SWC Agenda – HIS 141 / MAS 141

Spring 2017

History/MAS 141 Spring 2017

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Our Phantasmagoric Agenda–The Last!

Why are things as they are? We our own history, but not in circumstances we chose.

We can comprehend and change the world.

Kids’ book that answers the question: What is socialism and why has it failed? Note what the Duck is doing at the end.


March 20th

1852Harriet Beecher Stowe‘s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is published.


1854 – The Republican Party of the United States is organized in Ripon, Wisconsin.


1915Albert Einstein publishes his general theory of relativity.

1972The Troubles: The first Provisional IRA car bombing in Belfast kills seven people and injures 148 others in Northern Ireland.


2012 – At least 52 people are killed and more than 250 injured in a wave of terror attacks across ten cities in Iraq.

2014 – Four suspected Taliban members attack the luxurious Kabul Serena Hotel, killing at least nine people.


Our Last Agenda 


What is UP???

a. Democracy in Mexico–and the role of empire.

2. The role of empire (foundation of US and Mexico) in the world.

3. Closing thoughts and fond farewells.

Portfolios due midnight March 24th, Friday!!!! No Deals!!!!


Why are things as they are? We make our own history but not in circumstances we chose.

The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it–Marx

March 14th

1883Karl Marx died, German philosopher and theorist (b. 1818)  “The Communist Manifesto” published in 1848.

March 15th


44 BCJulius Caesar, Dictator of the Roman Republic, is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus, and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March.


1783 – In an emotional speech in Newburgh, New York, George Washington asks his officers not to support the Newburgh Conspiracy. The plea is successful and the threatened coup d’état never takes place.

1874France and Viet Nam sign the Second Treaty of Saigon, further recognizing the full sovereignty of France over Cochinchina.

1916 – United States President Woodrow Wilson sends 4,800 United States troops over the U.S.–Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa.

2011 – Beginning of the Syrian Civil War.


March 15 Deadline for SWC accreditation  “The school has been given until March 15, 2017, to correct the deficiencies.” (UT)

another good kids book below

“Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” is a children’s book packed with 100 BEDTIME STORIES about the life of 100 EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 FEMALE ARTISTS from all over the world. Each woman’s story is written in the style of a fairy tale.

Our Second to last agenda!

1. What is Up?

***Fat Leonard in the WAPO and in RT

***Commandant of the Marines and those photos

***United States of Secrets on Frontline (PBS)


Our Phantasmagoric Agenda #12

Why are things as they are? We make our own history but not in circumstances we chose.

Karl Marx: History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.

March 12th




1917: 100 years on! Phase #1 of the Russian Revolution–that Putin wants nobody to notice.    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/10/world/europe/russian-revolution-100-years-putin.html

March 13th

1862American Civil War: The U.S. federal government forbids all Union army officers from returning fugitive slaves, thus effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation.

1865 – American Civil War: The Confederate States of America agree to the use of African-American troops.

1933Great Depression: Banks in the U.S. begin to re-open after President Franklin D. Roosevelt mandates a “bank holiday“.

Corey: “Decline of American Capitalism”: https://www.marxists.org/archive/corey/1934/decline/

1954First Indochina War: Viet Minh forces under Võ Nguyên Giáp unleashed a massive artillery barrage on the French to begin the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ, the climactic battle in the First Indochina War.

1979 – The New Jewel Movement, headed by Maurice Bishop, ousts Prime Minister Eric Gairy in a nearly bloodless coup d’état in Grenada.

The U.S illegally invaded Grenada in October 1983 and jailed the New Jewel leadership in a 17th century prison for 25 years,

The last prisoners of the Cold War were black:  http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/06/05/the-last-prisoners-of-the-cold-war-are-black/

Below, Winston Courtney who gave his life trying to civilize Richmond Hill Prison.

e1991 – The United States Department of Justice announces that Exxon has agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.


1997 – India’s Missionaries of Charity chooses Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader.


1.What ‘s UP?

Released from Gitmo in October, 2016, after 14 years.


Gitmo Diary author, Prisoner 760, Slahi,  On 60 Minutes!  http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/prisoner-760/

Slahi’s endurance, and good humor, kept him going–and now he is free. He is forgiving. Could you do that?

I am returned from a funeral of a 22 year old man who had just completed his BA and his certification to become a guide in Africa.

***According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 33,000 people died from opiate overdoses in 2015, a record. Opioids now kill more people than car accidents, and in 2015 the number of heroin deaths nationwide surpassed the number of deaths from gun homicides. (WAPO)

Thursday, I leave for the east coast for a “celebration of life” for a young 22 year old woman, who just completed her BA and was admitted to pre-med, who died of an overdose. 

2. Quickly moving through key events in US history up to 1877:


The Trail of Tears Death March–1838-39





Alex De Toqueville predicted that slavery would destroy the US (2 volumes 1835 and 1840)

In this era, more or less public schools were organized, to great controversy.

Who opposed this? Who favored it? Why?   Some answers are at this line:  http://faculty.webster.edu/corbetre/philosophy/education/bg/bg-ch-3.html

Schools were, for the most part, created to “prepare people for industrial society” (Prof Devine) and hence, bell schedules, etc.

Abortion was commonplace, but crude.

Insane asylums and prisons were opened (snake pits).


The Move to the West–see Luxembourg on Imperialism.

In detail, capital in its struggle against societies with a natural economy pursues the following ends:

  1. To gain immediate possession of important sources of productive forces such as land, game in primeval forests, minerals, precious stones and ores, products of exotic flora such as rubber, etc.
  2. To ‘liberate’ labour power and to coerce it into service.
  3. To introduce a commodity economy.
  4. To separate trade and agriculture.

Manifest destiny below:

Mexican Borderlands: Tx, NM, AZ, CA, NV, UT, Col.
30,000 Indians as slaves on missions.(21 in CA)
1829–Mexico frees slaves except in Tx, they become indentured servants or slave/serfs.
1833 Mexico secularized missions. Rancheros replace padres, still a feudal system.

below, Monument valley–Navajo Reservation

!848–half of Mexico become the USA.


