Latest Release: Thursday, December 09, 2004

Elections as Ideology

Asad Haider

The elections are over, and it is time to move on to the many pressing issues humanity faces these days; but it is always important that we learn from our setbacks and mistakes. I attended a "town hall meeting" of local liberals and was utterly astounded by their unwillingness to accept the impotence of electoral politics and the Democratic party. There was much self-congratulation for fruitless voter registration drives, and plans were made for electing Democrats in the next elections. Unmentioned were issues of central importance like the occupation of Iraq, "moral values" and job loss, much less the issues that do not receive attention in the mainstream media...

The liberal might look at this state of affairs and lament that the system isn't working. The radical, however, would say that the system is working very well; that the system of electoral politics is designed to suppress real political discourse. The critique of ideology advanced within the Marxist tradition is one useful tool to understand the way in which elections reinforce the status quo.[3] The reasons for John Kerry's loss are complex; but one major reason is the inability of American liberals and even sectors of the left to see outside of the ideology of elections.

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Latest Release: Thursday, November 18, 2004

Bankruptcy, Overcapacity and the U.S. Airline Industry

Seth Sandronsky

Do you recall the "new" economy hype of last decade? Its cheerleaders claimed that the American business cycle was over. With the luxury of hindsight, we see the foolishness of that claim. On that note, consider the U.S. airline industry today. Its revenues are down. Expenses are up, led by rising oil prices. So domestic carriers are slashing their costs by any means necessary. This process brings into clearer view the social conflict between airline employers and employees.

Currently, there are too many airline flights for too few business and leisure customers. The NY Times of Sept. 14 reported that airline overcapacity "is plaguing the industry." Overcapacity is a condition in which more goods are produced or services provided than can be sold to buyers. Air transport is a service. Overcapacity is not a condition of nature but a consequence of a certain social formation.

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Latest Release: Sunday, October 17, 2004

Israel and Racism: Inseparable Allies

M. Junaid Alam

The history of all hitherto existing anti-Palestinian propaganda is the history of outright racism. The Israelis and their political allies have bred and nurtured a malicious beast, kept well-fed on a steady diet of hatred and contempt for the Palestinian people. It bristles with anger at the mention of forced expulsions, military occupation, and excessive use of force. Fangs bare, claws extended, eyes glaring, it aims to scare out the moral consciences of its victims, so as to render them indifferent to the plight of other human beings.

This is a most dangerous affair. For a great number of journalists, newsmen, and writers have already fallen to this beast, their callous commentaries and apathetic articles pockmarked with scars from the attack. Left unchallenged, Israeli propaganda has largely become accepted as self-evident truth by the American public. Therefore, the racist underpinnings of pro-Israeli arguments must be ripped up at their roots and laid in plain sight for all to see.

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Last Release: Sunday, September 5, 2004

A Brief Look at Cuba's Hardship

Greg Rosenthal

Prior to January 1st 1959, which marks the triumph of the radical nationalist Cuban Revolution, Cuba's economy was completely reliant on the United States. U.S. corporations controlled large land holdings and invested heavily in sugar production, tourism, and mining. In short, the U.S. dominated Cuban markets, trade, and financed their industries. Cuba's economy was completely reliant on the U.S. The U.S. military reinforced this relationship of capitalist dependency through direct and indirect violent repression.

This relationship was radically altered after 1959. Revolutionary Cuba under the leadership of Fidel Castro directly challenged U.S. neocolonial and imperial dominance over the island. Cuba would nationalize millions of dollars worth of U.S. corporate landholdings, oil, utilities, ranches, mines and other forms of capital, in an attempt to restructure the economy to the benefit the Cuban population.

