Archive | Commentary

  • Development in Cambodia

    Land grabs and uneven development in Cambodia

    The global labor arbitrage means the only competitive “advantage” available to most countries is forcing workers to accept slave wages and environmental standards low enough to lure in multinationals. If the population resists, the only means available to diffuse it is brutal repression.

  • Victory of Venezuela over Imperialism

    The disinformation campaign on Venezuela

    The upper classes of Venezuela are trying to regain their lost fiefdom. The program of violence they are implementing, which has rocked Venezuela since April 4, 2017, is part of that effort.

  • The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) media manipulation

    The American empire and its media

    Largely unbeknownst to the general public, many media executives and top journalists of almost all major U.S. news outlets, political and business magazines, public broadcasters and press agencies have long been members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

  • "Where the Green Ants Dream," Werner Herzog

    Third nature

    John Bellamy Foster’s essay,“Third Nature: Edward Said on Ecology and Imperialism” is taken from Vijay Prashad, ed., Will the Flower Slip Through the Asphalt (New Delhi: LeftWord Books, 2017), pp. 50-57. This edited collection was organized around Naomi Klein’s 2016 Edward W. Said Lecture, “Let Them Drown,” originally published in the June 2016 issue of […]

  • Saudi piloted U.S. warplanes bomb Yemen’s cities

    ‘Our city is in ruins’: Crushing wars are raging on in Syria and Iraq with no end in sight

    On 10 July 2017, Iraqi’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in the city of Mosul to declare it liberated from the Islamic State. What did al-Abadi see when he looked across the expanse of Mosul, one of Iraq’s largest cities? He would have seen not only the violence visited by ISIS upon this historic city – including destroying a large part of its Great Mosque of al-Nuri – but also the destruction of the city by this current onslaught that has lasted nine months.

  • No nukes

    Haves, have-nots, and need-nots: The nuclear ban exposes hidden fault lines

    A total of 147 non-nuclear states have expressed support for the ban treaty process, while 37 non-nuclear states have not.… [But] a single variable correlates almost perfectly with this breakdown: 89 percent of the non-nuclear states that have criticized the ban are “umbrella states” that belong to an alliance with a nuclear power or are actively seeking to join such an alliance, while only 4 percent of the non-nuclear states supporting the ban are umbrella states.

  • Skull with Sunglasses fossil

    Did that New York magazine climate story freak you out? Good.

    David Wallace-Wells has a cover story on climate change in New York magazine that has kicked up quite a discussion. It’s about worst-case scenarios…[and] the dystopian future the piece describes is much worse, and forecast to happen much sooner, than most people.… I won’t rehearse the parade of horribles.… Instead, I want to address some of the critical reaction to the piece, which I have found … irksome.

  • Women taking part in the International Women's Day march

    The pitfalls of radical feminism

    For many socialist feminists, critiquing liberal feminism is easy. Many of us came to socialism from liberalism and have a clear understanding of its limits and flaws. However, the history and substance of radical feminism is less well known. While the “radical” in radical feminism seems to suggest a politics that socialists would embrace… [it is] incompatible with socialist feminism. Plagued by a narrow understanding of gendered oppression and a misguided strategy for change, radical feminism ultimately fails to offer women a clear path to liberation.

  • Viva Cuba Libre!

    Cuba: critical thought in the socialist transition

    This is the text of an essay presented at the Conference on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Pensamiento Crítico (Critical Thought) magazine which took place in Havana on February 21, 2017. Pensamiento Crítico was a monthly magazine published in Cuba from 1967 until 1971. Edited by Fernando Martínez Heredia (1939-2017), the magazine was […]

  • Berlin Bulletin by Victor Grossman

    Fire and riddles at Hamburg

    I wonder whether those so horrified today were sickened then at US attacks on others’ sovereignty. There has been lots of masquerading, I think, by disguised provocateurs or indignant sovereignty defenders. Their threats against even hesitant moves toward dialogue, disarmament, de-escalation in the world’s charged atmosphere are what truly sicken me—and frighten me!

  • Wonder Woman with her allies--"the humane members of the world community, represented by the U.S.–Chris Pine is the male lead and Gadot’s love interest–and a ragtag support group that includes a Scot, a native American, and a generic Arab, presumably symbolizing 'moderate' Arab states like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan," writes Jonathan Cook (Photo: Clay Enos/Warner Bros)

    Wonder Woman is a hero only the military-industrial complex could create

    For a while I have been pondering whether to write a review of the newly released “Wonder Woman,” to peel back the layer of comic book fun to reveal below the film’s disturbing and not-so-covert political and militaristic messages.

    There is usually a noisy crowd who deride any such review with shouts of “Lighten up! It’s only a movie!”–as though popular culture is neither popular nor culture, the soundtrack to our lives that slowly shapes our assumptions and our values, and does so at a level we rarely examine critically.

  • Union Busting Cartoon

    Ransacking the public sector

    Almost 50% of union members in the United States today work in the public sector. By necessity, they will have to play a major role in the rebuilding of organized labor. But like private sector unions before them, government employee unions face circumstances threatening their very existence.

  • Berlin Bulletin by Victor Grossman

    Big shots in Hamburg

    Years ago the 35th US president made a speech in Germany, four words of which, in American-accented German, remain famous: “Ich bin ein Berliner!”—“I am a Berliner!” That was John F. Kennedy. Will the 45th president, soon to visit Germany’s second city, emulate him and tweet “I am a Hamburger! Wow!”

  • New Yorkers protest Trump

    Are liberals having second thoughts about immigration?

    On June 20 The Atlantic posted an article by Peter Beinart claiming that the Democrats had “lost their way on immigration.” While the article has been lauded by Rightwingers, it is mostly a compendium of familiar sound bites on immigration, presented without much understanding of the issues.

  • The MQ-9 Reaper, a combat drone, in flight

    Killer drones and the militarization of U.S. foreign policy

    In the eyes of many around the world, diplomacy has taken a back seat to military operations in U.S. foreign policy. The drone program is a prime example.

  • Flag Map

    Capitalism is national and imperialist, not transnational

    Capitalism is characterized by both centripetal and centrifugal tendencies. There is not and cannot be a transnational capitalist state and for that reason there cannot be a transnational capitalist class.

  • French Election Posters

    The 2017 French Elections: A Grim Farce

    The experience of the last three decades has clearly demonstrated that social struggles in and of themselves are not sufficient to stop the drift to the right and re-establish a dynamic of social advances. That requires going beyond defensive strategies and creating a positive alternative project that is authentically social and democratic.

  • A union march in Detroit

    Improving our quality of life will require rebuilding union strength

    Unions provide workers with voice and the means to use their collective strength to gain job security and say over key aspects of their conditions of employment, including scheduling and safety. These gains are significant in our “employment at will” economy.

  • Juneteenth

    Juneteenth: Time for liberation now

    Juneteenth is not just a day in the park. It memorializes the most significant event in African-American history, what W.E.B. Du Bois in the magnificent “Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880” calls “the coming of the Lord,” the destruction of slavery.

  • José Carlos Mariátegui

    José Carlos Mariátegui: 87 years later

    Mariátegui’s funeral was one of the largest processions of workers ever seen in the streets of Lima, Peru, but in the U.S. his death was hardly noticed.