Archive | Commentary

  • Berlin Bulletin by Victor Grossman

    Charlottesville and Thuringia

    Germany has no exact equivalent of the White House cabal; its leaders are highly educated and circumspect in their speeches. But growing threats in both countries are far too similar.

  • Illustration: Andrzej Krauze

    After neoliberalism, what next?

    We may be living through one of those moments in history that future historians will look back on as a watershed, a period of flux that marked a transition to quite different economic and social arrangements. Unfortunately, in human history a ‘moment’ can be a very long time.

  • Donald Trump, left, and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan Credit From left: Damon Winter/The New York Times, Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

    The faux antiracism of the Republican Party

    As this tragedy unfolds let us hope that people do not forget who the enemies of antiracism are. They won’t be crashing cars into protestors, but their policies should be treated with the same rebuke that we have for Saturday’s driver.

  • Trump’s Former Virginia Chair Goes Full-On Racist Confederate in Bid for Governor “Inspired by Trump, his former Virginia chair runs the ‘most openly Confederate-friendly campaign in recent memory'” — PoliticusUSA, 3/29/17

    The weasel: Corey Stewart

    As Republican politicians distance themselves from the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, the former chairman of Trump’s Virginia campaign blames the victims.

  • Packed like sardines

    The root of the climate crisis is capitalism, not demographics

    Growing concerns about climate change and other environmental trends have set off the next round of old Malthusian diagnoses, raising the specter of overpopulation. In this context, it bears repeating that under capitalism the “population problem” is about ideological and social control and has nothing to do with demographics or ecology.

  • Members of the Bolivarian Militia read Ciudad Caracas newspaper, while waiting for the Constituent Assembly installation

    Stand in solidarity with Venezuela against the threat of imperialist military intervention

    The Right-wing in Venezuela have stated publicly that their tactic is to produce more violence and more chaos, with the hope that wide international media coverage will provoke foreign intervention in the country.

  • Berlin Bulletin by Victor Grossman

    Diesels and honorable men

    Lower the curtain, change the scene. The atmosphere in the government building in Berlin on August 2nd is fully different, not a bit of similarity. Those present, most in tailored apparel, sit in soft leather chairs and sip aromatic drinks from fine glassware. Who are they? Germany’s power people!

  • Das Ewig Weibliche II by Hannah Höch

    Transition and abolition: notes on Marxism and trans politics

    Without understanding the particular plight of trans women, only a blunted and partial view of gender is possible. And without a systemic view of gender, political solutions to that plight will be equally limited.

  • 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

    The distance that separates us today from the first issue of Pensamiento Crítico (Critical Thought) is exactly the same as the distance between this revolutionary, intellectual adventure and the October Revolution: half a century. The coincidence in this case is not limited to random chance.

  • 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.