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Last Release: Monday, August 23, 2004

The Coming Northwest Passage: Oil, Diamonds and Self-Determination

Macdonald Stainsby

Since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, indigenous sovereignty has gained a wider understanding among progressives and activists across Turtle Island (North America), and in particular in Canada. Many writers and activists have offered insight and support into ongoing struggles over sovereignty for the Shuswap Nation's Secwepemc people at what is commonly referred to as �Sun Peaks� near Kamloops, British Columbia. Also, near Montreal Quebec, the Mohawk Nation's Kanehsatake community continues to be under siege from the Federal government, police and federally appointed �chiefs�. Both of these struggles have ongoing support campaigns among non-First Nations populations: In late August, Vancouver BC will see bus loads of supporters head to the areas being defended against the creation of more resorts, ski hills and other illegal and unauthorized, anti-environmental developments.

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Last Release: Sunday, August 01, 2004

The Petrodraft (III of III)

Y. Kleftis

The possibility of conscription offends American moral sensibilities on the left and right. Americans almost invariably define "freedom" in terms of liberal individualism1, which accounts for some of their resistance to conscription and shows the limitations of their understanding of freedom and its necessities. The opposite of liberal individualism is often characterized as slavery, an assertion based myopically on America's own moral predicaments which often gives free pass to the supposed "individualism" of U.S. banks and corporations. The boogieman of "collectivism" permits the violent rejection of universal legal and moral norms, so that American freedom rejects social order and good based in law and right and substitutes chaotic adventures in profit, such as those characterizing the conquest of north America.

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Last Release: Sunday, July 25, 2004

Missing in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11: the Anti-War Movement

Joseph G. Ramsey

...despite its quick jabs at spineless Democrats, Moore's film never gestures beyond the horizon of the Party of Kerry. Most frustrating of all for this activist-viewer in fact, is the way that the film totally hides from view the faces and voices of the massive, global anti-war movement that took to the streets during the lead-up to the US invasion of Iraq. Essentially, the picture that Moore presents us of 'public opinion' in US in the lead-up to war-for all his supposed media-savvy-is not much different from the "self-portrait" shown us by the US corporate media: there is no dissent; everyone naively trusts the President. Of the massive movement against the war that existed outside the US, Moore says not a word.

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The Petrodraft: The Freedom to Kill (II of III)

Y. Kleftis

The condensed discussion of a complex, half-century long process in the first part shows fundamental elements of capitalism's current social and economic order, and specifically the U.S. role as its principal protagonist. It does not exhaust all details, but situates important objective features of U.S. capitalism for the sake of our concern with conscription. Without a socioeconomic analysis in mind, all talk of "duty", "sacrifice", and "citizenship" falls off the sheer cliff of ahistorical abstraction, opening up the U.S. left to manipulation and delusion. Socioeconomic realities are basic materials out of which a critique and reorganization of U.S. political culture must take place.

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Last Release: Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Petrodraft: Part One

Y. Kleftis

The current U.S. wars are most certainly the outcome of militaristic aspirations, but their overwhelming intensity also places, temporarily, a screen between us and the ultimate reasons for mass violent action. We can account for these reasons along an ascending chain of causation, the least important being the psychological motives of the current administration, including a presumed "father complex" by the President, his religiously based libidinal repression, or any other purely individual motivations. Though these causes have some import, they are most certainly overshadowed by political conditions, found in the continued governmental power of capitalist families such as the Bushes and the Gores, the heavy presence of extreme Zionist ideologues, whether fundamentalist Christian or Jewish, in U.S. policy circles, the connections between Saudi elite and U.S. politicians, and so on. Yet these significant political developments presuppose in turn certain economic realities that permit their existence, including oil dependence, the "military-industrial complex", and weakened labor organizations. These compounded layers of causation play a role in every depleted uranium bomb dropped, tortured prisoner raped, or medieval manuscript destroyed.

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Last Release: Thursday, June 24, 2004

The 15th of February 2003: A Eulogy and Prelude

Keith Rosenthal

It's high time that the anti-war movement addresses the 500-pound gorilla standing in the middle of the room. That's right - I'm talking about the mass movement that collapsed roughly around the 20th of March 2003, in the wake of Bush's decision to go ahead with the invasion of Iraq.

