Archive | March, 2010

  • Spring Thunder Anew

    It has been a long and tortuous route. Forty-three years ago, a group of Maoist revolutionaries conceived of and embarked upon a revolutionary road that still inspires their political descendants, alarms the dominant classes, and provokes slander and denigration on the part of the establishment left, post-modernists and well-funded NGO bosses. This is the path of protracted people’s war (PPW). It relies on an alliance of the Indian proletariat with the poor and landless peasantry and the semi-proletariat to establish ‘base areas’ in the countryside, run them democratically as miniature, self-reliant states, carry out ‘land to the tiller’ and other social policies there, thereby building a political mass base to finally encircle and ‘capture’ the cities

  • American Police Training and Political Violence: From the Philippines Conquest to the Killing Fields of Afghanistan and Iraq

    “In the police you see the dirty work of Empire at close quarters. The wretched prisoners huddling in stinking cages of the lock-ups, the grey cowed faces of the long-term convicts, the scarred buttocks of the men who had been flogged with bamboos.” –George Orwell, Shooting An Elephant and Other Essays “. . . the […]

  • A Postsecular World Society?  On the Philosophical Significance of Postsecular Consciousness and the Multicultural World Society

      EM: Over the last couple of years you have been working on the question of religion from a series of perspectives: philosophical, political, sociological, moral, and cognitive.  In your Yale lectures from the fall of 2008, you approached the challenge of the vitality and renewal of religion in world society in terms of the […]

  • French Regional Elections 2010

    The Guide to the Regional Elections First Round                      Second Round Le Monde reports: “The Left obtained 59% of the votes in six metropolitan regions where it dueled with the Right, according to TNS-Sofres/Logica.  In 12 regions where there were triangle races joined by the National Front, the Socialist Party and its allies scored 49%, against […]

  • Militarizing Latin America

    The United States was founded as an “infant empire,” in George Washington’s words.  The conquest of the national territory was a grand imperial venture, much like the vast expansion of the Grand Duchy of Moscow.  From the earliest days, control over the Western Hemisphere was a critical goal.  Ambitions expanded during World War II, as […]

  • No St. Patrick, Kucinich Is a Phony Liberal Leprechaun

    Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s St. Patrick Day’s announcement he’d vote for the Democrats’ pending healthcare legislation exposes that this so-called “progressive” is no St. Patrick driving out the snakes of insurance companies, Big Pharma, etc., but in reality just another phony liberal leprechaun.  Kucinich had voted against the measure in November and remained a holdout because […]

  • A Family Affair: Intergenerational Social Mobility across OECD Countries

      Higher inequality is associated with lower intergenerational mobility.  More progressive taxation, higher unemployment benefits, more childcare and early childhood education, and other measures that reduce inequality promote social mobility.  Tracking, ability-grouping, and pushing disadvantaged students into vocational education hinder it.  Poorer students have better chances of overcoming their socioeconomic backgrounds in systems where “larger […]

  • Is the U.S. “Offer” to Iran on Medical Isotopes a Pretext for More Coercive Action?

    Earlier this week, journalists highlighted U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Poneman’s statement that the Obama Administration had “offered to facilitate Iran’s procurement through the world markets of the medical isotopes its citizens need,” but that “Iran’s leaders apparently prefer to reject the most responsible, cost effective, and timely options to ensure access to medical […]

  • Excessive Centralization Creates Inefficiency and Prevents Authentic Popular Protagonism

    1. There Is No Popular Protagonism without Decentralization Popular protagonism becomes a mere slogan if people do not have the opportunity to make their opinions known and take decisions in areas where they participate: (geographic spaces, workplaces, educational establishments, interest groups).  If the central state decides everything, there is no room for local initiatives and […]

  • U.S. Campaign to De-legitimize Venezuela’s Elections Has Begun

    Venezuela has an election for its National Assembly in September, and the campaign has begun in earnest.  I am referring to the international campaign.  This is carried out largely through the international media; although some will spill over into the Venezuelan media.  It involves many public officials, especially in the U.S.  The goal will be […]

  • Why Does Washington Continue to Gamble on Iran’s Green Movement?

