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Archive | April, 2014

Imagining Socialism

Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA.  Edited by Frances Goldin, Debby Smith, and Michael Steven Smith.  HarperPerennial, 304 pp., $15.99. The need for socialism became clear to me more than fifty years ago when I was working as an orderly in the University of Minnesota Hospitals.  One of the patients I was working with in […]

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Taking On the Fashion Industry

Tansy E. Hoskins.  Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion.  Pluto Press, 2014.  254 pages. To say that Tansy E. Hoskins‘ Stitched Up deconstructs the garment industry would be a misrepresentation.  What the British activist and journalist does is more like a controlled demolition, using facts and footnotes to strip away the apparel trade’s decorative […]

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Colombia: Popular Agrarian Summit Calls for Strike

  A national strike in Colombia — involving groups of indigenous peoples, Afro-Colombians, students, women, small miners, petroleum workers, and campesinos (farmers) — may begin on May 1st. The decision to strike if the government does not respond by the first week of May was made during the Peasant, Ethnic, and Popular Agrarian Summit,1 held […]

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Venezuela: Making Peace . . . With Capitalism?

It was shortly after Moses’s encounter with the Burning Bush that God promised to take the people of Israel to the land of milk and honey.  God, who could be extremely cryptic in his explanations (“I am that I am”), did not beat around the bush when it came to capturing his audience.  For that […]

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Rwanda, Twenty Years Later

Twenty years later, full light has not been thrown on the shooting down of the plane of the then president of Rwanda, Habyarimana.  The event was immediately followed by the genocide of the Tutsis by Hutu militias.  Two hypotheses remain to this day equally possible: 1) the plane was shot down by Hutu extremists, making […]

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The Future of Collective Bargaining: Challenging “Management Prerogatives” Again

Recent experiences suggest that the generations-old practice of collective bargaining as the normal, if not dominant, method of negotiating the terms of unionized employment is losing its legitimacy.  Notoriously, upon taking office in January 2010, Wisconsin’s Governor Walker introduced a bill to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights.  Despite a massive upheaval and […]

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Malthus In, Malthus Out, Again

Malthus In, Malthus Out, Again

If hundreds of newspaper and online reports are to be believed, scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Agency have proven that western civilization will collapse unless we radically reduce inequality and shift to renewable resources. That would be important news if it were true.  Is it? The first person to say so was Nafeez Ahmed, a […]

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