We all remember the feeling of euphoria on February 15th of that year, when 10 million people worldwide marched against the war on Iraq. Millions took to the streets across America, chanting, blocking traffic, and speaking out. Although we all knew that Bush was determined to have his war, somewhere, in the recesses of our minds, we also held a flicker of hope that maybe-just maybe-we would force him to stand down.

Within two months' time, the million beams of hope had receded back into the dark alleys of the general feeling of powerlessness we know as "the American political system."

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Last Release: Sunday, June 13, 2004

Guatemala: A Short Political History

Rob Segovia-Welsh

In December the ballot boxes of Guatemala showed victory to the center-right party of Berger. Although many promises were made by the several parties running in the national election few Guatemalan�s expect much from the new government.

Although it was Berger that claimed victory it was Rios Montt, the ex-military dictator, who gave the Guatemalan people much to talk about. Montt�s right wing party (FRG) won about 20% of the population�s vote in the primary election. This was not enough to carry him through but certainly enough to raise an eyebrow. Afterall, this is the man who came to power in 1982 by force and caused the death and diappearance of thousands, not to mention the destruction of whole villages.

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Last Release: Saturday, June 06, 2004

Reflections on Resistance

Macdonald Stainsby

I had a dream last night that involved an event I went to in November of 1999. The Communist Party of Canada had their annual dinner in honor of the Russian Revolution, "Great October" off the tongues of these folks. In my awakening life, there would be two things that I'd recount if asked about this evening. One of them was a moment of what was overall a pretty ordinary speech, a moment which recalled pride where there has been none for so long. In reference to the defeat of the USSR in the Cold War, people usually cringe, cower, shrink or simply shrug their shoulders when speaking of socialism and of an end to capitalism. But instead of adopting any such change in posture, this speaker simply listed the acts of imperialism since the defeat of the Soviet state. This speech was made before the turn of the Millennium and just a couple of weeks before the definitive arrive of so-called "anti-globalization" at the Battle of Seattle.

The list of imperialism's misdeeds since then and after 9-11 have only grown so much longer, starker and more ominous that his final comments still resonate: "The time has come for us to stop apologizing".

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Last Release: Saturday, May 22, 2004

A Marxist Critique of 'Third World Postmodernism': Part Two

Keith Rosenthal

For Maoists, the goal for Third World peoples was the struggle for national liberation. The consolidation of the nation's own state-its own autonomous space-was seen as a way in which the capitalists of a given Third World country would be able to compete on the global market with the much more powerful advanced capitalist economies of the First World. By centralizing the nation's wealth and capital, and by using the state as a means with which to arbitrate trade deals between international capital and one's own market, it was hoped that one could improve the living standards of ones own country, as well as accumulate capital for the nation's capitalist elite.

The nation-state, then, would be the (rather Hegelian) cross-class expression of the collective will of the "civil society". As the epoch of post-war national liberation began to wane, and newly-independent countries became integrated into the world market, two dramatic things happened: the masses and middle-class intellectuals of those countries became increasingly disillusioned with the promises of 'modern state-hood'; and the capitalist classes within those countries began to use the state more and more to further their own economic interests (as well as the interests of international capital) against their own people. This process was repeated in India, Vietnam, Cuba, throughout Africa, and Latin America.

