DIGGING DEEPER meets every Monday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA.[1] ...


* * * * *

March 7 & 14, 2011: DIGGING DEEPER CLII: Essays in radical theory

Slavoj Zizek, Violence (Picador, 2008). — "Using history, philosophy, books, movies, Lacanian psychiatry, and jokes, Slavoj Zizek examines the ways we preceive and misperceive violence.  Drawing from his unique cultural vision, Zizek brings new light to the Paris riots of 2005; he questions the persmissiveness of violence in philanthropy; and, in daring terms, he reflects on the powerful image and determination of contemporary terrorists." —Book description.

Alain Badiou, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, trans. Peter Hallward (Verso, 2002; orig. French ed. 1993). — "With this little black book, Alain Badiou sows the seeds of intellectual revolt in the fields of contemporary ethical theory.  He argues that the bedrock of present-day ethics—the normative conception of human rights—is morally bankrupt.  'It amounts to a genuine nihilism, a threatening denial of thought as such,' he writes.  As Badiou sees it, current ethics has been enlisted in the army of capitalist-liberalism:  'The theme of ethics and of human rights is compatible with the self-satisfied egoism of the affluent West, with advertising, and with service rendered to the powers that be.' . . . [H]is reasoning is powerful and surprising, marking some of the best writing in current European philosophy, and his credentials are impeccable."  —Book description.

* * * * *

March 21, 2011: DIGGING DEEPER CLII: Freedom and the Internet

Evgeny Morozov, The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom (PublicAffairs, 2011). — "'The revolution will be Twittered!' declared journalist Andrew Sullivan after protests erupted in Iran in June 2009.  Yet for all the talk about the democratizing power of the Internet, regimes in Iran and China are as stable and repressive as ever. . . . [B]y falling for the supposedly democratizing nature of the Internet, Western do-gooders may have missed how it also entrenches dictators, threatens dissidents, and makes it harder—not easier—to promote democracy. . . . Morozov shows why we must stop thinking of the Internet and social media as inherently liberating and why ambitious and seemingly noble initiatives like the promotion of 'Internet freedom' might have disastrous implications for the future of democracy as a whole."  —Book description.

* * * * *

March 28, 2011: DIGGING DEEPER CLIV: The history of third parties in America

J. David Gillespie, Politics at the Periphery: Third Parties in Two-Party America (University of South Carolina Press, 1993). — "The best recent overview of American third parties, past and present."  —Frank J. Sorauf, author of Inside Campaign Finance: Myths and Realities.


Since July 2004, United for Peace of Pierce County’s “Digging Deeper,” a Monday-evening book discussion group, has examined more than 330 books. (Summaries of most of them have been posted online on the website Scribd.) Topics discussed have included the Iraq war, Peak Oil, climate change, torture, the corporation, Islam, Iran, U.S.-Iran relations, Barack Obama and the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the writings of Robert Baer, parallels between the U.S. and ancient Rome, Israel/Palestine, sustainability, war and human nature, the nature of money, September 11, energy geopolitics, the debt crisis, American immigration policy, the 2000, 2004, and 2008 presidential elections, financial crisis, the politics of assassination, and Saul Alinsky’s life and writings, as well as abiding themes of war, peace, and social change. Occasionally the group has spent several weeks reading longer works, like Daniel Yergin’s The Prize or Robert Fisk’s The Great War for Civilisation — Participation is free and open; anyone interested is welcome. Try King’s Books (218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma) or other local bookstores for copies of books. More information: contact Mark Jensen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or see