Archive | May, 2007

  • Jobs, Wages, Health Care, Pensions — All in Jeopardy as Chrysler Is Sold to Private Firm

    Auto workers are bracing for a bumpy road ahead at Chrysler, following the May 14 announcement that Daimler-Chrysler (DCX) would sell off 80 percent ownership of the company to Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm.  The surprise sale may tip the balance of power further against the United Auto Workers (UAW) as the union […]

  • U.S. Troops Out of . . . ME

    Hello, Doctor?  Thanks for taking my call — it’s an emergency.  I’ve been infected.  Well, medically speaking, I guess you’d say I’m not so much infected as occupied.  My symptoms?  They’re hard to describe.  A cough, maybe. Like today, I’m walking down the street.  Big, shady trees, leaves bright green-gorgeous of early spring, twittering birds, […]

  • Class Considerations in a Globalized Economic Order

    The following is the text of Delia D. Aguilar’s keynote address at the 22-23 March 2007 Pacific Northwest Regional Conference of the National Association for Chicana/o Studies, University of Washington: “Class Dismissed?  Reintegrating Critical Studies of Class into Chicana and Chicano Studies.” — Ed. I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I am at […]

  • Do Zionists Run America?

    James Petras, The Power of Israel in the United States (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2006) 190 pages, $16.95 paperback. Widely known as an expert in Latin American history and social movements, and a prolific critic of U.S. imperialism, James Petras has ventured forth in his latest book The Power of Israel in the United States, and […]

  • NAFTA from Below: A Review

    NAFTA from Below is an important book.  The full impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement on the working people of Mexico, the U.S., and Canada has yet to be assessed, but this slender volume makes a major contribution to our overall understanding of this disastrous economic treaty that was imposed on the people […]

  • Zero Hour for Venezuela’s RCTV

    The expiration of Venezuelan broadcaster RCTV‘s public concession draws near: at 11:59pm on Sunday, May 27th, RCTV’s concession will expire without renewal, and its space on channel 2 will be handed over to the newly-founded Venezuelan Social Television (TVes), which will begin broadcasts at 12:15am on May 28th.  This sovereign decision of the Venezuelan government […]

  • For the Deaf Who Won’t Listen

    A summary of the FAO declaration from its headquarters in Rome, on May 16, 2007. World cereal production is on track to reach a record level in 2007.  In spite of this, supplies will be barely adequate to meet increased demand, boosted by the development of the biofuels industry. International prices for most cereals have […]

  • CASMII Strongly Criticizes the Guardian for Anti-Iranian Article

    25 May 2007 UK newspaper the Guardian was today strongly criticized by the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) for republishing unsubstantiated Bush Administration propaganda on its May 22 edition. It is feared that the front page article which lacked basic journalistic professionalism will be used to provide justification for an escalation […]

  • The Big Picture

    A People’s History of the World by Chris Harman Universal or synoptic histories are not favored by professional scholars.  As specialists, they prefer the detailed monograph to sweeping world histories.  They look askance at those naive enough to believe that global history can be encompassed in one volume.  They know better, they say. It is […]

  • Let’s Not Trivialize Discrimination in Iran

    WCP leader Maryam Kousha addresses protesters in London in 2005.  Also pictured is Peter Tatchell. It is a sad day when self-described progressive gay rights defenders risk their credibility to promote the agendas of Middle Eastern fanatics.  Yet that was just the scenario when Doug Ireland and Peter Tatchell broke with several reputable rights groups […]

  • China, Capitalist Accumulation, and Labor

    Most economists continue to celebrate China as one of the most successful developing countries in modern times. We, however, are highly critical of the Chinese growth experience. China’s growth has been driven by the intensified exploitation of the country’s farmers and workers, who have been systematically dispossessed through the break-up of the communes, the resultant collapse of health and education services, and massive state-enterprise layoffs, to name just the most important “reforms.” With resources increasingly being restructured in and by transnational corporations largely for the purpose of satisfying external market demands, China’s foreign-driven, export-led growth strategy has undermined the state’s capacity to plan and direct economic activity. Moreover, in a world of competitive struggle among countries for both foreign direct investment and export markets, China’s gains have been organically linked to development setbacks in other countries. Finally, China’s growth has become increasingly dependent not only on foreign capital but also on the unsustainable trade deficits of the United States. In short, the accumulation dynamics underlying China’s growth are generating serious national and international imbalances that are bound to require correction at considerable social cost for working people in China and the rest of the world

  • French Election’s Deeper Meaning

    France’s presidential election results are deeply contradictory.  The victory for the “patronat” — the nation’s dominant big business community — may prove extremely dangerous in terms of an enemy reawakened by that victory.  The losses for the French left — which still retains the support of half the nation’s electorate — may provoke its return […]

  • The Closing of the University Commons

    The closing of the university commons should come as no surprise.  Instead, we might do better to consider the brief opening in the 1960s as a dramatic break with a less pleasant but long-standing tradition — one in which higher education in the United States was a site of intolerance rather than openness.  Historically, the […]

  • The Nepali Revolution and International Relations

    This article by John Mage of Monthly Review also appears in the May 19th, 2007, issue of Economic and Political Weekly of Mumbai, India. A revolutionary civil war in Nepal ceased de facto with the popular triumph over King Gyanendra in April 2006, and de jure with the peace agreement reached in November 2006.  The […]

  • The Unanimous Opinion

    At the 6th Hemispheric Meeting in Havana, when the discussion turned to the subject of production of biofuels from foodstuffs, which are constantly getting more expensive, the huge majority voiced their opposition with indignation.  But it was undeniable that some individuals with prestige, authority and good faith had been won over by the idea that […]

  • Losses for Government Parties, Big Win for Left

    In the only provincial election of the year in Germany, voters in the city-state of Bremen in northwestern Germany punished the ruling coalition parties, the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats, for their policies and, for the first time, sent deputies from the newly forming party, The Left, into a legislature in West Germany. The […]

  • Lessons We Learned from the 6th Hemispheric Meeting in Havana

    María Luisa Mendonça brought to the meeting in Havana a powerful documentary film on the subject of manual sugarcane cutting in Brazil. As I did in my previous reflection, I have written a summary using María Luisa’s own paragraphs and phrases.  It goes as follows: We are aware that most of the wars in the […]

  • Condemn Arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen: Oppose Attack on People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Chhatisgarh

    13th May 2007 We, the following Civil and Democratic Rights organizations, strongly condemn the arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen, General Secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (Chhattisgarh) and Vice President, PUCL (National) under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 2004 and Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2006.  Dr. Sen is a very well-respected civil rights […]

  • Planet of the Yates

    CHEAP MOTELS AND A HOT PLATE: An Economist’s Travelogue by Michael D. YatesBOOK TOURBUY THIS BOOK I read Mike Yates’ new book Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate while overnighting in several low-end hotels on assignment for my union.  I finished it as I laid in one of them just 200 yards down the road […]

  • The Debate Heats Up

    Atilio Borón, a prestigious leftist intellectual who until recently headed the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), wrote an article for the 6th Hemispheric Meeting of Struggle against the FTAs and for the Integration of Peoples which just wrapped up in Havana; he was kind enough to send it to me along with a […]