Archive | Commentary

  • Interview with Deon Haywood: “Nine Years After Katrina, It’s All About the Takeover”

    Deon Haywood is the Executive Director of Woman With a Vision, a New Orleans social justice non-profit founded in 1991 by a grassroots collective of African-American women in response to the spread of HIV/AIDS in communities of color.  According to the WWAV website, “We envision an environment in which there is no war against women’s […]

  • National March on Ferguson, August 30, 2014

    You are invited to join us at the National March on Ferguson, on Saturday, August 30, 2014.  The Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition will begin the march at 10 am at “Ground Zero,” the corner of W. Florissant Ave. and Canfield Dr. (63135).  This site of ongoing activity is a block from where policeman […]

  • New Paths Require a New Culture on the Left

    Speech accepting the 2013 Libertador Prize for Critical Thought, awarded for A World to Build: New Paths toward Twenty-first Century Socialism, Caracas, Venezuela, August 15, 2014 I completed this book one month after the physical disappearance of President Hugo Chávez, without whose intervention in Latin America this book could not have been written.  Many of […]

  • National Lawyers Guild, Other Legal Organizations Urge International Criminal Court to Investigate War Crimes by Israeli, U.S. Leaders in Gaza

    The National Lawyers Guild (NLG), Center for Constitutional Rights, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Arab Lawyers Union, and American Association of Jurists (Asociación Americana de Juristas)sent a letter on Friday, August 22 to Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), urging her to initiate an investigation of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against […]

  • Shoppers Without Borders: Cure for Media-Inflicted War Wounds

    Paige Turner, a 29-year-old graduate of Grinnell College’s creative writing program, came to New York to start her life as a novelist.  She got some gigs chronicling upscale Manhattan lifestyles for glossy magazines: “good background for my first socially conscious bestseller!”  Things were going great — she was online most of the day, researching fashion […]

  • Unraveling Capitalist Globalization

    Despite the prolonged global economic crisis since 2007/2008, neo-liberal economic thought and practice continue to reign supreme.  In his important book Capitalist Globalization: Consequences, Resistance, and Alternatives (Monthly Review Press, 2013), Martin Hart-Landsberg makes a number of key interventions unraveling the myth of neo-liberalism as well as the dynamics underlying capitalist accumulation. First, he identifies […]

  • Sour Pickles and Sour Grapes

    When politicians vacation and little action is expected, the words German journalists use for such summer doldrums is “Saure-Gurken-Zeit” — “sour pickle time.”  Since German often squeezes things together into what Mark Twain called “not words but panoramas,” it’s usually written with no break, “Sauregurkenzeit,” and may be derived from the time before the harvest […]

  • US Intervention Is Not Humanitarian and Will Not Protect the People of Iraq

      Here we go again, the US is using a humanitarian catastrophe to implement imperialist objectives and pour petrol on fire. It is sickening to see Obama and the Western media shedding crocodile tears for the Iraqi people, after the US-led occupation pulverised Iraq as a society and killed a million of its people.  It […]

  • Debate on Capitalism, Environmentalism, and “Environmental Catastrophism”

    The Environment and Capitalism: Response to Ian Angusby Sam Gindin The most critical question confronting anyone concerned with the environmental crisis is the political one: how to build a social force able to do something about it.  The most important division among social activists is not between those who think an environmental collapse is imminent […]

  • I See Palestine

    In response to Roger Cohen, “Why Americans See Israel the Way They Do,” New York Times, August 3, 2014. . . . The bias of the cowboy-and-Indians movies I grew up on in the 1950s has long been exposed: swallowing up Native American land was the aim, and the myth of the dangerous savages who […]

  • In Shared Sorrow: Remembering ‘Comrade’ Nirmal da

    This tribute to one of India’s finest radical economists first appeared in Analytical Monthly Review, May 2014.  AMR, published from Kharagpur, West Bengal, India, is a sister edition of Monthly Review. Nirmal Kumar Chandra (1936-2014), referred to by his dear friend, Ashok Mitra, in The Telegraph (April 4, 2014) as “The Compleat Economist”, was in […]

  • On Capital, Real Socialism, and Venezuela: An Interview with Michael A. Lebowitz

    Gülden Özcan and Bora Erdağı: In some of the interviews you gave, you talked about your own everyday life experiences that led you to discover that Marx’s total critique of capitalism is an unfinished project.  In this discovery, you emphasized elsewhere that your class background and political struggle you were involved in have played an […]

  • Across the Atlantic: A Month in the USA

    What a trip!  I had last visited my American home country three years earlier; some things hadn’t changed much, some things had.  As ever, piled high, were many contrasts and contradictions. My first goal was my class reunion (the 65th!!!), partly in the Harvard Yard, sober and dignified even when filled with thousands of new […]

  • PFLP: Proposal for “Calm” Seeks New Chains on the Resistance

    The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine noted that despite what has been reported in news agencies regarding the words of President Abu Mazen and his claimed approval of the so-called Egyptian initiative, the Palestinian factions were not consulted regarding this initiative, no decisions were approved by any Palestinian institution, and this matter has […]

  • Once Again on “Environmental Catastrophism”: A Reply to Sam Gindin

    Last year in Monthly Review, I debated Eddie Yuen, an anarchist who believes it is a mistake for radicals to focus on telling the truth about the global environmental crisis, because “awareness of climate crisis does not necessarily lead to increased political engagement.”  Not only can such awareness lead to apathy, he wrote, but “environmental […]

  • Bhagat Singh: Eighty-Three Years On

    Chaman Lal.  Understanding Bhagat Singh.  Delhi: Aakar, 2013.  pp. 245. Left Traditions in South Asia Bhagat Singh is to South Asia what Che Guevara is to Latin America — a popular iconic figure who continues to inspire generations of youth in the subcontinent in their struggles against imperialism and the trajectory of national politics after […]

  • Barbie’s Gay-Pride Shocker!

    “Get out!  Get out of here and never come back!” shrieked an enraged Barbie, as she hurled a tiny bedroom slipper in my direction.  The dainty missile careened off an itty-bitty bust of Ken, then shattered the frame that held a photo of Barbie’s best friend, Midge.  “Take your Gay Pride and shove it!” Barbie’s […]

  • Political Parties, Left, Right, and Purely Satirical

    During my month in my home country, the USA, things kept moving along on this eastern side of the Atlantic.  I must try to catch up! In early June Europe had to digest results of the European Parliament elections — and choke down some pretty revolting clumps.  Far-right groups took alarming leads in France and […]

  • Targeting Elbit Systems in the Month Against the Apartheid Wall

    Surveillance.  It’s in the headlines and on the tips of tongues.  As technology offers new possibilities for connection, it also offers new means to keep tabs on people.  Surveillance has become seemingly ubiquitous, from the NSA reading emails to drones in the skies.  A nation that has for 66 years been ruling over an indigenous […]

  • The Desperate Choices Behind Child Migration

    As someone who just returned from living and working in El Salvador, I’m still having a hard time adjusting to our mainstream media’s never-ending wave of know-nothing commentary on the subject of immigration.  A case in point is the column penned by New York Times columnist Ross Douthat on Sunday, June 22nd.  Douthat expresses alarm […]