Archive | August, 2005

  • Europe, Capitalism, and Socialism

    In the Spring of 2005, workers’ votes in France and the Netherlands made the difference in defeating the draft European constitution and ending socialist party control of the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg. In the few weeks after those momentous events, most politicians and reporters offered one basic explanation. It tells us much more about the […]

  • A Dream and a Nightmare

    Two films, Paheli and Matrubhumi: A Nation without Women, hit theatres in India within weeks of each other. Significantly, both the films, directed by Amol Palekar and Manish Jha respectively, have or claim to have women at the centre of their discourse. In the promos of Paheli, the producer-actor Shah Rukh Khan talked of the […]

  • The Front Lines of Social Change: Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade

    The Front Lines of Social Change: Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. By Richard Bermack, Introduction by Peter Carroll. Berkeley: Heyday Books, 2005. 120pp, oversize. $19.95pbk. This is a photo book with text, and Richard Bermack is the master photographer of veteran political activists on the West Coast. He has been on the job for […]

  • Toward an Organized Left in the Labor Movement

    The cold split that just occurred in the AFL-CIO has opened up a new page for US labor. As Bill Fletcher has observed in several excellent articles on the issue, the “debate” leading up to the split took place far over the heads of the members of the unions who pay the salaries of the […]

  • Where Have All the Farmers Gone?

    The United States was a land of farmers, from first settlement to the industrial revolution that took off in the 1830s.   European settlers, mainly from England, Scotland, and Ireland, were overwhelmingly farmers, peasants, from generations of the same.  They came to North America for land to farm.  With the support of the British colonial institutions, […]

  • Free Cindy Sheehan!

    I’ve heard from a couple of sources now that Fenton Communications, the “progressive” PR outfit that’s handling Cindy Sheehan‘s publicity, is keeping the press away from her, apparently because she’s given to making intemperately strong statements of the sort that embarrasses publicists. They’re only allowing organized press conferences, and not individual interviews. Free Cindy Sheehan! […]

  • Wolfowitz at the World Bank: A New Leaf?

    [The author has been a senior official in this field and must withhold his identity. — Ed.] I believe in redemption.  Never give up on anyone.  And besides, like many of us, I was told that Paul Wolfowitz might turn out to be another McNamara (well . . . ).  On June 1, Mr. Wolfowitz […]

  • A Child’s Primer of Intelligent Design

    See the Bible. The Bible is a textbook. It is all you will ever need to know about anthropology, zoology, astronomy, psychology, or nuclear fission. Why is the Bible all you need to know? Because President George W. Bush said that the theory of “Intelligent Design” should be taught along with the Darwinian theory of […]

  • Show Your Solidarity with AMFA Workers: Support 4,400 Mechanics, Cleaners, and Custodians on Strike

    Sisters and Brothers: As I am sure you know, 4,400 mechanics, cleaners, and custodians represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association have been on strike for 5 days at Northwest Airlines. The issues they are facing will soon face all of us. They have dug in for a substantial fight and they intend to win, […]

  • Iraq, Palestine, and Resisting Erasure

    [What follows is a talk Rela Mazali presented at the panel on “Linking Local with International Issues: Future Plans and Strategies for Struggle” at the International Women in Black Conference, East Jerusalem, 11-16 August 2005.] I’d like to read you something. This is part of a declaration: There is widespread opposition to the occupation. Political, […]

  • Real Energy CPI, 1957-2005

    [Click on the graph to enlarge it.] The data are from the Council of Economic Advisors’ “2005 Economic Report of the President,” Table B-60. James G. Devine is Professor of Economics at Loyola Marymount University. His numerous publications include “The ‘Natural’ Rate of Unemployment” (A Guide to What’s Wrong with Economics, Ed. Edward Fullbrook, London, […]

  • Hydrogen Hoopla

    In a time of rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere and ever more prominent signs of global warming, General Motors and other apologists for global capitalism are seeking to assure us of their concern for the environment and their commitment to move beyond fossil fuels.  Unsurprisingly, they do not propose putting a […]

  • Let’s Put the Nature of Work on Labor’s Agenda: Part Four

      [Author’s note: Let me repeat my invitation at the end of Part Three of this series. Readers are invited to submit short essays, about 1,000 words, about their work. What do you do? In what ways is your work satisfying? In what ways is it not? How could it be made better? Send your […]

  • Carmageddon and Karl Marx

    “So far as I am aware,” wrote Paul Sweezy in 1973, “the political economy of the automobile has never been subjected to serious analysis in the Marxian literature.” Amazingly, despite the apparent onset of global warming, “peak oil,” and permanent petro-war, Sweezy’s observation remains true today.  We Marxians have not yet begun to do more […]

  • Heartbreak Hotel

    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a military man turned “peacenik,” is unilaterally “disengaging” from the Gaza Strip. It’s all over television, play by play — the hardship Israel is enduring. Scenes of Israeli soldiers emotionally and physically struggling to remove the 8,500 settlers from the Gaza Strip are displayed while CNN anchors utter soft words in […]

  • Insuring Inequality: The Privatization of Public Education in the U.S.

    The education gap in the U.S., like the wealth chasm, is growing ever wider, and equal educational opportunity, the perennial dream of working-class and progressive people, is being undermined by neo-conservative forces.  Although free universal public education was adopted early in U.S. history, equal opportunity has never been realized.  Since colonial times, education has been […]

  • Global Capitalism in Danger

    Global capitalism is in danger. Leading lights of global finance capital are sending out warning signals with growing urgency and desperation. Alan Greenspan is puzzled, referring to the decline of long-term interest rates at a time of rising short-term interest rates as a “conundrum.” To solve the conundrum, Martin Wolf of the Financial Times argues, […]

  • Pyramid of Capital (1983)

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  • GM, the UAW, and U.S. Health Care

    General Motors Corp. is losing market share and money. Basically, GM’s business downturn is being driven by UAW members having made more cars and trucks than can be sold in the marketplace. Thus, the company wants to re-open its four-year labor contract with the UAW to cut employee health-care costs, unilaterally if need be. GM […]

  • The Other Side of the Coin

    The classicist Walter Burkert has argued that all cultures start in blood — the binding guilt of shared murder, periodically reenacted in ritual sacrifice. This is the kind of generalization that seems made to be refuted, and certainly one would like to be able to do so; but the identification of blood sacrifice with the […]