1852 (much later “Uncle Tom” became a perjorative


1853—Gadsden Purchase, Grabs southern Az and NM, slavery burning issue in all territories.

Presidents who owned slaves

* George Washington
* Thomas Jefferson
* James Madison
* Andrew Jackson
* James Polk
* Zachary Taylor

1854–Congress passes Kansas -Nebraska Act


INTERNAL Expansion:

California Gold Rush made CA a Great Exception. Morse Code and theTelegraph ends the Pony Express

Railroads cross the nation. Land giveaways and government subsidies to privately owned compannies. The “Iron horse” created massive iron industry, mines, etc.

Industrial Revolution:

Before the Industrial Revolution, 80 of the people in the US were farmers. Today, 1% are.

It was a Real Revolution in production, but not in political economy–that is, the system of capital saw quantitative, and qualitative, changes, but capital remained on top.

The Industrial Revolution unleashed incredible levels of technology. It began in Great Britain, born out of American slavery and India-Indian near-slavery (especially processing cotton).

Coal, which powered steam engines, designed to draw water out of coal mines, was at the top, and rich in England.

Iron, Coal pushed ahead the Factory System,
Arms, clocks, sewing machines,
Divisions of Labor rise under rapidly developing capitalism:  Mental and Manual and town and country.
An industrial workforce gathers in single place doing specific job vs craft workers who make whole product

F W Taylor video linked below:

Industrial work

*Pays cash wages,

*make interchangeable parts, continuous *manufacture, assembly line in embryo,
*Goodyear, rubber overshoes. Machine tools. Turret lathes. Calipers.

By 1860==factory workers only small percentage of work force. Agriculture still  #1.

Age of Invention: Capitalism’s rapid advance of technology. Steel plow. Interaction of transportation, communication, industry agriculture.

Mass Immigration: shortage of cheap labor, women and kids used in textiles.
1840-60 40 million come to USA, Irish and Germans. The Irish Potato famine on youtube below…

Germans brought capital and skills.

Irish, peasants, were  not seen as white.

Slums grew, fetid nests of disease and pestilence.

Class Struggle intensifies…shorter work day, hours of labor key

Yellow dog contracts
Workforce problems: Tardiness, drunks, loafing, breaking tools, etc. absenteeism…
“Adjustment to industrial work was painful and took time.” People never really did that.
Adjusting to exploitation, class/ethnic rivalries.

1856: John Brown and sons, angered by Quantrill’s raiders (including Jesse and Frank James) burning of Lawrence KA, lead attack at Pottawatomie–hacking  pro-slaver raiders to death with broadswords.



1857 Dred Scott Decision


1858  Lincoln-Douglass debates on slavery

1859: John Brown raids Harpers Ferry Armory. Brown and comrades captured by Robert E. Lee


John Brown’s Speech to the Court

Brown Hanged.

The John Brown Song was picked up by the IWW

Southern slavers lived in fear of slave rebellions like the one Brown planned.

1860: Lincoln Elected



Today, Lincoln is a form of capital.

December, 1860: South Carolina is the first state to secede, fires on Ft Sumter in April, 1861.


Mississippi Secession statement

A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.

In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.  http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/primarysources/declarationofcauses.html



2 Minute Map on Slave Importation


1863: Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation–Freed slaves but not in the northern slave states

Two events with the Civil War



Pickett’s Charge


Lincoln’s Gettysburg address   http://www.nbc.com/little-big-shots/video/babe-lincoln/3480389
Gettysburg address 

Sherman’s March to the Sea


1864 Lincoln Re-elected because of the key battles above

1865 Lee, surrounded and defeated, surrenders at Appomattox Courthouse



Of the approximately 45,000 Union prisoners held at Camp Sumter during the war, nearly 13,000 died. The chief causes of death were scurvy, diarrhea, and dysentery


Henry Wirtz, Commander of Andersonville


Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

  “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

April, 1865: Lincoln Assassinated by John Wilkes Booth


Herman Melville (Moby Dick) wrote “The Martyr


Lincoln succeeded by VP Andrew Johnson, the only president to be impeached until Clinton (Monica).

The Civil War Amendments protected equality for emancipated slaves by banning slavery, defining citizenship, and ensuring voting rights.
  • The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, known collectively as the Civil War Amendments, were designed to ensure equality for recently emancipated slaves.
  • The 13th Amendment banned slavery and all involuntary servitude, except in the case of punishment for a crime.
  • The 14th Amendment defined a citizen as any person born in or naturalized in the U.S., overturning the Dred Scott V. Sandford (1857) Supreme Court ruling stating that Black people were not eligible for citizenship.
  • The 15th Amendment prohibited governments from denying U.S. citizens the right to vote based on race, color, or past servitude.  source: Boundless.

1868 U.S Grant elected President, re-elected 1872



The Fifteenth Amendment and its results poster | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Five Myths About Reconstruction February 21, 2017

By James W. Loewen

This is the sesquicentennial of the Reconstruction era in the United States, that period after the Civil War when African Americans briefly enjoyed full civil and political rights. African Americans—200,000 of them—had fought in that war, which made it hard to deny them equal rights. Unlike with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, however, few historic places tell us what happened during Reconstruction. They could: Every plantation home had a Reconstruction history, often fascinating, but these manors remain frozen in time around 1859. They tell a tale of elegance and power, and Reconstruction was the era when that power was challenged. Moreover, it is still true, as W.E.B. Du Bois put it in Black Reconstruction 80 years ago, that “one cannot study Reconstruction without first frankly facing the facts of universal lying.” Here are five common fallacies that Americans still tell themselves about this formative period. https://zinnedproject.org/2017/02/five-myths-about-reconstruction/

With a deal made in a disputed election, Rutherford B. Hayes becomes President in 1877. The deal: pull the troops out of the south.

Reconstruction ends.   http://umich.edu/~lawrace/votetour4.htm


Connecting the past and the present


Following the end of the civil rights and anti-war movements, the US government initiated, under Carter and Reagan, harsh drug laws that led to mass incarceration, especially of people of color.

