Archive | Commentary

  • Letter to Maradona

    Unforgettable Friend: Every day I have the pleasure of following your program, on TeleSur, on the spectacular World Cup of football; thanks to your program I can see the extraordinary level of that universal sport. I do not think a proper education for young people in any country is possible without sports and, in the […]

  • The Baran-Marcuse Letters: “The Truth Is the Whole”

      The issue that Paul Baran and my father Herbert Marcuse confronted in their correspondence1 was, I suspect, what was an ongoing and troublesome theme for them both, analytically and politically.  It was a paradox that my father often formulated as: “You need new men and women to make a revolution, but you need a […]

  • A Response to FIFA’s “Setting the Record Straight”

      On 10 June 2014 FIFA released a “Frequently Asked Questions” pamphlet “Setting the Record Straight” on what it purports to be some misconceptions about FIFA’s role and the socio-economic impact of the FIFA World Cup.  The release of the pamphlet is significant as it is the first time that FIFA has been forced by […]

  • Maradona on World Cup 2014

    “It will be a great World Cup, but you can’t bury people under cement!” — Diego Maradona Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian cartoonist.  Follow Latuff on Twitter @LatuffCartoons.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] gmail.com).  To follow the World Cup with Diego Armando Maradona and Víctor Hugo Morales, watch De Zurda on TeleSur […]

  • The Open Veins of Eduardo Galeano

    In a recent Washington Post article entitled “Latin Americans Are Embracing Globalization and Their Former Colonial Masters,” written by a political science professor from the University of Colorado, the author begins with the following sentence: “Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano recently renounced his 1971 classic, Open Veins of Latin America, one of a few books admitted […]

  • A Restive Rank and File Fighting for — and Beginning to Win — New Teacher Union Leadership

    It’s a hard time to be the leader of any union, but those elected by teachers are really on the firing line. Corporate-backed education reformers and their political allies want to weaken the collective voice of public school educators.  Teacher union bargaining rights or contract protections have come under attack throughout the country.  The two […]

  • Venezuela: Questions about Democracy and a Free Press

    First question: Why? If Venezuela’s government is a dictatorship, why have there been 18 elections in 15 years under the late president Hugo Chávez Frías (d. 2013) and his democratically elected successor Nicolás Maduro?  Why is it that according to many international observers Venezuela’s democratic elections are, in the words of ex-president Jimmy Carter, “the […]

  • Fall Delegation to Bolivia: Presidential Election, Food Sovereignty, and Indigenous Resistance!

    Bolivia is the first country in the hemisphere to be governed by an indigenous president. Learn about indigenous struggles for sovereignty over food, land, and water. Meet with farmers, community leaders, government leaders, and others. Experience the rich culture of the Andes and soak in the sights, sounds, people, and politics in this historic moment […]

  • Eduardo Galeano on Open Veins of Latin America . . . and Other Stories

      As you may know, Larry Rohter of the New York Times spun this story as if it were a “God That Failed” episode.  So, here it is in English, for the record. — Ed. In 1998, I interviewed the writer Rachel de Queiroz (1910-2003), and she confessed to me that she felt “mortal antipathy” […]

  • Notes Toward a New American Marxism

      When I first read Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, it was 1967 and I was doing my last book report for the nuns at Holy Family High.  I would graduate in June but not without making some kind of statement about how angry I was to have been forced to attend this school.  I was […]

  • Gujarat 2002, India 2014: ‘Numbers Sanctify’

    “Numbers sanctify”.  The context is very different, but I couldn’t keep my mind off that quote from Charlie Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux.  After all, the alleged mastermind of the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat will soon be sworn in as India’s prime minister, at the head of a government in which his party, the BJP, will […]

  • Germany’s Left Party on the EU and NATO

    Running up a down escalator is itself mighty difficult.  Trying to keep your footing both on an up and a down escalator at the same time is simply hard to imagine.  Yet it gives an idea of Germany’s present Ukrainian policy. Soon after Soviet soldiers left East Germany between 1989 and 1994, the newly-unified country […]

  • Marking Nakba, Marching to Return

    For 66 years Israel’s founding generation has lived with a guilty secret, one it successfully concealed from the generations that followed.  Forests were planted to hide war crimes.  School textbooks mythologized the events surrounding Israel’s creation.  The army was blindly venerated as the most moral in the world. Once, “Nakba” — Arabic for “Catastrophe”, referring […]

  • The White Supremacist’s Guide to Social Inclusion

    Are you anti-Semitic?  Hate black people?  Detest queers?  Do you feel there are too many “mongrels” in today’s society?  Dread the time when your race will no longer be in the majority?  When inferior, sub-human hordes desecrate the genteel values of Western Civilization and force you into the swamp to dig cinder-block bunkers?  Does your […]

  • Quebec Election: A Seismic Shift Within the Independence Movement?

    The defeat of the Parti Québécois and the election of a federalist Liberal party government in the Quebec general election of April 7 raises important questions about the future of the Quebec movement for sovereignty and political independence.  And it poses some major challenges to the left party Québec Solidaire, as it seeks to position […]

  • Suniti Kumar Ghosh, 1918-2014

    Suniti Kumar Ghosh died on May 11, at the age of 96.  It is not a passing to be mourned but a life, rich and meaningful, to be celebrated. On the face of it, his life had two major phases: the first was one of direct political activity; the second was of research and writing. […]

  • Debating Climate Change Exit Strategies: James Hansen’s Program Is More Than a Carbon Tax

    In “A Left ‘Exit Strategy’ from Fossil Fuel Capitalism?” published in Climate & Capitalism last week, Norwegian socialist Anders Ekeland urges ecosocialists to support the climate change program proposed by one of the world’s most-respected climate scientists, James Hansen, in many essays and speeches and in his book, Storms of My Grandchildren.  In support of […]

  • A Farage Farrago: Contradictions at the Heart of the UK Independence Party

    In Westminster, the drip-drip of financial corruption — expense account abuse, the flipping of houses — is supplemented by a spectacle of “on-message” politicians whose speeches are slick with the shiny artificiality of well-oiled PR productions.  A never-ending parade of besuited, perfectly manicured politicians, staring out at the camera, eyes glazed with faux sincerity, features […]

  • Open Letter to Obama Against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement

    Dear President Obama, A part of me wants to say “Welcome to Malaysia” as we Malaysians are generally a hospitable people, and many of us were thrilled when you became the 44th President of the United States.  Your ability to communicate, your oratory skills — you are truly an admirable individual! But one of the […]

  • The Accidental Controversialist: Deeper Reflections on Thomas Piketty’s “Capital”

    Thomas Piketty‘s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a six hundred and eighty-five page tome that definitively characterizes the empirical pattern of income and wealth inequality in capitalist economies over the past two hundred and fifty years, and especially over the last one hundred.  It also documents the grotesque rise of inequality over the past […]