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Monthly Review Magazine

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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? […]

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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 […]

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Boycott Starbucks

Starbucks: Selling Out the Counter-Culture?

“Hip capital” . . . “Rebel consumers” . . . “Conquest of cool” . . . “Bobos [bourgeois bohemians] in paradise!” Such are the terms used by social critics to ironically sum up the marketing of the counter-culture, a phenomenon that is commonly exemplified by the reduction of one-time “anti-establishment” anthems to a seemingly endless […]

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Holy war

With god on our side we don’t need a conscience. The others are ripe for burning and burn them we will, the smoke of their flesh rising to heaven, an acceptable sacrifice. With god on our side there is no grey, no shading only glaring gorgeous white blinding with purity: beyond just blackness that could […]

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Bureaucratic-Commercial Interest Group

China’s Landless  

  Since the 1990s, at least 40 million farmers in China have lost their land. This process is being driven by what the article below calls the “bureaucratic-commercial interest group.” Local bureaucrats need to have a “good record” if they are to advance in their careers. A “good record” implies rapid GDP growth from industry, […]

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In the Reactionary Era of “No Alternative”  

For years, U.S. political and economic leaders saw themselves in mortal combat with communist nations for the allegiance of peoples at home and abroad. The pressure of being in competition with an alternative economic system set limits on how thoroughly Western leaders dared to mistreat their own working populations. Indeed, during the Cold War, pains […]

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