With around 2.3 million people in jail or prison, the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and the second highest per-capita imprisonment rate, behind the Seychelles.

Another 4.7 million are on some form of parole or probation.

Jimmy Carter abolished the mental institutions. Prisons and jails (and many but not all homeless) replaced them.  Michelle Alexander wrote the best seller below.



Our Phantasmagoric Agenda  11

Sign in Sign in Sign IN!

Why are things as they are? We make our own history but not in circumstances we chose.

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
Carl Sagan,

Well, what is the BIG Bamboozle?

March 8th

1775 – An anonymous writer, thought by some to be Thomas Paine, publishes “African Slavery in America”, the first article in the American colonies calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery.


1862American Civil War: The Naval Battle of Hampton Roads begins.

1917 – International Women’s Day protests in St. Petersburg mark the beginning of the February Revolution (February 23rd in the Julian calendar).

Working-Class Origins & Legacy of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day’s origin was both socialist and feminist in nature, specifically calling for the celebration of working women and the mobilization of all workers to fight for women’s social, economic, and political equality.

1920 – The Arab Kingdom of Syria, the first modern Arab state to come into existence, is established.

1937Spanish Civil War: The Battle of Guadalajara begins.



1983 – While addressing a convention of Evangelicals, U.S. President Ronald Reagan labels the Soviet Union an “evil empire“.

Our Phantasmagoric Agenda 11

1. What IS Up???

a. Wikileaks dump.”Among other disclosures that, if confirmed, would rock the technology world, the WikiLeaks release said that the C.I.A. and allied intelligence services had managed to bypass encryption on popular phone and messaging services such as Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram. According to the statement from WikiLeaks, government hackers can penetrate Android phones and collect “audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.”…

“One, code-named Weeping Angel, uses Samsung “smart” televisions as covert listening devices. According to the WikiLeaks news release, even when it appears to be turned off, the television “operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the internet to a covert C.I.A. server.”

Image result for pentagon papers

2. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka loves Donald Trump: “”I was actually pleasantly surprised,” Trumka said, “to hear him say the system is broken and its legal immigration, as well as undocumented people-he talked about them a lot-but this was the first time he spoke about legal immigration being used to drive down wages. We’ve been saying that for a long time.”   http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2017/03/01/afl-cio-president-trumka-unions-will-help-trump-rewrite-rules-economy.htmlv


For 14 consecutive years, NEA representatives (around 10,000 teachers) voted down a motion to discuss (not oppose) the wars on the grounds that might upset the body. That, I think, is an indication of the imperial bribe.   http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/10/23/counterfeit-unionism-in-the-empire/


b. Discussion about intrinsic and extrinsic rewards in schools.

c. Discussion about presentations and class #13 and 14.

2. Back to Mexico: Remember—history is a study of the past from a Standpoint in the present embedded with a call to action in the future. History studies the social relations (class, nation, race, sex-gender, culture, etc) that people (us) create in a struggle with or against nature to produce, reproduce, know what is true, and to be free. Who can improve my hard-copy chart.


Santa Ana ruled for thirty years. He came to top office 11 times. People starved, still.

Joel Roberts Poinsett — U.S. minister to Mexico in 1824 — offered a harsh assessment of General Santa Anna’s situation, stating:
Say to General Santa Anna that when I remember how ardent an advocate he was of liberty ten years ago, I have no sympathy for him now, that he has gotten what he deserves.

To this message, Santa Anna made the reply:
Say to Mr. Poinsett that it is very true that I threw up my cap for liberty with great ardor, and perfect sincerity, but very soon found the folly of it. A hundred years to come my people will not be fit for liberty. They do not know what it is, unenlightened as they are, and under the influence of a Catholic clergy, a despotism is the proper government for them, but there is no reason why it should not be a wise and virtuous one.”

PBS has a nice short bio on Santa Anna here: http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/people/s_z/santaanna.htm

March 6, 1836: The Alamo!


Six weeks later, a large Texan army under Sam Houston surprised Santa Anna’s army at San Jacinto. Shouting “Remember the Alamo!” the Texans defeated the Mexicans and captured Santa Anna. The Mexican dictator was forced to recognize Texas’ independence and withdrew his forces south of the Rýo Grande.

Texas sought annexation by the United States, but both Mexico and antislavery forces in the United States opposed its admission into the Union. For nearly a decade, Texas existed as an independent republic, and Houston was Texas’ first elected president. In 1845, Texas joined the Union as the 28th state, leading to the outbreak of the Mexican-American War.

1836 France Attacks Veracruz. The Pastry War!


Santa Anna, now the “Most Supreme Highness” was to go on to regain the Presidency and despite periodic retirements and exiles remained the dominant figure in Mexican politics until 1855.
Though the US has had a somewhat stable “rule of “property” Law,” Mexico was ruled by one caudillo after the next.


In May 1846, Polk convened his Cabinet and obtained its approval for sending a message of war against Mexico to Congress. The entire premise for the war was controversial from the start and widely decried by Polk’s Whig opponents in Congress, though most of them did not dare vote against bills to provide supplies for the troops.

In March 1847, Polk sent Nicholas P. Trist, the chief clerk in the State Department, to Mexico along with Gen. Winfield Scott’s troops in order to commence treaty negotiations. Against Polk’s orders and amidst great unrest, Trist signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in early February 1848. Polk had wanted more land cessions—in addition to California and the Southwest—but was forced to “settle” for what Trist’s treaty got him: California, Nevada, Utah, most of New Mexico and Arizona, and the disputed regions of Texas. In all, it was the largest single land acquisition since the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.   http://www.shmoop.com/manifest-destiny-mexican-american-war/james-k-polk.html


That “payment” to Mexico was more than overbalanced by subsequent property thefts by Anglos.

Abolitionists in US opposed to the war. They see another slave state in the making. Lincoln attacked Polk. Thoreau goes to jail. Twain lectures vs war.

First Real war of Conquest for USA other than the attempted genocide of Indians.

