Archive | August, 2010

  • The Sacred Cow

    The early years of the Left Front government in West Bengal in the late seventies had been marked by severe power cuts in Calcutta (as it then was) and elsewhere in the state.  One evening as “load-shedding” began, a little urchin in a slum neighbouring a high-rise jumped up and down clapping his hands, shouting: […]

  • Just Like Bushehr, Iranian Enrichment Is No Threat

    In recent days, a good deal of attention has been focused on Iran’s first nuclear power plant at Bushehr, still in its final stages of development.  We believe that there are some important lessons to be learned from the Bushehr experiences that could help move U.S. policy on the Iranian nuclear issue in a much […]

  • Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit

      Excerpt: Household Debt and Credit Developments in 2010Q21 Aggregate consumer debt continued to decline in the second quarter, continuing its trend of the previous six quarters.  As of June 30, 2010, total consumer indebtedness was $11.7 trillion, a reduction of $812 billion (6.5%) from its peak level at the close of 2008Q3, and $178 […]

  • South African Public Sector Strike Highlights Society’s Contradictions

    The two major civil service unions on strike against the South African government vow to intensify pressure in coming days, in a struggle pitting a million members of the middle and lower ranks of society against a confident government leadership fresh from hosting the World Cup. Along with smaller public sector unions, teachers from the […]

  • Israel/Palestine and the Apartheid Analogy: Critics, Apologists and Strategic lessons (Part 1)

    I.  Introduction In the last decade, the notion that the Israeli system of political and military control bears strong resemblance to the apartheid system in South Africa has gained ground.  It is invoked regularly by movements and activists opposed to the 1967 occupation and to various other aspects of Israeli policies vis-à-vis the Palestinian-Arab people. […]

  • Bushehr Launch a Sign of US Power Fading

    “What a victory it is for all independent nations, that is, nations independent of US hegemonic power when it comes to energy interests.  And what a victory also for those Russian families and corporations outside the United States’ sphere of influence.” — Afshin Rattansi Afshin Rattansi is a journalist, currently a presenter at Press TV.  […]

  • Hormel Strike a Key Event in Nation’s Labor History

    From the late summer of 1985 into the early spring of 1986, the small town of Austin, Minnesota, figured prominently in the national news.  The dramatic themes and issues, twists and turns, of a labor conflict there captured the national imagination.  This interest was not merely passive, as more than thirty support committees formed across […]

  • From Old to New Developmentalism in Latin America

    Excerpt: The paper is divided into seven short sections.  In the first, I discuss the need for a national development strategy to compete in the present stage of capitalism; in the second, I discuss old or national developmentalism, its relation to the Latin American structuralist school of thought, and its success in promoting economic growth […]

  • Housing Crisis, System Failure

    This capitalist crisis resembles a certain kind of serious disease.  Different symptoms keep flaring up at different locations.  It began with sub-prime mortgages in residential housing.  Then, sequential flare-ups hit the private banking system, forced millions out of their jobs and homes, drastically cut world trade, and undermined the public services and national debts of […]

  • Does Washington Want Normal Diplomatic Relations with Venezuela?

    While President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and the new President of Colombia, Manuel Santos, met in Santa Marta, Colombia, last Tuesday and agreed to normalize relations after a fierce diplomatic fight, there are no indications that such détente is in the cards for Venezuela and the United States.  Washington, it now appears, may not even […]

  • Marx and Engels on Music

    In 1857 Charles Dana invited Karl Marx to contribute to the New American Cyclopaedia.  Marx was the European political correspondent for the daily New York Tribune, of which Dana was the editor; Dana and George Ripley, his former mentor at the utopian colony of Brook Farm, were co-editors of the encyclopedia.  In due time Marx […]

  • Will Chinese Workers Challenge Global Capitalism?

      Paul Jay: In China in June, leaders of the Chinese Communist Party said that it’s time for workers’ wages to go up.  And there’s been a lot of discussion about whether China’s actually restructuring its economy to try to boost domestic demand.  Certainly in what leaders say in other parts of the world they […]

  • The Adventures of Salwa

      Salwa is an ordinary woman who is sick of sexual harassment that has become part of her daily life and decides to take matters into her own hands.  Her superpower lies in her bag. Manager Promotion Amanda Abou Abdallah is a Lebanese filmmaker. | Print  

  • Door

    Adel Yaraghi is an Iranian filmmaker. | Print

  • The Fight for a Mountaintop

      “Someday coal’s gonna run out.  And we’re going to have to have jobs, we’re going to have to have energy, when that happens.  So, why not start now?” — Lorelei Scarbro, Coal River Mountain Wind Project Produced by the New York Times.  See, also, Tom Zeller, Jr., “A Battle in Mining Country Pits Coal […]

  • Palestinian Factions Reject US/Zionist Pressure for Direct Negotiations

    The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine joined with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and 7 other Palestinian factions to issue a joint statement in Damascus in opposition to the resumption of negotiations, direct or indirect, with Israel on August 15, 2010.  The joint statement, read at a […]

  • Power Blues: Mubarak’s Failed State

    I was at the dental clinic in my neighborhood today when power went out while the doctor was in the middle of operating on my teeth.  The guy had to stop and watch helplessly as I kept spitting blood everywhere. This summer has been plagued by power cuts all across the country for long hours, […]

  • How Will Cuts to Social Security Affect Spending by Retirees?

    For some reason this question was never raised in a WSJ piece reporting on the expected reduction in spending by baby boomers who will be retiring over the next decade. Dean Baker is the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).  He is the author of False Profits: Recovering from the Bubble […]

  • Habana Vieja

      Van Royko is a photographer and filmmaker from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  See, also, Richard Levins, “How to Visit a Socialist Country” (Monthly Review, April 2010). | Print  

  • The Myth of the “Sub-prime Crisis”

    Capitalism, like the proverbial horse, kicks even when in decline.  Even as the current crisis hit it, it gave an ideological kick by attributing the crisis to “sub-prime” lending; and so well-directed was its kick that the whole world ended up calling it the “sub-prime crisis”. The idea, bought even in progressive circles, was that […]