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Last Release: Sunday, May 14, 2004

A Marxist Critique of 'Third World Postmodernism': Part One

Keith Rosenthal

...it is quite infantile to completely write-off the struggles of workers against global capitalism as, at best, irrelevant. Esteva and Prakash write, "Strikes and struggles like those of the French workers, however, are only brakes designed to slow down the pace of transformation or to reduce the damage of the 'Global Project'. They are not challenging the project itself, or its foundations, but, instead, the way in which it is being implemented or its unequal benefits and impacts." 15 Later, the two neo-postmodernists go on to say that workers' resistance actually buttress the capitalist state by putting demands upon it, thereby strengthening its "centrality" to the lives of workers. 16 As if indigenous peoples demanding "autonomous recognition" from the state does not ask something of it; as if demanding better sanitation, health, education, jobs (as the Zapatistas initially did) from the state could be anything more than brakes on the 'Global Project'; as if carving out "postmodern spaces" while explicitly refusing to do a thing about the real, military, economic, and political power of global capitalism will accomplish anything but complicity to its continuation.

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Supporting State Terror in Uruguay and Chile and the Movement to Stop It: A Look Back

Peter Brogan

Brazil recently marked the 40th anniversary of its 1964 coup which brought to power and ushered in a wave of unique military dictatorship in the Southern Cone of South America. In this article I will discuss the other two military dictatorships in this region, Chile and Uruguay in the 1970s, focusing on the role of U.S. support, especially in the way of economic and military assistance, which I will argue played an instrumental role in sustaining these two regimes in their terrorizing of their populations. Together with a vast network of client states, these two Bureaucratic Authoritarian (BA) regimes constituted in part what Edward Herman calls the "real terror network." I am particularly concerned here with how effective the movements that opposed the brutal and systematic violations of human rights committed by these two regimes were in pressuring the United States to put a stop to these policies.

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The Longer View: Conondrums of a Civilizing Mission

M. Junaid Alam

Today, the utter and total failure of the American colonizing project in Iraq is clear to all. The brutal and sadistic treatment of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers, the Fallujah massacre, intensified and growing armed resistance among both Sunnis and Shias, and the utter failure to rebuild Iraqi infrastructure have given us ample proof of this. But the crimes and atrocities of the occupation are neither "unprecedented" or "shocking" as the liberal pundits would have us believe. In fact, even a year ago - long before the arrogant Donald Rumsfeld was reduced to parading through the infamous Abu Ghraib prison-complex in an Israeli-made armored car to try to save his career - it was clear that the US would only "instill" barbarism and chaos. That argument was laid out exactly a year ago in the form of The Longer View: Conondrums of A Civilizing Mission, and we reprint it below.

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Last Release: Sunday, May 9, 2004

Kerry Won't Stop the War: But Independent Action Can

Mark Harris

Kerry's stay-the-course stance on Iraq is becoming more ironic by the day as support for the occupation plummets, both domestically and in Iraq. A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found 46 percent of Americans believe the United States should find a way to get out of Iraq. In Iraq itself, a poll taken by western news services just prior to the recent outbreak of violence in Fallujah found a majority of Iraqis -- 57 percent -- want the U.S. military and its occupation allies out of the country 'in the next few months." Where the violence of recent weeks has since driven Iraqi opinion is not hard to surmise.

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Last Release: Thursday, April 22, 2004

Ground Down in the Fields: Coffee and State Authority in Colombia

Josh Frank

The global coffee industry has endured colossal changes over the past fifty years. Production of beans has shifted from country to country. Profiteering from the product has increased almost exponentially through huge sales at retail outlets such as Starbucks and Seattle's Best. But not all involved in the coffee market have benefited equally. Small coffee farmers have suffered tremendous loss. Environmental degradation has also increased as ancient forests have been cleared in hopes that the bare land can be transformed into fertile ground, worthy of growing cash crops. Countries have lost entire export industries as multinational corporations race to purchase the cheapest beans they can find. And no country has felt the pain of these transformations greater than Colombia.

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Last Release: Friday, April 2, 2004

Hegemony and Exceptionalism: How US Foreign Policy Created the Most Powerful Country in the World

David Gonzales

America's role in the stability of globalisation reached a new level when in 1990 President George H. W. Bush declared the "new world order." His political rhetoric symbolized a) a notion of progress in United States history; b) a proclamation of American success in the battle against worldwide communism; and c) the global parameters by which America would now dictate its expansion. But the language also invoked something much older; an implication that America was embarking on a journey, bringing with it the terms of peace and prosperity that have been idolized in the United States since its conception.

