Archive | Commentary

  • A Child’s Primer of Intelligent Design

    See the Bible. The Bible is a textbook. It is all you will ever need to know about anthropology, zoology, astronomy, psychology, or nuclear fission. Why is the Bible all you need to know? Because President George W. Bush said that the theory of “Intelligent Design” should be taught along with the Darwinian theory of […]

  • Show Your Solidarity with AMFA Workers: Support 4,400 Mechanics, Cleaners, and Custodians on Strike

    Sisters and Brothers: As I am sure you know, 4,400 mechanics, cleaners, and custodians represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association have been on strike for 5 days at Northwest Airlines. The issues they are facing will soon face all of us. They have dug in for a substantial fight and they intend to win, […]

  • Iraq, Palestine, and Resisting Erasure

    [What follows is a talk Rela Mazali presented at the panel on “Linking Local with International Issues: Future Plans and Strategies for Struggle” at the International Women in Black Conference, East Jerusalem, 11-16 August 2005.] I’d like to read you something. This is part of a declaration: There is widespread opposition to the occupation. Political, […]

  • Real Energy CPI, 1957-2005

    [Click on the graph to enlarge it.] The data are from the Council of Economic Advisors’ “2005 Economic Report of the President,” Table B-60. James G. Devine is Professor of Economics at Loyola Marymount University. His numerous publications include “The ‘Natural’ Rate of Unemployment” (A Guide to What’s Wrong with Economics, Ed. Edward Fullbrook, London, […]

  • Let’s Put the Nature of Work on Labor’s Agenda: Part Four

      [Author’s note: Let me repeat my invitation at the end of Part Three of this series. Readers are invited to submit short essays, about 1,000 words, about their work. What do you do? In what ways is your work satisfying? In what ways is it not? How could it be made better? Send your […]

  • Hydrogen Hoopla

    In a time of rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere and ever more prominent signs of global warming, General Motors and other apologists for global capitalism are seeking to assure us of their concern for the environment and their commitment to move beyond fossil fuels.  Unsurprisingly, they do not propose putting a […]

  • Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

    The revolutionary forces in Nepal led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) have been engaged in a country-wide people’s war (“jana youdha”) against the royal government. Much of the country has been liberated. The palace and the Royal Nepal Army now retain control over the central valley of Nepal and areas adjacent to their fortified bases in the district towns in the countryside, and few other areas

  • Carmageddon and Karl Marx

    “So far as I am aware,” wrote Paul Sweezy in 1973, “the political economy of the automobile has never been subjected to serious analysis in the Marxian literature.” Amazingly, despite the apparent onset of global warming, “peak oil,” and permanent petro-war, Sweezy’s observation remains true today.  We Marxians have not yet begun to do more […]

  • Heartbreak Hotel

    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a military man turned “peacenik,” is unilaterally “disengaging” from the Gaza Strip. It’s all over television, play by play — the hardship Israel is enduring. Scenes of Israeli soldiers emotionally and physically struggling to remove the 8,500 settlers from the Gaza Strip are displayed while CNN anchors utter soft words in […]

  • Global Capitalism in Danger

    Global capitalism is in danger. Leading lights of global finance capital are sending out warning signals with growing urgency and desperation. Alan Greenspan is puzzled, referring to the decline of long-term interest rates at a time of rising short-term interest rates as a “conundrum.” To solve the conundrum, Martin Wolf of the Financial Times argues, […]

  • Insuring Inequality: The Privatization of Public Education in the U.S.

    The education gap in the U.S., like the wealth chasm, is growing ever wider, and equal educational opportunity, the perennial dream of working-class and progressive people, is being undermined by neo-conservative forces.  Although free universal public education was adopted early in U.S. history, equal opportunity has never been realized.  Since colonial times, education has been […]

  • GM, the UAW, and U.S. Health Care

    General Motors Corp. is losing market share and money. Basically, GM’s business downturn is being driven by UAW members having made more cars and trucks than can be sold in the marketplace. Thus, the company wants to re-open its four-year labor contract with the UAW to cut employee health-care costs, unilaterally if need be. GM […]

  • Pyramid of Capital (1983)

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  • The Other Side of the Coin

    The classicist Walter Burkert has argued that all cultures start in blood — the binding guilt of shared murder, periodically reenacted in ritual sacrifice. This is the kind of generalization that seems made to be refuted, and certainly one would like to be able to do so; but the identification of blood sacrifice with the […]

  • The New Model Army of Clowns:

    In the years since W’s re-election, activists around the world have re-examined their methods. Questioning the accustomed lesser evil electoral politics, the boring rallies, the bursts of direct action, and frustrated tears, a new cohort of political actors have emerged with a new series of playful approaches. They have turned to a uniquely distinct form […]

  • The Medicaid Kill-Off

    President George W. Bush and Congress slashed $10 billion from the Medicaid budget for this coming year. Medicaid is the primary public health care program for impoverished persons that serves over 53 million people. The cut is clearly an attack on poor people, and it may wind up killing disabled and chronically ill persons before […]

  • South Korea: The Unraveling of an Economy

    South Korea, the poster country for the IMF in the post-East Asian crisis period, is in serious economic trouble.  That’s probably why you hear so little about what is happening there.  After a major economic collapse in 1998, the country recorded GDP growth rates of 10.9 percent and 9.3 percent in 1999 and 2000, respectively.  […]

  • The Sandinista Revolution and the “Fifth Freedom”

    This month will mark the 25th Anniversary of the overwhelmingly successful Literacy Crusade spurred by the Sandinista Revolution. This article examines the various programs implemented during the revolution, the US reaction to the revolution, and Nicaragua’s present situation. Revolution On July 19, 1979 a broad-based popular revolution, inspired by the legacy of Augusto Cesar Sandino […]

  • Japan’s Modern Historical Loop

    The news of world affairs these days is highly unlikely to delight the Japanese survivors of the two nuclear terrorist attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States’ armed forces sixty years ago. Those attacks were not meant to convince the Japanese leaders to surrender, something which they were about to do anyway, but […]

  • Koizumi Goes Postal

    On Monday, August 8th, Japan’s upper house of Parliament unexpectedly joined the French and Dutch electorates to give a sharp slap to neoliberal inevitability. Much to the totally delicious distress of all the usual suspects, from the Financial Times to the Christian Science Monitor, the parliamentarians turned down Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s key piece of […]