    The standing of Iran’s so-called Green Movement is a deeply serious matter, with potentially profound implications for America’s Iran policy.  Since the Islamic Republic’s June 12, 2009 presidential election, it has become widely accepted among Iran analysts in the United States and the Western political class more broadly that the emergence of the Green Movement […]

  • On U.S. Settlement Funders

    As an organization that focuses on the critical role of the United States in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jewish Voice for Peace is deeply concerned by the ongoing activities of U.S. organizations whose 501c3 (non-profit) status enables them to raise money from American donors to support and maintain settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. […]

  • Are the Iranian Poor a Bunch of Welfare Queens?

    The picture we usually get of the Iranian poor in the media is one of two extremes: the wretched of the earth, or the equivalent of Ronald Reagan’s “welfare queens.”  (If you remember, Reagan attacked the meager US welfare system by inventing a group of people who did not even exist: pink-Cadillac-driving, children-producing, unwilling-to-work black […]

  • Will Iran’s Poor Lose from Subsidy Reform?

    Barely three months have passed since the controversial bill that authorizes the government to target its massive subsidy program became law, and it is already stalling.  The government has asked the parliament to lift the $20 billion ceiling on spending from the revenues that it hopes to raise from selling energy at higher prices and […]

  • Falling Commodity Prices Hold Down Inflation

    Consumer prices were unchanged in February amidst falling prices for energy.  The CPI has now grown at a 1.4 percent annualized rate over the last three months, while the core rose 0.1 percent in the month.  Falling energy prices appeared in all stages of production. Medical care prices rose 0.5 percent again in February, and […]

  • Israel: Image Management Crisis!

    To All Academics, Artists and Entertainers: Israel Needs Your ENDORSEMENT! Doug Minkler: “Corporations want artists to glorify their wars, their products & their philosophies.  I make posters for my own preservation, that is, planetary preservation.  My prints are inspired not by rugged individualism, but by the collective humor, defiance, & lust for life exhibited by […]

  • Misreading the Tea Leaves

    Analyzing the burgeoning Tea Party movement has become something of an obsession on the left, but unfortunately I think that many of us are misreading the nature of the movement.  At the Young Democratic Socialists conference in New York, numerous speakers made reference to the teabaggers, usually to either denounce them as a nascent fascist […]

  • Interviews with Strikers in Athens, Greece

      Athens, Greece, 11.03.10. — Tens of thousands of trade unionists and anti-capitalists demonstrated during a nationwide strike against the cash-strapped government’s austerity measures.  People explain why the have taken to the streets. “Today’s 24-hour general strike was called by GSEE and ADEDY (private and public sector unions).  They are demanding that working people not […]

  • Work-Sharing: An Effective Tool against Chronic Unemployment

    Testimony of Dean Baker before the Congressional Black Caucus at the hearing entitled “Out of Work But Not Out of Hope: Addressing the Crisis of the Chronically Unemployed,” 17 March 2010 As is typically the case in economic downturns, the most economically vulnerable experience the greatest pain.  The overall unemployment rate has risen from 4.5 […]

  • Celebrating Zinn at Boston University the Right Way

    Boston University is planning a “celebration” of Howard Zinn on March 27th. I dare think that this is a proper moment for the university to address the need to reverse the grievous discrimination against Zinn, who taught political science at BU for over two decades and yet retired with a paltry junior faculty salary. John Silber, BU’s president at the time of Zinn’s tenure, repeatedly denied any salary increase for him, voted on unanimously by the faculty committees at BU. In one instance, Silber wrote an opinion letter justifying his unilateral decision against pay increase for Zinn by labeling Zinn’s books as “nonsense” and bereft of scholarly value.