On how parents should act in a meritocracy

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“ …while parents have every right to act in ways that will help their children’s lives go well, they do not have the right to confer on them a competitive advantage – in other words, to ensure not just that they do well but that they do better than others. This is because, in a society with finite rewards, improving the situation of one child necessarily worsens that of another ”

Richard Reeves, ‘How the middle class hoards wealth and opportunity for itself’, The Guardian

On May’s unstable leadership

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“ While May has survived the immediate threat to her premiership in the wake of the disastrous election result, Whitehall insiders and some ministers believe she is entering a crucial period between now and the autumn in which she will have to show some willingness to modify her Brexit plans. An Opinium poll for the Observer found that most voters (57%) believe May should resign before the next general election or earlier. Her net approval ratings remain dire, with 51% disapproving of the way she is handling her job and only 30% approving. Overall, Labour has a lead of two points over the Tories ”

Michael Savage & Jamie Doward, ‘Brexit: former civil service head warns Theresa May of chaos’, The Guardian

On how Iraqi forces’ abuses resulted in alienated individuals and potential ISIS’ victims

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“ While maintaining security and rebuilding the city is vital for enticing people to return, the behaviour of the Iraqi security forces – which include Shia soldiers – towards the mainly Sunni residents will be one of the ways in which Baghdad’s efforts will be measured in Mosul. Many are quick to point out that the reason, in the summer of 2014, for Isis’s success in the city – an insurgent flashpoint since 2003 – was the abuses of the Iraqi security forces, which led to alienation. Since 2003, Iraqi forces have carried out abuses against the civilian population with complete impunity, mainly targeting Sunni Arabs […] They have carried out campaigns of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture and extrajudicial killings. These have all been key push factors for young Sunni Arab men to join Isis ”

Fazel Hawramy, ‘Mosul’s residents tell of hopes and fears after ISIS flees Iraqi city’, The Guardian

On how Democrats should change the fiscal policy

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“Republicans have made clear time and time again that they don’t care about the deficit. And Democrats shouldn’t either. Rather than fixating on the GOP’s shaky math, Democrats should highlight the cruelty of shoveling money to the rich at a time when inequality is soaring and millions languish in poverty ”

Josh Mound, ‘The Democrats Are Eisenhower Republicans’, Jacobin Magazine

On the colonial asset of the War for American independence

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“ People like to cite Washington, when he was president, on avoiding foreign entanglements. That represents what I see as a widespread fantasy that there could ever have been an independent American nation without expansion driven by a concentration of wealth and military power. That’s what nationhood meant — and that’s why, if we want a radical transformation, we have to stop seeking it somewhere in our national origins. Washington somehow managed not to see his conquest of the old Northwest in the 1790s as a foreign engagement, because the enemy was indigenous. Neat trick, but in fact many of the men who became revolutionaries, with Washington among the foremost, turned against England in the mid-1770s precisely because the mother country was blocking their expansion into Indian country, robbing the colonial speculators of their investments and of the massive potential profits to be made there. In the west, at least, the revolution was a war of American expansion ”

William Hogeland, ‘Not Our Independence Day’, Jacobin Magazine

On legalizing prostitution

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“ The vast majority of women in prostitution are the victims, not the cause, of violence and abuse, and find themselves in constant danger of harm at the hands of pimps and punters. Countries that have implemented the Nordic model – based on a law first introduced in Sweden in 1999 that criminalises the demand for prostitution and decriminalises those selling sex – has two main goals: to curb the demand for prostitution and promote equality between women and men ”

Julie Bindel, ‘Why are women who have escaped prostitution still viewed as criminals?’, The Guardian

On the death of a young immigrant in Italy

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“ Milet is a victim of the unjust regime of her country, from which she escaped. A country that everyone knows, but nobody cares about. Milet is a victim of our frontiers, as legitimate as unjust, when they are bumped into the face of the people and close inexorably before their cry of help. Milet is the victim of a so-called civilized society, that names principles, those of fraternity, freedom, equality, principles in whose name people have been persecuted and killed. Principles that are not applied equally to everyone. There are those who are more brothers, more free and more equal than others. This is an injustice our civilization must be ashamed of. Milet is a victim of so many files that lie for too long on the tables of those who have responsibilities, of unjust procedures that become a dilation in giving justice to the poor asking for help ”

Translated from Italian.

Michele Luppi & Andrea Quadroni, ‘The deaths of the border in Ventimiglia’, Open Migration