Archive | Commentary

  • After the Carnival

    Tsipras-Schleuder #Rosenmontag #Helau #Düsseldorf #Merkel pic.twitter.com/EiRvyRvf7k — Christoph Ullrich (@ullrich001) February 16, 2015 Every year the Rhine region and southern Germany go crazy.  Carnival or Fasching, a cousin of Mardi Gras, officially beginning at 11:11 AM on 11/11 and ending with the Lent period, has been celebrated in Catholic areas since the 1820s — with […]

  • American Exceptionalism, Working-Class Wars, and Working-Class Peace Movements

    Christian Appy.  American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity.  New York: Viking, 2015. Christian Appy is the author of two splendid previous books about the Vietnam War: Working-Class War and Patriots.  Patriots was extraordinary in that it offered oral histories by soldiers on both sides of the conflict. The main argument of Appy’s […]

  • A Critical Reading of Steve Keen’s Debunking Economics (L’imposture économique

    Samir Amin is director of the Third World Forum in Dakar, Senegal. His books published by Monthly Review Press include The Liberal Virus, The World We Wish to See, The Law of Worldwide Value, and, most recently, The Implosion of Contemporary Capitalism. This article was translated from the French by Shane Mage. 1. Let me begin by saying that I […]

  • Pentagon Marks 50th Anniversary of Viet Nam War with Multi-million Dollar Re-write of History; Veterans Respond with “Vietnam War Full Disclosure Project”

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landing of U.S. ground troops in Da Nang, Vietnam, the beginning of the American War in Vietnam.  To observe it, the Pentagon is undertaking a multi-million dollar campaign to rewrite and whitewash the history of that war. In response, Veterans For Peace (VFP) has announced the Vietnam […]

  • The Importance of the “Economic”

    The world today is witnessing a rather novel phenomenon, namely a pervasive tendency towards political uprisings by the urban middle class.  Not just the leaders, but even the bulk of the participants in such uprisings are educated, are reasonably well-off, and make extensive use of social media channels for keeping in touch with one another. […]

  • The Immediate Demands of the Greek Working Class

    Throughout the previous period, PAME, the class-conscious movement, was at the forefront of the struggle against capital’s attack on labor and popular rights.  We will continue in the same direction, because the problems and factors that led the vast majority of the people to poverty, misery, and the loss of rights and conquests are still […]

  • Europe Between the Pit and the Pendulum

    If you have ever read Edgar Allen Poe‘s gruesome stories you may recall feelings of horror like those which made me, still a youngster, cringe and shudder.  I have similar feelings when I hear of bloodthirsty, barely-hidden “concerts” by German Neo-Nazis, which too often lead to violence against subjects of their hatred: hippy-type leftist youngsters […]

  • ECB Must Stop Blackmailing Greece

    The European Central Bank’s political decision to blackmail Athens is arrogant and dumb.  An institution buying vast quantities of toxic assets from banks ought to be also providing the Greek government with the necessary breathing space now, so that a solution to the European debt crisis can be negotiated. The practice of officials who have […]

  • Thousands of Greeks Take to the Streets . . . and Chant the Name of Their Finance Minister

    “Has there ever been a demonstration where people chanted the name of a finance minister? This must be a world first!” says the ironic Xenia, a 53-year-old woman who has been shouting for several minutes, with thousands of demonstrators, the now omnipresent name in Athens: “Yanis Varoufakis, Yanis Varoufakis, Yanis Varoufakis!”

  • The Spirit of Tony Mazzocchi Is Haunting Big Oil Today

    Twelve years ago, America’s leading advocate of occupational health and environmental safety succumbed to pancreatic cancer. In the U.S., where the influence of organized labor has long been contracting, the death of a former trade union official is often little noted.  Yet Tony Mazzocchi was no ordinary labor leader.  His passing from the scene, at […]

  • SYRIZA’s Historic Responsibility, KKE’s Moment

      Bandera de la república popular de España en Atenas, entre las canciones Bella Ciao y Bandiera Rossa. #Syriza pic.twitter.com/HuVaAfO3Dg — ALFON (@TxabierAlonso) January 25, 2015 As a communist, if I were Greek I would certainly be active in the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) and this Sunday the party would have had my vote.  […]

  • A Crack in Merkel’s Power over Europe

    SYRIZA’s electoral victory is a historic opportunity for the whole of Europe.  The Greek voters voted for an end to the catastrophic policy of cuts dictated to Greece by the Troika composed of the EU Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Central Bank (ECB).  This election is therefore also a defeat for […]

  • Interview with KKE’s Kostas Papadakis on Why KKE Does Not Support SYRIZA: “We Are Against the EU, NATO, and Chains of Capitalism”

    Greek Communist Party (KKE) MEP Kostas Papadakis firmly says: “SYRIZA has made very clear that it is not going to defy the EU or NATO.  We say: What kind of left is this?” “The EU has no fear of SYRIZA.  SYRIZA is not the oligarchy’s first choice, but it is the new face of social […]

  • Je Suis Cumhuriyet: Charlie Hebdo as Seen from Turkey

    Seeing the crowned heads of Europe march in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo has aroused vigorous dissent from many liberals and leftists in western countries — aimed both at the display of European unity and at the content of the cartoons themselves.  Are these images bold anti-clerical statements or rather racist caricatures of a despised minority?  […]

  • PEGIDA, SYRIZA, and the Future of Europe

    Recent events here in Germany remind me of a playground seesaw, with constant ups and downs of one side and the other. All autumn we watched the upward swing of PEGIDA, “Patriotic Europeans Against Islamization of the West,” most rapidly but not only in Saxony’s capital Dresden.  Its main features were a fast-talking, shady leader […]

  • Wolinski’s Last Cartoon?

      A little over a week ago we celebrated the advent of the new year, but not like the rest of the world.  The three Cuban anti-terrorist heroes imprisoned in the United States had returned to our country several weeks before. #CharlieHebdo Wolinski président d’honneur de Cuba Si France était tous les ans à la […]

  • Samir Amin on the Charlie Hebdo Murders: Imperialism and International Terrorism

      The Western errors and neo-liberal damages: Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi knew how to contain the Islamist drift, but they were slaughtered.  In Libya, Paris and Washington have it all wrong. We reached Samir Amin — philosopher, economist, and director of the Third World Forum based in Dakar — in Paris by phone, to […]

  • Duty of Anti-Racist Insolence: Support Saïdou and Saïd Bouamama

    Support Our Comrades Saïd Bouamama and Saïdou (Z.E.P.)! by Young Communists, Lille Section On 20 January 2015, our comrades Saïdou, of the band Z.E.P. (Zone d’Expression Populaire), and Saïd Bouamama, a sociologist and militant communist based in Lille, are summoned to appear before the Court of First Instance of Paris, charged with “public insult” and […]

  • Je Suis Charlie — But I Have Other Names as Well!

    Monday evening I had planned to write about the PEGIDA movement in Germany.  Although in Dresden, their city of origin, the number of bitter marchers protesting the “Islamization” of the West had increased stubbornly to 18,000, I began to report happily that everywhere else in Germany they had been greatly outnumbered.  In Berlin, only 300 […]

  • Doing (and Making) History from Below

    The title Doing History from the Bottom Up not only defines the purpose and sets the direction; it lays down a challenge.  The author, Staughton Lynd, uses the present continuous form of the verb “do,” which indicates that there is really no beginning nor end.  Lynd challenges us to act rather than ideate, and he […]