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

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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Monday, July 27, 2015
Are Some Cultures Better Than Others at Cultivating Empathy?
Today's pop quiz: Which of the following countries has the most medical professionals working in the world's poorest countries; has doctors who have performed 3 million free eye operations in 33 countries; created the world's largest medical school with 22,000 students; has a ratio of one physician...
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Don't Expect Clinton, GOP Candidates to Work for Social Justice
My car's bumper sticker reads "I'm ready for Oligarchy: the choice is clear. There is none." It's a truism that under our system, no one can be nominated or can win the presidency who isn't a shill for the billionaire class. Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, will campaign as a...
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Friday, April 17, 2015
Will Teach for Food
I recently asked my class on “U.S. Workers in the Global Economy,” what they knew about adjunct professors. One student hesitantly responded, “Aren’t they lawyers, judges, and other professionals who teach a course on the side because they like the experience?” This is a common misconception shared...
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