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Field Notes

Letter From Paris

In France, the feeling that the public services are being gradually destroyed has driven a growing part of society to revolt. What is called the “social state”—what the workers think of as a guarantor and protector of their general conditions of life inside the present social system—is collapsing. From the postal service to health care, from schools to transportation, all are falling apart, one after another.

In Conversation

Under the Mask of Philanthropy: Michael Barker with Jarrod Shanahan

Rail Contributor Jarrod Shanahan speaks with support worker and socialist Michael Barker about the economic, social, and historic pitfalls of liberal philanthropy.

Who’s Counting? How McKinsey Hyped California’s Housing Crisis

When Gavin Newsom was running for California governor in 2017, he famously vowed to “lead the effort to build the 3.5 million new housing units we need by 2025.” Newsom conceded that the goal was “audacious” but argued that “our solutions must be as bold as the problem is big.”1 Everyone agreed that California’s housing problem was big. What drew skepticism was the prospect of building 3.5 million homes by 2025.

Committed to the Flames

Chomsky, whose methods might seem too analog for today’s digitally-oriented audiences, has a distinctly twentieth-century appeal. Rarely do we glean from any of his prodigious output of books, essays, letters, and media appearances any of the moral handwringing we are now growing accustomed to from the left. He remains, not obsequiously, at the margins of American political life. Chomsky’s importance lies in more than his frank mannerisms or location in the public eye.


The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2023

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