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It was 1928 when Herbert Hoover coined the phrase “the American system of rugged individualism.” Socialism was growing in popularity, and attempts to paint the ideas behind the movement as dangerous were well underway. In the same speech, the President mentioned the perils of “state socialism,” something that would take away Americans’ freedom if it was ever attempted in the United States. (More…)

Don’t let the gallery shows fool you. Unlike other European cities, London is noteworthy for how little political art is produced there. This isn’t to say that it’s not home to some of the world’s more influential practitioners. There’s just not as many as the street art and graffiti would suggest. (More…)

When notorious punk singer GG Allin died in 1993 of a heroin overdose, having promised to commit suicide onstage, some of his fans may have been disappointed. The singer’s stage presence was ballistic, difficult yet enthralling to bear. (More…)

Renewed violence between Gaza and Israel has brought the Palestinian issue back from the shadows. It’s tragic that it takes the deaths of some 26 Palestinians to do that. There is another effect, however, that the current round of fighting might have: emboldening Israel to go to war with Iran. (More…)

Versace. Benetton. Dolce and Gabbana. Whenever foreigners utter the word ‘Milan’, it usually conjures up luxury brands. Not Ecuadorean migrants. During the year that I lived there, Italy’s fashion capitol became synonymous with an entirely different set of signifiers: Colorful Spanish-language flyers for charismatic Christian festivals, and Peruvian big band gigs. (More…)

Given its viral success, it might be redundant to explain that Kony 2012 refers to both the Invisible Children campaign, and a documentary centrepiece designed to promote celebrity warlord Joseph Kony. Already indicted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, the Ugandan’s capture is now sought, ostensibly through military intervention. (More…)

Nicolas Sarkozy occupies a unique space in European politics. The child of a Hungarian father, and a half-Sephardic Jewish mother (of Greek origin, no less) the French President is nevertheless hostile towards immigration. (More…)

Today is the Jewish holiday of Purim, a holiday I have a complex relationship with. The gift of the Purim reading, the Book of Esther, that Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made to US President Barack Obama threw that complexity into sharp relief. (More…)

“Break what breaks you.” “Against the pressure to be normal.” “For the right to be disabled or sick.” So reads this ingeniously-designed sticker, affixed to a wall, in Oranienplatz, in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district. (More…)

Zimbabwe’s Shona kitchens are grand affairs: sturdily-built round brick huts, always covered with a prettily tailored thatch roof. The walls are clad in mud or plaster, and often painted in traditional designs. By contrast, the houses are simple, almost slapdash: roughly put-together brick boxes, with a corrugated iron roof. (More…)

Punk had a midlife crisis during the summer of 1994. “Corporate whores” and “ass-kissing sellouts” were shouted at the Offspring during that show, the Sacramento Bee reported. “So you guys know us for our whole album and not just one song, right?” frontman Dexter Holland reportedly told the crowd. “We’d like to think so, but we’ll now patronize the ones who only know that one song, anyway.” (More…)

Souciant contributor Mitchell Plitnick  was scheduled to attend the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference, starting Sunday, in Washington DC. Though he’d been admitted to the event as a correspondent for Inter Press Service, together with reporters from Mondoweiss and The Guardian, Plitnick’s credentials were revoked last week, without explanation. (More…)