t to “stabilize the country”.

The book sheds a light on the pivotal decisions made by on the most powerful and threatening rogue states in the world, the USA. Chomsky elaboratively describes the events in the Middle East, Cuba, Vietnam, Latin America, and the USA’s role in each of these crises in the past 70 years. First and foremost the author warns us of countries’ possessions of nuclear weapons. He clarifies that Iran isn’t the nation we should fear in terms of these fatal devices and provides a long list of arguments why this fear is misplaced and created. He further demonstrates that much of the decisions made by the USA, especially in regards to war crimes, aren’t necessarily backed by public opinion. Aside from nuclear weaponry, Chomsky pleads for awareness of climate change, as we have to act now to preserve our planet.

What stood out to me the most is the authors dismantling of western indoctrination. I was aware that much of our media is very biased and often takes a stance that makes the west seem as “better” in any international event. But the cover-ups are much severe than I assumed. In the west, we often accuse communist nations of twisting the truth and engaging in propaganda. However, western propaganda comes pretty close to those of the regimes we actively oppose.
Chomsky draws similarities between to events of two passenger aircrafts being shot down. In 1988 Iran Air Flight 655 was shot down by USS Vincennes and in 2015 MH17 was shot down in Ukraine. Supposedly the USA never officially apologized for the war crime and wasn’t met with outrage that was noticeable through every form of western media, related to the MH17.

This book will help you understand the power relations currently present in the world and how western propaganda influences your views on these. It also emphasizes the problems of nuclear weaponry and climate change. Apparently, we are much closer to nuclear warfare than we might think.

Books

Is America’s justice system fair?

After seeing Chris Hayes discuss his new book, A Colony In A Nation, on The Daily Show, I had to read it. The book opens with an interesting internal dialogue by the author. He recalls the last time he called the cops. A couple was arguing outside and was ‘disrupting the order in the neighborhood’ He reflects on his reasons for calling the authorities. Was it because he wanted to protect the woman in question? Or did he want the disorder to go away?

This introduction is an interesting prelude to Hayes’ thesis later in the book. He takes on a journey through history in terms of the formation of the justice system in America. Even now, a part of the population lives in the nation and the rest lives in the remnants of the colony. The system still hinders people of color. They have the right to fear the police since they don’t function to serve and protect them. We can listen to anecdotal stories of people who have been stopped by the police for trivial reasons, we know that their skin color and the neighborhood they’re from probably heavily influence their reasons for being stopped. However, if this isn’t enough evidence for you, Hayes makes use of statistics to back up his claims.

Hayes discusses all the issues related to the present justice system, police brutality, dysfunctional policies, using fines to get funding, neighborhood segregation, and much more. It’s an interesting read, as many claim: ‘before the law, we’re all equal’. But in reality, this is not the case, as old colonial workings are still at play.