Top Menu

Archive | Commentary

Monthly Review Magazine

Singin

General Electric’s Ecomagination: New Veneer, Same Propaganda

General Electric (GE) commercials have always aimed to present a calm, peaceful world that (they imply) the company’s technological ingenuity helps make possible. After all, they “bring good things to life.” As environmental degradation continues to expand in tandem with global capitalism, environmental consciousness becomes a new marketing strategy. GE’s newest invention is to present […]

Continue Reading
An Injury to One

An Injury to One: A Film by Travis Wilkerson

2005 will mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Industrial Workers World, the I.W.W., popularly known as the “Wobblies.” The most radical, mass-based labor organization to emerge within U.S. history, they embodied the slogan “An Injury to One Is an Injury to All,” as they organized unskilled as well as skilled workers, immigrants […]

Continue Reading
Wobblies

Latterday Wobbly Types: Remembering Stan Weir

The Industrial Workers of the World, celebrating their centenary this year (see Paul Buhle, “The Legacy of the IWW,” Monthly Review, June 2005), could not play a major role in labor or the Left after the middle 1920s,  but their influence continued (and continues) to be felt in many curious ways. To take an often […]

Continue Reading
Sound Truth and Corporate Myth$

Crude Facts Leak from Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

  We all remember the TV images of diligent cleanup workers in Alaska wiping the black sludge from the Exxon Valdez off the shores of the Prince William Sound. Who would have guessed that the well-intentioned workers were unknowingly being poisoned by Exxon? Those of us who are acutely aware of monopoly capital’s contradictions might […]

Continue Reading

Willoughby

A part of the watershed bears the name of Willoughby Back in the 1830s some folks planned a medical college and approached an out-of-stater with the above name, seeking funds With true nineteenth century hucksterism/whoredom the town founders (flounders?) name their price: give money for the college and we’ll name the town after you What […]

Continue Reading

Thinking About China

Imports into the U.S. keep rising and the merchandise trade deficit keeps growing. Manufacturing jobs continue to disappear and wages and working conditions continue to worsen.  Increasingly, those who seek to explain these trends point to China.  It is true that China has become an export powerhouse, and the United States its main market.  China […]

Continue Reading

Red

1 She calls across the tenement valley to her friends pulling laundry off the cross-cut line A block away, hogs hang from steel question-marks Guts pour from the gashes in their bellies spill over the workers’ shoes fall between the floor slats into Miller’s River She calls Bernadette, Madge, Belinda in the chopped syllables of […]

Continue Reading

Voluntary Slavery

Although the widely celebrated consumer sovereignty allows people to choose whether to consume Coke or Pepsi, nobody could even dream of suggesting that workers can act as sovereign individuals within their place of employment. Ideologists mouth comforting platitudes that depict people as sovereign individuals in their role as consumers, but obviously ultimate control of the […]

Continue Reading
Truth Not Tolerance

Judge of Character

Nothing offend American voters more than the imputation that their vote is ideologically motivated. Anything that smacks of partisanship is rejected out of hand. “I don’t vote for the party,” they’ll insist.  “I vote for the person.” Then why, one wonders, is the American electorate such a lousy judge of character?  Why is inflexibility taken […]

Continue Reading

Of Shibboleth and Power

Sometimes, when a comrade intentionally ignores relevant facts in the discussion of an issue, it may indicate that the comrade is enthralled by an unexamined shibboleth. If I remember my Bible, the word shibboleth was used as a kind of military password, because enemy intruders couldn’t pronounce it.  Those who approached Hebrew positions at night […]

Continue Reading
Susie Day

Street Life of a Mad Activist

Hey, lady. You got a problem with my hat? I mean, look. I was just walking down Fort Washington Avenue, minding my own business on my way to the A Train, and you — an ordinary, middle-aged white lady in a blue plaid housedress — stop to glare at my hat. How friendly is that? […]

Continue Reading

Building Socialism of the 21st Century

[The following is the concluding section of Michael A. Lebowitz’s talk “Socialism Doesn’t Drop from the Sky,” presented to the National Conference of Revolutionary Students for the Construction of Socialism of the XXI Century in Merida, Venezuela on 24 July 2005. — Ed.] In the same way that Marx was prepared to change his own […]

Continue Reading