Archive | Commentary

  • 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.

  • Southern Front

    Rebuilding the American labor movement—the Southern front

    The major contradiction for working people in the USA in the 21st century is now abundantly clear: while working for a living is a necessity for the majority of Americans and the wealth of the nation continues to grow, real wages and the number of decent jobs are in steady decline.

  • Capitalism or Socialism

    What is to constitute the new “yes” is the problem

    For Klein, developing a meaningful anti-shock politics involves some combination of what Sanders represented and what Clinton symbolized: Sanders with respect to class and economics, Clinton as far as race and gender, and everything else. Imperialism and war scarcely enter the argument.

  • Globalization chart

    Globalization and executive compensation

    Growing inequality has been one of the most salient features of the US economy over the last 40 years. A variety of explanations for this rapid growth in top incomes have been proposed, including growing firm size new technology, the market for superstars, poor governance, and changes in top tax rates.

  • ‘What we see this week is a shallow farce, beginning with a plan to move air traffic control to a private, non-profit corporation run by the airlines.’

    The thing about Trump’s infrastructure plan is: it doesn’t really exist

    The Republican leaders of Congress killed off Trump’s much touted infrastructure plan months before he even reached the Oval Office. What we are left with is a farce.

  • Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, prepares to give a speech on his party’s foreign and defence policy at the Chatham House think-tank, during the 2017 UK general election campaign

    Jeremy Corbyn’s “Dark Past”

    This expert has some shocking revelations about @jeremycorbyn‘s past…

  • Akala

    Akala—English artist, writer and historian—comes out in support of Corbyn

    “For the first time in my adult life and perhaps for the first time in British history someone I would consider to be a fundamentally decent human being…has a chance of being elected.”

  • 'What Was Done': Jeremy Corbyn

    ‘What Was Done’

    This short satirical film from Bella Caledonia (by Edinburgh filmmaker Bonnie Prince Bob) was originally banned by YouTube when it was released three weeks ago (it has since returned). As far as we are concerned it is a brilliant piece of propaganda that should go viral once again.

  • Protesting Miners in Iran

    Silicon Valley’s toys contribute to Iran’s 2017 presidential election

    With a few days to go to Iran’s upcoming presidential elections on 19 May, six candidates could survive the vetting process of the Guardian Councils.… The role of the media, both in Iran and throughout the diaspora, to shape public opinion is significant. Iranian state media, radio and television are supposed to give the “hopefuls” an opportunity to continue campaigning for office, as they speak about their future plans and defend past performances, but they often fall short.

  • The Graveyard of Progressive Social Movements

    When first encountering the “Impeach Bush” movement in 2007 I responded, almost flippantly, “why not impeach the system that gave us Bush?” Otherwise, I said, “we risk having someone in the White House who’ll make us long for Bush.” If prescient, my response was admittedly formulaic and evidentially deficient.

  • Trump press conference

    Slandering Populism

    Populism properly understood is about popular and democratic opposition to the rule of the money power—to the reign of concentrated wealth. It emerged from radical farmers’ fight for social and economic justice and democracy against the plutocracy of the nation’s Robber Baron capitalists during the late 19th century. It was a movement of the left.

  • Prison Labor

    The Return of Commercial Prison Labor

    In the decades following, the number of prisoners decreased to a historic minimum. But with cutbacks in the welfare state, the prison population exploded from about 200,000 in 1975 to 2,300,000 in 2013 (Scherrer and Shah, 2017: 37) and prison labor for commercial purposes became legal again. Today, about 15% of the inmates in federal and state prisons perform work for companies such as Boeing, Starbucks and Victoria’s Secret. Migrants detained for violating immigration laws are one of the fastest growing segments of prison labor. Under the Trump administration, their numbers are most likely to increase.

  • Martin Schultz

    Miracles Can Happen

    To follow German politics these days you have to like arithmetic. At first only up to six, for that many parties are now vying to get good grades, lots of votes, and more power in the September elections to the Bundestag, which will lead to a government ruling until 2021.

  • Tenure Umbrella

    Just Wait Until I Get Tenure

    The first thing to understand about colleges and universities is that they are workplaces. And like all workplaces in capitalist societies, they are organized as hierarchies, with power radiating downward.… Those at the top have as their central objective control over the enterprise, so that their power can be maintained, that revenues from tuition, grants, money from various levels of government, and the like keep flowing in, that the prestige of the college or university grows. And, of great importance, that those below them do not and cannot make trouble by challenging their authority.

  • Workers at Whirlpool

    Monopolization and labor exploitation

    Those who advocate “freeing the market” claim that doing so will encourage competition and thereby increase majority well-being. These advocates have certainly had their way shaping economic policies. And the results? According to several leading economists, the results include the growing monopolization of product markets and the steady decline in labour’s share of national income. Neither outcome desirable.

  • "Cementing Feet" in protest of the "Corporate Governor," Ganjar Pranowo in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, March 13, 2017.

    Kendeng Against Cement

    Since March 13, 2017, over 50 local indigenous peasants known as Sedulur Kendeng, from Central Java, Indonesia, have been sitting with their feet in cement boxes in protest before the Presidential Palace. This is their second such protest in eleven months.

  • Neil Gorsuch & Donald Trump

    Inconsistency, Illegality, and Judge Gorsuch

    Donald Trump has nominated Neil Gorsuch, a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The Senate should not confirm Judge Gorsuch. This post gives one cardinal reason for rejecting the nomination.

  • Anti-Boycott Bills Are Part of Wider Crackdown on Protest

    A number of commentators have noted two different trends. First, across the nation Republican lawmakers are pushing for bills criminalizing protests. Second, a number of state legislatures have passed or considered, often at the impetus of Democratic lawmakers, bills aimed at silencing the movement for Palestinian human rights by targeting boycotts of Israel.

  • Sensors in Urban Spaces

    Surveillance: The mainstream media’s dismay with the tool of coercion

    The article discusses surveillance in today’s capitalist society with a reference to a recent revelation that the German intelligence agency spied upon scores of foreign journalists.

  • A taxi driver in his car on a rainy day in Iran

    What Do These Crusading Warmongers Say About Iran?

    Russia’s strategic alliance with Iran is at the heart of global tensions, and the speed and ferocity of statements by the new U.S. administration do little to allay concerns.… The crusading language of the new US administration is alarming and is engineered to promote “Iranophobia.” Once again the narrative that the Islamic Republic is on the verge of producing nuclear weapons with which it will target Israel and set off an unprecedented Middle Eastern arms race, strives to dominate the public sphere.