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The Nation July 26/August 02, 2021

The Nation is America's oldest weekly magazine and is independently published. The Nation speaks to an engaged audience as a champion of civil liberties, human rights, and economic justice. The Nation breaks down critical issues with lively editorials, in-depth investigative reporting and analysis, as well as award-winning arts coverage. Publisher and Editor: Katrina vanden Heuvel.

United States
The Nation, LP
36 Issues

in this issue

3 min
supreme throwback

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY LIKES TO THINK OF ITSELF AS THE PARTY OF LABOR, ONE that represents minimum-wage workers, the so-called white working class, unionized labor, and employees from vulnerable communities attempting to overcome structural hurdles. But the party has done little to stop one of the most persistent anti-labor forces in American society and politics: the current Supreme Court. The Roberts Court—this era of jurisprudence presided over by Chief Justice John Roberts—has been the most anti-labor court since the New Deal, and every term it gets a little bit worse. This term saw a particularly devastating attack on labor rights in the case Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid. Not only did Roberts and his conservative brethren and sister justices use the case to vitiate the ability of labor to organize workers;…

5 min
secret science

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI HAS SERVED AS DIRECTOR OF THE National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984. His salient qualities would seem to be a genial concern for our well being and a fund of practical wisdom informed by expertise. Still, 37 years in a position of enormous power is probably too long not to nurture delusions of infallibility. Fauci confirmed that impression when, in a June 9, 2021, interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, he said, “A lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science.” The reason his critics resent him, Fauci added, is that, throughout the Covid siege, he has been a source of “inconvenient truths.” Just how inconvenient have his statements been, and how truthful? Testifying before the Senate on May…

5 min
to be a problem

WITH INEVITABLE REGULARITY, RACIAL INJUSTICE AND VIOLENCE lead to moments of national conflict when even white Americans can no longer ignore the issue. And just as inevitably, instead of addressing this country’s pervasive racism and anti-Blackness, white Americans locate the problem somewhere within Black people themselves. We’re in yet another of those moments, as last summer’s promised “racial reckoning” turns out to be a white lie. Black demands for full citizenship and equality are being treated as entitlement, calls for white racial accountability redefined as white persecution, and anti-racism falsely construed as anti-whiteness. To reestablish unchallenged white dominance, a movement of white resistance, or anti-anti-racism, is working tirelessly to blot out what it sees as a problematic presence—purging Black folks from democracy by stripping voting rights, erasing Black struggle from history…

8 min
which is the more prescient dystopia?

Gattaca DAVID M. PERRY A LITTLE LESS THAN HALFWAY THROUGH the 1997 film Gattaca, Irene (Uma Thurman) steals a strand of hair from the desk of a coworker she knows as Jerome (Ethan Hawke), and takes it to an all-night DNA testing booth, passing a woman who is having her lips swabbed just five minutes after kissing her date. A few seconds later, the technician gives Irene her answer: “Nine-point-three—quite a catch.” But 9.3 of what? How does her printout of amino acids translate to a scale of 1 to 10, a “genetic quotient” that leads the technician to think her boyfriend is a catch? After nearly a quarter century, Gattaca has aged disturbingly well. The New Zealand writer and director Andrew Niccol crafted a noir dystopian thriller of a society trapped by…

1 min
by the numbers

121ºF Temperature reached in the town of Lytton, British Columbia, on June 29, the highest ever recorded in Canada 90% Estimated percentage of Lytton destroyed by wildfire on June 30 99.8% Percentage of the world that was cooler than Portland, Ore., on June 27, when the city hit 112°F, a record that lasted one day 108ºF Temperature in Seattle on June 28, an all-time high 56% Percentage of homes in Seattle without air conditioning, the highest of any US city 59M Number of people affected by drought in the western US 45% Percentage by which greenhouse gas emissions must be cut from 2010 levels by 2030 to hold temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels…

7 min
utopia allows us to dream together

UTOPIA AND DYSTOPIA ARE TWINS, BORN AT THE SAME MOMENT from the shared ancestry of social critique. Although remembered as the first modern attempt to systematically imagine an ideal society, Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) began with a stark portrait of a Europe torn apart by war and crushing poverty, with the shocking prediction that if the enclosure of farmland continued, soon sheep would be eating people. This horrifying prospect made it urgent to look for an alternative, which More sketches out as an egalitarian, communal society of shared property. More’s utopian hopes were balanced by his dystopian fears, with a new sense of human agency in the making of history leading to possibilities both hopeful and dire. In the half-millennium since More wrote, countless others have trodden both paths, painting scenarios…