Archive | December, 2018

  • Financial Secrecy 2018

    We’re #2!

    According to the Tax Justice Network, the United States ranks second in the 2018 Financial Secrecy Index. This is based on a secrecy score of 59.8, which is practically unchanged from 2015. The only country ahead of the United States is Switzerland, with a secrecy score of 76. The rise of the United States continues a long-term trend, as the country was one of the few to increase their secrecy score in the 2015 index.

  • U.S. Marines train Philippine Marine Corps

    Operation Pacific Eagle in the Philippines: Washington’s New Colonial War

    Critics contend that Operation Pacific Eagle Philippines is aimed at strengthening Washington’s grip on the long-subjugated people of the Philippines, defeating a half-century leftist insurgency, and securing the country for the interests of U.S. multinational corporations.

  • "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." -- John F. Kennedy © mSeattle | Flickr

    Neoliberalism’s populist bastards

    After the twin victories of Brexit and Trump in 2016, observers across the political spectrum described a face-off between populism and neoliberal globalism. Davos Man, we were told, stood shamed before the wrath of the masses. In a series of electoral defeats for the center and left, the world’s elites were reaping the fruits of the inequality and democratic disempowerment they had sown.

  • Missing Shulamith and the dialectic of #MeToo

    I was 24 years old in 1970, when I read Shulamith Firestone’s The Dialectic of Sex, a year younger than she was when she wrote the book. The book catapulted me from the limitations of the Left organization of which I was a member into the world of Women’s Liberation. There was no going back once I saw and felt the chauvinism of the Left, how women’s issues were  seen as tangential to the more important priorities of “real” radical politics, rather than seeing feminism as “central and directly radical in itself.”

  • Shell

    Shell ruling is bad for democracy and the planet

    TODAY’S ruling that oil giant Shell cannot be pursued in British courts for activities that took place in Nigeria is bad news for poor communities the world over—and for the planet.

  • Main Image: Stand With Standing Rock SF by Pax Ahimsa Gethen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0

    Conservative-led anti-protest legislation already doubled since last year

    Last March, the NLG shared an overview and analysis of the wave of anti-protest legislation sweeping state legislatures across the country. At the time, we were looking at 25 bills proposed in 19 states—all focused on limiting the right to protest or removing liability for harm caused to protesters. One year later, the number of anti-protest bills has reached 58 in 31 states with no end in sight.

  • Index of Power, 2016–17

    Index of power

    he overall picture shows a small number of countries, led by the U.S., towering over the rest. Only 33 countries out of 180 have an index that is more than 1% of the U.S. index number! In the chart, the columns for these would look like the x-axis, so I have shown just the top 20 countries. Of those, only five are close to or above 20% of the U.S. number: the UK, China, Japan, France and Germany.

  • Korea at the 2018 Winter Olympics

    North Korea in the age of Trump

    On January 23, Hyun Lee, the managing editor of ZoominKorea, and I spoke at a UCLA Center for Korean Studies sponsored event titled “North Korea in the Age of Trump.” I went first, offering a critical perspective on U.S. foreign policy towards Korea, North and South. Hyun Lee then talked about the importance of Science […]

  • Uptopian socialism

    Utopian socialism

    Just nine years ago, in the midst of the Second Great Depression, Newsweek declared that “we are all socialists now.”

  • February Revolution (1917)

    Russian debt repudiation, 100 years on

    One achievement of the Russian revolution that is often ignored is the fulfillment of a promise made by the Russian revolutionaries in 1905: that all debts contracted by the Tsarist regime that had been overthrown some eleven months earlier were cancelled.

  • Still from "Marx Reloaded"

    From Marx Reloaded to Marx Returns

    You made Marx Reloaded in 2011, after the financial crisis and a return of Marx in particular and of the critique of capitalism in general. What do you think today, 10 years after the crisis, is the outcome of this return?

  • $63 Trillion of World Debt in One Visualization

    Not a matter of if, but when

    The capitalist crisis will deepen as new bubbles created by easy money begin to burst.

  • Palestinians watch Israeli soldiers patrol near the West Bank City of Hebron yesterday, close to where the teenagers were last seen. | Photo: Reuters

    New book reveals Israel’s covert operations, including nearly 2,700 assassinations

    A new book unveiled this month sheds light on Israel’s covert operations of state-sponsored killings.

  • Hurricane Katrina Biloxi Mississippi March 16, 2006

    There is no such thing as a natural disaster

    “Instead of considering these [events] as natural disasters we should be calling them humanitarian disasters with a natural trigger, where this natural trigger ignites and exaggerates the structural inequalities that capitalism produces along racialized, gendered, and class lines.”

  • Corbyn

    Jeremy Corbyn calls for public ownership to combat ‘threat of climate catastrophe’

    This is a government that has licensed fracking, declared a moratorium on renewable levies while massively subsidising fossil fuels, dithered over tidal, held back onshore wind, U-turned on making all new homes zero-carbon and is failing to take the necessary measures to meet our legal commitments to reduce CO2 emissions.

  • Artist's rendition of the Beijing New Airport Terminal building

    What does China’s ‘ecological civilization’ mean for humanity’s future?

    Imagine a newly elected president of the United States calling in his inaugural speech for an “ecological civilization” that ensures “harmony between human and nature.” Now imagine he goes on to declare that “we, as human beings, must respect nature, follow its ways, and protect it” and that his administration will “encourage simple, moderate, green, and low-carbon ways of life, and oppose extravagance and excessive consumption.”

  • North Korea is more rational than you think: An interview with Bruce Cumings There is more to the hermit kingdom than is seen in the media

    North Korea is more rational than you think: An interview with Bruce Cumings

    With the Olympic Winter Games right around the corner, tension on the Korean Peninsula is again the focal point of international affairs. After months of increasing provocation between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump — highlighted by missile tests and sabre-rattling on both sides — signs of a rapprochement are emerging.

  • Trucks Automoation

    Driverless trucks are wiping out jobs

    Driverless trucks are on the way sooner than most workers realize, as corporations seek to raise profits by cutting labour costs. Media reports indicate that investors and researchers agree that tech change in the trucking industry will soon replace 1.7 million jobs in the U.S., where trucking was the most common job in 28 states in 2014. Some predict that pay rates for the remaining human drivers will fall rapidly from the current average annual of $42,500. The jobs of another 1.7 million taxi, bus and delivery vehicle drivers are also at stake.

  • Nicos Poulantzas

    Introduction to the material constitution

    In a couple of previous posts on Legal Form, Rob Hunter has reminded us of the importance and aptness of a Marxist approach to the analysis of public law. Hunter’s intervention could not be more timely: even after the economic and financial crisis, and despite the comeback of Marxism as a relevant intellectual source at least within certain legal domains (think, for example, of international law) [1], there has not yet been a Marxist revival in constitutional studies. One possible explanation for this phenomenon (though likely not the only one) is the discredit and almost total obliteration of the best-known Marxist contribution to constitutional studies: Lassalle’s notion of the material constitution.

  • Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin (L), PLO chairman Yasser Arafat (R) and US president Bill Clinton at the ceremony marking the signing of the 1993 peace accord

    Trump lays bare U.S. support for ethnic cleansing of Palestine

    For 25 years, since a fateful handshake between former Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn ushered in the Oslo Accords, supporters of a single, democratic and secular state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea have been pilloried.