Gary Olson

Gary Olson

Gary Olson is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA. His most recent book is Empathy Imperiled: Capitalism, Culture and the Brain (NY: Springer, 2013.) Contact: olsong@moravian.edu

Articles by this author

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Saturday, May 19, 2018
More Thoughts on the Poor People’s Campaign
The Poor People’s Campaign, modeled on MLK’s original movement from fifty years ago, held its first rallies and direct actions this past Monday at 37 state capitals across the country. I was privileged to be arrested for blocking the roadway during the civil disobedience portion of our rally at the...
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Monday, April 16, 2018
Trump’s Attack on Syria: An Illegal Piece of Choreographed Theater
My take on the recent U.S. strike (in concert with a few European lackeys) on Syria is that it was carefully choreographed political theater where everyone performed to perfection the roles assigned them by Washington. The supporting actors understood they had no choice but to watch the U.S...
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"We learned some hard lessons, not the least of which was that we’d been lied to our entire lives." (Photo: Sharon Finney/Getty Image) Views
Friday, March 30, 2018
A Few Thoughts on the March for Our Lives
In his recent op-ed piece, New York Times (3/26/18) regular contributor David Brooks heaped effusive praise on last Saturday’s March for Our Lives. Brooks wrote “I have to say, I loved the gun-control march I observed last Saturday in Washington. The crowd was good-hearted, gracious, diverse and...
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Human Sociality Views
Sunday, January 14, 2018
Why So Little Empathy and Compassion Within American Culture?
The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas; the class which is the ruling material force in society is at the same time the ruling intellectual force. — Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels * * * Setting aside the 3-4 percent of the U.S. population that can be classified as...
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Black and brown Americans have known this truth for a long time; others have have only recently had these conditions thrust on them. Yes, the pain and suffering of the white working class is real, but so far the diagnosis has focused on symptoms and not the actual cause. Views
Thursday, November 09, 2017
Racial Wedge Politics Invented In Colonial America
If your high school education was anything like mine, you'll be as surprised as I was to learn that there was no "white race" in our country until the idea was invented by some white plantation owners in Virginia around 1676. It's hard to believe today, but prior to their arrival here, the...
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Political Struggle: Don't Take It Personally
Former President Barack Obama's $400,000 check from a Wall Street investment bank to give a one-hour speech is both a partial reward payment for previous services rendered and a graphic reminder of how our political system works. I was going to begin this op-ed by listing twenty-five of Barack...
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Sunday, March 05, 2017
The Deep State vs. President Trump
Corporate media like CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times , The Washington Post, and elements within the intelligence community are singing from the same hymnal in denouncing and demonizing President Trump and are not at all subtle in suggesting that only impeachment can "save democracy." Democratic...
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Was the Orlando Massacre Another Chicken Coming Home to Roost?
We may never know the crucial determining factor or combination of factors responsible for Omar Mateen’s ghastly slaughter of 49 people and the wounding of 53 others at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. Mainstream media pundits quickly cited LGBT bigotry, lax gun laws, failed FBI background checks, an...
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Friday, January 15, 2016
Philanthropy: Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth
Whenever I hear a powerful philanthropist piously proclaim, “I just wanted to give something back,” my first reaction is “Why not give it all back?” I say that because “giving back” is all about first taking away. Immense fortunes are derived from random luck, class background, tax avoidance...
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Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Towards a 'Fair and Balanced' Autopsy Report for Aylan Kurdi
The heart-wrenching image of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body, gently cradled in the arms of a Turkish police officer is the iconic photo from the refugee crisis in Europe. For me, Aylan’s resemblance to my two young grandsons made it impossible to banish the image from my mind or my...
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