Scott’s army of 10,000 defeated a nation of 7.5 million. The people did not want to fight and die for hierarchy, no popular uprising. Compesinos were not sure exactly who was the worse enemy.

The Mexican War in many ways may be directly connected to the Civil War. Arguments over the expansion of slavery into the newly acquired lands further heightened sectional tensions and forced new states to be added through compromise.

In addition, the battlefields of Mexico served as a practical learning ground for those officers who would play prominent roles in the upcoming conflict. Leaders such as Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Braxton Bragg, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, George McClellan, Ambrose Burnside, George G. Meade, and James Longstreet all saw service with either Taylor or Scott’s armies. The experiences these leaders gained in Mexico helped to shape their decisions in the Civil War.

Maximilian–France’s choice to rule Mexico–executed 1864


Max’s wife Charlotte (aka Carlotta)


Juarez and the Reform of the North: separate church and state, dis-empower the Catholic Church, seize church lands, subordinate the military to civilian authorities (Juarez laws)….

“Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace”.







Our Phantasmagoric Agenda #10

Sign in Sign in Sign IN!

Why are things as they are? We make our own history but not in circumstances we chose.

picture of a sculpted bust of herodotus

“Herodotus of Halicarnassus hereby publishes the results of his inquiries, hoping to do two things: to preserve the memory of the past by putting on record the astonishing achievements both of the Greek and the non-Greek peoples; and more particularly, to show how the two races came into conflict. (Herodotus is known as the father of western history. His term “Inquiry” came to mean “History.”)

March 6th (Papers due!)

Please submit CLASS EVALUATIONS…..How am I doing, how are you doing, what could be better?

1820 – The Missouri Compromise is signed into law by President James Monroe. The compromise allows Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state, brings Maine into the Union as a free state, and makes the rest of the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase territory slavery-free.

1836Texas Revolution: Battle of the Alamo – After a thirteen-day siege by an army of 3,000 Mexican troops, the 187 Texas volunteers, including frontiersman Davy Crockett and colonel Jim Bowie, defending the Alamo are killed and the fort is captured.

1964Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad officially gives boxing champion Cassius Clay the name Muhammad Ali.

1970 – An explosion at the Weather Underground safe house in Greenwich Village kills three.  http://richgibson.com/daysofrage.htm

1975 – For the first time the Zapruder film of the assassination of John F. Kennedy is shown in motion to a national TV audience by Robert J. Groden and Dick Gregory.

Our Agenda 10 (5/7s done)

1. What IS up? 

a. Arkansas wants to ban Howard Zinn

A Republican Arkansas lawmaker has introduced legislation to ban the works of the late historian, activist, and writer Howard Zinn from publicly funded schools.

The bill from Rep. Kim Hendren, just noted by the Arkansas Times, was introduced on Thursday and referred to the House Committee on Education.

It states (pdf) that any “public school district or an open-enrollment public charter school shall not include in its curriculum or course materials for a class or program of study any book or other material” authored by Zinn from 1959 until 2010, the year in which he died

b. Protesting the “Bell Curve” at Middlebury College, VT.

“an open letter to the college from more than 450 alumni objecting to Mr. Murray’s presence on campus said it was not a matter of free speech. The letter, written before Thursday’s event, said that his views were offensive and based on shoddy scholarship and that they should not be legitimized.

“In this case, there’s not really any ‘other side,’ only deceptive statistics masking unfounded bigotry,” the letter said.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/us/middlebury-college-charles-murray-bell-curve-protest.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region%C2%AEion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1

c. Wednesday, March 8th, International Women’s Day


2. Reminder: capitalism and imperialism were born together, rooted in slavery (especially the cotton trade). What are capitalism and imperialism? What is democracy or a republic?

3. One more time on the Articles of Confederation, Shay’s rebellion, the US Constitution (Federalism vs  Anti-federalism) and the Bill of Rights. What of these rights do you have today?

Below, federalist (and monarchist) James Madison, primary author of the Constitution. Briefly, federalists support a strong national government. The project: unify the top of the pyramid, split the bottom: “What about me?”




Image result for william lloyd garrison quotes


Abolitionist (abolish slavery) ideas are growing. Douglass, Garrison, Brown, and thousands of others building a base—sometimes on religions grounds (equality before god in the bible) and sometimes based on the Declaration of Independence.

Ideas adopted by masses of people can become a material force.

Revolutionary (slaver) Thomas Jefferson, was an anti-federalist, demanded a Bill of Rights.

What is the key contradiction here?

3.5  A quick look at the French Revolution. Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!



John Brown by Levin Handy, 1890-1910.jpg

4. Professor Meyer Part 3

5. USA after the revolution:


Our Phantasmagoric Agenda #9

Why are things as they are? We make our own history but not in circumstances we chose.



Herodotus — ‘The worst pain a man can suffer: to have insight into much and power over nothing’

March 1

1444Skanderbeg organizes a group of Albanian nobles to form the League of Lezhë.

1877U.S. presidential election, 1876: Just two days before inauguration, the U.S. Congress declares Rutherford B. Hayes the winner of the election even though Samuel J. Tilden had won the popular vote on November 7, 1876. (Hayes removes federal troops from the south, ending Reconstruction–Jim Crow next)

1937 – The Steel Workers Organizing Committee signs a collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Steel, leading to unionization of the United States steel industry.

2002U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda begins (The US had been active in Afghanistan for decades).

Our Agenda #9

Monday! Please bring an anonymous class evaluation: two paragraphs—how am I doing as a prof and what could go better and how are you doing with your responsibilities as a student?

1. What is up?


b. Betsy Devoss on Historically Black Colleges (remember Jim Crow) as “school choice.”

c. “The Archdiocese of New York wants to take out a $100 million mortgage on one of its prized real estate possessions to fund a compensation program for victims of clergy sexual abuse.

The petition for a mortgage, which was filed in New York State Supreme Court on Monday, will be on the land the archdiocese owns underneath the luxury Lotte New York Palace Hotel and a semi circle of landmark 19th-century mansions known as the Villard Houses, on Madison Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets.

