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Archive | September, 2014

The Problem Is Capitalism

The Problem Is Capitalism

NYC Climate Convergence, September 20, 2014 A. The Environmental Crisis The “environmental crisis” is actually a number of crises, including the following: climate change; acidification of the oceans (related to elevated atmospheric CO2 levels); pollution of air, water, soil, and organisms with harmful substances; degradation of agricultural soils; destruction of wetlands and tropical forests; and […]

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Socialism and Workers’ Self-Directed Enterprises

​Global capitalism has huge problems coping with the second worst collapse in its history. Its extreme and deepening inequalities have provoked millions to question and challenge capitalism. Yet socialists of all sorts now find it more difficult than ever to make effective criticisms and offer alternatives that inspire. Part of the problem lies with classic […]

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Massa Tom

One of my cherished historical role models growing up in rural Virginia during the 1950s and 60s was the tall, red-haired intellectual and revolutionary, Thomas Jefferson.  The vast majority of those I grew up with and went to school with were far from being intellectuals (who were commonly put down as “eggheads” or worse) and […]

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Who Can Stop the “Islamic State”?

The most severe crisis in the Middle East to date, the coming to power of the “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria, has entered an extremely absurd phase.  The European states are about to follow the lead of the U.S. by exporting arms to the Kurdistan Regional Government under the command of Mustafa Barzani.  This […]

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Losing Heads and Sending Arms

Two famous heads got lost in Berlin.  Neither loss, I hasten to add, was connected with brutality.  From the past or near future, they caused melancholy or rejoicing, depending on your viewpoint. One loss really occurred twenty-two years ago, when the 62-foot red granite statue of Lenin on East Berlin’s Lenin Square and Lenin Allee […]

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Who Governs Cuba?    Exploring the Social Composition of the Cuban Leadership

Who Governs Cuba? Exploring the Social Composition of the Cuban Leadership

Not least among achievements of Cuba’s socialist revolution is expanded political participation, even exercise of power, among formerly disadvantaged groups.  Rafael Hernández, editor of the Cuban journal Temas, details this story.  He studied participation and entry into leadership positions in terms of age, gender, race, and profession.  He mentions one consequence of inclusion that may […]

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