John Buell

John Buell

John Buell has a PhD in political science, taught for 10 years at College of the Atlantic, and was an Associate Editor of The Progressive for ten years. He lives in Southwest Harbor, Maine and writes on labor and environmental issues. His most recent book, published by Palgrave in August 2011, is "Politics, Religion, and Culture in an Anxious Age." He may be reached at jbuell@acadia.net

Articles by this author

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Thursday, September 17, 2009
Reflections on Air Travel, Globalization, and 'Another World'
Labor Day weekend, I flew to Toronto for the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. Not surprisingly, complexity, globalization and unpredictability were themes of the conference. Globalization has become a catchword to celebrate every aspect of modern capitalism. Yet globalization has more than one source and can take many forms. Our future may depend on reshaping the reigning understanding of globalization.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Weight of Government’s Hand on Capitalism’s Scale
To advocate a new, robust stimulus package, as in my last column, invites some predictable comments. Government is inefficient, politically motivated in its choice of winners and losers, and out to pad its own wallets.
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Thursday, July 23, 2009
US Lurching from One Quagmire to Another
Robert McNamara's life may illuminate contemporary tragedy. Just weeks before McNamara died, President Obama pressured reluctant Democrats (kudos to Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree for resisting) to approve a strange hybrid coupling of Afghanistan war funds with billions for the International Monetary Fund.
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Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Recenter Abortion Debate on Equality of Sacrifice
I am sickened by the death of Dr. George Tiller, a physician who displayed lifelong respect for the woman and her body. Operation Rescue condemned his murder, though in language that tacitly encourages violence. Randall Terry, calling Tiller a "mass murderer," even accused him of performing late-term abortions for women who had simply decided they did not wish to have a baby. Terry never lets facts stand in the way of his vicious war against the rights of women. Grand juries in culturally conservative Kansas rejected Terry's charges.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Corporate Offense Against Unions Relies on Myths
Economic crises are as endemic to capitalism as is its resilience. Nonetheless, the system seldom survives in the terms predicted even by its most powerful players. The corporate CEOs that dominate contemporary capitalism know that the system cannot survive in its present incarnation. Most, however, demand that however much they rely on public dole, they should continue to dominate business and finance.
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Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Inequality Alive and Well in US
President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress face one overriding domestic challenge. Can they reverse a generation-long plunge toward economic inequality not seen since the Gilded Age?
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Lessons taught by GM, United Auto Workers
The rhetoric surrounding the auto industry this holiday season is deja vu all over again. I grew up in a suburb of Detroit. My parents loathed Walter Reuther, legendary head of the United Auto Workers. My father, a general surgeon, remarked on several occasions that Reuther, once wounded in an attempted assassination, was fortunate not to have landed on his operating table. He viewed Reuther as a communist whose government health care proposals would disrupt the voluntary doctor-patient relationship.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Moving American Politics off Dead Center
Conventional wisdom holds that political success lies in finding the center of popular opinion, which remains moderate to conservative. Coming from a media that have consistently failed to anticipate or even fully acknowledge the current economic crisis, such wisdom is suspect. Success in stable times may lie in claiming the center.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Torture's Political Invisibility
That U.S. military personnel -- and their superiors -- supported the torture of enemy combatants elicits disturbingly little outrage among most voters. Human beings seldom torture those they regard as like themselves. Humans need and crave community, but throughout history narrow definitions of community and exaggerated claims on its behalf have occasioned grave injustices.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Tax Oil Companies to Help Energy Conservation Efforts
In a recent [Bangor Daily News] home improvement column, my friend Tom Gocze advises readers to meet the current energy crisis through energy conservation by superinsulating their house.
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