Directly across Madison Avenue from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the land was acquired by the archdiocese in the decades after World War II. In the 1970s, the archdiocese entered into a 99-year ground lease with the developer Harry Helmsley that allowed him to build a 54-story hotel on the property and rent the underlying land for $1 million a year.  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/28/nyregion/archdiocese-sexual-abuse-fund-mortgage.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0


2  The Enlightenment (10:40) and the American REVOLUTION!

The Colonial Relationship at TYRANNY



Equality is the Byword of the Day: all kinds of privileges, well beyond aristocracy, were under attack. (Ideas as material forces).


Economic Transformation: White Americans did well. Farming economy. Rice. Wheat. Tobacco.

England continues to try to control all trade. Smuggling begins to boom.

Rising Capitalism in Britain, more demand for American goods. Balance of trade shifts. Americans buy goods manufactured in Britain, Brits offer credit, American debt grows.

Inside America, inter-coastal trade grows. Drawn together through systems of trade, communication, transport, travel, etc.

After seven generations of settlement, or invasions, the colonists became accustomed to self-government.

Controlling the Market place. Navigation act of 1660. Trade must be with British and using US or Brit ships.

STAPLE Act must only sell tobacco and other staples to England.

About 20 % of the British population could vote.

In America, 85% could vote (white males owning property)

The sophisticated town as distinct from uneducated rural country divide typical to capital grew fast.

The battle for the west began early and continued through the civil war.

1756. Brits declare war on France. Seven Years War, French and Indian war. William Pitt key to war in America. George Washington, earlier a surveyor in the region, led troops fighting Indians, where, as each side taught the other, he learned the basics of guerrilla war.

Britain wanted the Americans to pay for at least part of the war. Americans rejected that.

England passes a series of measures to tax Americans to pay for Seven Years War and Pontiac’s war 1763 and methods to force them to pay.

1770 (March 5): The Boston Massacre (an Accelerator) below, a famous engraving by Paul Revere…

Boston Massacre high-res.jpg

TEA ACT; 1773 (Boston TEA PARTY)




Coercive Acts, “Intolerable Acts”, Requires Quartering. 

Administration of Justice Act, was aimed at protecting British officials charged with capital offenses during law enforcement by allowing them to go to England or another colony for trial. The fourth Coercive Act included new arrangements for housing British troops in occupied American dwellings, thus reviving the indignation that surrounded the earlier Quartering Act, which had been allowed to expire in 1770. Note today’s US Status of Forces Agreements.

Key Battles of the Revolution

What are the strengths and weakness of the 2 sides?

April, 1775: First battles at Lexington and Concord. A guerrilla war begins.

Paul Revere does his “Midnight Ride”…”The British are coming!”

At Lexington, 60 civilians (including slaves and freedmen) faced hundreds of trained British soldiers from the most powerful army in the world, having fought on five continents, never defeated.

The first shot is known as the “shot heard ’round the world.”

The Americans had a militia, citizens army, men between 16 and 50, ready in a MINUTE’s Notice.


1776: Revolutionary Tom Paine writes “Common Sense,” an attack on tyranny and monarchy written in plain language that anyone could understand.

1776: The Declaration of Independence.

The British response: Why are these slave owners complaining about tyranny, demanding liberty?

1776 Xmas, Washington Crosses Delaware, attacks Hessian mercenaries. Big boost to American morale.

Battles of Saratoga: September 1876 to October 1877

Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne with 8000 British soldiers, 200 carts carrying his silverware, hundreds of servants and women, and a handful of Indian scouts sets out from Canada to split the colonies in half. It didn’t go so well.

Burgoyne is met by 500 guerrilla fighters under the Daniel Morgan. They know themselves, know the enemy and know the terrain.

Who will they kill first? What of Burgoyne?

Surrender of General Burgoyne.jpg

Cornwallis at Yorktown and the Key Role of the French allies like Lafayette (below).(October 19, 1781)


Below, famous portrayal of the gentlemanly Cornwallis surrender


Was this a revolution or not? Zinn says “No.”

Chalmers Johnson on Revolution http://richgibson.com/johnsonquotes.htm

“Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both. We are destined to be a barrier against the returns of ignorance and barbarism. Old Europe will have to lean on our shoulders, and to hobble along by our side, under the monkish trammels of priests and kings, as she can. What a Colossus shall we be when the Southern continent comes up to our mark! What a stand will it secure as a ralliance for the reason & freedom of the globe! I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. So good night. I will dream on, always fancying that Mrs Adams and yourself are by my side marking the progress and the obliquities of ages and countries.” – Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, Monticello, 1 August 1816

Monticello and slavery:



Both capitalism and empire were born almost simultaneously, rooted in slavery.The US was a growing, slave holding, empire, declaring liberty and freedom–a profound contradiction!

The Articles of Confederation and Shay’s Rebellion

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Again, what is capitalism?


Our Phantasmagoric Agenda #8

Why are things as they are? We make our own history but not in circumstances we chose.

“TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

Image result for howard zinn
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
Howard Zinn

February 27

1847 – The Battle of the Sacramento River during the Mexican–American War is a decisive victory for the United States leading to the capture of Chihuahua.

1922 – The United Kingdom ends its protectorate over Egypt through a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.

1933Gleichschaltung: The Reichstag Fire Decree is passed in Germany a day after the Reichstag fire.

1972Sino-American relations: The United States and People’s Republic of China sign the Shanghai Communiqué.



1991 – The first Gulf War ends. (But really, not).

March 1

1845 – United States President John Tyler signs a bill authorizing the United States to annex the Republic of Texas.

1950Cold War: Klaus Fuchs is convicted of spying for the Soviet Union by disclosing top secret atomic bomb data.

1953 – Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin suffers a stroke and collapses; he dies four days later.

1974Watergate scandal: Seven are indicted for their role in the Watergate break-in and charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Our Agenda

1. What is up? LOTS!

2. One more time on racism: Indelible (cannot change) difference (different species–ultimately genes) connected to power and control (divide and rule) that serves some (it is profitable), hurts most, leading finally to death. Where do you fit?

a. Note the racist “Aztecs” mascot https://www.facebook.com/failmontezuma/

Dr O. Monge on the history of the SDSU Aztec http://gradworks.umi.com/10/02/10024231.html

b. Note the modern, Harvard professors, and racists:

Image result for the bell curve

The Clintons referred to the Bell Curve when they demolished the welfare system.