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Last Release: Saturday, March 27, 2004

The Making of a New Left: The Rise and Fall of SDS

Geoff Bailey (Reprinted from the Int'l Socialist Review)

The 1960s marked, for the first time since the 1930s, the growth of a mass radicalization in the United States. Mass movements broke the conformity that characterized the 1950s, buried the McCarthyite consensus which had witch-hunted radical ideas out of American politics and gave impetus to efforts to build new radical and revolutionary socialist organizations. The achievements of these movements were immense--mass action helped to put an end to the Vietnam War and to Jim Crow segregation in the U.S. South; the women's movement transformed attitudes and eventually won abortion rights. The upsurge of the 1960s led to a broader questioning of society and a belief that massive change--even revolution--was possible in the U.S.

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Last Release: Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Is Ignorance Our Answer?

Macdonald Stainsby

After the demise of the Ba'athist Republican Guard in the streets of Baghdad came a fog in the air over the marches in the streets of the imperialist world, particularly in North America. While many of us have indeed pointed directly at the existence of a decline in enthusiasm for an anti-war movement, we have yet to spend time discussing what it is that feels different about where we are now. Worse, to avoid becoming fully demobilized-- an obviously healthy desire-- we have decided not to speak about that which we have no answer for. But these questions need to be taken up, not in the empty theorizing disconnected from practice that has characterized the flip-side of 'movement building' in the past, but in an entirely different manner. While we do this, it is important to keep an old Chinese saying on the tip of our tongues: "Those who think something cannot be done should never stand in the way of those actually doing it."

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The Movement and the Machine

David Adam Seiden

The deeper, latent purpose of any serious movement for global justice must be to completely dismantle the means of waging illegal wars, raising sanctions, participating in coups, and upholding blockades. Defined in these terms, the military industrial complex should clearly be the focus of the movement. Might does not make right. Severely limiting the entire Pentagon system of publically-financed war industries for private profit will be the major task of Americans in the coming years.

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Last Release: Wednesday, March 09, 2004

America and Africa's Brightest Hope: US Imperialism and the Defeat of Angolan Socialism

Chad Faldt

There are not many people defending imperialism whole-heartedly anymore. However, many scholars often take a balance-sheet approach. They argue that colonialism was not entirely bad, it brought some of the benefits of modernization and Western society to Africa. If colonialism exploited Africans on one hand, on the other they brought them schools, hospitals, and other benefits. Walter Rodney has the best answer for this approach by stating that colonialism only had one hand, it was a one-armed bandit. I believe that is important to understand the history of Africa, so that we may better oppose the arguments of those defending capitalism.

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Last Release: Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Democracy on the Floor

Shemon Salam

This article is not about names, academia, or famous people. This article is simply about a dream that we had all agreed to fight for, but now that dream is faltering. I have woken up from my sleep, away from fantasyland where I thought solidarity and integrity were the glue between reality and fantasy. This article is about a dream that once was and now is being slowly buried in the shadows of academia, stardom, and activist personalities.

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Hated Victims, Hidden Racism: Palestinian 'Terrorism' and Israeli 'Democracy' (Part Four of Four)

M. Junaid Alam

At this point our terrorism expert and his cohorts appear uncomfortable: their confusion is only temporary. "Palestinians blow themselves up! They strap bombs around themselves and kill civilians; I don't see any Israeli blowing himself up." We must congratulate our most perspicacious friend: after having overseen the minor details of mass Israeli expropriations, massacres, killings, and tortures over the course of the last fifty years, he has at least noticed the difference in the methods of violence. But even in this remarkable epiphany of his he overlooks all else. He fails to note that his favorite outpost of civilization has received over $90 billion dollars from the United States since its creation, that it still receives billions of dollars in military aid, including hardware, technology, and expertise annually-and that he is paying for it. The Palestinian, on the other hand, is essentially a dispossessed former peasant...So when the Israeli army embarks on the proud mission of terrorizing the Palestinian people, it does so in the most modern tanks, the most expensive aircraft, with the deadliest missiles, and the most powerful bombs. Thus the Israeli need not "blow himself up"; he is quite content to blow the Palestinian up and leave himself entirely out of the equation.

