Archive | September, 2010

  • The Enigma of Capital and the Crisis This Time

    Paper prepared for the American Sociological Association Meetings in Atlanta, August 16th, 2010. There are many explanations for the crisis of capital that began in 2007.  But the one thing missing is an understanding of “systemic risks.”  I was alerted to this when Her Majesty the Queen visited the London School of Economics and asked […]

  • Jewish Boat to Gaza Sets Sail from Cyprus

      At crisis point in peace talks, Jews, Israelis call to lift the siege on Gaza, end the occupation. 26th September 2010 Passengers on the Jewish Boat to Gaza gather for a group photograph before their departure.  Photo by Vish Vishvanath/Metro. Passenger Reuven Moskovitz.  Photo by Vish Vishvanath. A boat carrying aid for Gaza’s population […]

  • Venezuela: Opposition Lost 20 Seats from 2000 Elections

    Caracas, 27 September, AVN — The opposition parties have suffered a loss of 20 seats in the National Assembly compared to the last elections in which they participated, said Roy Chaderton, a United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) member elected to the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino). Interviewed by TeleSur, Chaderton stressed that the opposition are […]

  • Venezuela: In Transition towards Socialism?

    Nationalization and Workers’ Control: Achievements and Limitations The economic, social and political situation in Venezuela has changed a lot since the failure of the constitutional reform in December 2007, which acted as a warning to the Chávez government.1  This failure had the effect however of reviving the debate on the need to have a socialist […]

  • Mexico: On the Right Track

      Statements of condemnation cannot take away immense sadness. . . . “Mr. President, another mayor got murdered, and he’s the tenth this year.” “Sure, sure, but we’re on the right track.” Eduardo Soto is a Mexican cartoonist.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at]  According to La Jornada, more than 100 mayors, […]

  • If I Were Venezuelan

    Tomorrow is an important day for Venezuela.  The elections to choose 165 members of parliament are taking place, and around this important event an historic battle is being waged. But at the same time, news about the weather is unfavorable.  Heavy rains are drenching the land that was the birthplace of the Liberator. Excessive rains […]

  • The Policing of Political Speech: Constraints on Mass Dissent in the U.S.

      Excerpt: To know that the United States is undergoing a highly orchestrated curtailment of personal and political liberties, one need not look further than police treatment of protesters in the streets.  Those who speak out against government policies increasingly face many of the same types of weaponry used by the U.S. government in its […]

  • If I Were Venezuelan

    Tomorrow is an important day for Venezuela.  The elections to choose 165 members of parliament are taking place, and around this important event an historic battle is being waged. But at the same time, news about the weather is unfavorable.  Heavy rains are drenching the land that was the birthplace of the Liberator. Excessive rains […]

  • The Changing Face of China’s Labor Force

      Steve Nettleton: Now, emboldened by new labor laws and a strong economy, more workers are taking a stand to demand higher salaries and better benefits. . . .  The unrest comes as a new wave of workers in their twenties take their turn to fill the factory payrolls.  They are the first generation born […]

  • Palestinian Economic Dependency on Israel

      Shortly after the 1967 Middle East War, many economic boundaries for transactions between the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Israel collapsed: both labor and goods could flow freely from the OPT to Israel and vice versa. At the same time Israel started to control the external borders of the OPT.  A customs union was […]

  • Why Does Israel Still Occupy the Palestinians?

    1. The Cost of the Occupation to Israeli Society The majority of Israel’s anti-occupation movement, unfortunately, does not focus on the rights of Palestinians to live free, but on the damage that the occupation causes to Israeli society (Sternhell, 2009). The arguments that the occupation is a major investment of resources that could be useful […]

  • Interview with Hossein Derakhshan’s Mother

    Hossein Derakhshan, known as the “blogfather” of the Persian-language blogosphere, has been in prison since he was arrested on 1 November 2008, shortly after his return to Iran, his homeland.  Salman, a writer for the Web site Kamtarin, conducted an interview with Ozra Kiarashpour, the mother of Hossein Derakhshan, about her son’s situation. Hello, Ms. […]

  • The World Cannot Run the Risk of a New Conflict like the One in Iraq

    Excerpts: In recent years, the Brazilian Government has invested heavily in South America’s integration and peace.  We have strengthened our strategic partnership with Argentina.  We have reinforced Mercosul, including through unique financial mechanisms among developing countries. The establishment of the Union of South American Nations — UNASUL — aims at consolidating a genuine zone of […]

  • Arguing Socialism

    Michael A. Lebowitz, The Socialist Alternative (Monthly Review Press, 2010), 191 pp. Alan Maass, The Case for Socialism (Haymarket Books, 2010), 173 pp. Erik Olin Wright, Envisioning Real Utopias (Verso, 2010), xviii, 394 pp. The economic crisis beginning in 2007 punctured the dominance of neo-liberal ideology, without completely overturning it.  To accomplish that, and force […]

  • A Nation in Decline?

      “When there are no social movements bringing the masses of working people together in battle against the owning class and their allies, those whose lives have been turned upside down by economic crisis and those who find that their former privileges as white persons are threatened find easy scapegoats in ‘illegal aliens,’ in racial […]

  • Racism: A Passion from Above

      I’d like to add some reflections on the notion of “state racism” to our meeting’s agenda.  These reflections run against a widespread interpretation of measures that our government has recently taken, from the law on the veil to the expulsions of the Roma.  This interpretation detects an opportunism that is exploiting racism and xenophobia […]

  • The Language of Power: Interview with Jean Bricmont

    Jean Bricmont is professor of theoretical physics at the University of Louvain, Belgium, and is a member of the Brussels Tribunal.  He is the author of Humanitarian Imperialism and co-author, with Alan Sokal, of Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science.  He has written critically about ‘humanitarian interventionism’ since the Kosovo war in 1999.  In […]

  • Germany: SPD and Greens Regaining Lost Ground While the Left Gets Stuck in Debates

    Angela Merkel always seems to smile when she faces a camera.  Only once in a while does an unnoticed camera show her looking tired, if not worn and slightly haggard. Things are not all going her way.  More and more people are moving in Germany, mostly in the wrong direction, at least for Merkel.  In […]

  • Scoundrel Time at Kaiser

    The stereotypical union battles of the past were fought by burly working-class heroes, on the picket line and the proverbial “shop floor.”  Think of tough-looking guys, wearing scally caps (and wielding baseball bats, when necessary), while marching through the streets of the San Francisco in 1934.  Their enemies were many — the long-shore bosses and […]

  • The Ethical Failure of Terry Eagleton

    Terry Eagleton has joined the rush of those on the left to offer opinions on ethics in a recent lop-sided work called Trouble with Strangers.1  His argument is as straightforward as it is expected in these days of his recovered role as a part-time theologian of the Roman Catholic left: both Christian theology and socialism […]