Archive | June, 2010

  • Shanghai Power Politics: China Shuts Out Iran from SCO

      Two weeks ago, the 10th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council summit, held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, approved the SCO Rules of Procedure and the regulation on procedure for future membership expansion. Before the summit, Chinese diplomats ritually pointed out that approval of the admission regulations was the first step in forming the basis for a […]

  • Iran Vote Shows China’s Western Drift

      This month, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution to tighten sanctions on Iran, imposing a ban on arms sales and expanding a freeze on assets of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in response to the country’s uranium-enrichment activities, which Tehran says are for peaceful purposes but other countries contend are driven […]

  • Caesarism

      Caesarism.  Caesar, Napoleon I, Napoleon III, Cromwell, etc.  Compile a catalog of historical events which have culminated in a great “heroic” personality.  It may be said that caesarism is an expression of a situation in which the forces in struggle are balanced in a catastrophic way, that is, balanced in a way that continuation […]

  • The Excess of the Left in Iran

    Maziar Behrooz.  Rebels with a Cause: The Failure of the Left in Iran.  I.B. Tauris, 2000. The role of the left in the Iranian Revolution is complicated, what Frederic Jameson and Slavoj Žižek would call the ‘vanishing mediator’ of the event.  The fact that at their peak Iranian Marxists commanded the loyalty of millions, and […]

  • The Real Meaning of Thermidor

      Nevertheless, today we can and must admit that the analogy of Thermidor served to becloud rather than to clarify the question.  Thermidor in 1794 produced a shift of power from certain groups in the Convention to other groups, from one section of the victorious “people” to other strata.  Was Thermidor counterrevolutionary?  The answer to […]

  • Iraq

    The text below is an excerpt from “Imperialism and the Gulf War,” which was first published as the “Review of the Month” of the April 1991 issue of Monthly Review (42.11).  While the exact character of the Iraqi Ba’ath Party state is certainly debatable (“lack of government corruption”? — only relatively so in comparison to […]

  • Excerpt from “The Prophet and the Proletariat”

      What the group around Khomeini succeeded in doing was to unite behind it a wide section of the middle class — both the traditional petty bourgeoisie based in the bazaar and many of the first generation of the new middle class — in a struggle to control the hierarchies of power.  The secret of […]

  • Eurozone Crisis: The Germans Have Gone Mad

      Jayati Ghosh: It wasn’t an actual transfer of one trillion dollars.  It was a notional thing.  It was a credit line.  It was basically the European Central Bank telling private banks across the region: if you are indeed distressed, we will bail you out, we have a credit line ready for you.  Now, the […]

  • Portugal: The Unfinished Revolution

      Ronald H. Chilcote.  The Portuguese Revolution: State and Class in the Transition to Democracy.  Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010.  xix + 316 pp.  $79.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-7425-6792-4. The Portuguese Revolution that brought regime change on April 25, 1974, did not bring about a revolution: the popular revolutionary elements that tried to move the […]

  • British Columbia’s Fossil Fuel Superpower Ambitions

    The province of Alberta is well known as a climate-destroying behemoth.  The tar sands developments in the north of that province are the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. Less well known are the ambitions of its neighbouring province, British Columbia.  It shares similar fossil fuel reserves and ambitions as Alberta. […]

  • Gasoline Sanctions against Iran Will Be Futile and Counterproductive

    H.R.2194 (the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2009) passed the Senate by a vote of 99-1 and the House by a vote of 408-8 (1 “present” and 16 “not voting”) yesterday. — Ed. The U.S. Congress, in its infinite wisdom, passed a new piece of legislation authorizing the President to impose so-called […]

  • Russia, Iran, and the United States

    Russia’s Iran Policy Since the end of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Union, the Islamic Republic has worked hard to cultivate a strategic partnership with post-Soviet Russia.  Of course, for many Iranians, there is heavy historical “baggage” attached to relations with Russia/the Soviet Union.  But, from an Iranian perspective, Russia is […]

  • The Great China Currency Debate: For Workers or Speculators?

    Everyone is talking about China’s currency, it seems.  Amidst months of building tension, there is an apparent consensus among most economists, the financial press, and leading economic policy makers in the West that the renminbi is hugely undervalued, making China’s exports unfairly competitive.  The global imbalances created by such ‘mercantilist’ and ‘protectionist’ exchange rate strategies, […]

  • Inventing a Nation of Deficit Hawks

    Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress like to argue that public concern over federal budget deficits makes it impossible to pass a new round of job-creating stimulus spending.  And corporate media like to echo these sentiments, despite there being little evidence that citizens are as concerned about these issues as inside-the-Beltway deficit hawks. In the […]

  • How I wish I was wrong

    WHEN these lines are published tomorrow, Friday, in Granma newspaper, the 26th of July, a date on which we always recall with pride the honor of having resisted the onslaughts of the empire, will still be in the distance, despite it being only 32 days away. Those who determine every step of the worst enemy of […]

  • Notes on the Theory of Imperialism

    In terms of the total system, these [the dominant classes in the most advanced capitalist countries] are the classes which have the power of initiative: they are, so to speak, the independent variables.  The behavior of other classes — including the subordinate classes in the dominant countries as well as both the dominant and the […]

  • How the Media Mislead the Public about Venezuela: The Case of Stephen Sackur’s Interview with Hugo Chávez

    Stephen Sackur provides a misleading and one-sided picture of Venezuela after a brief visit there, during which he interviewed President Hugo Chávez (“A Chat with Chávez — Oliver Stone’s New Lead Tells All,” 14 June).  I am the co-writer of Oliver Stone’s forthcoming documentary on Chávez, South of the Border, and was present throughout the […]

  • A University at the Center of Iran’s Internal Power Struggle

    World media are focused so narrowly on Iran’s nuclear program and election-related turmoil and Western threats and sanctions that the public is unaware a battle over ownership of a politically connected Iranian university is likely to help shape the future of the Islamic Republic and its foreign relations.  We hear all about the Revolutionary Guard […]

  • Labor Market Flexibility

    Eneko Las Heras, born in Caracas in 1963, is a cartoonist based in Spain.  This cartoon was published on his blog . . . Y sin embargo se mueve on 23 June 2010.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] | Print

  • USAID: The Bone of Contention in U.S.-Bolivia Relations

    When Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela met at the beginning of the month, it appeared that relations between the US and Bolivia were on the verge of being normalized following an 18-month diplomatic chill.  Choquehuanca announced to the press that “the two sides are 99% done with […]