Today, regarding Trump crony Steve Bannon:  “Ms. Jones, the film colleague, said that in their years working together, Mr. Bannon occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people and once mused about the desirability of limiting the vote to property owners.

“I said, ‘That would exclude a lot of African-Americans,’” Ms. Jones recalled. “He said, ‘Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.’ I said, ‘But what about Wendy?’” referring to Mr. Bannon’s executive assistant. “He said, ‘She’s different. She’s family.’”  https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/27/us/politics/steve-bannon-white-house.html?_r=2

c. Racism means death

Emmett Till at 14 in 1955 with his mom, Ms Bradley


Mrs Bradley at Emmett’s funeral (same year)

Original Caption: Sinking to knees, Mrs Mamie Bradley weeps as body of slain son, Emmett Louis Till, 14, arrives at Chicago Rail Station. The youth was found dead in a Mississippi creek with a bullet hole behind the ear. Being sought in connection with the slaying is Mrs. Roy Bryant, at whom the youth is supposed to have whistled a "wolf call". Held also are store keeper Roy Bryant and his half brother, J.W. Milam. With the bereaved woman are left to right, Bishop Louis J. Ford; Gene Mabley; and Bishop Isiak Roberts, of St. Paul's Church of Christ and God.

Emmett after he was beaten and shot in Mississippi for “whistling at a white woman” in 1955.


The woman who Emmett purportedly whistled at admitted she lied, that he did nothing, but fifty years later. Mrs Bradley insisted on an open casket funeral in Chicago where the movement press covered the modern lynching extensively, inspiring many young people coming of age then to push the civil rights movement forward.



Racism is one of the Achilles’ heels of all poor and working people’s movements. The Crestwood Strike. An Injury to one becomes an injury to all.


2. The colonial period and beyond: Early USA as we witness capitalism and empire come into being.

This is a somewhat dated but very interesting take on our era for this week:

3. How to do college or university life. See below at #7.


Our Phantasmagoric Agenda #7 (half-way!)

Sign in! Sign in!! Sign In!!!  NAME CARDS PLEASE!

People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them. ~James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

February 22nd

1847Mexican–American War: The Battle of Buena Vista: Five thousand American troops defeat 15,000 Mexicans troops.

1848 – The French Revolution of 1848, which would lead to the establishment of the French Second Republic, begins.

1855 – The Pennsylvania State University is founded in State College, Pennsylvania (as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania).

1943 – World War II: Members of the White Rose resistance, Sophie Scholl, Hans Scholl, and Christoph Probst are executed in Nazi Germany.


1986 – Start of the People Power “Revolution” in the Philippines.

Chalmers Johnson on Revolutionary Change http://richgibson.com/johnsonquotes.htm

1994Aldrich Ames and his wife are charged by the United States Department of Justice with spying for the Soviet Union.

Aldrich Ames mugshot.jpg


1. What IS Up? The United Auto Workers returns to the racist/nationalist “Buy American Slogan” (and wants to Hug Trump)


Racism = indelible (cannot change) difference AND INNATE INFERIORITY linked to power and control (divide and rule). Racism leads to death:



What’s up part 2: Trump orders mass deportations and plans to hire 10,000 more border agents (war means work).

(“I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half”: Jay Gould–strikebreaker)

What is a citizen? When did ALL people in the US become citizens? How? Why?

What’s up part 3: Empires do end.


4 Horsemen of the apocalypse: war, famine, conquest, death: Behold a pale horse!

2. Reminders from last class:


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Crazy Horse Memorial in opposition to Mt Rushmore

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“The ultimate result will be to annihilate the Indians & open up the Big Horn & Black Hills to development & settlement & in this way greatly benefit us.” Jay Gould, imperialist and strikebreaker. 


Discussion regarding Prof Meyer, Part II

What do you know?

What do you want to know?

What are the primary things that you learned?

Discussion of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War.”

Advice about colleges and universities

*Get scholarships! Grades suck, but grades matter. What would Kim Philby do?

*Select the best possible school–with the best reputation–schools are Not equal (UC vs CSU vs CC)

*Determine to finish from the outset. Don’t just stick your toe in.
*Find a mentor–fast–get help with right classes and schedule. Visit profs during office hours.
*Stay away from frats/sororities and 7 day a week parties.

*Make an effort to connect with and learn from people from different backgrounds. Make friends!
*Pick classes with care–ask your mentor–other students–don’t count on RateMyProf.
*Read the syllabus! Follow it. Keep up.

*Sit in front if you can stand it. Attend class! Five minutes early–at least!
*Use writing centers. If they suck and always only use formulas, get Ken Macrorie’s I Search Paper online.

*Proofread. Don’t just spell check. Get someone else to proof too.
*Create a disciplined schedule that includes exercise at least 30 minutes a day 4 days a week.

Don’t be discouraged by crappy classes, bad profs. If someone is stealing your education–steal it back. You are responsible for your own education.

Don’t be suckered by bad, for-profit colleges (Corinthean, etc.) as you will get a worthless degree and lots of debt.

A fine prof who is a friend adds: “eat right and sleep. And become a serious person. That is, some of the best things in life aren’t fun or entertaining. Finally, I would say that even though all colleges aren’t alike, what you get out of them is to a large extent, much larger than an 18 year old would usually expect, up to you. There are many incredibly intelligent people even in crappy schools. Be serious about finding them.”

At the end of this class; we are half-way done. Your research paper is due March 6th.


Our Phantasmagoric Agenda #6

Sign in! Sign in!! Sign In!!!  NAME CARDS PLEASE!

Why are things as they are? We make our own history but not in circumstances we chose.

