Archive | March, 2009

  • Osvaldo Martínez: “The Crisis Is Not an Abnormality in Capitalism”

      2009 started off badly.  The international economic crisis is the top priority of governments, companies, international organizations, and individuals preoccupied with having a roof to sleep under and food on the table. The situation has surprised almost everybody, albeit Cuba to a lesser degree.  Almost a decade ago, Comandante Fidel Castro warned that the […]

  • How to Spend the Money

    The ongoing financial and economic crisis has had at least one significant impact on the world of ideas: it has brought back to the forefront the recognition of the crucial role of government expenditure in stabilising economies and averting or mitigating recessions. It is true that the continued opposition of some leaders, such as Angela […]

  • Venezuela: Anti-Crisis Measures without Devaluation or Higher Gas Prices: VAT Rises 3%, But Minimum Wage Rises 20%

    No neoliberal package, to the disappointment of the Right! President Chávez announced a series of “anti-crisis measures” to protect the country from the capitalist crisis, which are devoid of the typical neoliberal ingredients that the Right predicted.  The 2009 budget is revised based on $40 a barrel (previously it was based on $60).  Sumptuary expenses […]

  • Jihad against the Abuse of Jihad

    In light of the rampant extremism and militarism around the world, nothing is more dangerous than the manipulative alteration of truth to reach certain political ends.  In the final analysis, it is this tactic that facilitates the demonization process that blurs ideologies and beliefs in the West and the Islamic world.  And no concept is […]

  • Events Have Proven Me Right

    On Tuesday March 17th I wrote: “The Classic was organized by those who administer the exploitation of sports in the United States…” I immediately added: “The three best teams in the Classic and the Olympics, Japan, Korea and Cuba, were placed in the same group so that they might eliminate each other. Last time, they placed us in the Latin American group; this time in the Asian group.

  • Protests Mark the Sixth Anniversary of the Iraq War

    From the Bush Wars (more Iraq than Afghanistan) to the Obama Wars (more Afghanistan and Pakistan than Iraq). . . . Scenes from the “March on the Pentagon” RallyVideo by William Hughes Hollywood San Francisco Atlanta St. Paul, Minnesota Madison Tacoma

  • Egypt: Waves of Workers’ Strikes

    Like 2008, this year is witnessing waves of strikes and demonstrations by Egyptian workers in various sectors and organizations.  Students, pharmacists, lawyers, railway drivers, media people, and even microbus drivers and street cleaners are all demanding more just rights, protesting against their decreasing incentives or trying to rebel against their poor economic status. And as […]

  • Analyzing Political Islam

    Political,1 more so, militant Islam has become an influential religious and social force in many post-colonial states.2 The militants face very little by way of real political opposition within Muslim-majority societies, but they are now targeted and attacked militarily by the United States, other Western imperial interests, and client post-colonial states. In the context of the war in Iraq, the occupation of Afghanistan, and the “war on terror,” much has been written by people on the left. But, there is little by way of understanding political Islam from a historical materialist perspective. Some months back, however, Samir Amin offered his traditional historical materialist analysis of political Islam (Monthly Review, December 2007) and very briefly touched on a range of issues, such as modernity, secularism and imperialism. Amin has been generally dismissive of political Islam and unambiguous in saying that Islamists have been in the “service of imperialism.”

  • Comments on Tariq Amin-Khan’s text

    I am not surprised by our Pakistani friend Tariq Amin-Khan’s critique. I was expecting it. Therefore, I would like to offer some comments on his criticisms of me, which mainly result from ignorance of what I have written on the questions he raises

  • Catalonia: Thousands of Citizens Demonstrate against Government’s Education Policies

      On Thursday, the 19th of March, about 30,000 teachers and students took to the streets of Barcelona to march against the education policies of the Government of Catalonia. The unions charged that the New Law of Education, like the Bologna Plan, aims to open the door to the privatization of education. The demonstrators demanded […]

  • Bring In the Dead: Martyr Burials and Election Politics in Iran

      اعتراض دانشجویان پلی‌تکنیک به پروژه دفن شهید Beating their chests and wearing black, a procession of young men and women filed toward the gates of Tehran’s Amir Kabir Polytechnic University on February 23.  The mourners — drawn primarily from the ranks of the Basij militia and unaffiliated hardline Islamist vigilantes — were carrying the […]

  • Glory to the good!

    Our delegation was received early this morning with the recognition and the honors it deserves. Esteban Lazo and Frederich Cepeda spoke. There was Raúl, who had made them standard-bearers during the ceremony at the Palace of the Revolution.

  • Marxism and the Crisis of Capitalism

      Capitalism is going through its greatest crisis since the 1930s or before.  The banking system has been saved from meltdown (at least for the time being) only by extensive government intervention in the USA, Britain, and a number of other countries.  Stock markets all over the world have plummeted.  A long and deep recession […]

  • There Is No Zombie Free Lunch

      It is a story that could make The Return of the Living Dead 6.  A group of good people huddle on a roof, with a limited supply of raw meat.  A crowd of zombies surrounds the house: hungry, mad, aggressive.  Fear spreads and bodies collapse; the odour is terrible.  The zombies smell blood and […]

  • Mobilizations, Victories in Overseas Colonies Set Example for French Workers

    Martinique General Strike Ends in Victory A 38-day general strike in the Caribbean colony of Martinique ended March 14 with the signing of a protocol between the government and the February 5 Collective, a coalition of unions and other social movements named after the day the strike began.  The agreement grants the coalition’s key demands.  […]

  • A One-Day Strike Is Not Enough

    The general strike on Thursday, 19 March was an even more significant success than that of 29 January. That very evening, François Fillon gave the finger to 3 million demonstrators, by staying the course on the policy of finding tens of billions only for those responsible for the crisis while telling the strikers and protesters […]

  • We are the ones to blame

    In the game between the Japanese and Cuban teams that concluded today at close to 3:00 a.m., we were unquestionably defeated.

  • Gender in Venezuela: Interviews with Jenny Marl Torres and Yoari Garbrido

      The Merideño Institute for Women and the Family is part of a national network of such institutions called into being by the 1998 law on violence against women and the family.  They are tasked with helping protect women and children from abuse, challenging sexist gender stereotypes, and, in effect breaking the “Machista” elements of […]

  • France: Impressive Strikes and Demonstrations on 19 March 2009

    Thursday, 19 March 2009 The new day of united action is incontestably a great success.  On the 19th of March, there were more strikes, more demonstrations, and many more demonstrators than there were on the 29th of January, which was an exceptional mobilization itself. 3 Million Demonstrators at 219 Demos1 For employment, purchasing power, and […]

  • Hidden Wounds of Occupation

    The Roman historian Tacitus denounced Roman imperialism for its plunder and destruction of its colonies, declaring, “They make a desert and call it peace.”  No phrase is more apt in describing what the U.S. has done in Iraq. Two new studies released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Oxfam reveal the devastating toll on […]