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Last Release: Thursday, February 19, 2004

Hated Victims, Hidden Racism: : Palestinians and the Zionist Enterprise (Part Three of Four)

M. Junaid Alam

Much is made of the fact that the Arabs rejected the UN Partition plan, as if rejecting a plan drawn up by the imperial powers to carve up Palestine for a hostile, racist colonial population bent on ethnic cleansing were a crime. More to the point, however, is the fact that Israeli leaders, in full accordance with their colonial ambitions, also rejected the plan as final boundaries for the Jewish state, as we will see. (Read full)

Last Release: Thursday, February 11, 2004

In Defense of Wheat Paste: E-organizing vs. Postering

Derrick O'Keefe

I remember back last winter and spring, due to the massive anti-war rallies occurring worldwide, there was a lot of talk about how the internet had been a decisive factor in the size of the mobilizations. At one point, there were a couple of pieces floating about the matrix celebrating the fact that the epoch of messy outdoor postering was over. Wheat paste - that simple yet incredibly effective "revolutionary glue" made with flour and water - was to be relegated to the dustbin of history, replaced by email groups, websites and other on-line wonders of information dissemination. (Read full)

Last Release: Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Blood on the Scarecrow: The Ongoing National Farm Crisis

Adam Ritscher

The roots of the current farm crisis reach back into the 1970s. At that time farmers were rushing to buy and rent more land and machinery to take advantage of a huge increase in the export of agricultural products overseas being orchestrated by the U.S. government. Banks were anxious to lend money, and to most farmers it seemed as if the prosperity would go on forever.

It didn't, of course, and when the bubble burst in the late 1970s and early '80s, the effects it would have on American farmers would be devastating. (Read full)

Hated Victims, Hidden Racism: Palestinians and the Zionist Enterprise (Part Two of Four)

M. Junaid Alam

Let us now turn to Zionism in the context of the Palestinian question. Zionist emigration rose quickly: in 1914, some 60,000-80,000 European Jewish colonists had settled Palestine (starting from none in 1882), and this number had increased to 650,000 by 1947. [5] Naturally, the massive settlement did not proceed without protest from the meddlesome natives. Prestigious Israeli historian Benny Morris, whose works are based on newly declassified archives, has written of the pre-war period, "Like white colonists everywhere, [the Zionists] felt perpetually threatened by the surrounding mass, and they were a minority exploiting and occasionally displacing a native population". (Read full)

Last Release: Thursday, January 30, 2004

Citizens and the Neoliberal Assault: Constructing a Radical Democratic Politics

Mark Austen Whipple

One latent and dangerous consequence of the left's constant denunciation of the Bush Administration and its destructive foreign and domestic agenda, is that Bush and his decision-makers are often made out to be anomalies of an otherwise decent system. To be sure, the left is justified in its criticism of the Bush agenda - from its redistribution of wealth upward in the name of tax-cuts, to its neo-con foreign policy of imperialist war and occupation, the Bush Team must be named and vigorously opposed. But as we name Bush and hold him accountable we must also remain vigilant in our condemnation of the military-capitalist system from which he obtains his power. (Read full)

Last Release: Saturday, January 24, 2004

Hated Victims, Hidden Racism: Palestinians and the Zionist Enterprise (Part One of Four) M. Junaid Alam