“History doesn’t repeat itself but sometimes it does rhyme” Mark Twain

Image result for huckleberry finn

Mark Twain and the Onset of the Imperialist Period

By R. Tittalon  Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens, 1835-1910) came to anti-imperialism by way of a prior understanding of race. The author of Huckleberry Finn (1885) and Pudd’n’head Wilson (1894) had from an early age begun to understand racism in the United States in a way that few of his Anglo-American contemporaries did. As a young newspaper reporter in San Francisco during the Civil War, Mark Twain wrote often about the brutalities visited upon the Chinese population of that city by the police. In 1865 he startled fashionable San Franciscans, including those of more pronounced Northern and abolitionist sympathies, by strolling arm-in-arm along Montgomery Street with the editor of the Elevator, the city’s newly established African-American newspaper. His early acts of egalitarianism and solidarity with the victims of race hate were unusual enough. In his mature writing life, however, Mark Twain began to lay bare truths about racial oppression with a particular vigor, using a new and democratic literary language that would forever change American prose.

Mark Twain faced the onset of European and American imperialism at the end of the 19th century with an acute understanding that white racism denied the very humanity of people of darker skin. He was aware that vile theories were then either being generated or revived by the educated hirelings of the European and American ruling classes, to justify their piratical conquests in Africa and Asia. http://www.internationalist.org/marktwain3.html

Statement of Solidarity Against Trump’s Entry Ban

On January 30, the AAUP urged faculty and supporters to sign a statement of solidarity against the ban imposed by Donald Trump’s executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” Thousands signed in the first hours, and support continues to grow. Just as spontaneous protests at airports and elsewhere mobilized opposition to the ban, your expression of support for those targeted by the ban—including many faculty and students—sends a powerful message that this abuse of executive power for discriminatory purposes is unacceptable.

Sign the statement below and encourage others to sign by sharing links by e-mail and on social media.   https://www.aaup.org/statement-solidarity-against-trumps-entry-ban


Neither the National Education Association (all teachers in CA and 3.5 million members) nor my local union at SWC, has said a thing about the rise in deportations. It is shameful that it is left to a boss at SDUSD to outline a position opposing deportations, supporting students and their families.



February 15th

1493: Columbus writes an open letter describing his exploits in the New World

Stop lying to children about the Missions http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-zinn-education-project/lying-to-children-about-t_b_6924346.html

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1898 – The battleship USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana harbor in Cuba, killing 274. This event leads the United States to declare war on Spain.

1945 – World War II: Third day of bombing in Dresden.

1989Soviet war in Afghanistan: The Soviet Union officially announces that all of its troops have left Afghanistan.

2003Protests against the Iraq war take place in over 600 cities worldwide. It is estimated that between eight million to 30 million people participate, making this the largest peace demonstration in history. AND WHERE ARE THEY NOW?????

Our Agenda #6

1. What is UP?

a. Who replaces General Flynn? And What comes of him? Below, General Dav id Petraeus and Jill Kelly



Below, David Petraeus (fired as head of CIA) and Paula Broadwell


Below SEAL Vice Admiral Robert Howard coming from his big successes in Iraq and Afghanistan (and Jill Kelly)  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/us/politics/robert-harward-national-security-adviser.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Gen. Tony Thomas, head of the military’s Special Operations Command, expressed concern about upheaval inside the White House. “Our government continues to be in unbelievable turmoil. I hope they sort it out soon because we’re a nation at war,” he said at a military conference on Tuesday.

b. Vietnam Officer’s obit: We Were Soldiers once…

c. Shrinks vs Trump!

2. Back to the Aztecs for a moment. CONTRADICT –IONS! Most of Their Great Strengths were weaknesses. Study class contradictions in Aztecs. And Contradictions of empire!

And a short reminder on religion


3. What is racism? Where does it come from? Why does it persist?

The Detroit rebellion, 1967 http://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/movies/2017/02/13/detroit-riot-documentary-12th-clairmount-freep-film-festival/97743702/



4. Gonzalez: “Guest workers or colonized labor?”


Our Phantasmagoric Agenda #5

Sign in! Sign in!! Sign In!!!

Why are things as they are? We make our own history but not in circumstances we chose.

February 13th

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. Winston Churchill

Build a Wall? Build a Tunnel (heroes)


February 13th +14th

1502Spanish Inquisition: The Catholic Monarchs issue a decree forcing Muslims in Granada to convert to Catholicism or leave Spain.

1633Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition.

1920 – The Negro National League is formed.

1956 – The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union begins in Moscow. On the last night of the meeting, Premier Nikita Khrushchev condemns Joseph Stalin‘s crimes in a secret speech.

1960 – Black college students stage the first of the Nashville sit-ins at three lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee.

1991Gulf War: Two laser-guided “smart bombs” destroy the Amiriyah shelter in Baghdad. Allied forces said the bunker was being used as a military communications outpost, but over 400 Iraqi civilians inside were killed.

Valentines’ Tomorrow!




1. What is up???

a. Gibson writes: http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=6667&section=Article

b. ICE Raids, remittances, demonstrations in the US, Mexico, Central America…..Immigration: why do people move?

PBS– “Exodus” Refugees moving from Africa and the Middle East to Europe and beyond: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/exodus/

C. Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble: Dow Jones over 20,000….



(from Shakespeare: Macbeth)
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.
2. How shall we deal with religion? Racism?
3. Early MesoAmerica and the Arrival of  the Aztecs (how shall we analyze that society?)


Our Phantasmagoric Agenda #4

Sign in! Sign in! Sign in! Name Cards Please!

Why are things as the are? We make our own histories but not in circumstances we chose.

“Teach peace to the Conquered.” Virgil in the Aeneid

and, “beware of Greeks bearing gifts.”

February 8th

1250Seventh Crusade: Crusaders engage Ayyubid forces in the Battle of Al Mansurah.


1865Delaware refuses to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Slavery was outlawed in the United States, including Delaware, when the Amendment was ratified by the requisite number of states on December 6, 1865. Delaware ratified the Thirteenth Amendment on February 12, 1901, which was the ninety-second anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.

1887 – The Dawes Act authorizes the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divide it into individual allotments.

