Archive | May, 2007

  • Red Earth, Black Earth

    BLACK EARTH: A Journey through Russia after the Fall by Andrew MeierBUY THIS BOOK Andrew Meier’s Black Earth is a travelogue of epic proportions.  In its finely written pages Meier, Moscow correspondent for Time from 1996 to 2001, recounts a reportorial odyssey that took him to every point of Russia’s compass, even to Chechnya and […]

  • Center for Labor Renewal Statement on Worker Migration

      The Center for Labor Renewal was conceived in 2005 when the national U.S. labor union leadership was engaging in a ‘debate’ which largely ignored the fundamental crisis of our nation’s working class.  It was launched in the Spring of 2006 following a meeting of activists from unions, worker centers, educators, and working class organizations […]

  • The Tragedy Threatening Our Species

    I cannot speak as an economist or a scientist.  I simply speak as a politician who wishes to unravel the economists’ and scientists’ arguments one way or another.  I also try to sense the motivations of each one of those who make statements on these matters.  Just twenty-two years ago, here in Havana, we had […]

  • The Monthly Review Story: 1949-1984

    I wrote this as a paper for a seminar in history during my first year of grad school at the University of Washington in 1984.  It was a labor of love for me because it gave me an opportunity to read every single issue of Monthly Review , all of which were carefully kept in […]

  • On Biofuels and an Energy Revolution

    I hold nothing against Brazil, even though to more than a few Brazilians continuously bombarded with the most diverse arguments, which can be confusing even for people who have traditionally been friendly to Cuba, we might sound callous and careless about hurting that country’s net income of hard currency.  However, for me to keep silent […]

  • On the Jewish Presence in Iranian History

    When the chairman of Iran’s Jewish Council, Haroun Yashayaei, criticized President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a letter condemning his remarks on the Holocaust, he was supported by a range of Iranian intellectuals, artists, poets, and others both within the country and without.  For those amongst us with some understanding about the Jewish presence in Iranian history, […]

  • The Music of Industrial Relations and the Reality of the Australian Labor Party

      Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd and his deputy Julia Gillard are performing three different and sometimes discordant tunes as they ride high in the polls and promote their industrial relations policy.  This is not just a matter of vote maximising; it tells us a lot about the nature and transformation of the Australian Labor […]

  • The Nepali Revolution and International Relations

    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 Royal Nepal Army (“RNA”) now calls itself the Nepal Army, and the peace agreement requires its democratization under the authority of the new government that includes the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). As of the date of writing this has not yet occurred and the Nepal Army is still commanded by those, primarily of the quite literally feudal elite, who — with U. S. “advisers” — had pursued the civil war with lawless brutality and impunity. Yet it is important not to underestimate the extent of the revolutionary changes in Nepal. Today both Nepal Army and the revolutionary armed forces (the People’s Liberation Army or “PLA”) are given in substance equal status under a peace agreement negotiated by the Nepalis themselves, and administered with the assistance of the United Nations.

  • Maquilapolis: City of Factories

    American capitalism has been addicted to cheap Mexican labor since the U.S. conquest of Mexico in the nineteenth century. The Border Industrialization Program, the bi-lateral treaty that granted U.S. industries almost unlimited access to Mexican labor along the U.S.-Mexico border in the 1960s, fed the addiction.  Following on the heels of the runaway shop movement […]