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict represents one of the most explosive and volatile struggles on the sociopolitical plane in the modern world. Every day calls forth a new flare up of violence; stories of death, pain, and suffering pour into the newswires seemingly without end. The booming sound of weapons, accompanied by the inevitable wails and cries of anguish, naturally give way to bellicose rhetoric among leaders and a plethora of commentary among the intelligentsia and assorted pundits. And yet this conflict, which directly affects millions on a daily basis and has the potential to destabilize a region containing a quarter-billion of humanity, stands out as a peculiar one. (Read full)

Last Release: Friday, January 16, 2004

Some thoughts on Anti-Capitalist Strategy

Pankaj Mehta

Any serious anti-capitalist strategy must start by situating itself with respect to failure of the two major leftist projects of the last century, the Social Democratic project and the Real Socialism of the Communist bloc. 1 Such a strategy must also recognize the successes in which the American left played a crucial if not leading role: the end of segregation and the gains of the Civil Rights Movement, the formation of the C.I.O. (Congress of Industrial Organizations) before its subsequent cooption by the AFL, and the Vietnam anti-war movement and its ability to permanently change the psyche of the American public. Internationally, one can add to the list of successes the formal victory of the anti-imperialist, anti-colonial struggles of the periphery. (Read full)

Last Release: Monday, January 12, 2004

Towards a Critical Revolutionary Pedagogy: An Interview with Peter McLaren

Mike Pozo

MP-Can you describe your initial steps into critical pedagogy as a student and then as a professor?

PM-When I entered graduate school, I was seen as a �hands on� veteran inner-city teacher who, having paid his dues, understandably emphasized the everyday pedagogical dilemmas and concerns of the classroom teaching. The more that I had time to read in the field of critical theory, Marxist revolutionary theory, cultural studies, and feminist studies, the more that I realized that teachers could benefit from being grounded theoretically and politically (that they refracted their experiences through both practical/informal/tacit knowledge and normal theoretical constructs) �and this meant the difficult work of developing a coherent �philosophy of praxis.' (Read full)

Last Release: Monday, January 7, 2004

Wisdom From A Half-Century of Struggle: Hunter-Gray on Organizing

Every now and then Left Hook likes to offer some lessons that older generations have to pass on. When it comes to having activist experience under your belt, few people can match the record of Hunter Gray. From being clubbed by Mississippi cops in the struggle for black liberation of the 1960s, to spending a lifetime in the ranks of the Wobblies and other militant labor and socialist organizations, to actively defending his own Native American background, people, and culture, Hunter Gray offers us the words of wisdom from an old-school organizer. (Read full)

Last Release: Monday, December 22, 2003

The Irrationality of Capitalism: Another World is Possible

Jordan Bloch

There are, according to the department of labor, 137 million working people in the United States; 70 percent of them in the service industry, 30 percent in manufacturing. Some of them are rich, but most are poor. The median income in the U.S. is 40,000 a year, which is not enough to buy a new car. The poor rarely make more than is needed for survival, as can be amply shown by the downturn in discretionary spending. Too often the cost of living and the income of the worker are identical. Near subsistence wages drive the poor into the hands of the creditor, and without an exit from this poverty imposed debt cycle, the working class is excommunicated from official society. In 1997, 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy. That works out to roughly 7,000 bankruptcies per hour, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.(Read full)

Last Release: Monday, November 17, 2003

Nigerian Capitalism Since 1980: Failures of the Free-Market

Chad Faldt

The direction of Nigerian capitalism since 1980 has lead to a further reduction in living standards for people in the already-impoverished country. Since gaining independence in 1960, Nigeria has pursued positive relations with its former colonial overlords, and extended its ties with neo-colonial states, particularly the United States. After the Biafran war of secession the Nigerian government began to pursue the attainment of limited autonomy in its diplomatic relations and control of the domestic economy. The 1970's saw the oil boom, and partial 'nationalizations' of foreign oil companies operating in the country. (Read full)

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