1915D. W. Griffith‘s controversial film The Birth of a Nation premieres in Los Angeles.

1950 – The Stasi, the secret police of East Germany, is established.


1968American civil rights movement: The Orangeburg massacre: An attack on black students from South Carolina State University who are protesting racial segregation at the town’s only bowling alley, leaves three or four dead in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Our Agenda

1. What is UP????

a.  (NYT) A couple of months ago, then Senator-elect Kamala Harris appointed Julie Chavez Rodriguez to be her state director, overseeing operations in California.

Ms. Rodriguez, 38, would “give voice to our vulnerable communities,” Ms. Harris said at the time.

Ms. Rodriguez had experience. Her most recent job was in the White House serving as senior deputy director of public engagement and special assistant to President Barack Obama.

But she also brought a personal connection to politics — she is the granddaughter of Cesar Chavez, the great labor leader for farmworkers.

b. (Foreign Policy)  The principle of civilian control of the military has been deeply internalized by the U.S. military, which prides itself on its nonpartisan professionalism.… But Trump … [is] thin-skinned, erratic, and unconstrained — and his unexpected, self-indulgent pronouncements are reportedly sending shivers through even his closest aides.

What would top U.S. military leaders do if given an order that struck them as not merely ill-advised, but dangerously unhinged? An order that wasn’t along the lines of “Prepare a plan to invade Iraq if Congress authorizes it based on questionable intelligence,” but “Prepare to invade Mexico tomorrow!” or “Start rounding up Muslim Americans and sending them to Guantanamo!” or “I’m going to teach China a lesson — with nukes!”

It’s impossible to say, of course. The prospect of American military leaders responding to a presidential order with open defiance is frightening — but so, too, is the prospect of military obedience to an insane order

C. Power,  Money, and Wall Street  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/money-power-wall-street/#video-2

US Financial and World Crises   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_crisis

2. Discussion: What’s up with Mexico today? (Class, race, nation, sex/gender, culture, leadership, resistance, and key problems?)

See Cockroft from the syllabus for Agenda 3

3. Early Meso-America and the arrival of the Aztecs.Why do people move?


Our Phantasmagoric Agenda #3

Sign in! Sign in! Sign in!

“History lays grievances around like land mines.” Marx

February 6th

1820 – The first 86 African American immigrants sponsored by the American Colonization Society depart New York to start a settlement in present-day Liberia.

1899Spanish–American War: The Treaty of Paris, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain, is ratified by the United States Senate.

1952Elizabeth II becomes queen regnant of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms upon the death of her father, George VI. At the exact moment of succession, she was in a tree house at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya.

Woody Guthrie’s answer to “god bless America”

Our Agenda

1. What IS up? Did you get an email from me??? Questions about the syllabus?

a. State of Farm Labor Organizing

b. Oxfam on Inequality:   Eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a new report published by Oxfam today to mark the annual meeting of political and business leaders in Davos.

Oxfam’s report, ‘An economy for the 99 percent’, shows that the gap between rich and poor is far greater than had been feared. It details how big business and the super-rich are fuelling the inequality crisis by dodging taxes, driving down wages and using their power to influence politics. It calls for a fundamental change in the way we manage our economies so that they work for all people, and not just a fortunate few. 

2. One more time on the Education Agenda.

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Below, former head of Homeland Security, now head of UC system, Janet Napolotano

Image result for janet napolitano and obama

Below, General William McCraven, former head of JSOC’s assassination squadrons, now head of the University of Texas System

ADM William H. McRaven 2012.jpg

Again, what, in the broadest sense, is the education agenda?

3. What is history?

4. The Master/slave contradiction

5. What is the state of Mexico Today?


Our Phantasmagic Agenda #2 Feb 1

Why are things as they are? We make our own history but not in circumstances we chose.

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
George Orwell


Uneasy About the Future, Readers Turn to Dystopian Classics (NYT)


1. SWC-SYHEC Orientation

2. Some noteworthy events on February 1.

1793French Revolutionary Wars: France declares war on the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

1865 – President Abraham Lincoln signs the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

1960 – Four black students stage the first of the Greensboro sit-ins at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.


1968Vietnam War: The execution of Viet Cong officer Nguyễn Văn Lém by South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan is videotaped and photographed by Eddie Adams.

2002Daniel Pearl, American journalist and South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, kidnapped January 23, 2002, is beheaded and mutilated by his captors.

The start of Black History Month (United States and Canada)


Skip the “Super” bowl. Watch Citizen Four, or

3. What is UP?

4. Review of the Syllabus

5. Picking up on where we left off: Why have school?

Those who have a WHY to learn can bear most any HOW.” Gibson

a. what school?

b. What cannot be taught?

c. Social context?

6. What is History???


Labor Films   https://laborfilms.com/category/a-highly-recommended-labor-films/


Our Phantasmagoric Agenda #1 Jan. 30th

Why are things as they are? We make our own history but not in circumstances we chose.

“Shams and delusions are esteemed for the soundest truth, but reality is fabulous.” Henry David Thoreau

January 30th


1862 – The first American ironclad warship, the USS Monitor is launched.

1933Adolf Hitler is sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.

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1968Vietnam War: Tet Offensive launch by forces of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army against South Vietnam, the United States, and their allies.

MEETING 1 – 1/30

In most classes, we will address: “What’s up?” That is a brief discussion of our social context which is, or will be, history. Today, I ask, “How do you feel about the new President of the USA?”

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1.     Introductions.

a.     Questions:  Who are you? From? Past schooling? Why are we here? What is history? Why take this class? What were you taught about history? How was it taught? Why? What do you remember most clearly? Why?  

b.     Who is this professor anyway? 

2.     What are the motive forces of history?

3.     How our class will work–the syllabus: read it for next class and bring questions. (Just google “Rich Gibson,” click the link and see the syllabus and agenda at the top of the page).

4.    Why have school? (an exercise in critical, to the root, thinking)

5.    What are you curious about?

Published by rgibson, on January 25th, 2017 at 7:52 pm. Filled under: UncategorizedNo Comments

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